NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: January 9th, 2021
By: Nick Teynor
Happy New Year, Everyone!
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. Conditions have changed little on our local waters since my last post, but the one consistent factor for the rest of the winter season will be small, sparse flies. In short, it is safe to say that midges have become the main fare for our local trout waters that aren't frozen.
We aren't free and clear of COVID-19; not even close!!! So let's continue to wear a mask when around a lot of people, wash our hands, be kind to each other, and make sure to give each other plenty of space. The rivers, lakes, and streams took a beating from the hordes of anglers this season, and in doing so, we heard about A LOT of bad etiquette on the water. Last year, as part of our ongoing The Game Blog, Steve wrote a piece that discusses Stream Etiquette. If you haven't read it or visited our Blog, you'll find it informative and helpful. Also, the fine folks over at Redington Fly Gear have a nice little video on the subject.
Check these gauges for updates on water levels!
Fishing Conditions Summary
Early Winter is that time of year when our resident Brown Trout are still spawning, and their eggs are developing in the redds. In order for them to do so successfully, and with minimal stress, it is vital that we as anglers do our part, and leave ANY spawning fish we see alone. That means respecting the fish on spawning redds by not trying hook and land them, and making sure we don't walk/wade through their spawning areas while fishing. The folks at Redington Fly-Fishing posted a helpful video on the importance of leaving spawning fish alone, and why it matters. Give it a watch so you know how to enjoy fishing while fish are spawning, and do it in a way that respects and preserves the resource. Video Link: Avoiding Spawners
If you do fish the Middle Provo, regardless of what county you're from, please recognize that we're not out of the woods yet with COVID-19, and limit your contact where possible. Let's continue to take it slow, and do our part so we can continue to stay open safely.
As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 145 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 121 CFS at River Road Bridge. This is a typical late season flow, but you'll still need to use common sense when wading and walking in and around the water. With a majority of the local Brown Trout spawning in the shallow, gravelly riffles, we strongly recommend anglers avoid fishing to fish in these zones, walking/wading through these zones, and focus on fishing the slower, deeper runs and pools. These late-season flows will force any fish not spawning to to seek shelter in these areas. By focusing on fishing these zones, it will make it easier for us [anglers] to find fish to fish to, and help not negatively impact our local Brown trout while the spawn is on. Safe to say that the trout are definitely looking for Midges. Lately, we've been moving fish with #22-#26 larva, pupa, emergers, soft hackles, and adult patterns.
When there aren't insects hatching, nymphing with #16-#20 Sow Bugs, #20-#26 midge larva and pupa, #16-#20 caddis larva, and #20-#24 mayfly nymphs can move fish. If it is an exceptionally windy day, and/or you want to keep things simple, fishing a soft hackle on a slow, down-and-across swing, or stripping a streamer, is worth trying.
The Lower's flow is currently 107 CFS, which is a typical late-season flow. These flows will force fish to find any deeper water they can. We are seeing midges hatching during the warmest part of the day (12 PM- 3 PM), and if no surface activity is present, nymphing with #18-22 midge, #16-#20 caddis, and #18-#22 mayfly nymphs can move fish. Sow Bug patterns would also be very wise to have in your fly boxes, and trailing them with a small midge larva or pupa pattern is always a good bet. Stripping a streamer through the deeper holes, troughs, and channels can be effective if nothing else seems to be moving fish, and another technique to try if you don't see any surface activity.
Flows on the Weber between Wanship and Coalville have been effectively shut-off. They are only releasing 26 CFS of water out of Rockport, and less than 1 CFS out of Echo Dam. There will be more water flowing through the river as you get closer to Mountain Green and Odgen, but we would HIGHLY encourage all anglers to fish elsewhere. We won't touch the Weber when it's at this flow-especially during spawning season.
Green River and Other Waters:
As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir are flowing at 920 CFS during the day, and then bumping to over 2,000 CFS during the night. If you do head out to the Green, the fish will be hanging out in any deep troughs, holes, channels, and other structure. Keep a look out for Midges, left-over Blue-Wing Olive mayflies, and definitely bring your streamers. This time of year, it would be wise to take a slow stroll, and prospect with a #16 Parachute Adams trailed 2'-3' by a small (#18-#22) Zebra Midge or Scud. Please be considerate of spawning Brown trout by not fishing to fish on spawning redds, and by making to sure to NOT wade through their spawning redds. COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so make sure if you head out there to follow all mask and social distancing guidelines to make sure we keep our friends in Dutch John safe. If you need to pick up some flies, give the shop a call, and we'll get you everything you need.
Winter Fishing Tip(s):
With Winter officially here, it would be wise to pack leaders and tippets for fishing our tiny midges. My go to leader for most of my Winter fishing is a 9' 5X, and I make sure to carry 5X-7X tippets with me. This simple leader/tippet system allows me to adjust to whatever fishing conditions I encounter, and it simplifies what I need to take with me fishing. In order to prevent, or at the very least slow ice building up in your guides, I limit myself to fishing a little over a rod length of fly line outside my tip-top. By minimizing the amount of line stripped through the guides, you can drastically reduce the amount of times needed to clean ice out your guides. As an added bonus, fishing a set length of line will also aid in casting accuracy, line control, and strike detection.
Sow Bugs (#16,#18)
Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)
San Juan Worms (#12-#16)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)
Bling Midge (#22, #24)
"Frenchie" Pheasant Tail (#18)
Red Ass Soft Hackle (#18)
Syl's Midge (#18)
Partridge and Green (#14-#16)
Improved Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail (#16)
BH Hares Ears (#14-#20)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#16-#22)
Griffith's Gnat (#20-#24)
Orange Asher (#16-#18)
Purple Rooster (#16-#18)
Para. Adams (#18-#26)
Turkey Baetis Cripple (#22)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)
Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)