NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: October 1st, 2022
By: Nick Teynor
Our Fall fishing season is here! With the arrival of cooler temperatures, the leaves are changing colors, and our Fall hatches should follow suit. The Lower Provo has been experiencing some higher than normal flows and water temperatures as of late. This is due to how low Deer Creek Reservoir is, and it is REALLY important that we as anglers take water temperature readings if the water feels warm. As we continue to get into Fall, hopefully the cooler overnight temperatures will help get water temps down to normal levels. Remember, any water temperatures over 65 Degrees is not good for trout, and catching a trout in water warmer than 65 degrees drastically increases the chances of a trout dying. Even after a good release! So if you want to fish the Lower Provo, do it during the early to mid-morning when water temps have a better chance of being non-lethal.
Heading up into the Uinta Mountains to chase some trout on the numerous high elevation lakes and streams continues to be a great idea in order to potentially see less anglers. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to explore some warm-water fly-fishing options while the weather and water is still warm enough to do so. Bass, Carp, and Sunfish are found in various community ponds and reservoirs across the state, and can be a good challenge for those looking to expand your horizons.
The new norm is that there are more bodies than usual out on the water. In order to avoid bad river etiquette, it's important to know the basic ins an outs of how to interact with each other 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
As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 237 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 154 CFS at River Road Bridge. I'd recommend packing your small Pseudocloeon mayflies (micro Baetis), October Caddis, and terrestrials (ants, beetles, grasshoppers) with you if you're heading to the Middle. On the warmer days, it would be worthwhile to prospect with an October caddis or terrestrials in the riffles, river edges, and pocket water in order to goad a fish into rising. If that doesn't work, I'd run a nymph dropper 2'-3' feet behind it. Micro Baetis are popping off everyday, but will come off thickest and stay on the water longer on those cloudy, cooler days. Nymphing has been productive with midge larva and pupa patterns in sizes #20-#26, sow bugs in sizes #16-#20, small mayfly nymphs in #18-#24, Caddis larva nymphs in sizes #16-#20, and worm patterns in #12-#18. Sticking around until dark is a great idea for fishing streamers.
Fishing a soft hackle on a slow, down-and-across swing during the non-hatch periods, or fishing a streamer, is always worth trying when the light is low, and fishing with other techniques is slow.
The Lower's flow is currently 383 CFS. As I mentioned above, the water temperatures on the Lower have been alarmingly warm. Water temps in the early morning have been 65-66 degrees, which is borderline fishable. Until the weather really cools off, I'd strongly recommend fishing the Lower during the early-mid morning hours, and take a thermometer reading if the water feels warm. There has been a large amount of weeds floating downstream too, which will make any subsurface technique tougher, and a constant exercise in pulling weeds off you flies.
The Weber River between Rockport and Echo reservoirs is still at good fishing flows. Flows out of Rockport are 208 CFS, which is higher than normal for this time of year, and flows out of Echo are 73 CFS, which is a low fishing flow. I'd recommend fishing with the same flies and techniques I've recommended for the Provo if you head that direction.
Green River and Other Waters:
As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir are fluctuating for the foreseeable future between 950 CFS-2,100 CFS. Be prepared to fish terrestrial attractor dries, caddis, ants, beetles, Trico Spinners, and dry-dropper rigs. If the surface action is slow to non-existent when you head out to DJ, don't be afraid to run a nymph 2'-4' behind a biggish dry fly. I'd also recommend you bring your streamers for fishing when there is no hatch, and for covering water. If you're a walk-n-wade angler, prospecting with a #12-#16 Chubby Chernobyl, Parachute Cricket, or Parachute Adams, trailed 2'-4' by small Zebra Midges (#16-#20), Scuds (#18-#22), or small mayfly nymphs (#18-#22) will usually move a fish or two. Streamer fishing is a good thing to try if the dry fly and nymph fishing is slow. If you need to pick up some flies, give the shop a call, and we'll get you everything you need.
High Country lakes, ponds, and reservoirs are fishing well, and as the weather continues to cool down the fishing should only continue to get better. The cooler water temps will bring hungry fish closer to the edges of any stillwater because that is where a vast majority of prey such as insects, scuds, leeches, and minnows live. This means that fishing from shore will become more and more productive, and is another great Fall fishing option for anglers looking to expand their skills and fishing experiences. For those of you who like to chase warm-water fish species with a fly rod, better get after it! Early fall is still a good time look for bass, panfish, and carp with your fly rod, but as the weather and water temps cool down, the fishing for warm-water species will too. If you're looking for a fun, different experience, fly-fishing for warm water species can be a blast!
My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5 2X leaders, and 2X-3X tippets for #6-#10 streamers, or big insects such as hoppers. For the smaller bugs, I taper down from a 9' 4X leader to 4X-6X tippets. My choice of tippet off of my 4X leader is based on whatever size of fly I need to throw. This simple leader/tippet system allows me to adjust to whatever fishing conditions I encounter, and simplify what I need to take with me fishing. The only other tips I can offer are the following: Be prepared for dynamic weather changes, check the river flows before you head out, and make sure you respect each others space when out on the water!!!
Bling Midge (#22, #24)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)
Barr's BWO Emerger (#20-#24)
"Frenchie" Pheasant Tail (#16-#18)
Jig-Head Pheasant Tail (#18)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)
Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle (#14)
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle (#16)
Befus BWO Emerger (#22)
Winger BWO Dun (#22,#24)
CDC Thorax BWO (#20,#22)
Orange Rubber Leg Stimulator (#12-#14)
Orange/October Elk Hair Caddis (#10, #12)
Parachute Hooper (#8-#14)
Tan Chubby (#12-#14)
Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#12-#16)
Purple Rooster (#14-#18)
Para. Adams (#14-#22)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)
Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)
Sow Bugs (#16,#18)
Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)
San Juan Worms (#12, #16)