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River Conditions

Updated: September 17th, 2017
By: Nick Teynor 

Fishing Conditions Summary:

The Middle Provo, as of today, is flowing at 298 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir. This is a very fishy flow, and there now will be tons of places where you can actually cross the river. If you do fish the Middle Provo, the mornings and evenings on those hot sunny days have been fishing well, especially if you are fishing below the diversion dam. The lower flows will really force the fish to find some deeper, oxygenated water, and if you are out in the middle of the day focus on the edges, pocket water, and riffles. The Lower Provo is currently reading at 249 CFS, which should make for some VERY good fishing if the flows hold. The flows out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir are 2,381 CFS, and this is an AWESOME fishing flow for waders and floaters alike. This will make the Green River a great option for fishing for the rest of the year! The Weber below Rockport Reservoir, as of today, it is running at 80 CFS. This is a lower flow than we would like to see, and I honestly don't know what they are doing or wanting to do, so we have been recommending people fish early morning, quit during the heat of the day, and/or fish in the late evening in order to not stress the fish. The Weber below Echo currently flowing at 271 CFS. Things are pretty good shape as we head into the start of the late summer/early fall season, but always make sure to check the gauges before you head out! Here are the links to the Utah Streamflow sites:

2) USGS Streamflow:

 Not much has changed from last weeks fishing report, other than the air temperatures and water levels are dropping across the state.  It is definitely time to focus on our remaining PMD mayflies, terrestrials, the caddis that will be around for the rest of the summer, and streamers are becoming more and more important. Caddis on the Middle Provo and Lower Provo are still providing good surface action-as long as the weather permits. Partridge and Green, Partridge and Yellow, Partridge and Orange, Partridge and Hares Ear, March Brown Spider Soft Hackles, and Spectre Soft Hackles in tan and olive have been producing for those willing to swing them through the riffles and pools. For the big tan/brown caddis, we have had our best success with #14-16 Tan EZ Caddis, #14 Tan Blooms Caddis, #16 Tan Dancing Caddis, and #14-#16 Tan and Olive X-Caddis. If there are no fish up and feeding, put a caddis dry fly on and blind fish it along the edges, through the faster pocket-water and riffles. There are also plenty of PMDs around, and they have been hatching well from about 11 AM-4 PM. PMDs will hatch especially well if there is a thunderstorm rolling through in the afternoons, so make sure to have an assortment of nymphs, emergers, and dries with you. Terrestrial dries fished along the edges and faster water are starting to provide action during the sunnny, hot days, and midge fishing in the mornings and evenings has been providing solid opportunities for those getting to the river early and late. Nymphing with #16-#18 Cased-Caddis Nymphs, #14-#18 Hares Ears, #16-#18 PMD Barrs Emergers, #16-#18 Pheasant Tails, #14-#16 Electric Caddis, and a variety of smaller midge larva in sizes #18-#22 have provided solid fishing for us. In short, nymphing is still a very good option-especially if you show up and there are no noses up and rising or bugs buzzing around.

The Lower Provo has also been fishing well with PMDs and Caddis; just focus your efforts along the banks, especially with the rafters and tubers around, and have an assortment of sow bugs and midges to go along with your PMD and Caddis imitations. I have had good reports of morning streamer fishing on the Lower Provo, particularly with Platte River Spiders,  and other more lightweight streamers.  Fishing with terrestrials along the edges has also been moving fish. An assortment of ants, beetles, and hoppers we be smart to bring with you-especially on a sunny, windy afternoon.

If you like to explore, this is your time of year. Many of the small streams across the north and south slope of the Uintas are in shape and fishing well. If you head that direction, pack ALL of your late summer bugs! We are seeing PMDs (Pale Morning Dun Mayflies), terrestrials, and various caddis hatching on all of our trout water across the state. Like I said, it would be wise to take this down time to bring your fly boxes into the store, see what you have and what holes you need to fill. This cold spell of weather will put a little damper on the terrestrial fishing, but it will make stripping and fishing streamers in our many lakes and streams a better option as we head into fall. If there is one other tip I can leave you with, it is understanding how the weather will affect your fly choices and overall fishing. If you are looking to go fish and the weather is hot, sunny, and windy-look to fish Terrestrials (Ants, Beetles, Crickets, Hoppers). These insects LOVE the heat, and a little bit of wind to knock them into the water will make the fish all the more willing to come up and scarf these clummsy bugs. Caddis also like warmer days, but we at the shop find that a little bit of cloud cover really helps get the fish up and feeding on the egg-layers and emerging caddis. PMDs are on the way out at this point, and we will start to see our tiny late-summer/early fall mayflies called Pseudoclones making more of an appearance. These #22-#26 mayflies are tiny compared to PMDs, but the fish will eat them gusto once they start are our dependable summer mayfly; once they start they will literally hatch every day until there are none left. Like any mayfly, they love cloudy, cool days to hatch on, but we will also see them on cool, sunny days too! For more information on the bugs, and when/where to fish them, come on by the shop and get a cup of coffee, or give us a call. It is only a matter of time before everything lights up, and we can't wait to see it when it does.

If you feel the urge to stretch your legs, or you want to fish something other than our local fisheries, I would suggest that you take the time and head over to the Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir. *The river flows are currently at 2,381 CFS.* The yellow sallies are gone, but terrestrials are working more and more each day, and the fishing is picking up! Hard to beat a Para. Cricket and Zebra Midge dropper up there right now if nothing is going on. If you do go, be prepared with a little bit of everything, and if you are willing to float the Green, streamer fishing has been reported to still be ok if there are clouds around. #wrflyfisher, #keepemwet.   

One other thing to watch out for is the Uinta Lakes our Southern Utah fisheries. Lakes across the Uinta range are fishing well according to those who have been up there. Rivers down in Southern Utah are all fishing now, and worth doing some research on. This is great news for all of you who like to drive and walk to get away from the other folks!

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)          
Sow Bugs (#16-#22)
San Juan/Flossy Worm (#12-#18) 
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#16-#22)
Split-Case PMD (#16-#18)
PMX (#14-#16)
PMD Cripple (#16-18)
Sparkle Dun PMD (#16-#18)
Caddis Larva-Cased/Un-Cased (#14-#18)
Hemingway Caddis (#16-#18)
Tan X-Caddis (#14-#16)
Olive X-Caddis (#18)
Spent Partridge Caddis (#14-#18)
Yellow Stimulator (#14-#16)
Para. Ants (#14-#18)
Para. Hoppers (#10-#14)
Beetles (#14-#16)
Para. Crickets (#12-#16)

Green River
 flows are now stable! The flows are at 2,378 CFS.  The fishing for the rest of the year should be awesome!

The Middle Provo is currently flowing at 298 CFS, and the Lower Provo is running at 249 CFS right now. Flows have been getting bumped around, so give us a call, and we can tell you up-to-date river flow information.  
The Weber River is flowing around 80 CFS out of Rockport. Flows look to be stable for now, and at a fishable level, but we at the shop wish it was flowing another 100 CFS higher.

Looking Ahead: 2017
By: Steve Schmidt

It's getting to be the time of year when I take a break from these reports.  Once fall hatches conclude there isn't much worth commenting on and I need a little break from the computer screen.  So, I thought I take the Closing Comments section to look into my crystal ball and give a brief run down of what to expect in 2017 before I drop off the face of the earth. So, get your calendars out and lets start to look at 2017 in a nutshell and start plugging in some dates for the upcoming year so you don't miss out on the years best fishing.....

By December our streams get pretty quiet.  Water temps are cool enough that our trout streams, especially upper elevation waters don't get much in the way of activity. Although if we have mild Decembers we can see winter midge hatches get underway early, sometimes as early as December. That has happened a time or two on the Provo and Green Rivers and given these continued mild trends we're experiencing in the winter I wouldn't rule out some early dry fly fishing opportunities in December.  We'll just have to wait and see. Personally, I'd like to see our trout get a break and hopefully see winter inundate us cold and wet. We're due.  

Early January is also a fairly quiet month.  Typically we don't see winter midge hatches until late January and more likely early February.  That gives you a few months to get some flies tied up before noses again appear on a few of our local waters.  Although there can be opportunities for some decent fly-fishing in January, looking back I don't really see consistent midge hatches until February arrives.   

February is when I start to get a little itchy.  Midge hatches will be more dependable, there a good chance that noses will be up and by the end of the month we'll find the Middle Provo's large Buffalo Midge starting to get a fair amount of attention.  For the most part we're fishing really tiny midge stuff through the heart of winter, so when these big #18-#20 midges begin to appear flyfisher's and trout alike welcome thier arrival. Generally the more stable the weather the more consistent the fly-fishing opportunities are when it comes to midges.  If we have a February similar to the one we had in 2016 when we experienced some great dry fly days on the Green and Provo during the middle of that month we'll be off to a normal start. You'll find the best fishing in February during the most pleasant part of the day when the sun is out and afternoon's can actually be quite pleasant.  So, if you're starting to itch from cabin fever February is typically the first month when our winter fishing really starts to light up. 

Midges will carry us into March, but by the middle or by late March we'll begin to see them mix with a smattering of BWO's. Similar to midge waters we have a limited number of tailwater fisheries that will have good Blue Wing Olive hatches in early spring, but those rivers and streams have awesome fishing when this hatch gets going. In general I prefer February to the first few weeks in March since we start to get back into storm cycles in early March and midges hatch best when the weather is more stable.  The fishing is normally better in the later half of March when Blue Wings start to become more apart of the daily mix.  Unlike midges mayflies hatch best, as do all mayflies, on overcast, cool and wet days. So by this time of year regardless of the weather you'll find some decent opportunities in the afternoon on a number of our tailwaters with midges or mayfly hatches.  

By April we'll see our trout shift from winter midges to spring Blue Wings. We welcome them as well. These spring mayfly hatches are highly anticipated by many since the weather's a little milder by now, bugs are of a decent size, this hatch is very dependable and there's a lot of very good dry fly fishing opportunities.  If you're planning ahead with limited time in the spring to get out and want to optimize your day/s on the water early on in the season April is a month in Utah that I would focus on. Regardless of the techniques you enjoy, the fishing's pretty darn good and consistent.  If you can be flexible in your days on the water, then look for those days that have some cloud cover overhead with a possiblity of a little moisture in the air.  You'll see fewer anglers on the water on these days and you'll enjoy the best hatches. 

Later in April along with the month's spring mayfly hatches arrives our second stonefly hatch of the year: Skwala's. This stonefly is predominantly found on the Middle Provo, but you'll also find them hatching on sections of the Green.  It's a dark stonefly, about size #10-#12 that isn't the most prolific stonefly hatch of the year by any means, but when they're out they don't get ignored. So if you're headed out the door to the Middle Provo in late April have a couple Skwala patterns in addition to your arsenal of BWO's. On those warm sunny April days they can generate some exciting fishing. 

As BWO's wind down the first part of May if we're lucky, depending on how you look at it, we'll get some decent water conditions we'll get a chance to fish the Mother's Day Caddis hatch in May.  Genearlly this hatch coincides with run-off and spring releases.  Last year this prolific hatch produced some really awesome dry fly fishing, because as many of you know, we didn't have much in the way of water for 2016.  The past few years due to a very marginal snow pack we saw waters levels on most of our tailwaters stay flat.  Upper elevation streams bumped up pretty good, but nothing like they are capable of on average when we enjoy good water years. We're hoping that changes for 2017, but given our start to the water year so far we aren't feeling too optimistic. 

By the end of May we start to see another isolated, but opportunistic hatch in northern Utah, Salmon Flies.  This giant stonefly produces some incredible, but brief fly-fishing opportunities on a number of our fisheries. Historically we have high water still in late May, but as I've eluded to we haven't had much water around in late May so the opportunities to fish this hatch has been better than usual. If this weather pattern persists expect to have better than average water conditions for May and to enjoy good Salmon Fly hatches and fishing as a consequence.  All stoneflies hatch best when the weather is warm and sunny. So, if we have decent water conditions combined with some warm dry weather this hatch is worth figuring out.  These giant bugs create some pretty incredible fishing experiences.   

Another May hatch that can be a factor late in the month are Cicadas.  Although they are most we'll known as an important super hatch on the Green, this big terrestrial is also a factor on a number of our other northern Utah waters.  Since it's a terrestrial it's really affected by weather.  More so than the aquatic insects that trout are get a more steady diet of.  Cold wet springs produce marginal hatches at best.  Since we don't know what the weather is going to be like in May for 2017 this is a very difficult hatch to predict year in and year out.  I get asked all the time if the upcoming year is going to be a good Cicada year.  Well we'll just have to see what kind of weather May stirs up in the upcoming year. That's what it comes down to. It's as simple as that.  So, if conditions are favorable and you can stay flexible before planning a May trip to the Green or to a number of our other local waters that also enjoy good Cicada hatches come May you'll want to pay attention.  This is a hatch worth tracking and getting in on.  As always we'll keep you posted.   

By June, the house really gets rocking.  Typically the fishing doesn't get going until the middle of the month, but there may also be some decent opportunities over June's first few weeks that locals can really take advantage of.  Salmon Flies are still around and you should be ready for the start of summers PMD's.  If Cicadas were a factor in May, they'll still be getting lots of attention through the first couple of weeks of June.  On normal water years, however fishing and rivers begin to settle down from spring run-off and become more consistent towards the middle and end of June than in it's beginning.  In the last few weeks of June we'll see Salmon Flies, Golden Stoneflies in a variety of sizes, PMD's, Caddis and Green Drakes all emerging on a variety of waters from the end of June until the early weeks of July. It can be pretty amazing, especially if your on the water on one of those days when you have all kinds of shit happening. 

In general the big stoneflies don't last that long; a few weeks on their respective bodies of water. The smaller stoneflies are a little more wide spread and prolific.  You'll find these primitive bugs in a variety of sizes and colors on sunny warm days on a number of different Utah waters.  If it's overcast and cool you'll enjoy some of the years best mayfly hatches.   With caddis also in the picture if you're putting a full day in you can fish this hatch until dark. Up unitl June, most of your fly-fishing opportunities are late morning to mid afternoon.  By the middle of June we start to have stuff happening from dawn to dusk.  And, not only are most of our waters fishing well by this time of year, but you'll have an opportunity to hit a variety of epic hatches on any given day regardless of the weather.  If you're going to have limited time to fish in the upcoming year there is a four week window here that you'll not want to miss. It really doesn't get much more automatic than during this four week window.     

By the middle of July you'll find most of the stonefly hatches have run their course.  Drakes as well.  If it's a hot dry summer, which again is the pattern we seem to be in terrestrials will start to mix with afternoon PMD hatches.  As your day unfolds look for PMD spinners to get the days first attention. On cloudy warm days good PMD and caddis hatches in the riffle and pocket water can generate good dry fly fishing.  Caddis and PMD spinners will end the day as darkness gathers.  Typically it gets pretty hot this time of year so the best fishing is at the bookends of the day.

Although August and September can be considered a month of dull drums, they can also be months of good fly-fishing opportunities with fewer bodies to share your experiences with.  Terrestrials, PMD's, and caddis are all bugs that are still very much a factor.  If we have some mild temps, the fishing will be quite good.  If it's hot, the fishing will be a little more mixed.  If you're looking to one river to hit this time of year, I'd look to the Green River. This river late in the season is about as consistent and good as any fishery in the west.  Unlike many of our western fisheries it really relies on a steady diet of terrestrials.   It does have great aquatic insect hatches certain times of the year, but it's trout really rely on the abundant colonies of ants, big beetles and hoppers.  It will still be quite busy, but not near as busy as it is in June and July.

Where our fisheries to the north start having fall fishing conditions in September, fall in earnest begins here in Utah in October. It's when Blue Wings again begin to emerge and streamer fishing starts to become effective.  On several of our local fisheries we'll also enjoy strong hatches of caddis the most prolific of them being the Western Weedy Water Sedge.  This small dark caddis will start to show in late September and continue well into October.  They mix with Octobers Blue Wing Olives.  If you're not finding many noses up this time of the year as browns get more territorial as the spawn approaches try fishing streamers. 

If you follow these reports than your familiar with November.  This year it's been a very good month due to a number of factors.  Normally Blue Wings are for the most part done by November, but this year they've been excellent.  Some of the best streamer fishing we enjoy in November and this year that has held true.  Even though we've had some good mayfly hatches, they're winding down and before long they to will come to an end.  

I hope you've gotten some good snippets from this little summary.  I hope you had as good a year on the water as I was fortunate to have and that my weekly updates helped you get the most out of your valuable time on the water.  Thanks for following me.  I'll be back at it a few months from now.  In the interim if stay in touch.  Coffee's on, our years experiences in photographs is running, and even in the winter we open at 8.  

Fishing Licenses On-Line: 

If you are visiting from out of state and don't have time to visit the shop before heading over to the Green the following link will take you to where you can get a 0n-Line Utah Fishing License. You'll also be able to secure additional helpful information regarding the states fishing.  

Also, this is very cool.  You can down load the DWR APP and this will allow you to store your fishing license on your phone.  Also, your kids, or persons of interest.  That way you don't have to worry about loosing your license, and now that you can save a little money and buy a 5 year fishing license, it makes more sense.  
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