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River Conditions
River Conditions
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River Conditions

Updated: May 19th, 2017
By: Nick Teynor 

Fishing Conditions Summary:
The Middle Provo has now gone up to 1100 CFS. You can still fish at this flow, but it will be REALLY tough, and there will be no need or rational reason to wade the river. If you do try to fish it, focus on the edges because that is literally where all the fish will be. The Lower Provo is now officially blown at 1700 CFS. Best to stay away from it for the forseeable future. Be smart, be safe, and check the gauges before you head out! The flows out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir are now at 6,630 CFS for the next little bit, but this will change sooner than later. This brief drop in flows will open up the walk/wade fishing options, but fishing from a drift boat at these flows should be good now that the river has stabilized. The Weber below Rockport Reservoir started to rise this Tuesday, and as of today, it just DROPPED down to 200 CFS. At this point, I honestly don't know what they are doing or wanting to do, so just check with us before you head out! The Weber below Echo also dropped to 300 CFS and appears to be holding. Keep an eye on the river gauges, fish close to the edges, and be safe!

Good Afternoon! We all knew that it was only a matter of time before our local rivers rose, and they most certainly have in the last week or two. There still are some fishable options to check out, but I don't know how long we will get to fish the few remaining fishable local rivers, seeing as how we are warming up, and the snow is melting fast. In Short: Get out and fish SOON!!! Also, be smart and safe. It always sucks to hear about anyone drowning during the high water season, because it can be avoided. Just use your heads, and have fun!

The Lower Provo is now blown out for the Spring. The river jumped to 1700+ CFS. This is NOT a safe, fishable flow, so it is best to leave it alone for the forseeable future.

When the water is high and rising, look to fish the edges and side channels of the river, and look for structure. Trout that live in the faster, broken currents are much more willing to eat, especially in these flows. Despite the high water, I would still highly recommend focusing your fishing on our tailwater fisheries, since this is where there will be some kind of flow control. Also, now that the rivers are high and off-color, you can fish bigger flies and heavier tippets. Give those fish a big target, make sure you have the right leaders and tippet (3x-4x), and you may be surprised by what you find out there. Last couple of outings to the Weber and Middle Provo have not been easy with the higher flows, but nymphing with a big Squirmy Worm and then trailing another nymph (caddis larva, pheasant tail, sow bug, etc.) behind the worm has produced some good results. One other thing to watch out for is our Southern Utah fisheries. Rivers down in Southern Utah usually come back into fishable shape faster than our local waters around here, and are worth doing some research on. This is great news for all of you who like to walk to get away from the other folks!


Now that most of our rivers are blown, it would be really smart to look into doing some stillwater fishing! This time of year, fish that live in lakes and reservoirs will look to hug the banks or be closer to shore. The fish are there because that is where the food is, and it won't be until we see consistent hot, sunny weather that they will drop really deep during the day. No real need for super-fast sinking lines and tips right now; floating lines, full intermediates, and slow sinking fly lines will get you into fish. One other thing to think about is that if you miss the ice-off, it doesn't mean that the fishing will be bad. Far from it! This time of year the fish are prowling the edges and shallows looking for food, and it will remain this way until the weather gets really warm, and drives the fish deep. Make sure you have a selection of streamers, big chironomids (i.e. Big Midges), stillwater nymphs, and even some dries may be in order. It doesn't always work, but casting a mouse out from the bank at a 45 degree angle, and stripping slow back to the bank can provide some unforgettable moments and action if a fish does come to call.  So, if the rivers are raging, look to the stillwaters for "saving".

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)          
Midge Soft Hackles (#20-#24)
Bling Midges (#22)
Griffiths Gnat (#16-#22)
Mother Shucker's (#20-#24)
Sow Bugs (#16-#22)
San Juan/Flossy Worm (#12-#18) 
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)
BWO Nymphs (#18-22)
BWO Cripples (#18-22)
BWO Duns (#18-#22)
Pat's Rubber Legs (#12)
Olive PMX (#12)
Hemingway Caddis (#16-#18)
Olive X-Caddis (#18)
Spent Partridge Caddis (#16-#18)

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 going to rise again!!! Flows for the Green have temporarily dropped to 6,630 CFS, but they will be going up again around the 25th of May.* If you do go, expect to be nymphing, using dry-dropper rigs, and if you are willing to float the Green, streamer fishing has been reported to be productive. #wrflyfisher, #keepemwet.   

Green River
 flows are going through a cycle of sorts. The flows have dropped to 6,600 CFS, but they will rise back up to 9,000 CFS or higher around the 25th of May. This is obviously dependent on how fast the weather warms up. Don't fret; give the fish have adjusted, and the fishing for the rest of the Spring should be good-great.

The Middle Provo has risen again to 1,100 CFS! The Lower Provo is running at 1,000 CFS, and not fishable. Flows have been getting bumped around, so it is REALLY a good idea to check the gauge before heading out. Give us a call, and we can tell you up-to-date river flow information.  
The Weber River is flowing around 179 CFS out of Rockport. They just bumped the flow, and I don't know how long they will keep it there, so check it out soon if you want to go fish it.

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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