Not much has changed as far as fly fishing in the last few months except for the flows. Flows on the Lower Provo have been bumped up to around 300CFS. These are excellent flows for fly fishing on the Lower. We are still mostly in the winter mode though and fly fishing has been sporadic. Mostly due to the water temperature which is around 37 degrees. Anything below 40 degrees and the fish’s metabolism slows down making it awfully tough to get them to eat. The rainbows are a little more active at lower water temperatures if you can call it that. A good dose of spring midges and BWO hatch can change all that in a day or two. Middle Provo is also at about 37 degrees with flows still at the winter minimum of 150- 200 CFS. We are still using the winter staples of scuds, sow bugs, San Juan’s and a variety of small midges (#22-#24) for nymphing. PA’s, Griffiths Gnat, para midges, and BWO’s for dry fly fishing. There are a few Blue Wings starting to show up and should become more consistent in the next week or so, weather dependent. When you see fish up a lot of the time they are feeding on the pupa in the surface film. Try trailing a small midge behind the dry with some frog’s fanny on it to get it just below the film. Dry fly fishing will be best at the sunniest, warmest and calmest time of day. Still need to use small indicators, long leaders and at least 5x for nymphing and 6x or 7x for dry fly fishing. Fish are still mainly in the deeper pools where they can control their temperature easier. The difference of success may literally be inches. Try different weight setups until you get some hits. A standard in line rig with two flies works the best to locate your flies in the water column. Putting a reasonable fly in the right location is way more important than the fly itself. Takes are almost unrecognizable, any slight movement of the indicator do a light slow rod tip lift to check. There have been a few fish starting to move up on the shallow gravel above shelfs around mid-day looking for blue wings and you can sight fish these guys with a lightly weighted rig or dry dropper. The good news is the days are getting longer fast. By mid-March the days will be more than 25 minutes longer than they are now. By the end of the March almost 1.5 hrs. longer. Yea, spring equinox. The sooner the sun is on the water the better this time year. If we get a nice warm up along with the longer days the baetis and a variety of spring midges should come out in force and make us all happy.
They have bumped the Weber up to 400 CFS in anticipation of a large spring runoff. Most of the state is at 150% of normal snowpack or more. Once the river settles in it should provide for some good fly fishing. It will be a wait and see at what levels releases end up at. Same bill of fare as the Provo. Not much dry fly fishing on the Weber though. If we get an extended period of mild weather look for some stoneflies. Don’t need anything fancy, Prince nymphs work just fine. Unfortunately that may still be towards the end of the month or into April. Winter looks to have a grip on us for a while yet.
Hope to see you on the water
Park City Anglers