Lower Provo 100 CFS
Utah’s Lower Provo River is flowing just above the winter norms. It may come down another 30 CFS or so and then stay there for the rest of the winter. Lowering the flows has exposed a lot of the weeds and it is a pain to say the least. We need a couple of good freezes to break things up. Smashing your barbs on even your smallest flies will help keep the frustration to a minimum. Fly fishing is still very good with Baetis patterns, midges, sow bugs and scuds. This is also the time of year to start throwing that streamer. The fish are just starting to color up and getting aggressive towards other fish. You can also start sight fishing at these lower levels. Mornings fish the pools and deeper water. Mid-day start looking at the shallower runs and gravel areas. We have still been using the deep nymphing rig for water over 3 feet deep but changing to the traditional swing rig or dry dropper rig for the shallower water making for better presentations. The lower water levels have made the fish more spooky, so slow your walk down and really try to be way more quiet in the water than the usual summer stomp and cast you are used to getting away with. Temperatures have been above normal and we are looking forward to some cloudy days with some precipitation. During our fall mayflies, or Pseudo’s ,fly fishing is better on a little cooler and damp day. The bugs stay on the water longer before their wings dry and are more available to the fish for an extended period of time than on a hot dry day. We have had some pretty good Baetis hatches mid-day but not as good as they should be for this time of year. This has been the hatch theme for most of the year.
Middle Provo 130-170 CFS
They will probably leave the Middle at these levels or close to it for the winter. Fly fishing has been good most of the day. The afternoons have seen a little better quality fish being landed. There are still some October caddis around but the dry fly fishing with those patterns has been hit and miss. The most productive flies have been small #22-#24 Baetis, and midges. Streamers are just starting to come on. The whole length of the Middle is fly fishing good from Deer Creek Reservoir to the Jordanelle Dam. Most of the crowds are still concentrated from a little below River Road to Lunker. The middle was hit hard this summer and the fish are as picky as we have ever seen them. Your drifts have to be perfect and you need to change flies up a lot. We have also seen a lot of color discretion. You may have the right size, and profile but the wrong color and it’s not always matching the hatch either. Carry different colors in your midge patterns especially and switch out if you are not getting hits. The added pressure has impacted the dry fly fishing also. We should be seeing a lot more fish up during the afternoon Baetis hatches but they are being quite stubborn and for good reason. You need to use long 6x or even 7x leaders and tippets and also the best looking flies in your box. Pray for a good snow year. The Middle needs a good flush next spring and they only way that will happen is if the Reservoir gets more than full.
Weber River 25 CFS
This is very low levels for fly fishing the Weber River. Unfortunately it has become the norm over the last few years and it is starting to impact the fishing. Many of the traditional spawning beds are too shallow to be used or are only partially being used. We have seen the overall quality of fly fishing on the Weber decline over the last few years and this may be one of the reasons. It is very hard to fly fish the Weber at these levels and the fish are very spooky. Please leave all spawning areas alone. If you still want to fish the Weber stick to the deeper pools.
Small Streams, Creeks and tailwaters around Park City, Utah
The warmer than usual fall has keep fly fishing in the upper elevations very good. We are living on borrowed time now. The Upper Provo is fishing very good with streamers in the early morning and afternoons. It is quite cool in the mornings so dress appropriately. The lakes off of Mirror Lake Highway are still fishing quite well also. Things will probably go into hibernation in the next week or so above 8K
Your fly box
Nymphs Drys Streamers
black beauties (#20-24) parachute adams (#18-24) buggers
zebra midges (red, black, wine,grey) Sparkle duns (#20-22) olive sculpin
Bwo Barrs emerger blue duns (#20) green gummies
Disco midges female adams zonkers
Wd 40’s ( olive,grey, brown) Morgan’s midge
Ray Charles (#16-20) black gnat
Flash back Scuds (#14-22) Griffith’s gnat
Biot Midge Para midge
Jujubee Midge thorax dun