Lower Provo 100 – 250 CFS
Flows on Utah’s Lower Provo River have been bouncing around quite a bit. We have seen short intraday bumps in flow of up to 250CFS.Turns out 2016 is going to be a good year not to be a water manager or Dam operator. Our Mid-level snow pack is all but gone. Water managers are going to be diverting water from where ever they can get it to fill up Jordanelle and Dam operators are going to be micro managing the flows trying to save as much as possible. The good news is the trout don’t seem to care. Daily flows have changed as much a 50% in an hour, up and down, and fly fishing has remained incredibly good. These are great levels for dry dropper fly fishing and lets you cover the maximum amount of water. Blue wings are still out in pretty good numbers, but we are on borrowed time. Things are going to start to slow down in the next week or so. The hatch gets going around 11am and will stay consistent all the way till 3pm or so. Most productive method is nymphing. There is still some dry fly fishing but it is on the wane. The dry fly fishing has been mostly a mid afternoon event. The daily flow changes have dislodged a lot of scuds and sowbugs and their imitations have been working very well. Those with a little flash have been the best. Midges are also out in good numbers all day long. Most are in the #18-#22 size range. There are still some spawning rainbows so watch where you wade. Weather has been very pleasant with highs in the 70’s . We are still due for a few colder storms at least till the end of May. Early to Mid-May we should see the start of Federal mandated flow increases for the endangered June Sucker. Only If the Feds go by the book which they usually do. Flows could peak around 750CFS if they consider this a dry to moderate snow year. Some of the bumps in flows we are seeing could already be mimicry for the natural hydrology. Check the flows, this section fly fishes very well between 250-500 CFS
Middle Provo 140-205 CFS
The Middle Provo has been fly fishing quite well but the pressure from the lighter than normal winter on the river is starting to show. You need to bring your “A” game especially for dry fly fishing. 10 foot 7x leaders are needed to get the job done. 6x leaders will still get ½ the job done. You can still us 5x for Nymphing. Blue Wings are starting to slow down and midge patterns are working just as well at this point. Most dry fly fishing has been in the afternoon. You need to cover some water and look for small pods of feeding fish and work them hard. This section overall has been nymphing well for its whole length from Deer Creek up to the Dam. Below River Road Bridge try some stonefly patterns with a little orange on them if you are bored. We should also start looking for some caddis below Legacy Bridge. This area may be the bright spot in coming weeks. Looking forward a week or so, we are headed into that transition period on most of this section, where you really need to work for fish. As mentioned above they are going to try and fill Jordanelle as much as they can with water from the Weber, and the Duchesne. I doubt we will get a flush this year but the river sure could use a regeneration. The Middle is in need of getting rid of some silt and a good cleaning of the rocks and exposing more gravel beds. All it would take is a couple of days of 1500CFS. Starvation Reservoir is already full so they will be diverting water through the Duchesne tunnel into the Provo. They are diverting more than ½ the flow from the Weber to the Provo also. With the Weber-Provo snow pack already around 50% of normal we are in for a meager runoff season.
Weber River 65 CFS – 100 CFS (Rockport to Echo)
This time of year we like to see the weber at about 100CFS or so. The lower flows are a result of a lighter mid-elevation winter and diverting of water to the Provo. There have been pretty good blue wings and the Mother day caddis are just around the corner. The most prolific hatch on this river is the Mother’s Day Caddis. Not many caddis around now but they could start ANY day. When they do, you will want to be here. If flows stabilize for a few days and we get some warm weather, grab the caddis boxes and head to Wanship or Coalville. Historically, these bugs get going en fuego anywhere from April 25th to May 5th and last a few weeks after that. Some of the better patterns for the surface are Henry’s Fork Caddis, EZ Caddis, Partridge Caddis, and Cutter’s E/C Caddis in sizes #18-#20. Elk Hair Caddis will work, but these patterns will work better. These caddis are small and very dark almost black. If the fish aren’t up, your best bet will be nymphing with Z wing Caddis, Barr’s Graphic Caddis, Birds Nests (olive), chartreuse Copper Johns, Greenie Weenies, or cased caddis patterns in sizes #18-#20.Been a few stonflys around also and a prince nymph or mahogany wired stone will do the trick. Above Rockport gets a good push of lake run rainbows this time of year so that is also worth checking out if the river stays clear above the reservoir.
Small Streams, creeks and tailwaters around Park City, UT
Upper Provo is around 300CFS at Woodland and 500CFS at hailstone right now and should be in a higher range for the foreseeable future due to water diversions. This will change up and down a couple hundred CFS with a change in ambient temperatures. Check before you go. There are still a few spots to throw stimis and stonefly nymphs. Strawberry River below soldier creek dam is at nice levels. Use Parachute Adams, caddis and zebra midges. The South Fork of the Ogden is a cooking pretty good (360cfs) and the stoneflies are moving around but it is very hard to wade at these levels. Once the river drops to about 150CFS the Salmonflies will start hatching. Diamond Fork is pretty much a static flow river since the completion of the tunnel. This once great fishery will need stocking to sustain. The stonefly’s need high flows and high oxygen to be prolific.
Your fly Box
Mercury baetis PMX
black beauties (#20-24) parachute adams (#18-24)
dark wired stone Sparkle duns (#18-20)
sexy biot stone Stimulators
Bwo Barrs emerger blue duns (#22)
Wd 40’s (grey, olive) Morgan’s midge (#22)
Ray Charles (#16-20) cdc baetis
Flash back Scuds (#14-22) Griffith’s gnat (#20-22)
Biot Midge ( Black, grey, green) para midge (#22)
Iron Lotus BWO Thorax
San Juans BWO extended Body
Thread Midges Elk hair caddis
Prince nymphs e-z caddis