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8-03-2018 Utah Fly Fishing Report

08-03-2018

Lower Provo 500-650 CFS
Flows on Utah’s Lower Provo River are jumping around a bit. Deer Creek Reservoir is being controlled for water usage. If there is demand the flows go up, cooler weather or lower demand and the flows go down. The fish are taking it in stride though. Deer Creek is already down to 75% of capacity. This does not bode well for August fly fishing. If the water heats up just a little and the currants start swirling in the reservoir we will start to see that silt being picked up and that grey color in the river, also the grass will start to grow inches a day. Enough of the potential bad news. Right now things are great. Decent PMD and yellow Sallie stonefly hatches midday. Good caddis in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. Nymphs that are working well- copper johns in various colors, Barr Emergers, Hunchbacks, split case PMD, rust color caddis pupa, Free living caddis patterns, San Juan’s, soft hackles in orange and yellow, Iron sallies and wired stoneflys. Dry’s- Elk hair caddis, Hemingway caddis, x-caddis, Goddard caddis, stimulators, PMX’s, Pmd cripple, Pmd para, and Befus emergers. With so much going on and a good amount of fishing pressure the fly fishing has become more drift sensitive than fly specific. If you are nymphing make sure you are getting the fly’s to the fish. Most fly fisherman we have been observing are not getting their rig weighted enough, especially when the river is at that 550-650cfs level. I.E. bring some 3/0’s with you. Rafting is ridiculous on Fridays and the weekends and probably should be avoided unless you don’t mind waiting ten minutes for the traffic jams to go by. Be very careful when trying to cross. There are only a few spots at this level.

Middle Provo 320-530 CFS 48-51 degrees
The CUWCD have been jumping the flows around on the Middle Provo also. Especially below the diversion where it has been most noticeable. Sometimes the flows will change 70+cfs during the day. Depending on water usage. Above the diversion, caution should be taken when wading and crossing is not recommended except a few choice spots. The rise in flows and the fact that the water temperature at the dam is on the cool side has slowed the hatches down and with it the quality of fly fishing. Let’s call it average right now. We should be seeing strong PMD and caddis hatches, but they are way less than that. Not to say you won’t have a good day but the quality of fish landed has dropped off. By the time the water gets to Legacy the water is almost too warm and the fish are less active. On our hottest days the water temperature is rising a degree a mile. If you fish below Legacy Bridge expect a lot of whitefish. They are a lot less sensitive to higher water temps and will stay active. Your fly box should include- nymphs-small WD’40s, zebra midges, thread midges, barr emergers, poxy back Pmd, spring creek Pmd, scuds, and San Juan’s. Dries- Most any PMD patterns, stimulators, and caddis patterns. Not a lot going on in the dry arena. Hopefully, that will change as more caddis get going and we get into the terrestrial season. We are starting to get a few takes on ants and beetles but not hoppers yet.

Weber 200cfs
For the most part the Weber has been fishing pretty good. Especially in the afternoons. Decent Pmd hatches, and starting to see a rise in the amount of caddis around. The flows on the Weber have been steady for the most part so the fly fishing has not been affected like on the Middle Provo. We have seen some very high-quality fish being landed. In fact, almost all the fish look extremely healthy given the low water they endured in the winter and spring. Not very many dry fly opportunities right now. Hopefully, that will change with the caddis in the morning and evenings. The grass is becoming an issue in a lot of spots but if you fish the channels between the weeds you will be rewarded. Flatten your barbs and have at it. Flies for the Weber- PT’s, barrs, hunchbacks, copper johns, feeding caddis, caddis pupa, Pmd cripple, stimulators, PMX’s, Hoppers, ants, beetles etc., etc.

Small Creeks, streams, Lakes and tailwaters near Park City, Utah
Most of our small freestone creeks, as well as tailwaters like Soldier Creek and Currant Creek, are at very low levels with high water temperatures. The dollar ridge fire has destroyed the Pinnacles for the foreseeable future. Be very careful when you handle the fish under these conditions. Fight the fish as short as possible, do not take it out of the net or water to remove the hook. Make sure the gills have water going over them at all times and make sure it is fully revived before release. If you like to go up to higher elevations to escape the heat in the valley to fish, try fly fishing one of the many Uinta lakes. Water temps stay relatively cool and fly fishing is good. A little hike in off Hwy 150 and you will be surprised how nice things are. Dry Dropper is the way to go with any attractor- stimulators, royal wulff, humpy’s, and a bead head nymph of choice. Stripping small streamers off the shores of the lakes has been very productive. Weather conditions can change rapidly so bring extra gear.

Hope to see you on the water,
Park City Anglers

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