Spring is here, so the calendar says, but we still have some brash weather days left in the quiver. Get our while the getting is good. Fly fishing on Utah’s Lower Provo has been very good. Flows on the Lower are a little less than we like this time of year but you can make due. Midges and mayflies are out and the trout have begun to move out of their winter holes to take advantage. Fish are sipping on the midges along drop-offs, in runs, riffles, and back eddies. The insects are quite small and you need a good supply of #20-24’s in larva, pupa, adults, and cripples. We have seen rising fish starting around 9am but nymphing has been more productive in the morning with more consistent dry fly fishing starting around 11. Our first mayflies of the year are out, the blue wings olives. They have been starting later in the day around 1pm or a little after. They are not consistent yet (mostly weather related) but there are days when they are thick on certain sections. Things should pick up considerably in the next week or two and the hatch should get stronger over the length of the river and start earlier as well. The trout are feeding pretty much on all stages of the mayflies so also carry a good assortment in your box. Sizes #18-20 will get the job done here. Remember that the midges like the warm, clear, calm days and the mayflies are more available to the trout on the overcast cooler days. Sow bugs and scuds are a year around staple on the Lower and these are very good choices when things get slow. The crowd factor is right up there as everyone likes to fly fish the Lower before rafting season.
The Middle is fly fishing very good for most of the day and most of its length. You can get on the river pretty early and see good midge hatches with even a few fish up. The midge hatches have been very strong at the head of a flat below a riffle or run. As expected this is where the best dry fly fishing is also. Nymphing is more productive till about 12 and then the surface fly fishing takes over. The fish have got a lot of pressure because of the milder winter at mid elevations. You will need a long 6x leader and some good looking flys to fool them. We have been dry fly fishing with either a double dry rig or a dry and a pupa in the surface film. Black, tan or olive patterns in sizes #20-24 have seemed to work the best. Nymphing has been best with a very lightly weighted swing or bounce rig. Use as small an indicator as you feel comfortable with. A small soft hackle on a swing rig to imitate a midge pupa rising to the surface has worked well. Blue Wings are starting to make an appearance around 2pm but are very sporadic. The bwo nymphs are moving around pretty good though and BWO barr emergers have taken some nice fish. We should see these mayflies pick up substantially as we get into the last week of March and then April. Weekends are starting to see some big crowds, some weekdays as well from river road up.
The Weber is still at very low levels which are about 50% below average. Things are starting to wake up though below the Rockport Dam. The fish are starting to come out of their Torpor (as fish don’t truly hibernate). The low water levels forced them to become almost dormant to survive this winter. Midges are starting to move around nicely with an occasional Blue Wing and stonefly. Fish are still in the deeper areas of the river for protection and temperature control. Still fly fishing is very inconsistent and we hope the flows will get close to normal soon. If we get a string of warm days fly fishing should improve day over day.
Dry Flys: parachute adams, para midge, hanging midge, Griffiths gnat, BWO thorax, ext body BWO. Para BWO, Sparkle Dun, befus emerger
Nymphs: BWO Barr Emerger, pheasant tail, wd-40’s, Jujubaetis, Jujubeemidge, zebra midge, glass bead midge, thread midges, biot midges, pure midge larva, soft hackles, Rs-2, san juan, ray charles, flashback scuds, sow bugs