Conditions: Provo River fly-fishing conditions are good, on the Middle Provo River in particular. Everyone wants to know about the Drakes, and finally we're starting to see some. It's not epic yet, but with some cooler weather in the forecast we may see our first good Drake day sooner rather than later. In our last couple of outings we've done well with a variety of Drake patterns, so the Middle Provo River's trout are definitely seeing them and seeing them with enough frequency to be pretty dialed in.
Flows on both sections of the Provo River are lower than normal for this time of year and unchanged. The Middle Provo is running a little over 300 ft3/s below Jordanelle Reservoir. About a mile down stream we loose about half of that flow into a diversion. South of the diversion the rivers running about 150 ft3/s. Normally the entire Middle runs at 300 cfs or more this time of year. The Lower Provo is also lower than normal. Actually if they bump it up some for irrigation I wouldn't be surprised. So we keeping a daily eye on the Lower. At the moment it's 380 ft3/s. Both section flow wise are very good and there are some fly-fishing opportunities we don't normally have as a result of the lower flows.
On the Middle Provo you see there's some color to the river. We were trying to sort this out today, but don't really have an explanation. The lower you get in the river the more color the Middle Provo has. It's not so discolored that it's impacting the fishing, however. The last several days we had very good dry fly fishing in this off colored water, so were not concerned and it should get better.
For the Provo River, given conditions and hatches that we are now starting to see it's time and shaping up nicely. The weather hasn't been ideal for Drakes, but that is going to change. On these cooler days ahead, if you have an opportunity to choose your days and you're looking for the Drakes, those will be the best days to target. These will also be good PMD days, so be prepared for both. Fishing conditions are good, hatches are getting better, the weather is shaping up, what holding you back…..
Insect Activity: Well lets start with what's on everyone's mind; Drakes on the Middle Provo. The Lower Provo has a few, but this big mayfly isn't near as prolific as it is on the Middle. For those not familiar with this hatch, the nymphs, emergers and adults are what you want to focus imitating. Most of the river corridor has good numbers of Green Drake nymphs, but you'll find the most significant concentration of Drakes on the upper sections of the Middle Provo. This hatch isn't consistent yet, so move around if you're not seeing them by early to mid afternoon.
The reason this hatch is so popular and it overshadows the PMD"s, stoneflies and caddis that are also emerging at this time is because of it's prolific nature and their size. It's a short hatch that lasts only 3 wks in prime time, but it can generate some amazing fishing. It's also one of the very best times to take a significant brown trout on a dry fly.
If by chance you miss the Green Drake hatch, there are also PMD's, caddis and stoneflies that will be emerging during and after this hatch subsides. You'll find good hatches of all of these insects on both sections of the Provo. At the moment, we're actually seeing better PMD than Drake hatches. That's not unusual. If you're headed out early, especially on these warm day you should have a few PMD spinners. You may see some of the rivers trout; Lower and Middle Provo on PMD's spinners in the morning. Nymphs will also be quite productive at this time as well. We've been seeing the hatch later in the after. You may also see spinners again in the evening.
Both sections are also enjoying decent caddis hatches. No ones really talking about them, but if you're on the water late afternoon and evening you'll see some caddis. After Drakes when everyone goes home, stick around for the PMD's and Caddis. It's a full day if you have the time.
Last by no means least are the stoneflies. We're seeing a few large Golden Stoneflies shucks, but not enough that the rivers trout are looking for them. Stoneflies really migrate, so if your out over the next several days when it hot out, look for them first in the lower portions of the Middle or Lower Provo. Like the Green Drakes, the stonefly hatches are rather brief. Also, target warm windy days. Stoneflies, especially the larger stoneflies really need hot days to get going. With our weather we have a mix of both, so it will be hard to not have a good day.
Personally, this is the time of year when I get most excited to wet a line. I love noses up, fishing hatches, trying to figure out the game. This game doesn't get much more interesting and visually more appealing than through June and July.