There are a few times during the year when fishing moving waters is better than other times. It may surprise some, but now happens to be one of those good times.
Rivers and streams are running low, water temperatures are starting to warm and fish are hungry after a winter on a limited food supply. Which means, notes Mickey Anderson, fly fisherman and an owner in Fish Tech Outfitters, “This is a prime time to fish. Along with low water and warmer days, we’ve had some really good hatches... and some great fishing.’’
Hatches refer to edible bugs coming to life that fish like. Midges hatched all winter, but blue-wing olive hatches are just beginning and should go into May.
Well schooled fishermen match fly patterns with hatches in their attempt to fool fish into bitting. Also, because of the low snow fall this winter, access to popular streams is easier. And, with little snow on the ground, there is less melting so there’s a better chance of streams and rivers running steady and clear all day.
In another month, what snow there is in the high country will melt and make moving-water fishing difficult. And it may be sometime in June before popular rivers quiet down enough to fish comfortably.
Now, however, even the most novice of stream anglers stands a good chance at catching fish using the most basic of fishing methods.
Fishing the Weber River
As noted, popular rivers, such as the Logan, Provo, Weber and Virgin, will likely be running higher and faster in another month. Until then, stream fishing will be good; some even say it will be as good as it can get.
Also, rainbow and cutthroat trout will start spawning soon, which means they will be moving to spawning beds, which oftentimes are tributaries to larger water. Browns, notorious egg raiders, will not be far off.
Fly fishing can be as simple or as technical as the individual chooses to make it. And, it's a fact that more and more fishermen, interested in the competition of the catch and in testing their talents and not their taste buds, are jumping in somewhere along the fly fishing skill levels.
For those who prefer still-water fishing, ice is coming off early this spring on many of the popularlakes and reservoirs, which in some cases is more than a month earlier than normal. Strawberry, for example, is loosing its ice. There are areas along the banks where open water extends out more than 100 yards.
Early reports are that fishing has been excellent. Two anglers in float tubes reported catching and releasing 30 fish using black Marabou jigs. Another reported catching a seven-pound cutthroat. Another reported catching several very nice fish on flies, one over 22 inches, within a few hours.
Ice-off fishing typically lasts only a short time. During those times larger fish move closer to shore where food is more plentiful. Moving-water fishing will remain good until the runoffs begin in earnest.
Fly fisherman taking on the Weber River
Report on popular rivers:
Weber River—Entire river is clear and fishing has been good. When water is clear spring fishing is excellent. Good flies are hares ear, prince nymphs, pleasant tails, scuds, sow bugs and midges.
Provo River—Good fish on the lower section above I-15. Midge imitations work well in the early afternoon. Good fishing is also reported on the middle section using small dark patterns.
Green River—Using double rigs with fish imitation on one line and scud, shrimp or imitation salmon eggs on the second. Fishing has been good.
Ogden River—Because of a heavier snow pack, water is running higher and more turbid.