18 Apr A Fast Start!
The temperatures are rising, and so are the fish! The new unofficial season is underway, and so far things are looking up. Last year’s wettest-ever winter had water running high all spring, summer and into the fall. This year is quite a contrast as water levels are well below normal. The result is some great fishing.
The blue winged olive mayflies (BWOs) have shown up in good numbers. Cloudy days are best as usual, but even on sunny days the fish are keeping an eye to the sky. We’ve done well fishing all stages of the hatches. One of the best techniques we’ve used this spring is to drop a soft-hackled fly off of a BWO dry. One of our favorites has a peacock thorax and a partridge soft hackle. We’ve had good success fishing it in sizes up the #14. The fish will often take soft-hackle wets on the drift, and if not, very often swinging it across the current while lifting the rod tip at the end of the drift draws aggressive strikes.
Of course, there are still plenty of midges around this time of year. The Middle Provo has seen a particularly heavy midge hatch over the past 4-6 weeks. These are primarily the larger “Buffalo” midges and sometimes the fish are taking these even when BWOs are present, so be sure to keep an eye to the water if you aren’t getting the strikes you think you should.
Remember too that spring can be a great time to throw streamers. Often fish are looking for a bigger meal and a big streamer may be just the thing to coax a trophy out from its lair. The ever-popular Wooley Bugger is always a good choice, but you might try something a little unorthodox like a Pass Lake Special or a Platte River Special just to mix things up.
Finally, there are plenty of places to fish beyond the Provo and the Weber. Smaller, lesser-fished streams can be very good at this time of year, and as the ice has come off the lakes, we’ve seen some real lunkers coming out of local still waters. Here’s to the start of what is shaping up as a great year!