Utah fly fishing in the springtime can produce some of the most exciting fishing opportunities of the year. As the weather gets warmer and winter snow pack starts to melt, we start to see the rivers in the Park City area increase in water flows or CFS (Cubic Feet per Second). Many anglers think that when the bigger water rises that the Utah fly fishing is done until summer but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, spring is some of the most productive times to fish the Provo River, Weber River and other remote streams in Utah and Wyoming. Most of our streams in and around Park City are known as tail-waters (water comes from a dam), which means they are controlled flows. Unlike free-stone streams where the water is directly effected from natural snow pack, tail-waters tend to be less effected by spring time run-off and are more productive with higher flows. When the water starts to rise, tons of trout food like sow bugs, scuds, worms, stoneflies and mayfly nymphs get dislodged from the rocks and it sets up a feeding frenzy for the trout.
I want to share a few tips for fishing the higher water in the spring time. As the water increases in flows, the trout get pushed to the edges of the river. With the stronger current, the fish don’t have the sustained strength to stay in the middle of the river and feed. It is really important as an angler to stay on the bank or close to the bank and fish the inside edges of the river. Surprisingly, you’ll want to fish a shorter nymph rig, about 5-7 feet, now that the fish are pushed into the shallows. This time of year, it is always a good idea to check the water flows before you get out to the river. One thing to keep in mind is that it might not always be safe to cross the river with the higher flows. Please exercise caution, and approach the stream wisely. For more information on fishing in the spring check out my seasons page.