Conejo Valley Fly Fishers
Tom Greenup, Dan Millis, Larry Martin, Bill Sarrocco, Jimmy Toy, and Bill Becher had a good trip to the Provo and Green Rivers in Utah. Lots of productive nymphing and dry fly fishing the baetis hatches. Weather was weird, with snow in the morning, followed by rain, then sun and shorts weather in the evening. Larry and Dan flew (Dan with knuckles down and locked) in Larry's Mooney. The rest of the gang drove in two RV's.
We started with a stop in Mesquite, NV to visit the casino and raise money for the trip.
Saturday we arrived in Provo, Utah and fished the Lower Provo below Deer Creek Dam (at the Deer Creek Campground - very convenient). We nymphed for browns to 18". Flies that worked included a #18 gold bead head micro mayfly, #18 PT below a SJ red worm, and cased caddis. Jimmy Toy was 5/7 (landed/hooked). Bill went 3/6. Larry and Dan had a guide but ended up at the same spot on the Lower Provo.
Sunday we drove to the Red Canyon Lodge at Flaming Gorge for a look at the snow. Yes Virginia, winter in Utah runs into May. We fished the pond at the Lodge where Bill tried out his new pontoon boat, the Jane II and caught a few small 'bows, as did the others. Monday was our drift boat adventure on the A section of the river. We had planned a 2 day overnight, but the weather wasn't cooperating (cold, snow, rain). We drifted with three guides from Trout Creek Flies (Denny Breer's guide service): Kevin, Tee, and Jeremy. Best results seemed to be from a silver tungsten bead headed baetis nymph suspended below a large cicada or Chernobyl ant pattern. Length of dropper was based on where fish were suspended. Early on fish were at 4 feet, later the moved up to within 12" of the surface. The clear water on the Green allows you to spot the fish easily. Biggest fish was caught by Jimmy Toy, a 21.5" German brown (there were also Scottish browns, rainbows, cuts and cutbows.). We also got some fish on a #18 Adams.
Big lesson of the day was the need to look ahead of the boat for fish to cast to, and the necessity to make accurate casts quickly. Good sources for info about river fishing from a boat include Denny Breer's book on the Green and Neale Streeks' book Drift Boat Fly Fishing. Second big lesson was to adjust the suspended fly to match the depth of the fish in the water column. This paid off later when fishing alone as the trout were at various levels at different spots in the river and at different times of day.
On Tuesday Bill and Jimmy waded the A section, while the rest of the gang decided to drift the B section. Red Creek, which dumps into the Green about 4 miles down from the A/B section had blown out the lower section of B, so the guys fished the first part of B. The floaters had a good day, the waders did well too, with Jimmy landing about 30 fish, mostly on dries. Jimmy also had the best fish story of the trip. He had a big brown on when an otter grabbed it and headed downstream, reel singing into the backing. Jimmy didn't have an otter stamp on his license so he broke it off. We fished up to about 1.5 miles above Little Hole.
The weather continued varied, often with snow in the morning, rain mid day, and sunshine by evening. Three seasons in one day. But the baetis loved it, with spinner falls in the morning, and carpets of baetis duns on the slower water in the afternoon.
Wednesday we all fished the A section (Larry and Dan left for home). Jimmy had about 20 fish to 18". Best flies were the silver tung baetis nymph #16, along with #20 Adams, CDC Jimmy Toy Special, and Baetis Cripple.
Thursday and Friday Bill rowed his new pontoon boat across the river at Little Hole to access the much less pressured side of the river. No, Tom, I was not panicking as the fast water spun me around and I almost lost an oar. I was just practicing looking stupid... Anyway fishing was great during the baetis hatch, with classic head hunting sight fishing. Any good baetis imitation presented drag free caught fish. Tom did well on emergers. One fish's mouth and gills were black from gorging on baetis. Bill had his biggest fish of the trip, a 20" brown on a #20 Baetis Cripple (the 20/20 Club!).
Friday night we headed back to the Provo. Our original plan was to fish a tributary to the Green: Jones Hole Creek. Unfortunately the high water and questionable road conditions for RV's caused us to change our plans. We fished the Provo Saturday morning, though it was tough as the flows were up. Back to Mesquite to win more $$, then home. A fine trip despite (or because of) the weather.
Here are Dan Millis' impressions:Section "B" is not near as scenic as section "A" -- although it is still beautiful (just not spectacular as "A"). Section "B" has generally more flatter water than "A" with the exception of the biggest rapids on the River. Fish caught on section "B" were on the average 2" bigger and were 5:1 Browns to Rainbows. We caught several cutts. Fish hooked on section "B" seemed to be better fighters -- guess they should since they were generally bigger fish.
I enjoyed section "B" better than "A" for fishing, because it is a shorter float and we got to spend more time on "honey holes," The scenery on "A" almost makes up for the better overall fishing. Our guides say that section "B" is generally less crowded than "A" because it is shorter and everyone considers section "A" to be the "classic" part of the river. It also is a 45 minute drive back to Dutch John from the "B" take out point vs. about 15 min. for "A." The only river I've floated that even comes close to the scenery of the Green is the Smith River in Montana. The Green is far superior to the Smith in fish population. It is worth the trip to the Green just for the views alone -- catching 20-30 huge trout a day is just a bonus! - Dan
Here is Larry Martin's report:B section was better than A in size, but numbers were about the same. Average fish was 16-19 " with most browns, few bows and cutbows. Biggest fish of the day was 20 1/4". All fish were healthy, vigorous, and fighters. Water was up to 4800cfs making for some deeeeeeeeeep nymphing , which Millis loved. Did bring up some behemouths , however. All in all a great river, for big , abundant fish. (20 + days) - Larry
Here is what Denny Breer had to say about conditions while were were on the Green:
This past week rated= 6 to 8.5 We continue to have very good fishing on the Green over the past week. The weather left little to be desired on some days, we continue to be wet and cool overall. On Monday the flows went to full generation, for a few days the water quality did suffer a little, especially down river and below Little Hole. Below Red Creek the higher volume of water actually thinned the runoff from Red Creek and improved the water quality there. That portion of the river did improve clearing a lot over the past week and may soon even be good for fishing, but for now it is still dirty. The flows did little to the Baetis hatches we have been experiencing, they continue to start late morning and usually slow after 3 to 4:00 p.m. The mornings and post hatch periods are still the slow periods of the day. Many anglers are still doing well deep nymphing or fishing the shallow edges with dry/dropper rigs. When using the dry/droppers, many of the guides are using cicada or chernobyl ant type patterns for indicators. There has been an increase of the number of trout that are taking these larger flies. (We had several fish take the big bug) Typically we should start to see the cicada naturals starting to appear in the river corridor, but with the wet and cool weather they are not moving as of yet. Saturdays continue to be big visitation days on the Green, the rest of the days have not been at all bad.
More pictures (Updated May 22 with more pix!!)
More info about fishing the Green go to the Green River Trip Planing Page.
Created by Bill's WebDesigns by