A Hatch that Doesn’t Match

Written by: Bryan Eldredge

Like most places in the Rockies, Utah has more water than we know what to do with right now. If it gets warm fast, the largest urban areas in the state will face mudslides and serious flooding. As a result, water managers are dumping as much water as they can from all of the reservoirs, making stream flows look like late May, rather than April.
The Lower Provo, for example has been high all winter and recently jumped even more. Usually, early April brings a hatch of blue-winged olives that results in fish rising all over the river, but not this year. I heard concerns a month or two ago that the BWOs might not show well this year because they might have been washed downstream. Apparently, that’s not the case. I made a little scouting trip last week and found plenty of bugs, but rather than being scattered across the river like most years, I found both the bugs and the fish pinned along the banks in big numbers! 
On the snowy day that I shot this video, the wind was blowing hard up the canyon. The result was a whole bunch of big blue-wing clusters. Every gust of wind seemed to alternately blow bugs into clumps along the seams and then scatter them up against the bank. The fish were coming up, but getting them to choose a single dry netted the same odds as a Las Vegas slot machine. I caught a few, but my impatience had me digging through my box. Finally, I settled on a snail pattern consisting of grizzly hackles on front and back with peacock herl in the middle, basically a Grizzly Renegade. It worked, and I went home happy.

Bryan Eldredge is an Orvis-endorsed guide (and recent Trout Bum of the Week) who works at Falcon’s Ledge in Altamont, Utah.

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