Fly Fishing the Ogden River

The Wasatch Front is blessed with several wild brown trout streams and rivers. Hobble Creek, the Provo River, and the American Fork River have wild, self sustaining brown trout populations just a stone's throw from major metropolitan areas. The Weber and Ogden River up north can be added to this list.

A little further out, UM Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Huntington Creek and Com Creek all offer good fishing for wild trout. But, I'll talk about them another time.

The Ogden, like the Provo, flows right through town and boasts fishable water in residential areas, right out the back doors of the local citizenry. The Ogden is planted quite heavily from Washington Blvd. to the canyon mouth. The river flow is quite substantial this time of year and is much larger than I expected. The Ogden flows about the same size as the Weber, smaller than the Provo but much larger than most of the other Wasatch streams such as Big and Little Cottonwood Creeks.

I fished the Ogden in late afternoon on the first of May, right at the mouth of the canyon between the Timbermine restaurant and Rainbow Lanes. Successful patterns included pheasant tail nymphs, and several dry flies, including parachute adams; and baetis sparkle duns, size 16 and 18. 1 caught several small browns in the eight to eleven inch range. The Flyline shop in Ogden recommends this area and also reports that larger fish are found further up the canyon, although fishing isn't as fast. The browns were real fat, strong fish, and I was surprised not to find any rainbows. I would imagine that the rainbows are easier to catch with bait or lures and are probably fished out quickly here due to the proximity to the city. I noticed several other fishermen that day on this stretch, mostly spin or bait fishermen. There were more flyfishermen on up the canyon even though the stretch I fished is very productive and offers sufficient solitude for the midweek angler.

Stream samples revealed large populations of worms, mayfly nymphs and a small, tan/grey scud. There was a sporadic baetis and caddis hatch with the baetis intensifying toward evening. By late afternoon the surface activity had increased enough that when a nice fish came up to inspect my strike indicator I figured it was time to switch to dries.

Large rock dams, created to restore trout habitat, cause large flat slicks that provide for excellent spring creek-type fishing. I caught my largest fish by drifting the fly downstream, flipping out line. The fish took the fly just seconds before it washed over the dam.

The South Fork of the Ogden flows into Pineview Reservoir near Huntsville. I fished this river on the 2nd of May and fished just below the first campground. The river here is even stronger in flow and depth than the Ogden below Pineview. Insect sampling produced some remarkable stone fly nymphs, the most I've ever seen out of any river! They were large in both numbers and size. Each rock produced scores of cased caddis. The screen net also turned up lots of free swimming caddis and mayfly nymphs.

Fishing was much tougher here, however. I picked up a real small wild rainbow on a stonefly nymph and a little larger brown on a chamois caddis.

There was a baetis hatch in the early afternoon but no noticeable surface activity. I tired of nymphing so I tried a parachute Adams and immediately had a nice fish shoot half way out of the water after the fly. I missed this fish and failed to get another rise that afternoon. Plans for the evening required me to leave for home but I'll bet the evening dry fly fishing would be exciting here.

Take the 12th Street exit off 1-15 and proceed east to the canyon. Several access points are available between Washington Blvd. and the canyon. The River crosses Washington Blvd. about 17th Street. To fish the canyon mouth take the animal shelter turnout near Rainbow Lanes and drive down to the small park and fish up or downstream from there.