There are few fly fishing rivers in the world that boost such an amazing backdrop of scenery and beauty. Surrounded by Mt Timpanogos and meandering farm meadows the Middle Provo River has a unique feel of a rugged mountain stream, but in a spring creek setting. Since the construction of the Jordanelle Dam and the river restoration project(Restoring the river to its original corridor) the Middle Provo River has blossomed into one of Utah’s premier trout streams as well as Blue Ribbon Fishery. With the Jordanelle Dam in place (Jordanelle Dam was built in 1992 and filled in 1995 so has only been a tailwater fishery for a short time and is still evolving) two key factors helped in the success of this stretch of river. 1. Flows could be regulated and stabilized in the favor of the fish. Before the Dam flows suffered resulting in sub par fish habitat. 2. An increase of insect life and more diverse insects now abound in the river. As a result of all of the insect life, the middle Provo is a very fertile fishery and has a very large population of trout with estimates around 3,500 per mile. The Middle Provo River is great year-round fishery. One of the rivers highlights is the excellent dry fly fishing it offers. Staring in December the river comes alive with a consistent midge hatch that occurs daily around 11am-3pm. Then in late March-April the Blue Winged Olive Mayfly takes center stage and brings almost every fish to the river surface. During the summer months Caddis, PMDs, Terrestrials and Rodents make up most of the hatches, except for the famed Green Drake Hatch that usually occurs in July. This is a favorite hatch of Middle Provo River anglers). Fall is a time to fish tiny BWOs or break out the sink-tip line and 6 weight rod and chase big browns on over-sized streamers. Don’t be surprised if this results in the biggest fish of the year. Even though the Middle Provo River is such a great fishery, it has a couple draw backs that keep certain anglers away. First is its popularity. Like the Lower Provo River the crowds of the Middle are one of its greatest draw backs. Don’t expect to have a section of river to yourself, Middle see’s a lot of locals and guides. The secret is to getting away from the crowds is to hike to the harder to reach areas of stream away from the few access points. The second drawback is the slippery round river rocks that coat the river bottom. Studded boots and a sure step will prevent a cold wet day of fishing. Part of the restoration project was to install sportsman’s access points along the river, making the Middle very accessible. Most access points have a parking area as well as a restroom.
WHEN TO FISH:
February is the best month to witness an epic day of Midge fishing. Hundreds of sipping fish will keep you warm on the coldest of winters days. The annual Green Drake hatch that comes off every year around the middle of July is a hatch you don’t want to miss. The Bug is BIG and the fish that eat the Drake are BIG as well. It’s one of the more easy hatches to fish because on average the flies are around a size 8. You can see the trout eat your flies a mile away. Late March is the start of the Blue Winged Olive Hatch and some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. August see’s an awesome evening Caddis Fly Hatch especially on the lower section of the Middle. If your after one of the Provo’s large brown trout try big streamers in late September into October while the big browns are aggressively getting ready to spawn.
Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout(Rare) and White Fish
Midges, Blue Winged Olive, Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stone Flies, Small Salmon Flies, Hoppers, Crickets, Ants, and Beetles.
Dry Flies: Lawson’s Green Drake, Para BWO, Griffith’s Gnat, Elk Hair Caddis, Hackle Stacker, Compara Dun PMD, Stimulator, Parachute Adams
Emergers: Green Drake Cripple, WD-40, X-Caddis, LaFontaines Sparkle Pupa, BWO Emerger, Midge Pupa, PMD Emerger, Palamino Midge
Nymphs: Frenchie, Zebra Midge, Sow Bug, Pheasant Tail, Peeking Caddis, Red Fox Squirrel, Prince, Hares Ear, Brassie, Rubber-leg Stone, Glow Bug, San Juan Worm
Terrestrials: Grand Hopper, Para-Hopper, Ants, Beetles and Mouse
Streamers: Wooly Buggers, Muddler Minnow, Sex Dungeon, Circus Peanut, Articulated Leeches
Rods: 8 to 9 foot in 4 to 6 weight rods are standard. New 10ft rods are becoming more popular for euro-style nymphing.
Reel: Standard disc or click trout reel. Large Arbor Reels are very popular
Lines: Floating – Weight Forward or Double Tapers, Sinking – Sink Tip and Full Sinking for Streamers
Leader & Tippet: 7 1/2 to 15 ft leaders in 3-6x. Tippet 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, and 7x for picky trout.
Waders & Boots: Lightweight Breathable Waders are used year round. Some prefer wet wading during the summer months. Rubber & Felt bottom boots.
Other Gear: License, Floatant, Weights, Strike Indicators, Forceps, Polarized Glasses, Net, Hat, Sun Screen, Garage Bag.
SEASON & REGULATIONS:
Middle Provo River is Open Year-Round, From Charleston Bridge to Jordanelle Dam, artificial flies and lures only. Two browns, 15 inches or under, may be kept, all other trout must be released. From Charleston Bridge downstream, general fishing regulations and limits apply. See current Utah Fishing Guide Booklet
FLY SHOPS & SERVICES:
Four Seasons Fly Fishers in Heber, Eddie Robinsons in Orem, Cabelas in Lehi, Sportsman Warehouse in Provo, and Fish Tech & Western Rivers in Salt Lake. (Lodging in Sundance, Park City, Heber/Midway(Johnson’s Mill-Bed & Breakfast for fly fishers), Utah County and Salt Lake County)
NEARBY FLY FISHING:
Upper Provo River, Weber River, Deer Creek Reservoir, Jordanelle Reservoir, Strawberry Reservoir
View Middle Provo River in a larger map