Provo River | Mark A. Philbrick, Explore Utah Valley
A Blue Ribbon stream, the Provo River offers more than 15 miles of angling access, prolific hatches, stunning views of Mount Timpanogos and rich populations of brown and rainbow trout.
Both the Middle and Lower Provo maintain healthy stream-flow year round, enabling consistent dry fly, nymph and streamer fishing opportunities. Access to rolling riffles, deep pools and structured runs abound. Depending on the time of year, your location on the river and the day’s conditions, you can expect to see bountiful emergences of green drakes, pale morning duns, blue wing olives, midges, caddis and various stonefly species.
Don’t plan on fly-fishing in Utah without spending a few days scouting the Bunny Farm’s meadows for bank feeders, hunting football shaped rainbow’s in deep glides on the Lower or stripping streamers for trophy browns below River Road.
The Middle Provo River spills into the Heber Valley from Jordanelle Reservoir, making its way 12 miles through lush meadows, cottonwood groves and farm pasture until its inevitable conclusion in Deer Creek Reservoir. Access is easy throughout the river’s course: you’ll see fishing opportunities only 100 yards from the parking lot in many cases. Angling pressure is spread out in the heart of the area below River Road, offering lower pressured water, larger trout, and truly solitary fishing experiences.
Popular areas near the dam like “Lunker Lane” and “Rickety Bridge” accommodate nearly 3,000 fish per river mile, with average brown trout in the 12’’ range. The Middle is wild brown trout territory. Fish in excess of 18’’ are caught every day, during all 12 months of the year using a variety of fly techniques.
Emerging from Deer Creek Reservoir, this freestone tail water is home to some of the biggest rainbow trout in the state. These fertile waters are breeding grounds for several hearty aquatic critters like sow bugs, annelids, pale morning duns and baetis. The Lower maintains a mostly direct course through the glacially carved walls of Provo Canyon, past a sight in its own right, Bridal Veil Falls.
Rainbow and brown trout gorge themselves on scores of sow bugs and midge larva year round, allowing their average size to substantially exceed those on the Middle Provo. As temperatures warm, the river begins to see traffic from tubers and rafters. Don’t be discouraged! Resident trout are accustomed to these alien shadows and will still take a fly in their wake.