Regarded as many Utahn’s “home water,” the famous Provo River is one of the country’s top tailwater fisheries. Just an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport and a mere 15 to 25 minutes from Park City, the Middle and Lower sections of this Blue Ribbon stream offer 15+ miles of fisherman access, prolific hatches, stunning views of Mount Timpanogos, and rich populations of trout. Both the Middle and Lower Provo maintain healthy stream-flow year round, enabling consistent dry fly, nymph, and streamer fishing opportunities for both brown and rainbow trout. Access to rolling riffles, deep pools, and structured runs abound, housing hungry fish eager to devour a smorgasbord of classic aquatic and terrestrial insects. 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.
Middle Provo River
Arguably one of the most consistent fisheries in the state, 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. Whether you’re stalking a pod of fish rising to green drakes in a seam line, bouncing midge nymphs off the bottom or stripping four inch streamers in search of a hook-jawed male, the Middle Provo is a great place to start any Utah fly-fishing adventure.
Lower Provo River
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. In contrast to its sister stream, the Middle, 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.
See the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Lower Provo River Fishing Report or explore a map and local regulations of the Lower Provo River.
Fishing information adapted for Visit Utah by Bloodknots/Asher Koles. Please visit Bloodknots.com for Utah fly-fishing information, journals, multimedia and guide services.