Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Provo River In Utah
The Provo River is one of the nation's best trout
streams. It is located near Salt Lake City Utah. It consist
of three separate sections - the Upper Section, Middle
Section and Lower Section. The Upper Section of the
Provo River begins in the Uinta Mountains and flows
down to the Jordanelle Reservoir. The Middle Section of
the Provo River lies between Joradanelle Dam and Deer
Creek Reservoir. This tailwater flows through Herber
Valley and is a great wild brown trout fishery. The Lower
Section of the Provo River flows from Deer Creek Dam
and is considered the best section by some anglers. It
contains mostly wild brown trout. Fly fishing the Provo
River at the right time can be excellent in either of these
All three sections contain plenty of trout. Although most
of the trout are probably brown trout, the river contains
some rainbows and cutthroat. There are as many as
3000 trout per mile is some section with twenty-five miles
of river that's accessible by the public. Fly fishing the
Provo River can be a wonderful fly fishing experience.
The upper section is a freestone stream that depends
on the snow pack in the Uinta Mountains for most of its
water. It's rather small and flows mostly through private
property. There's some access but it's limited. The trout
are mostly browns with some cutthroats.
As with any tailwater, the flows from the middle and lower
sections are controlled by the dams. Normally, the
middle section can be easily waded just about its entire
length. It has plenty of pull offs to park and access the
river. Trout are commonly caught up to and over twenty
inches. This section has rainbows, browns and
cutthroats. The stream meanders through a beautiful
valley of ranches and farms. This section is fairly close
to Herber City. Access is from the bridges and other
designated areas. There's a lot of private property in
this section of the river. The river in the middle and
lower section consist of some beautiful runs, riffles and
The Lower Provo can be accessed from Highway 189
from the mouth of Provo Canyon not far from Provo. It
has all three species and is considered the blue-ribbon
stretch by many with a lot of very large brown trout taken
regularly. The very scenic canyon also adds much to the
value of fishing this section. The lower section of the
Provo River flows into Utah Lake at Provo.
The Provo River has a great supply of aquatic insects,
crustaceans and marine species. There are plenty of
caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies. During the colder
months of the year, midges are a prime food for the
trout. During the summer months, terrestrial insects
such as grasshoppers, ants and beetles make up part of
the trout's diet.
The Provo River has a reputation of being one of the
best western trout streams. Fly fishing Provo River is a
real treat. It has beautiful scenery and big trout, so make
sure you have a camera ready.
|Type of Stream
Two Tailwaters and Freestone
Species (depends on section)
Brown Trout (wild and stocked)
Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked)
Cutthroat Trout (native, wild and
Yes, you should review the current
regulations which are subject to
change each year.
State of Utah
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Guide, Tackle and
Provo River Utah
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 & 12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
You can fish the river year-round.
The fishing can be good in the tailwaters
during the Winter since the water stays near
a constant temperature.
Springtime is an excellent time to fish the
Provo River but it can be high and off color
during the runoff.
Provo River Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Provo River and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
The hatches vary some depending on the
section of the river (freestone and tailwater)
but the insects listed below are plentiful
throughout most of the stream from its
headwaters to its lower section. During the
early season, before runoff, the main
hatches consist of Western March Browns
and Blue-winged Olives. The BWOs can
start as early as March but April usually is
the most consistent time for the hatch to
begin. There's also a Fall hatch of the
BWOs. It usually takes place from late
September and throughout most of the
month of October.
Of course, midges will work well anytime the
water is too cold for most other insects.
There's also plenty of small black winter
stoneflies that hatch in the early season,
even when there's snow on the ground.
Golden Stoneflies can hatch from May
through July. Some are usually caught up in
the runoff. LIttle Yellow Stoneflies are fairly
plentiful in some areas from June through
Scuds and sowbugs are present in some
sections of the Provo River. Trout eat
The first caddisflies to hatch are the Little
Black Caddis, called the Mothers Day
hatch in most places in the West. This
hatch starts in the lower section of the
river in late April and last about a month.
In late June and early July, there's plenty
of Spotted Sedges that begin to hatch.
These are the most plentiful of the
caddisflies and the different species hatch
throughout most of the Summer and Fall.
The next most important caddisfly hatch
are the Green Sedges. They hatch from
May through August, depending on the
species. Imitations of the Green Rock
Worms, or their larvae, work year-round.
In June, usually before the runoff ends,
Pale Morning Duns will start hatching.
This is usually a good hatch that last
There are a few Green Drakes that hatch
but the numbers are usually fairly low.
They hatch from about the middle of June
through the middle of August. There are
also some Flavs, or Small Western Green
Drakes, but the numbers of them are
In some areas of the fast water you will
find some Pink Ladies that hatch in late
August and September.
Late Summer, in August and September,
terrestrials will play an important role in
the trout's diet. Don't forget imitations of
grasshopper, ants and beetles.
Fly fishing the Provo River during the
Summer is good in the tailwater sections,
and freestone section except during the
hottest days of Summer..
The autumn season is an excellent time
for fly fishing the Provo River because its
brown trout spawn during the Fall.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Headlines: All three sections of
the Provo are in good shape.
Brown trout are in the pre-spawn
stage and taking our Brown and
White Belly sculpin streamers very
well. There are lots of good
Blue-winged olive hatches taking
place. It is a very good time to fish
the river. The weather is going to
be a little warmer this coming week.
Keep a close check on the stream
levels, and other factors on our
weekly updated fishing report
Map of Provo River
Fishing Report Headline Archive:
Click Here For the Current Provo River Fishing Report
10/13/15 Anglers are always complaining about this stream being crowded. Well, it isn't now
and it is a great time to fish it. Scuds are working good in the tailwaters. Don't forget brown
trout are in the pre-spawn mode. All three sections are fishing very good right now. Several
hatches are underway. Spotted Sedge caddis along with other hatches are taking place.
10/20/15 Stream levels need to be closely checked. There has been quite a bit of rain and
both the freestone and tailwater sections are running a little high. Rain is in the forecast
through Thursday of this week. Blue-winged Olives have been hatching good. There are still
areas where caddis are key insects during the late afternoon. For the latest information,
10/27/15 Stream levels are about the same as the last report. The weather is getting a little
colder. this is actually a good thing. Blue-winged olives and October Caddis continue to be
the top producing hatches in the freestone section and BWOs in the tailwaters. The Brown
Sculpin has been catching some big brown trout for our customers.
11/03/15 It is turning much colder than it has been this fall and there is snow in the forecast
for the next three days. Midges will again become one of the main sources of food for the
trout, especially those in the tailwater sections. The Brown Sculpin streamer continues to be
the best producing fly. Stream levels should be good for the next week.
11/10/15 The weather is getting colder and so is the water. That's changing the strategies
and flies you should be using this coming week. The Brown sculpin streamers should
continue to work good but the main flies you need to use are combination larva and pupa
midge imitations. Cream and Red midges are probably the most plentiful right now.
11/17/15 The weather is moderate for this time of the year. It will probably snow every day for
the rest of the week days but the weekend looks like it will be clear. We think the Brown
Sculpin streamer is the best fly option right now. Hatches are down to mostly Midges and Blue-
winged olives. Stream levels look good and shouldn't change much at all.
11/24/15 There is still a lot of snow in the forecast for the coming week, but that shouldn't
keep the die hard anglers off the water, just make it more interesting. The fish love the snow
and if it is moderately warm, the Blue-winged olive do as well. Midges should be the number
one choice of flies for this coming week.
12/01/15 The weather is cold and clear with a chance of snow Saturday and again next
Monday. The water levels are staying low and that's a good point. Easy wading and slow
water allows you the opportunity to fish the small midges in slow moving water where the trout
hold in cold temperatures. The water is in the mid forties in most sections of the Provo.
12/08/15 the Provo is in good shape with good stream levels. There is a lot of snow in the
forecast and getting around to all the access may be a bigger problem for some than
catching trout. We added Winter stoneflies to the list of flies as they have begin to hatch in
the freestone section and will be hatching in the tailwater soon. Midges are the most
important flies to use at this time.
12/22/15 It is going to be cold this coming week. There is a winter storm warning in effect
though Wednesday. Snow is in the forecast through Saturday, so the roads may be a
problem. If you brave the elements, we recommend fishing the lower tailwater using midges
and Winter stonefly nymphs. Streamers may also work well with all the cloud cover.
12/29/15 The weather has turned much colder but of course, that is normal. It has been
unseasonably warm. We recommend fishing the lower tailwater because our customers have
been catching plenty of trout on midges. Little winter stonefly nymphs have also produced
well. Snow should end tomorrow and you should see some clear days for a change.
01/05/16 As mentioned in the fly fishing report linked above, there is snow in the forecast
every day but the temperature is warmer. Blue-winged olives can hatch even on days when it
snows, so don't let that bother you. Just make sure you have snow tires and/or a 4 wheel
vehicle. The lowest tailwater should be the best option but check the flows.
01/12/16 There is little change on the Provo River during the winter. It is difficult to forget
about the air temperature and focus on catching trout that are in forty degree water but that
is the situation. Anglers have different methods of keeping their guides clear of ice but if you
dress right, fish near the dam, you should catch trout.
01/17/16 Look at it this way. One thing you don't have to worry about is a big crowd of
anglers. It is cold enough to keep most of the non avid guys aways. Fish close to either of the
two dams and you will find warmer water. Midges, fished in tandem with the larva the bottom
fly and pupa the top fly, is the best setup. Winter stoneflies are also good.
01/26/16 The rest of the week days will be clear of snow. The weather is just a little bit
warmer and the water temperature warmer near the dams, of course. Midges, both cream
and red, pupa and larva fishing in tandem, Winter stonefly nymphs and the White Belly
Sculpin streamer are the best flies to use right now.
02/02/16 It is going to be cold this coming week, but it is wintertime. The trout want know it
near as much as you. The water from the bottom discharges in the high thirties and the trout
are active enough to feed. They won't move very far to do it. You have to present the fly right
in front of their nose in the holes in teh bottom out of the fast current.
02/09/16 The lower tailwater is producing some nice trout for those who fish it using the right
flies and strategies. Midges, both red and cream, Winter stoneflies, and Black Flies are the
main insects to imitate. Fish the midge larva and pupa imitations in tandem. Fish the adult
midge imitations (dry flies) only when you see them on the surface.
02/23/16 The weather will continue to be good with highs in the forties this coming week. Fish
below the lower dam for the best results. The water is about 39 degrees, so fish the slow
water seams, not fast current. Midges and winter stoneflies are the two main aquatic insects
03/01/16 The discharges and stream levels are in good shape and the weather not bad for
the coming week. Midges, both creams and reds, and little Winter stoneflies are the main
insects to imitate. Scuds and sowbugs are also working good. Fish near the tailwater
discharges for the warmest water but fish slack water, not fast water.
03/08/16 The weather is continuing to be a little warmer than normal for this time of the
season. The warm air tends to melt snow, stain the water some and keep the water
temperature down. Midges, reds and creams, and winter stoneflies are still the most important
aquatic insects to imitate.
03/16/16 The warmer weather melted a lot of snow and stained the water as well as
continued to keep the water temperature down low but that's changing back to a more normal
wintertime pattern. There is a winter storm warning for the next three days and conditions will
be back to normal.
03/29/16 Both the tailwaters are producing a few trout for the brave anglers fishing them.
Both are producing low discharges and stream levels. Fish the slack current, not the fast
water or you're waisting you time. The water is still only in the high thirties to about forty
degrees. Trout won't hold in the faster moving current.
04/05/16 The weather is going to be a little warmer and make it a little easier on the anglers
fishing. It won't have any effect on the trout. Midges are still the main insects you will need to
be imitating. The water is cold, so keep the flies in the slower water, or slower side of the
current seams. The light Green midge larva and pupa are beginning to work.
04/12/16 The stream levels and discharges have been low for a good while, but there is a
chance of rain or snow in the forecast every day for the next week. That should help the
overall situation. Most of the ultra cold weather is over and we should begin to see some
major hatches take place in the near future.
04/19/16 The weather forecast for the coming week looks good, with the exception of today. It
is snowing today but then highs will reach the sixties later this week. That melts snow on the
banks and in the watershed and keeps the temperature of the water down. Blue-winged
olives and midges are hatching. Sculpin streamers have been catching trout for some of our
04/26/16 The tailwaters and upper river all all still running a little low. The water is remaining
in the low forties and Midges and Blue-winged olives continue to be about the only insects
hatching. There is snow forecast every day for the next week, that we think will mostly melt
and help the stream levels.
05/03/16 Most sections of the stream are running high and stained right now. It is getting
warmer and that will change a lot of things fast. Melting snow will keep the water temperature
down some but the warm days will eventually outdo it and new hatches will begin. Yes, I know
we have runoff to contend with.
05/10/16 here is still some cold spells and wet snows to go though but it is getting very close
to the time more insects begin to hatch and anglers start getting in on some dry fly action.
That is possible now, if you catch a midge or Blue-winged olive hatch just right.
05/17/16 The weather is a little lousy with lots of rain and snow coming this next week. It
doesn't seem to affect the tailwater sections very much. We had two customer reporting they
had the best day they have ever had on the water this past week. Stick with the basics, and
you will catch trout.
05/24/16 There is a lot of rain and snow in the forecast but the stream levels and discharges
are still low and providing good fly fishing conditions. You can wade most sections. Blue-
winged olives are hatching good and the cloud cover really helps that. It is a good time to fish
05/31/16 The discharges and stream levels are all in good shape and the weather is warming
up a lot. This will warm the water a little and hopefully, start several new hatches within the
near future. I will give it another week but when the temp goes over 50 for a day or two, it
changes the hatches big time. The Middle river produced some very nice trout last week.
06/07/16 The stream is in good shape in all sections of the river, including the middle Provo.
There are a lot of new hatches depending on the particular section and location. Stoneflies,
mayflies and caddis are emerging. The weather forecast looks good and hopefully, the river
will settle down into a good mode.
06/14/16 The river remain in good shape with good stream levels and low discharges in all
sections. There are good numbers of trout being caught by our customers and some on the
surface on dry flies. There are a lot of insects hatching and all around good fly fishing
06/20/16 If you see bugs crawling up your waders, that is little Short-horned sedges, or
caddisflies. Fish the pupa and adult imitations of them and you will catch trout. There are a lot
of insects hatching. Send us and email and we will send you a list of them. Anglers have
begin to catch trout in all sections of the river. Stream levels are good and most places safe
06/28/16 They increased the flows to flush out the middle river this past week. We didn't
receive any reports from anyone fishing. They have dropped the heavy discharges at least
for now. The stream levels are back down low in all sections of the river. There is rain in the
forecast everyday and this may bring about more discharges. You will just have to watch the
07/05/16 All sections of the Provo river are in good shape and our customers are reporting
some very good catches. The middle river is the most popular and producing the most trout
right now. There are a lot of insects hatching and many of the trout are being caught on the
surface on dry flies. This coming week should be very good as well.
07/12/16 The Provo is in good shape in all sections. The middle river is where most anglers
are fishing right now and it is doing good, but so are the other two sections. There are a lot of
insects hatching including some big stoneflies. There are several mayflies hatching but they
vary from section to section. Three species of caddisflies are hatching as well.
07/26/16 The Provo is one of the better streams to fish in the West right now. With
temperatures ranging mostly in the nineties, the Provo remains fairly cool. There are still a
lot of hatches taking place but they vary greatly with the section of water you fish. Most
anglers are fishing the middle Provo but all sections are producing trout.
08/02/16 The middle Prov has been offering wading anglers plenty of opportunity to wade
with average discharges and decent stream levels. The lower Provo has been tough to wade
most of the time. Discharges may increase some this coming week. There is a change of rain
everyday. Pale Morning duns are the most important insect right now.
08/09/16 The weather is nice with little to no rain in the forecast this coming week. The
stream levels and discharges have been a little on the high side lately. We are still
recommending the Middle Provo over the other sections but all of them are in decent shape.
We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week. Several insects are still
08/16/16 The discharges and stream levels in all sections are in good shape. There are still a
lot of insects hatching and terrestrials like our Carpenter ants, Japanese beetles and grass
hopper imitations are also working good. The weather is nice and should be cloudy most f the
time with a chance of rain everyday for the coming week. Conditions are about as good as
they can get.
08/23/16 The stream levels are up in all sections making wading difficult to not safe in many
sections of the river. There is little rain forecast for the coming week, so the levels will
probably reside some the coming few days. The weather is much cooler. Our customers are
catching some nice trout on the Olive and Black Matuka Sculpin fly patterns. There are still
plenty of hatches taking place.
08/30/16 Discharges from the two tailwaters and freestone stream levels have all been a little
high for the past week. Few reports from customers came in the past week. One reported a
few browns on early morning streamer fishing. There have been little to no wading
opportunities. Levels are likely to be high at leeast two or three more days.
09/06/16 The stream levels vary for section to section but all are in decent shape most of the
time. Wading is tough in some sections depending on the releases. There is no rain forecast
for the next week, so all levels will probably drop. The cooler weather will get the water
temperature down and help the overall condition of the river. Streamers, like our Brown
Sculpin, are working good early mornings.
09/13/16 The river has been flowing a little high in all sections recently. There is little rain in
the forecast for the coming week, so maybe the flows will be down soon. We didn't receive
any reports from anyone fishing this past week. We do know that there are still plenty of
caddisflies hatching along with some Little Yellow stoneflies. The cooler weather should kick
off the baetis BWO hatches.
09/20/16 The weather has turned much cooler and that has kicked off some new hatches.
Baetis Blue-winged olives are hatching along with Mahogany duns and October caddis. All
three sections are in good shape, although a little low. There is rain or snow in the forecast
almost every day this coming week. The cloud cover should really help.
09/27/16 The Provo is still flowing high in all sections but falling. There are chances of rain
for most days ahead and you still need to check the levels. The freestone and both tailwater
sections are high and not safe to wade. There are a lot of hatches going on but you will have
to fish from the banks most of the time. Hopefully, this will soon change.
10/03/16 The stream levels are down from the past week but still higher than normal and
tough to wade in places. Some sections are okay and can be waded. There are still plenty of
Blue-winged olives, Mahogany duns and October Caddis hatches taking place. We think the
levels will be back down to a normal level soon as there is little rain in the forecast.
10/10/16 the stream levels and discharges are up some in all sections, so make sure you
check them before traveling very far to fish. The October Caddis are still hatching strong and
Blue-winded olves, mostly baetis species, are also hatching good. Sculpin streamers will be a
good choice fly this week due to higher water and pre-spawn brown trout.
10/18/16 The stream levels are excellent in all sections of the river. Few anglers are fishing
but our customers that fished this past week did fairly well. Two of them caught some very
nice size brown trout. The Brown sculpin streamers will catch the pre-spawn brown trout and
many are near that stage. Blue-winged olives are hatching very good.