Provo River (and Surrounding Area) Fishing Report August 8, 2017

20 inch provo river brown troutWe try to get new fishing reports out by the weekend, but this past week we mainly fished on other rivers, so we had no personal information about fishing on the Provo River until yesterday.

We met at 10:00 on the upper part of the Middle Provo and found large numbers of anglers already on the water.

We even ran into one guide that claimed he had exclusive rights to fish a certain hole.

We try to give fishing guides some leeway since they are trying to make a living, but they (ourselves included) do not have any exclusive rights to fishing spots on the river.

We would have been happy to video his clients catching fish.

We came to fish and not to get into trouble, so we voluntarily moved on. But mainly because we did not want him to see us catch fish.

And brother… we caught fish.

The Middle Provo Fly Fishing Report

To cut to the chase; For those that just want to catch fish, fish bounce rigs from noon until dark using sow bugs on the bottom and any other small brown or black nymph you want to try.

For those that want to catch fish on top with dry flies, watch for the PMD to hatch in pools between noon and 16:00. The hatches are sparse compared to past years, but there were plenty of fish feeding on top.

Also fish on top with caddis in the evening. Our friend Rod confirmed that he continued to catch fish with “Renegades” again this past week.

The Provo River Fishing Story

We probably didn’t start fishing until about 11:00. We shared the hole with a gentleman from Ogden that was fishing in our backyard for the first time. He was fishing a dry with a dropper.

Since we didn’t see fish rising, we immediately rigged our standard Provo River Bounce Rig with sow bugs on the bottom tag and a BWO emerger on top.

Tuesday was a cool, stormy day in Heber City, with the high temperature probably less than 80° F and the cloud cover is always good for fishing.

I don’t think we caught a fish until our third cast or so. Nice to see the Provo remains a consistent place to catch trout.

After we caught the third or fourth fish (the big one; photo above), our new fishing friend must have been convinced we knew what we were doing and asked for a little advice.

We rigged him up with a bounce rig and I kid you not, he hooked into a big fish on his first cast. It was a heck of a fight for a short time, but unfortunately, that fish got off.

We spent much of our time taking video and helping our Ogden friend understand the fine points of the bounce rig.

We fished there long enough for our new friend to catch a few, then moved downstream where Jim had been watching fish rise for about an hour.

We missed the best chance to catch fish on top, but moved on to find out how one of our favorite holes was doing (the one the guide claimed to own).

The high spring flow changed the hole. It is deeper in the middle and has lots of debris along the edges, but it still holds fish and still fishes well once you learn how to avoid the debris.

Jim immediately caught a nice brown at the head of the hole and I caught a couple fish swinging soft hackles in the middle and in the tail of the hole.

I like to swing soft hackles when I see fish rising, but don’t see a lot of flies for them to rise to.

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The New Provo River Cookie Cutter Fish

One of the trout we caught was a tiny little guy, but the others were the new cookie cutter size.

What do I mean by “new cookie cutter”? Last year, we would have said the average “cookie cutter” fish on the upper part of the Middle Provo was about 14 – 15 inches. This year it appears the fish have grown up.

We caught one (photo above) that measured over 19 inches in our Measure Net, but you know that fat fish would measure longer if laid out flat.

Sorry the photo doesn’t do it justice, but it is one of the prettiest (meaning beautiful markings and no scars or deformities of any kind) big brown trout we have ever seen in the Provo River (and Jim has fished this river for a long time).

I’d like to say it was skill, but I was lucky to land that big trout using 4X tippet.

We had to leave early due to prior appointments, but on the way out we ran into some old friends that are serious fly fishers. They were catching their fair share of fish while waiting on the evening caddis hatch. We don’t know how they did last night, but I wouldn’t bet against them. We will find out next time we see them.

Looks like it’s time for Jim and I to try his “skitter bug” next time we don’t have to leave so early.

The Lower Provo Fly Fishing Report

Jim made a quick trip to fish the Lower Provo River earlier today.

Fish the edge of the big pools just inside the current. Fish were taking tiny midges and PMDs (size 20). Make sure to fish on the bottom and use larger tippet (4x or 5x) so fish don’t break off..

Fly Fishing in Surrounding Areas

We took clients to the “secret place” again this week and fishing continues to be consist and amazing. They were able to land eight big beautiful browns ranging in size from 17 – 22 inches (Click here to see photos dated Aug 3rd).

We enjoyed meeting many of you at the Heber Valley Fly Fishing Festival August 11 -12 at Hamlet Park in Midway. We hope everyone had fun and learned what they needed to know.

Fishing Report provided by Jim O’Neal & BackcountryChronicles.com

Watch our fly fishing videos here at Jim’s YouTube site.

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