Provo River Fishing Report for Early June

20 inch utah brown trout

Jim and I fished three places this week and scouted two more rivers.

Last Saturday, we guided a couple of folks on the Middle Provo.

On Wednesday we fished a “Secret Place”, scouted the Strawberry River and fished Lake Canyon.

Then on Thursday, Jim ran up to Diamond Fork to check on the Giant Stonefly hatch.

But first let’s cover the Provo River.

What flies and techniques caught fish on the Lower and Middle Provo River – Early June?

This report was prepared on June 1, so the dates include 29 total days from May 18 – June 15 (14 days before and after).

We have records for 23 fishing trips this time of year (2014 – 2018). We normally don’t fish the Lower Provo this time of year, but we fished the Middle Provo 8 times and caught a total of 77 fish.

We also made 15 additional fly fishing trips to Strawberry Res., Mantua Res., the Strawberry River and other places in surrounding areas.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River –
May 18 – June 15

Technique Fly Fish Pcent
nymphing
(bounce rig,

inline or swing)
P.R. Worm 28 36.4%
midge nymph 13 16.9%
Sow Bug  9 11.7%
PMD nymph  8 10.4%
soft hackle   1  1.3%
black ant  1  1.3%
Total Under 60 77.9%
dry or
dry-dropper
Caddis 16 20.8%
BWO  1 1.3%
Total Top 17 22.1%

We caught 60 fish nymphing (mostly bounce rig and light in-line rigs) and we caught 17 fish on top fishing dry flies.

Normally this time of year the number of fish we catch on sow bugs goes down and the number of fish caught on Provo River worms and tiny midges goes up.

And for those that look closely at the table, you will notice two new flies that we used to catch fish on the Provo River Bounce Rig; a soft hackle and a black ant. I will explain later.

The majority of our fish (78%) were caught on the Middle Provo Rivers using under-water fly fishing techniques; mostly the Provo River Bounce rig. When fish are rising, we actively fish dry flies, otherwise we usually nymph.

What to expect in Late May to Early June on the Lower and Middle Provo Rivers

The water is usually running fairly fast on the Lower Provo this time of year (was running at over 523 cfs yesterday and down to 438 cfs today).

So fishing should be easier on the Lower Provo since the water has gone down. If you plan to fish the Lower Provo, it will best be fished under the water (nymphing) along the banks where the water is not to fast with sow bugs and tiny nymphs.

provo river mountain whitefishWe expected the fishing on Saturday afternoon to be just like the day before, but fishing was a little slow on the upper part of the Middle Provo.

Colton Seely moved here from Idaho and is learning the streams in our area.

He surprised his Dad (Bob) with a guided fishing trip on the Middle Provo.

We started them off with the bounce rig technique and they did all of the fishing.

They caught about ten fish, including a very chunky 18 inch whitefish (see photo) on worms, small nymphs, black ants and soft hackles.

Since things were a little slow, we tried fly combinations we don’t normally try. That is how they caught a brown trout while bouncing a black ant and the big whitefish was caught bouncing a soft hackle. That was a first for us.

On Friday when we scouted, we found plenty of fish in the deep holes. We caught 14 browns in a couple of hours on sow bugs, tiny midge nymphs and Provo River worms.

It is amazing how fishing can change so drastically from one day to the next.

So when fishing is tough, keep at it. Check your rig often for moss and junk and change flies if they “ain’t buying what you’re trying to sell”.

Don’t know where to fish? Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Want to do something special for your Dad? Book a guided trip with Jim and Dan. Click Here to Learn More.

Flies to Use in Early June on the Provo River

What flies should be in your fly box the next few weeks on the Lower or Middle Provo River?

Our Catch Charts for this time frame had eight flies for the Middle Provo.

These were the most important flies for the Middle Provo Rivers:

  • P.R. worm
  • Caddis
  • midge nymph
  • Sow bug
  • PMD nymph
  • soft hackle
  • Black ant
  • BWO

Historically on the Middle Provo this time of year, we caught 36% of our fish on worms in previous trips and caddis flies accounted for another 21%.

Add some midge nymphs and sow bugs and that adds another 29% for a total of almost 85% with just four flies.

As I mentioned before, we fish the Middle Provo more than the Lower Provo River this time of year, because of the high water flow in the Lower Provo. And this is also the time to fish other places as well. So many good places to fish and so little time.

Dry Fly Action for Cutthroat Trout at Lake Canyon Lake

We decided to take a look at Lake Canyon Lake this week since neither of us had ever fished there.

When we got there, we found trout rising to tiny midges. We caught about eight cutts (15 – 20 inches; from the shore) fairly quickly on basically every small light colored dry fly we had in our boxes. Jim also caught a few swimming soft hackles.

The one other guy we saw fishing the lake was not having much luck casting streamers from his pontoon boat and we had no luck using woolly boogers or black ants even as it was getting dark, but we could have caught fish on dry flies until we ran out of dry flies if we wanted to.

The water is already getting warm there, so trout are very active and some are still spawning. Fish that are to be released have to be handled with care since the water is so warm.

May Provo River Flows

Today (June 1st), the flow out of Jordanelle has jumped up to over 634 cfs into the upper part of the Middle Provo River. The flow increased this week from just over 300 cfs. It is running at 438 cfs today out of Deer Creek Reservoir, which is down from the peak flow of 650 cfs on May 18th.

KSL says the snow pack above the Provo River is now at 0%, so the flows will probably start tapering off soon.

Some of your favorite spots may not fish the same with the water running faster. Look for inside bends and in the deepest holes where the water is not running as fast.

Stone Fly Hatch at Diamond Fork

Giant stone flies are hatching in Three Forks area of Diamond Fork now. Also a good hatch of small caddis flies same area.

The water is not too high but still slightly discolored from run-off.

Jim suggests using a big orange body dry flies size 6 or 8 long shank hooks.

Weighted nymphs work better, same sizes, dark chocolate brown stone fly patterns.

Watch Video of Stone Flies at Diamond Fork

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

This Provo River Fishing Outlook Report is provided by Jim O’Neal & BackcountryChronicles.com

Winner of Free Guided Fly Fishing Trip With Backcountry Adventures Fly Fishing

Jeremy Cunningham from Orem Utah won the trip. He brought his Dad (Mike) on their trip….

“I want to take my dad with me on the guided trip. We’ve fished together our whole lives but have recently gotten into fly fishing.

We’re both at the beginner stage but learning quickly. I would love to learn how to match the hatch as well as work on fly presentation.”

***We had a great day on the Middle Provo River yesterday (July 19) with Jeremy and Mike. Fishing was tough, but after they got the hang of casting, mending and recognizing strikes, they both caught some very nice fish. (Will link to photos and video when posted).

If there is enough interest (Leave comments on the new fishing reports), we will have another free trip later this Summer.

See all of our fly fishing videos here at Jim’s YouTube site.

This is from last week where we target big brown with dry flies.

Dry Fly Action Strawberry River Utah


This is the best fly box we’ve ever used. It’s Magnetic! Simply drop your wet flies on the magnetic pad and never lose another fly to the wind!

Comments

  1. Look forward to reading your reports as soon as they come out. Keep up the great work Dan

  2. Tiffany says:

    Would love to go on a guided tour of the Provo River. Still a newbie at fly fishing, but would also like to try some euro nymphing.

  3. I really appreciate and love the videos you have been producing. I am really hoping to win the contest so I can fish with you guys sooner than originally planned. I have been fly fishing for some time now but would love to have an education day on the river on finding the fish and how to get to them.

  4. Michelle says:

    My husband loves your videos and has been showing them to me all the time. Now we watch them together to relax in the evening. I would love to learn more about fly fishing, but more than that I’d love to see him win.

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