Provo River Fishing Report and Outlook for Late August

provo river brown trout guided fishing tripJim and I guided folks twice this week on the Middle Provo River.

We fished all the way from below the railroad tracks near Charleston, above the River Road area and also below the Jordanelle Dam in the “popular” spots.

Bouncing worms and sow bugs worked well and fish are getting very excited about chasing the skitter bug on top in the evenings.

We specifically went back to the upper part of the Middle Provo on Wed. to skitter in the evening, but the big storm chased us out before we had the chance. Normally we hunker down and let the storm pass, but this one didn’t pass until well after dark.

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

This report was prepared on Aug 25, so the dates include 29 total days from Aug 11 – Sep 8 (14 days before and after).

We have records for 28 fishing trips this time of year (2014 – 2018) with a total of 223 fish. We fished the Middle Provo 19 times and caught 173 fish. We have not fished the Lower Provo during this time frame because of the high water and crowded conditions.

We also made 11 additional fly fishing trips to places like Bulger Res and Miller Flat Res on the Manti and to the Strawberry River. With the Dollar Ridge Fire and the flooding on the Strawberry River, who knows when we will get to fish that river again?

I also made a trip to Montana and fished Monture Creek, the Blackfoot River and the North Fork of the Blackfoot River several years ago.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River – Aug 11 – Sept 8

Technique Fly Fish Pcent
Nymphing
(bounce rig or
inline)
P.R.Worm 31 17.9%
sow bug
22 12.7%
PMD (nymph or split case)
11  6.4%
green drake nymph
 3  1.7%
Total Nymphing 67 38.7%
Swing black ant 18 10.4%
soft hackle
13
 7.5%
Total Swing 31 17.9%
Dry Fly Skitter (Caddis) 38 22.0%
PMD 25  14.5%
Green Drake 12  6.9%
Total Dry
75 43.4%

We caught 67 fish nymping (Provo River Bounce Rig) during this time frame, but the evenings on the upper part of the Middle Provo are still going to be offer good fishing with caddis on top and swinging soft hackles and black ants near dark.

Jim and I are still spending most of our time guiding and almost all of the fish are being caught by intermediate and beginner fly fishers that want to learn to use the Provo River Bounce Rig.

What to expect in Late August – Early September on the Lower and Middle Provo Rivers

The water is still running fairly fast on both the Lower and Middle Provo for this time of year. Today (Aug 25), it is s running at just under 500 cfs in the Middle Provo (lowest since April) and is down to 389cfs in the Lower Provo.

So fishing the Lower Provo will still be tough except for deep runs next to the banks. The best places have been a little crowded, so we haven’t fished there lately.

Fishing in the Lower Provo should pick up now that the flow has decreased.

Most fish this week on the Middle Provo were caught on Provo River worms (AKA San Juan worms) and sow bugs. Fish are also actively chasing caddis on top in the evenings

In the lower part of the Middle Provo, we also dad success swinging soft hackles in the evenings (more success than caddis dry flies).

Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Want to do something special for friends of family? Book a guided trip with Jim and Dan. Click Here to Learn More.

Flies to Use in August on the Provo River

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

The most important flies for the Middle Provo River for this time period:

  • Jim’s Skitter bug
  • P.R. worms
  • PMD dry flies
  • sow bug
  • black ant
  • soft hackle

We caught 54% of our fish on the first three flies; skitter bug (skated caddis), worm and PMD dry fly. Fish are taking worms again like they have in past years, but takes on sow bugs are still down this year. 77% of fish were caught on 5 flies.

For the Lower Provo try sow bugs and PMD nymphs. Also try swinging soft hackles and black ants in the evenings.

Remember to take your head lamp and get out there in the evening as long as the caddis hatch lasts.

Don’t know how? We will take you. And as soon as the flow slows down and the water warms a little, it will be “Skittering” time!

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

Gotta run… Meeting Jim at 4:00 to skitter this evening…

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

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

Here is one of our recent videos:

Pool of Dreams


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!

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