Provo River Fishing Report
Feb 14, 2018

brown trout provo river utah thanksgiving 2017Jim and I fished the Middle Provo River twice recently. Jim Fished by himself on the 8th so here is Jim’s Report for the “Lunker” Area:

Feb. 8th, Upper Middle Provo River Report

The weather was clear, I started about 11 am. on the Middle Provo, not far below the dam. No fish rising so I tried a bounce rig with tiny midge pupa imitations. Nothing happening at first but about noon a few trout started to rise.

The water was very clear and casting over the fish in slower water put them down. The rises were very gentle, small fish just sipping down something.

About 12:30 there were a few splashy rises, almost like those for caddis during late summer but certainly not caddis in February.

I figured that trout were rising for bigger midge pupae. I tried on top but no success. Did have a couple of trout come up and look at the fly but they refused it, too much sun and the water was too clear to fool them during a sparse hatch.

I decided to try bouncing a small nymph and a worm imitation at the head of the pool in relatively fast water.

Had several hits that didn’t stay on ,not uncommon with Provo River Worms (aka San Juan worms).

Finally caught a medium sized brown trout and was able to pump it’s stomach for a sample. It had only two midge pupae but they were about size 20, much bigger than the tiny 26 size ones that were taken the week before. At this point I had a good idea what to use but the sun went behind the mountain and the hatch was over.

The trout turned off so I went home to tie some special midge patterns for the next trip.

Conclusion and prediction: More and bigger midges will be hatching soon, probably the last week in February below Jordanelle dam.

We like to pre-fish before guiding folks so we know what’s going on different parts of the river. So with that in mind, Jim and I went back to the Lunker area Tuesday (Feb. 12) to test Jim’s new midges, but found so many folks getting ready that we went downstream to the canal diversion next to the US 40 bridge. Nobody there.

Feb. 12th, Upper Middle Provo River Report

It was too early for the mid-day hatch, so we bounced the new midges that Jim tied. It was slow, but we had not fished here recently and didn’t really know what to expect. I decided to try a worm and caught a fish on the first cast. Then Jim did the same.

It wasn’t fast and furious, but fish were hitting the worm pattern when drifted in right seams.

Fish started rising to a midge hatch just about noon. Maybe a little earlier than expected, but that is when the section of riffle there is in the most direct sunlight.

I tried a dry-dropper rig that worked last week at Lunker. I was using a small light colored caddis simply as an indicator and expected to catch fish on the size 22 midge dropper.

I had a few hits on the indicator, but no takers on the tiny midge nymph.

When I say “hits”, I should say refusals. When flies are drifting on fairly calm water, fish rarely miss.

Jim rigged for the hatch with his version of the “noseeum”; dark brown, size 18 or 20 and was catching fish regularly.

After I begged a fly from Jim, I did the same. The hatch slowed down as shadows from the large cottonwoods on the south side of the stream shaded the riffle.


No new video this week. The light was not great for video, so we just fished.

We left to go fish the lower section of the river near Charleston.

Deer Creek Res. has been rising, so the water is backing up further into the lowest parts of the Middle Provo River. We have had some epic days catching big rainbows that run up from the lake during the late Winter.

We made a few false turns trying to get to the spot we wanted through the thick willows since the water was so high, and that costs us some time, but we found the section we were looking for.

We were looking for the last section of fast water as it dumped into a big hole. Fish have to be there. By the time we got there, the sun was going behind Mt. Timpanogos, so it was getting late.

I would have loved to be there before noon, but we can’t fish two places at one time. We still caught a few small rainbows on egg patterns and then called it a day.

Fishing has been slow but steady on the lower portion of the river, but this part of the river can change a lot from one trip to the next. Some days, you can stand in one place and catch a dozen fish. Other days, seems like you can only catch one fish per hole.

Keep trying different flies until you find something they want. Start with gray sow bugs, Provo River worms (try various colors) and or egg patterns. Use bright eggs if the water is cloudy and small dull eggs if the water is clear. Also try adding various midge patterns to the mix.

See you on the river.

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

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

Here is a video we took last week with Mike:

Winter Fly Fishing Provo River

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