Provo River Fishing Report for Late June – Early July

mountain whitefish provo river april 18

This week was about Big Browns and Big Mountain Whitefish.

This week, we fished twice on the Middle Provo River.

On Wednesday Jim and I fished several places on the Middle Provo to prepare for a trip scheduled on Friday.

On Friday, we guided a Texas family that had never fly fished before.

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

This report was prepared on June 23, so the dates include 29 total days from June 9 – July 7 (14 days before and after).

We have 15 fishing trips recorded for this time period (2014 – 2018) and we caught a total of 139 fish. We’ve fished the Lower Provo this time of year once (8 fish) and we fished the Middle Provo 4 times and caught a total of 38 fish.

We also made 9 additional fly fishing trips to Strawberry Res., the Strawberry River, Diamond Fork and other places in surrounding areas.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River –
June 9 – July 7

Technique Fly Fish Pcent
nymphing
(bounce rig
or inline)
P.R. Worm 21 70.0%
PMD Nymph  4 13.3%
Midge Nymph
 3
10.0%
Sow Bug  2  6.7%
Total Under 30 100%

We caught everything (38 fish) during this time frame on the Middle and Lower Provo by nymphing (mostly bounce rig and light in-line rigs).

All 8 fish caught on the Lower Provo during this time of year were caught on sow bugs.

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

The water is usually running fairly fast on the Lower Provo this time of year. Today (June 23), it is s running at just under 600 cfs, so the water is back up from last week.

Fishing the Lower Provo is tough with the water running so fast, so concentrate on deep runs next to the bank. Try sow bugs and small nymphs (time for PMDs) along the banks where the water is not too fast.

The Middle Provo is still running about 630 – 640 cfs, so our favorite holes still are not fishing like they do with lower flows.

Look for deeper holes that are not too fast and try fishing inside bends where the water is a little slower. Also take time and look for new areas the high water makes available.

On Wednesday, Jim and I scouted the Middle Provo in preparation for a trip on Friday. Me hacked our way into the lower part above Charleston (like the old movie “African Queen”). The grass pollen is so bad, we were chocking on it.

We quickly caught a few fish (on Provo River worms) and left. Fishing was easy with the right rig set up, but the banks are still soft from the high water, so not a good place to teach people to fish.

Plus, we were afraid to take anyone that may have allergies through the tall grass maze.

We also tried to scout out the upper part of the Middle Provo, but learned they were gearing up for the concert at Rivers Edge. So we left and scouted downstream from the River Road access point.

We basically caught a fish in each hole we tried and left. Again, all fish took worms and ignored small nymphs. This would be a place to bring someone new.

We also talked to several fishermen to see what they learned. One fellow told us he had caught fish on green drake nymphs down near Charleston. We did not see green drakes when we were there, but we only tried worms (we caught fish and left).

Others we talked to that fished South of River Road did not have much success. One guy said he never thought about trying a worm. You should always consider trying a worm on the Provo river when the water is high.

On Friday, Jim and I guided a family of four from Texas. They have never fly fished before. Since they were young and fit, we took them above the railroad track to have a less crowded experience.

We spent some time teaching them to cast and mend the Provo River Bounce Rig. Since we spent most time with the two boys first, they were the first to catch fish. As soon as they started getting good (drag-free) drifts, they started getting hits.

They missed a lot of strikes at first and being bass fishermen, they had to learn not to set the hook too hard. Then they had to learn to play the fish instead of cranking them straight in.

The learning process made fishing a bit slow to start, but they made up for low numbers of fish with pure poundage.

I am sorry to say we did not take any video. Since we had to carry so much gear and extra water, we just didn’t have room for a camera and tripod.

They caught at least three very fat brown trout (5-18 inches) and also caught at least four of the heaviest whitefish (17-19 inches) I have ever seen.

They took photos with their phone and a camera, so I am hoping to get photos to show the quality of fish they caught (not available yet, but will post ASAP).

Most fish were caught on worms, but a few were caught on sow bugs and tiny (size 22) midge nymphs.

No fish were caught on green drakes nymphs. We did see a fair number of caddis and PMDs and a few green drakes, but only saw a handful of fish rising.

That makes me excited about skating caddis in the evenings.

We saw a few other fishermen and basically had the whole place to ourselves.

It was a great time with a fun family. Not bad at all for first timers on a very bright day with high water.

When fishing is tough, keep at it. Check your rig often for moss and tangles and change flies if they aren’t biting what you are using. But it is all for nothing if you aren’t getting drag-free drifts.

Don’t know where to fish? Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Looking for something special for out of town guests? 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 only three flies for the Middle Provo and only sow bugs for the Lower Provo.

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

  • P.R. worm
  • PMD nymph
  • Midge nymph
  • Sow bug

As I mentioned before, we normally fish the Middle Provo more than the Lower Provo River when the water is high, but this year, flows are still lower in the Lower Provo now.

June Provo River Flows

Today (June 23), the flow out of Jordanelle has been steady since the first of the month at about 630- 640 cfs in the upper part of the Middle Provo River. The flow in the Lower Provo has been up and down and is back up to about 600 cfs today.

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. Also look for places where warmer water is entering from side canals.

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

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

If there is enough interest, we will offer another Free Guided Fly Fishing trip later this Summer. So leave comments on the this fishing report to show interest..

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

Since we don’t have a new video ready this week, here is a video from Last July on the Lower Provo.

PMDs and PFDs on the Provo River


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, Opinions, Questions?

*