Provo River Fly Fishing Report
June 4, 2017

provo river brown troutThe water flows remain high on the Provo River and should be expected to increase to even higher levels in the coming weeks.

The current water released from Jordanelle is right at 900 cfs, but with the reservoir at almost 98% full and plenty of snow still in the high country, that will have to change in the coming weeks. Look for flows to climb back above 1,100 cfs or higher. ** Note: Release was over 1,600 cfs by Monday morning.

***Everyone should keep a close eye on children if walking along any stream this time of year and anglers should be very careful if wading in the Middle Provo and make sure to wear your wading belt.

***Yesterday we witnessed an angler risk his life trying to retriever a $2.00 fly. Don’t wade too deep in fast water and use a wading staff or pick up a stick!

***The Lower Provo in Provo Canyon is too dangerous to wade (see video from previous fishing report) and the high flow will continue for several more weeks.

Despite High Water Flows Fishing is still Good on the Middle Provo

But despite the high flows, the cold water and the bright sunshine, we were able to catch fish bouncing sow bugs and midges in slower water.

Look for slower water on the inside bends, along the banks and in the deeper pools.

Fish deep. Most anglers we watched and talked to on the river were not fishing deep enough. By that I mean they weren’t using enough weight and/or their rigs weren’t long enough.

To illustrate that point, yesterday Jim and I were using bounce rigs at least 9 feet long from the strike indicator to the weights. I started with 4 BB sized weights without success, but caught a fish on the first cast after I added 3 more weights (7 total). Why so many small weights? See Provo River Bounce Rig Diagram.

Or watch one of our videos showing a beginner fishing the bounce rig (at bottom of post). A diagram of the bounce rig and hints on how to tie and adjust the rig are at the end of the video.

Remember, if the bounce rig is not “bouncing”, you will not catch many fish, so add more weight and length to your bounce rig while the water is high.

The only other adjustments we made to the bounce rig this week was to tie the rig with both 5X and 6X tippet. The 6X rigs almost always hooks more fish, but anytime you hook a nice fish on 6X, there is always a risk they can break off.

While most anglers seem to be struggling to catch fish either because they were not rigged to bounce properly or they were fishing in the wrong places, other anglers had success fishing midge emerger and cripple patterns like “Mother Shuckers” and “no-see-um” dry flies.

The midge and very small may fly hatch is usually between 1:00 – 3:00, so for those of you that want to fish dry flies, the fish are still biting. It’s critical to present the flies correctly. Fish in the flat water and slower backwaters off to the sides of a run.

We only fished the late afternoon this week, so we fished under the water because we didn’t see any fish rising.

One of Jim’s old buddies we ran into on the river did extremely well using size 20 – 22 grey and white Mother Shuckers and a small grey and white soft hackle.

The High Water Flows May be an Advantage

Last week, I mentioned there has been much chatter about the Middle Provo River being “un-fishable”. Jim and I were discussing the pros and cons of the high water during our last fishing trip.

We did fairly well in one of our favorite spots on the upper part of the middle Provo despite the very cold water (42°F), despite the 900+ cfs flow and despite the extremely bright day.

We’ve concluded the deeper water is giving us an advantage on these bright days. Plus as a bonus, we caught two very nice (18 inch & 19 inch) whitefish.

Everyone knows whitefish love the deepest fastest water. We caught the big whitefish in a hole that usually has only brown trout; a very nice surprise and a challenge to land these heavy fish in fast water even with 5x tippet.

Want to fly fish with us? Schedule a guided fly fishing trip or a fly fishing lesson – Learn More.

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

Jim’s got his new computer up and running, but still unable to have new edited video in time to go with this weeks fishing report.

Here is the fly fishing video mentioned above:

Beginner Fly Fisher Catches Trout on a Provo River Bounce Rig

Click Here to see Newest Provo River Fishing Report

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