Provo River Fishing Report
Oct 22, 2017

brown trout skin patternThis week I am more qualified to write the mule deer and elk hunting reports than the Provo River Fishing Report (saw the biggest mule deer buck I’ve ever seen in the Wasatch Mountains), but Jim has been fishing and has kept me up to speed with latest information.

For those that are wondering why we haven’t posted any new fly fishing videos the last several weeks, it is because it is nearly impossible for Jim to fish and video at the same time.

As I’ve said before, October is a great time to fish the Provo River and we always wonder why the number of anglers drop off so quickly.

So here are Jim’s latest fishing notes:

Jim O’Neal Fishing Notes

Middle Provo River – Oct. 7, 2017

Saturday afternoon – This time I was able to get into the spot on the west side. Only one other fisherman was over there. Conditions were about the same except not as much PMD hatch. I tried various patterns and techniques while he fished a tan “noseeum”.

The other fisherman caught several really nice brown trout including two big enough that I had to help net them. The big trout were fat and fought extra hard, both were about 16 or 17 inches.

For my part all I got were investigating refusals with drys and bounce rig didn’t produce much either probably because the water flow is down.

That guy was an excellent fisherman. He mentioned that he had seen our videos and respects us. I invited him to come along some time when we are just out to fish and be part of a video.

Middle Provo River – Oct. 9, 2017

Arrived about 3 pm. There was a guide trip on the west side, so I stayed on the east side. Another friend of ours was wearing the trout out at the lower end of the pool (east side). He was using dry flies (mostly PMD imitations).

After the guide trip left I crossed over to the west side, but by then the hatch was over. And again, the bounce rig didn’t produce as it usually does.

Dry flies didn’t produce because hatch was over. I tried swinging soft hackles, but no response.

As it got close to dark, the wind was blowing downstream, but decided to try skittering anyway. I started at the head of the pool and didn’t even get follows. Moved down by the rock face and cast to the middle, big browns came up on almost every cast. Caught three and lost two, one that got away was really big.

Middle Provo River – Oct. 12, 2017

Went skittering Thursday evening about 6 pm and fished until 7:30 (had the whole place to myself, no one it sight). Official sunset was at 6:50, so it would be really dark by 7:20.

There was no hatch and very few fish were rising. Caught a good brown trout on the second cast in the tail of the hole, then crossed over and went down to our “skitter hole”.

I tested a modified and improved skitter fly pattern and rod and leader set-up and got rises on almost every cast. Trout were really trying to eat the fly. Caught 6 more nice trout (14 to 17 inches).

There was no stopping them but it was getting dark and I wanted to test a soft hackle. Hooked up on the first and second casts with the soft hackle.

I could have stayed longer (because I had a head lamp) but it was so much fun that I was completely satisfied and went home happy.

It was a beautiful calm evening after the sun went down. the beavers came out to swim and feed at 7 pm. There were three big ones and one sub adult. Guess they are used to me because they stayed close by swimming and feeding at the edge of the river.

The new fly and set up worked great. I think we are approaching “state of the art”.

I also came up with a leader system that really fishes soft hackles well (as noted above), it also worked great.

Landed 8 nice trout in about an hour and a half (plus played and lost three more). Also missed several deliberate takes on skitter bug because I struck too fast.

The big trout were in current near the shore. Water flow very low and will probably stay that way until Spring, (5x leader tippet, size 18 skitter fly – brown, 10 foot rod size 3 line, approximately 15 foot leader), action was good the whole time 6 to 7:30 pm,  cold enough to see my breath walking out. Don’t know if the coming cold front will end the skittering season.

Late October – Transition Time on the Provo River

As Jim mentioned, the next cold front could end the skittering season as fish shut down to caddis and transition to the Fall Blue Wing Olives. Remember that the Fall BWOs are smaller than the Spring BWOs.

Also, the brown trout start to spawn. Watch out for the Redds (don’t step on them, so more brown trout eggs will hatch). When the brown trout start to spawn, look for big Rainbows coming out of the lake to eat their eggs.

Jim tells me I better get an elk since I’ve missing out on so much of the October fishing action. No elk yet, but I still have one more chance in November.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait to go fishing and try Jim’s new skitter technique. We will find out if the skittering season is over or not. Either way, the fishing will be good.

Want to Fish with Jim & Dan? Want to try skittering in the dark? Click Here to Learn More.

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

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

One of Our Newest Videos – Worm Patterns for Provo River Browns in Discolored Water

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