Changes at BackcountryChronicles Fly Fishing and an overdue Fishing Report

jim oneal winter fly fishing waders

Jim O’Neal Winter Fly Fishing on the Middle Provo River

For those of you that have been following us and have noticed that we have not posted new videos (Jim ONeal Fly Fishing), Jim O’Neal passed away in May (2021).

Jim was my personal fishing buddy and was my business partner since 2017.

big utah brown trout with fly fishing

Jim O’Neal with a beautiful Brown Trout

His last words to me was that he hoped we would continue to teach people about the Natural World and how to enjoy the outdoors; specifically through fly fishing.

I told him that we would.

We have been very busy with fly fishing instruction this year.

Instruction is mostly with Jonathan Kee (#jonathankee886) and/or myself, but Mike also teaches on the weekends (see about our guides).

We have been taking videos to post on Jim’s YouTube page. They won’t be the same and nobody can replace Jim’s narration style, but we think we can make interesting and educational videos about fly fishing.

We have also discussed the idea of doing a regular podcast about fly fishing. I think many people would like to hear the conversations we have about fly fishing tactics and techniques.

Leave comments about the kinds of things you would like for us to discuss or videos you would like to see.

Want to learn how to Fly Fish with us? (Contact Me Here)

Back to overdue fishing reports.

Who writes our fishing reports?
brown trout provo river utah

In the past it has always been me (both my personal fishing and our time instructing students). But I also get reports from personal friends and lots of folks we taught over the years. I also get very detailed reports from Mike (one of our former students – #my_style_mr) who has turned into an excellent fisherman and instructor.

Mike is the perfect example of a person that struggled to catch fish until he learned some proper techniques. Since then, it’s a good thing he is a catch and release fisherman or he would clean out the dad gum river…

Anyway, as long as Mike is willing to take the time to write fishing reports, I will start posting them here (his Early Spring Report is posted below –  better late than never… It will be useful again next Spring).

Middle Provo River Late Winter / Early Spring Fishing Report

(Mike’s Fishing Report 4/16/21) As we transitioned out of winter into early spring, we had a number of trips concentrating on the lower and upper parts of the middle Provo River. The flow in these sections of the river remained relatively low and was consistently running at about 150 cfs coming out of Jordanelle Reservoir and below 200 cfs below Midway.

The buffalo midge hatch was significant throughout February and March and has resulted in productive dry fly fishing in the early afternoons, especially in the upper part of the middle Provo. As we get further into April and transition to May, the Blue-Winged Olive (“BWO”) mayfly hatches will become more predominant, so mayflies will be the main insects one can expect to see coming off the water.

In the upper part of the middle Provo River, we’ve seen midges coming off the water in the morning and early afternoon and the BWOs starting to make an appearance closer to 3:00PM. As the weather warms up and fish become more active (and less wary), we can rely on stronger, less-fine tippet and have fished productively with 5x and 6x (as opposed to the 8x some anglers were resorting to using in the dead of winter (yes! he said 8X).

The brown trout spawn ceased and the mountain whitefish began to setting up their spawning locations in deeper pools. Egg patterns can still catch fish occasionally.

Primarily, we’ve caught most fish on midge nymphs, BWO nymphs, and the occasional worm and sow bug. Depending on which section of the river you are fishing (fish can be especially selective in the upper middle Provo), we recommend using smaller variations of midge nymphs (size 20-24) or a mayfly nymph of a similar size range.

Despite the low flow, warmer weather and sunnier days correlated with increased fishing productivity using the Provo river bounce rig as well as dry fly fishing during afternoon hatches.

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Comments, Opinions, Questions?