Provo River Fishing Report for Mid July

big utah brown troutIt has been two weeks since the last fishing report.

This is partly due to the fact I was visiting relatives in N.C, VA. and S.C over the 4th of July

We even got questions from folks wanting to know if we were O.K. because we haven’t posted any new videos.

We are O.K., just been very busy guiding other folks and not just fishing to take video.

Since I was away, I asked Jim to write this fishing report. So, for this week, the format will be different.

Fly Fishing the Lower and Middle Provo River in July

On the Lower Provo at the beginning of July. High flow about 700 cfs. Trout along the banks and in back eddies. Good nymphing with midge pupae and baetis nymphs about size 20, but limited number of spots to wade.

Some dry fly action with pale olives about size 18; hatch was midday and fairly heavy for about an hour. Lots of recreational boaters and tubes coming down after 10 am in the morning and continuing all day.

Can’t give specific dates, but the first 10 days of July, fished the Middle Provo below River Road on several mornings. Caught trout early on brown midge pupae (size 20) and later in the morning, caught trout on split case PMDs nymphs (size 18 & 20). About noon had green drakes on drys one day, then on PMDs and caddis nymphs the other day.

Guided two people one day, then another three people on a another day. Estimated the total number of fish netted per day at about 16 – 18 (all caught by clients), with  3- 4 small fish, about 10 fish per day at 12- 15 inches and another 3 or 4 big fish (16 – 20 inches).

Clients lost another 3 or 4 big fish per day and also missed many many good hits, so many more fish could have been caught.

Weather was very hot, not much wind, except one day some thunder storm activity with cloud cover.

The water was very cold and fairly high flow just over 530 cfs. One of the trips was full day, second half at the diversion, trout were rising to drys when we had to leave about 3:30 due to lightning and lack of time. Hard to tell what the surface activity was on specifically but it was mayflies, somewhat dark in color.

On Thursday afternoon (July 12), we took another client upstream from the railroad tracks back in to the big willows. It was partly cloudy, breezy, an the river was running about 475 cfs. It was slow at first due to the amount of time it took to teach the client to use the bounce rig. He was a good caster but needed lots of encouragement to mend carefully.

Whitefish were taking sow bugs, feeding right right on the bottom. The client hooked, played and after a few minutes finally lost a monster whitefish on a sow bug. We know it was a whitefish, because a scale was on the hook.

The brown trout were taking PMDs and small light golden olive caddis pupae, both about size 18. When the sun was almost down, trout started to rise. We tried swinging soft hackles, grey hackle peacock and grey hackle bright green floss body size 12 and 14 with good success. As it got darker, Jim caught a 15 inch brown trout on a black bi-visible dry fly (size 14).

The next morning (July 13), Jim guided a mother and a 12 year old boy, both complete beginners. They walked down from White Bridge to just upstream from Highway 40. They fished by bouncing worms and midge pupae. They caught several very small browns on each. Then moved downstream and bush whacked into a hole that doesn’t get much fishing pressure.

The young man caught a 14 in brown right away on midge pupae (size 20). He had several good takes but pulled too hard and hooks came out. To his credit he offered that it was his fault. Last fish he had on was a big one but he played it too hard and hook came out. No significant hatch, no rises.

After the trip Jim went to River Road South to scout and walked down stream about ½ mile on the west side.

A few PMDs and small caddis were moving. Some trout were rising and Jim caught a little brown on a big drake dry. He fished quite a while with various dry fly patterns, but no more success.

He changed to very light bounce rig using 6x and midge pupae (nymphs). He hooked a really big brown and after a long fight eventually got it in the net (22 inches). Caught another brown smaller, about 12 inch. Action was slow, because there was not much hatch and was due to a cloudy day and very cold water. We needed the Sun to warm the riffles and get hatches started. Also tried swinging soft hackles, but no action. Moved upstream and re-rigged light bounce and caught two more on midges.

On the way out stopped at the big corner hole and re-rigged “Dan Roberts style” with very long drop bounce rig (11 foot drop) with two big weights (1/16 size). Tied on sow bug and a worm.

Hooked a big one right away, played it as hard as practical with 5X. It fought like a demon (measured 21 inches; took a purple Provo River worm).

At sundown, watched another fisherman catch a good one on top across the way. Some rises to small caddis but was too tired to continue and went home.

Don’t know where to fish? Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Want to learn to use the Provo River Bounce Rig? Looking for something special for out of town guests? Book a guided trip with Jim and Dan. Click Here to Learn More.

Provo River Flows in July

Today (July 17), the flow from Jordanelle into the Middle Provo is down to 508 cfs. Yesterday, it had beenat 524 cfs for about a week.

Today the Lower Provo from Deer Creek Res. is running at 585 cfs, down from yesterday’s flow of 592 cfs.

When the water is running fast, look for inside bends and in deep holes where the water is not running as fast.

We have finally scheduled a trip with the winner of our Free Guided Fly Fishing Trip Contest.

We are taking the winner and his father fishing on Wednesday. Look for details of how they did on next week’s fishing report and on a future video.

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

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

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

Since we don’t have a new video this week, here is a video from early July last year on the Lower Provo River. We were catching trout on PMDs.

PMDs and PFDs on the Provo River

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