Provo River Fishing Report and Outlook for Mid May – Early June

provo river brown trout

Jim Hickman with 18 inch Provo River Brown Trout – May 22, 2018

Memorial Day weekend starts tomorrow. If you haven’t started fishing yet, what are you waiting for?

The weather has been nice, the birds are singing and the fish are biting.

Jim and I fished two days on the Middle Provo this week at several different places.

It was cloudy and rained a little on Tuesday and Friday was bright and warm and we managed to catch fish both days.

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

This report was prepared on May 25, so the dates include 29 total days from May 11 – June 8 (14 days before and after).

We have records for 22 fishing trips this time of year (2014 – 2018). We don’t normally fish the Lower Provo this time of year, but we fished the Middle Provo 11 times and caught a total of 143 fish.

We also made 11 additional fly fishing trips to Strawberry Res., Mantua Res., the Strawberry River and other places.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River –
May 11 – June 8

Technique Fly Fish Pcent

or Euro
or swing
Sow Bug  46 32.2%
P.R. Worm  26 18.2%
midge nymph  24 16.8%
PMD nymph  13  9.1%
BWO nymph   8  5.6%
Total under
117 81.8%
dry or
Caddis 24 16.8%
BWO  1  0.7%
Green shuck  1  0.7%
Total Top 26 18.2%

We caught a total of 143 fish with 117 fish by nymphing (mostly bounce rig and light in-line rigs) and we caught 26 fish on top fishing dry flies.

The majority of our fish (about 82%) were caught on the Middle Provo Rivers using under-water fly fishing techniques; mostly the Provo River Bounce rig. When fish are rising, we actively fish dry flies, otherwise, we usually nymph.

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

The water is usually running fairly fast on the Lower Provo this time of year (was running at over 523 cfs today), so we usually fish the Middle Provo or one of the many other streams in our area.

Don’t know where to fish? Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Want to do something special with out of town friends? Book a guided trip with us. Click Here to Learn More.

Flies to Use in Early May on the Provo River

What flies should be in your fly box the next few weeks on the Lower or Middle Provo River?

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If you plan to fish the Lower Provo, it will best be fished under the water (nymphing) along the banks where the water is not to fast with sow bugs and tiny nymphs.

We expected the fishing on Tuesday (cloudy with some rain) to be very good, but fishing was a little slow to start above the railroad tracks. Our client (Jim Hickman) did most of the fishing and we caught about a dozen fish, including his first fish on top with a dry fly (caddis) and a 17 inch whitefish and an 18 inch brown trout (photo above) on the bounce rig.

Jim and I scouted on Friday in preparation for another trip on Saturday on the upper part of the Middle Provo. It was a bright day, but we found plenty of fish in the deep holes. We caught 14 in a couple of hours on sow bugs, tiny midge nymphs and Provo River worms.

Normally this time of year most fish are caught on sow bugs, but we caught most fish this week on worms and tiny midges. There were a few caddis out today, but we didn’t see many fish rising to them. Look for caddis action in the evening; I know we will be looking for them tomorrow.

We ran into a few folks that were having a little success early this morning with streamers, but were struggling to catch fish on the bounce rig. We hope our advice was useful.

We watched other folks struggle with mending the bounce rig. It simply will not work if not mended correctly. It is obvious many folks could get more enjoyment from fishing if they had just a little instruction.

Our Catch Charts for this time frame had eight flies for the Middle Provo.

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

  • sow bug
  • P.R. worm
  • Caddis
  • midge nymph
  • PMD nymph
  • BWO nymph
  • BWO
  • green shuck

Historically on the Middle Provo this time of year, sow bugs caught 46% of our fish in previous trips and Provo River worms accounted for another 26%.

Add caddis (dry flies) and midge nymphs and that adds another 48% for a total of almost 84% with just four flies.

As I mentioned before, we fish the Middle Provo more than the Lower Provo River this time of year, because of the high water flow in the Lower Provo.

May Provo River Flows

Today, the flow out of Jordanelle is 311 cfs into the upper part of the Middle Provo River (down slightly from last week even though we had some rain). As of this morning, it was running at over 524 cfs out of Deer Creek Reservoir.

The snow pack above the Provo River is now at 6% for this time of year, so the runoff will probably not affect the flow in the Middle Provo River as much as the increased flows for irrigation down stream.

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

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

Winner of Free Guided Fly Fishing Trip With Backcountry Adventures Fly Fishing

Jeremy Cunningham from Orem Utah won the trip. He brought his Dad (Mike) on their trip….

“I want to take my dad with me on the guided trip. We’ve fished together our whole lives but have recently gotten into fly fishing.

We’re both at the beginner stage but learning quickly. I would love to learn how to match the hatch as well as work on fly presentation.”

***We had a great day on the Middle Provo River yesterday (July 19) with Jeremy and Mike. Fishing was tough, but after they got the hang of casting, mending and recognizing strikes, they both caught some very nice fish.

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

Here is a video from a couple of weeks ago on the Middle Provo River.

Best Fly to use on the Provo River after a Rain

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