Provo River Fishing Report and Outlook for Late August

provo river brown trout guided fishing tripJim and I guided folks twice this week on the Middle Provo River.

We fished all the way from below the railroad tracks near Charleston, above the River Road area and also below the Jordanelle Dam in the “popular” spots.

Bouncing worms and sow bugs worked well and fish are getting very excited about chasing the skitter bug on top in the evenings.

We specifically went back to the upper part of the Middle Provo on Wed. to skitter in the evening, but the big storm chased us out before we had the chance. Normally we hunker down and let the storm pass, but this one didn’t pass until well after dark.

What flies and techniques caught fish on the Lower and Middle Provo River – Early – Mid August?

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

We have records for 28 fishing trips this time of year (2014 – 2018) with a total of 223 fish. We fished the Middle Provo 19 times and caught 173 fish. We have not fished the Lower Provo during this time frame because of the high water and crowded conditions.

We also made 11 additional fly fishing trips to places like Bulger Res and Miller Flat Res on the Manti and to the Strawberry River. With the Dollar Ridge Fire and the flooding on the Strawberry River, who knows when we will get to fish that river again?

I also made a trip to Montana and fished Monture Creek, the Blackfoot River and the North Fork of the Blackfoot River several years ago.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River – Aug 11 – Sept 8

Technique Fly Fish Pcent
(bounce rig or
P.R.Worm 31 17.9%
sow bug
22 12.7%
PMD (nymph or split case)
11  6.4%
green drake nymph
 3  1.7%
Total Nymphing 67 38.7%
Swing black ant 18 10.4%
soft hackle
Total Swing 31 17.9%
Dry Fly Skitter (Caddis) 38 22.0%
PMD 25  14.5%
Green Drake 12  6.9%
Total Dry
75 43.4%

We caught 67 fish nymping (Provo River Bounce Rig) during this time frame, but the evenings on the upper part of the Middle Provo are still going to be offer good fishing with caddis on top and swinging soft hackles and black ants near dark.

Jim and I are still spending most of our time guiding and almost all of the fish are being caught by intermediate and beginner fly fishers that want to learn to use the Provo River Bounce Rig.

What to expect in Late August – Early September on the Lower and Middle Provo Rivers

The water is still running fairly fast on both the Lower and Middle Provo for this time of year. Today (Aug 25), it is s running at just under 500 cfs in the Middle Provo (lowest since April) and is down to 389cfs in the Lower Provo.

So fishing the Lower Provo will still be tough except for deep runs next to the banks. The best places have been a little crowded, so we haven’t fished there lately.

Fishing in the Lower Provo should pick up now that the flow has decreased.

Most fish this week on the Middle Provo were caught on Provo River worms (AKA San Juan worms) and sow bugs. Fish are also actively chasing caddis on top in the evenings

In the lower part of the Middle Provo, we also dad success swinging soft hackles in the evenings (more success than caddis dry flies).

Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Want to do something special for friends of family? Book a guided trip with us. Click Here to Learn More.

Flies to Use in August on the Provo River

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

The most important flies for the Middle Provo River for this time period:

  • Jim’s Skitter bug
  • P.R. worms
  • PMD dry flies
  • sow bug
  • black ant
  • soft hackle

We caught 54% of our fish on the first three flies; skitter bug (skated caddis), worm and PMD dry fly. Fish are taking worms again like they have in past years, but takes on sow bugs are still down this year. 77% of fish were caught on 5 flies.

For the Lower Provo try sow bugs and PMD nymphs. Also try swinging soft hackles and black ants in the evenings.

Remember to take your head lamp and get out there in the evening as long as the caddis hatch lasts.

Don’t know how? We will take you. And as soon as the flow slows down and the water warms a little, it will be “Skittering” time!

We look forward to seeing you on the river.

Gotta run… Meeting Jim at 4:00 to skitter this evening…

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.

Here is one of our recent videos:

Pool of Dreams

When you purchase products from our links, we earn commissions from qualifying purchases

Need New Tippet?

Trout Hunter tippet material for fly fishing

Check out the Trout Hunter Tippet at Amazon.

Need New Tapered Leaders?

Rio tapered leaders for fly fishing

Check out the Tapered Leaders at Amazon.

This is the best fly box we’ve ever used. It’s Magnetic! Simply drop your wet flies on the magnetic pad and never lose another fly to the wind!


  1. When do you start fishing with egg pattern? It is mid October is this too early?

    • Hi Bud:
      In this 2016 post, the Table (below) shows when we caught fish on various flies.
      provo river hatch chart catch chart
      You can see egg patterns worked best in November, December and January.

      Last year, we caught fish Oct 24 on egg patterns and in 2016 (after the post), we caught fish on egg patterns Oct. 28th.

      In both cases, we were in the lower part of the Middle Provo.
      Is Mid October to early? Who knows? Give it a try. Good Luck.

  2. I am a college student living in the Provo area and a fly fisherman. This year I have recently taken on the bounce rig to get flies deeper into the feeding lane of trout. It has been a huge success in some instances and I love your guys’ videos. I watch them all the time. I have a couple questions about the bouncer rig. I know there is the blood knot and also the double or triple surgeons knot to connect the flies To the Tag ends of those knots. But I want to know with your first knot for your first fly which knot do you use? Do you guys taper 5X into 6x for your first fly With an improved blood knot or a triple surgeons knot? On the second fly is just 2 6x tippets combined? To reiterate and simplify what I’ve asked,What knots do you use for your bounce rig and how do you taper your leader all the way down to the split shot? One more question: When I cast into a perfect seem, sometimes the rig doesn’t bounce like it should and the indicator just goes down. Is it too much weight? Not fast enough run? Thanks again for everything. I love your guys videos (check out or videos) and I also love the passion you guys have for flyfishing.

    • Hi Hyrum: For what we call the Provo River Bounce Rig, You can also use a dropper loop for tags, but triple surgeons is easiest and it works…
      I usually build entire rig with 4x or 5x tippet unless we expect big fish, then we use 3x.

      In the past, we have added smaller tags, but it is not usually necessary. We rarely run into situations where fish will not bite 4X and we have to switch to 5 or 6X just to get hits. When rig goes all the way under, it is usually do to turbulence…

      Its hard to balance the bounce rig for all parts of a pool… the rig will have to be adjusted for the head, the middle and the tail of most pools… Adjust by adding or subtracting length and/or adding or removing weight… Good luck out there

  3. Hyrum Matthew Peterson says

    Just what I needed thank you so much

Comments, Opinions, Questions?