Provo River Fly Fishing Report – Mid MAY

provo river during high spring runoffWhen the going gets tough, the tough get going and catch trout.

This is a high water year and anglers need to adjust to conditions instead of staying home and feeling frustrated.

Snow run-off affects all the streams but some more than others. Best places to fish are below dams where flow may be high but controlled and hopefully clear enough to fly fish.

The Provo River below Jordanelle Dam is a prime example; currently running at 1098 cfs with very clear water and temperatures just above 40 °F.

Best fishing time of day would be about 1 pm for a sparse baetis (may fly) hatch and later in the afternoon nymphing sowbugs (deep bounce rig).

Wear chest high waders and use extra caution; remember it is not safe to cross the river at any of the normal places.

Fish the slower currents in big pools and the inside bends. Another method is to stay on the bank and work tiny baetis nymphs close along the edges where trout are getting away from the heavy flow.

Most local creeks and rivers are very high and discolored. Other fly fishing options to consider could be smaller spring fed streams or lakes that have been ice free for a while where trout will be cruising the shallows looking for food.

Our Video for this Week’s Fly Fishing Report

The middle Provo was running over 900 cfs when we fished mid week and the flow increased to over 1,000 cfs by Saturday and that still holds for today (Monday).

We measured the water temperature Thursday evening in Reach 9 (1st section below the Jordanelle dam) at 40°F (Official Temperature reported around 42°F), so don’t expect fish to be extremly active fish in fast moving cold water.

On Wed., Jim also caught 8 or 9 average fish in a short time using his special baetis nymph.

On Thursday, we watched one fisherman fish a woolly bugger for about an hour with no luck (fish not that active).

We produced about 16 fish between 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on bounce rigs (took many breaks and spent most of the time taking video). Most of the fish were caught on sow bugs and a few on Jim’s special may fly nymph.

Not bad for a very bright, high water day.

I gave my neighbor the fishing report early and Friday evening he (and his wife) caught 9 fish in about two hours bouncing sow bugs. They only saw one other person on the river.

We talked to a fellow fisherman that reported very good success on Tuesday using San Juan worms (claimed 30+ fish)…

We hear the guides are turning people away because of the high water, so now is a good time to fish some of the favorite big pools without running into many other folks.

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Fishing Report provided by Jim O’Neal &

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  1. Rodfather says

    Great article Dan! Thanks again for the tips with the high water, I was a little skeptical, but we just followed your advice and had a great time and to make it even better we only bumped into one other fishermen.

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