Provo River Fishing Report Late July & Outlook for August 2019

rainbow trout provo river

One of the big fish we caught recently that forced us to buy a bigger net.

Since the last fishing report, the flow is back down on the Middle and Lower Provo Rivers making it easier for everyone to spread out and find places to fish.

Overall, fishing has been fairly good despite the high flows, but it hasn’t been easy to find places to fish that weren’t crowded.

The current flow (as of 5:00 pm July 26 is 487 cfs on the Middle Provo (release from Jordanelle) and 490 cfs release from Deer Creek Res. into the Lower Provo River

The high flow made a few changes in the river (some holes deeper, some holes have been filled with gravel, some snags removed, undoubtedly other new snags) and it has been fun getting back into some of our favorite places to see how they fish.

Caddis and PMDs are Hatching – Green Drakes? Not so much

We have been finding (and also getting reliable reports from others) a good PMD and caddis hatches and even a Yellow Sallie hatch on the Middle Provo and a few fish are rising to them. The Lower Provo has had a PMD hatch, but we see few fish rising.

We heard many rumors about a Green Drake Hatch, but did not see it ourselves. Perhaps some were seeing the yellow sallies?

We have been doing more guiding lately than fishing for fun, so we have concentrated on areas and techniques that allow clients (especially beginners) the best chance to catch fish, so we have had folks nymphing, primarily using bounce rigs and the best success has been with PMD nymphs and emergers and with sow bugs fished medium to deep on a bounce rig.

Since the flow has come down, some of the straight runs are producing fish again (not just the inside bends).

We have also received reports that fish are hitting caddis on top and by swinging black ants and soft hackles.

Flies & Fly Fishing Techniques that caught fish on the Middle Provo River late July through early August

This report was prepared on July 26, 2019, so the dates include 21 total days from July 16 – Aug 5 (10 days before and after).

We have records for 17 fishing trips during this time of year (2014 – 2019) on the Middle Provo and have data for a total of 152 fish. We only have three records for the Lower Provo during this time frame (36 fish) because of the moss usually makes fishing difficult this time of year (fishing has been a little slow lately, but a high proportion of fish are big – so big in fact, Jim and I both bought bigger nets because we were having trouble landing the fish).

We made 6 additional fly fishing trips to places like Strawberry River, Current Creek and Soldier Creek during this time of year and trips to 7 lakes in the High Uintas.

Catch Chart Middle Provo River – July 16 – Aug 5

Technique Fly Fish Pcent
Nymphing
(bounce rig or
inline)
PMD nymph 28 18.4%
P.R worm 24 15.8%
sow bug 16 10.5%
PMD emerger  9  5.9%
midge larvae  9  5.9%
bead head  2  1.3%
caddis larvae  2  1.3%
Total Nymphing 90 59.2%
Swinging soft hackle 36 23.7%
streamers  7  4.6%
Total Swinging 43 28.3%
Dry Flies PMD 15  9.9%
Skitter bug   3  2.0%
green drake   1  0.7%
Total Dry Flies 19 100%

Most fish were caught nymphing and in most cases, that would be with a bounce rig (59%). Normally this time of year we are also catching fish on top, but not so much this year. But since 2014 we caught 28% if the fish this time of year on top with dry flies. We also caught 12.5% of our fish by swinging soft hackles and streamers. I am surprised that black ants are not included, but they usually work a little later in the season for us.

Want to improve your fly fishing skills? We specialize in teaching.  Click Here to Learn More about a guided fly fishing trip or contact us about taking a fishing lesson or two.

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

You can see our fly fishing videos (over 100) here at Jim’s YouTube Channel.

We didn’t publish a new video this week on Jim’s Youtube channel, so here is a video we took last time this year. Many of you will recognize where we are fishing and the client we fished with that day renamed the pool to the “Pool of Dreams”.

Pool of Dreams – Provo River

Hint for everyone that does not see HD videos on Youtube. Click on “Gear” icon on lower right of YouTube Player to see your quality setting. Default is 480p. Videos are best when viewed with at least 720p.

Hint: Don’t be discouraged because fishing is tough. We don’t learn much on days when fishing is easy. We learn when we find ways to catch fish when fishing is hard.


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!

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