River: The Provo River in Utah – A premier rainbow and brown trout fishery

Mar 14, 2019

The Provo River in Utah offers fly anglers nearly 20 miles of excellent trout fishing, specifically browns and rainbows. Expect an array of hatches throughout the year and a beautiful landscape to fish. The river averages more than 2,500 fish per mile of river, offering some of the best fishing to be had in the state of Utah. The middle of the river holds a strong reputation for huge brown trout that often measure over 18” and weigh over five pounds! If you are traveling to Utah, look no further than the Provo River.

Location/Geography

The Provo River runs through the state of Utah, in Utah County and Wasatch County. It starts in the Uinta Mountains and ventures south where it passes through two reservoirs: Jordanelle to Beaver Creek, and eventually spills out into the Utah Lake. You’ll fin the middle Provo in the Heber Valley off Highway 40. From beginning to end, the Provo River stretches a total of 68 miles. Fun fact – the river is named after Etienne Provost who was an early settler and trapper.

Aquatic Species

  • Brown Trout
  • Common Carp
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Mountain Whitefish
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Food by Season:

Bug – Blue Winged Olive
Season – March through May
Sizes – 16-20

Bug – Pale Morning Dun
Season – June through August
Sizes – 12-16 

Bug – Caddis
Season – May through October
Sizes – 12-16

Bug – Yellow Sally
Season – June through August
Sizes – 14-16

Bug – Black and Gold Salmonflies
Season – May through July
Sizes – 6-10

Bug – Terrestrials
Season – June through October
Sizes – 6-16

Bug – Blue Winged Olive
Season – October through November
Sizes – 18-22

Bug – Green Drake
Season – June through August
Sizes – 10-14

Bug – Midges
Season – January through December
Sizes – 20-22

Fishing Techniques:

The Provo is a blue-ribbon fishery, meaning it is well renowned for excellent trout fishing. Here are a few tips to help improve your catch.

Nymphing: Don’t hesitate to try out an array of different nymphs paired with a strike indicator. Consider using a dropper fly – two bugs are always better than one. The most productive nymphs are on the smaller side – sizes 16-22. Cast your bug and let it drift down stream. Pick up, cast and repeat!

Streamers: Streamers are always a safe bet when targeting big trout. Wooly buggers are a go-to classic, preferable with a bead head. Muddler minnows are a close second. Cast your bug and bury your rod tip in the water as you begin to make a strip, then pause. The cadence can be figured out by feel. Sometimes a quick strip short pause works, and sometimes stripping the bug painfully slow works wonders.

Gear: 9 foot 5 weight rod paired with a 5 weight reel. A tapered 5x tipped will do just fine to coax the most skittish fish.

Summary

If you’re looking for an awesome trout fishing destination, look no further than Utah’s Provo river. Although it is relatively short in length, do not let its size fool you. The Provo packs a punch. With thousands of trout packed in per square mile, you are destined to catch something. The fish are big and abundant. What are you waiting for? Pack up your fly rod, load up on BugClub bugs and head out to Utah to fish one of the most popular blue-ribbon fishing destinations in America!

Ready to learn more about BugClub? Sign up for a free bonus box starter kit worth more than $69 in fly fishing essentials. You’ll also receive four seasonal BugBags to match the hatch for each season, get monthly emails highlighting the best places and times to fish and bugs that are handpicked to match the hatch in Western Region waterways. Click here to learn more.

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