Beginning in the High Uintas the Provo river runs some 70 miles from Trial Lake in Summit County all the way to Utah Lake in Provo. Along the way the Provo feeds two large reservoirs Jordanelle and Deer Creek creating hydroelectric power and providing municipal and irrigation water to folks along the Wasatch Front.
12 miles of the mighty Provo River run through the heart of Heber Valley. This section of river is also known as the Middle Provo to anglers and guides alike with the Upper Provo being above Jordanelle and the Lower Provo being below Deer Creek.
Fishing on the Provo has been deemed “blue ribbon” by the Division of Wildlife resources for the quality for the fishing, preservation of the natural habitat, outstanding outdoor experience, and the economic benefits the Provo provides the Heber Valley area. Some have estimated that every mile of stream contains a whopping 3,000 to 4,000 fish. You’re going to need one doozy of a fish story to explain why you came home empty handed.
The guides over at Fish Heads Fly Shop on Heber Main Street offer a few pointers for fly fishing on the Provo.
Just minutes from Provo City and Salt Lake City the access to the Provo River is incredible, making it a very popular place for weekend warriors, avid anglers, and finicky fisherman. The Middle Provo is open water but is surrounded by private property on much of the stream. However, several Provo Rivers Restoration access points from Jordanelle Dam to Charleston have been created to help you have a fun time on the water. Check out the map below for more details.
Many seasoned fly fisherman already pinch the barbs on their flies to make it easier to get the fish off the line. This is just a good practice to get into so as to not hurt the fish. Let’s make it clear that Utah State Law allows for you to keep two fish under 15 inches. However, catching and releasing helps maintain the fish population. Plus it will give you a reason why you don’t have any fish when you come up empty handed. “Oh, I just catch and release. I don’t keep ‘em.”
The Middle Provo is exclusively imitation flies and lures. According to the DWR website live bait, such as worms, are only allowed between Charleston Bridge and Legacy Bridge. Check out their map HERE For those not yet into the fly fishing scene, sping casting has been known to work on the Provo with spinners, small bait lures such as wooleybuggers being the most successful.
There aren't many places better to fly fish in Utah then the Provo River. Fish Head Fly shop offers Nymph clinics to learn the ins and outs of nymphs, what hatch when, emergers vs divers, and so one. They will also be holding casting clinics on Thursday evenings at the Heber City Main Street park during the Farmers Market and Summer Concert Series.