The Provo River
Fly Fishing on the Provo River
Originally known as the Timpanoquint, meaning “water running over rocks” to the Native Americans who once lived here, the Provo River flows approximately 75 miles from its source in the High Uintah Mountains to its eventual end in the Great Basin and Utah Lake.
The River is impounded by two reservoirs along its path. The Jordanelle at the north end of the Heber Valley and Deer Creek at the upper terminus of Provo Canyon. Thus, the river is split into three different sections. These sections are simply described as the Upper Provo River, the Middle Provo River and the Lower Provo River.
Each one of these sections is unique and different from the others. Essentially, you have the unique opportunity of fishing three different rivers in one.
Upper Provo River
The upper or freestone section of the Provo River consists of two forks: the North Fork of the Provo River and the South Fork of the Provo River. At its inception, it is a small high elevation trout stream consisting of pocket water, riffles and small pools that support aggressive and eager populations of Brook and Cutthroat trout.
As it descends through the High Uintah Wilderness and Wasatch-Cache National Forest toward the Heber Valley, access is prevalent and clearly marked. As it leaves the national forest the river picks up more volume.
At this point, brown and rainbow trout become the more predominant species. Here it also begins to flow through more private land. There can be some excellent fly-fishing on this stretch, but unfortunately access is next to impossible due to development and privatization of the river and its surroundings.
Finally, as the river empties into Jordanelle Reservoir there is one last public section in the Rock Cliff area of Jordanelle State Park. It is short, but at certain times of the year it can result in great fishing and we do run trips there from time to time.
Middle Provo River
Framed by majestic Mt. Timpanogos as it meanders through the meadows of the Heber Valley, the Middle Provo River feels like a rugged mountain stream making love to a mellow spring creek. Only twenty minutes from Park City, this tailwater boasts a population of 3,500 wild and self-sustaining trout per mile.
Despite its ease of access and sustained angler pressure this section of the river is arguably one of the most healthy fisheries in the lower 48. With consistent water temps, an abundance of aquatic life and year round hatches the Middle Provo River is truly a year round fishery.
The fishability and ease of access make this one of our more popular destinations, especially for half day trips and beginner to intermediate anglers.
Lower Provo River
As the river flows through the impoundment of Deer Creek Reservoir it begins its descent down the deep and narrow limestone walls of Provo Canyon. Like its upstream sibling, the Middle Provo River, this tailwater is very healthy and fishable throughout most parts of the year.
The Lower Provo River’s unique and consistent conditions of flow and temperature foster a rather large population of freshwater crustaceans, more specifically in trout speak “Sowbugs”. The consistent availability of these micro isopods allows the trout to thrive and grow to rather obscene proportions in this section of river. Average size is 16-18 inches with some trout being as wide as they are long.
Nymphing to ripping rainbows, gorging on sowbugs, is very much the game here. However, late march brings an epic Blue Winged Olive hatch.
The scenery is spectacular and this is very much a guide favorite, especially early in the season.