Fishing in Provo Canyon - Fishing the Provo River
Fly Fishing in Provo Canyon
Provo River Fly Fishing
This is a awesome post from Utah Fly Fishing Club about the Middle Provo River. Travis Gillespie put this info together. He is has been fishing the Provo River almost 20 years and knows how to handle it.
There are few fly fishing rivers in the world that boost such an amazing backdrop of scenery and beauty. Surrounded by Mt Timpanogos and meandering farm meadows the Middle Provo River has a unique feel of a rugged mountain stream, but in a spring creek setting. Since the construction of the Jordanelle Dam and the river restoration project (Restoring the river to its original corridor) the Middle Provo River has blossomed into one of Utah’s premier trout streams as well as Blue Ribbon Fishery. With the Jordanelle Dam in place (Jordanelle Dam was built in 1992 and filled in 1995 so has only been a tailwater fishery for a short time and is still evolving) two key factors helped in the success of this stretch of river. 1. Flows could be regulated and stabilized in the favor of the fish. Before the Dam flows suffered resulting in sub par fish habitat. 2. An increase of insect life and more diverse insects now abound in the river. As a result of all of the insect life, the middle Provo is a very fertile fishery and has a very large population of trout with estimates around 3,500 per mile. The Middle Provo River is great year-round fishery. One of the rivers highlights is the excellent dry fly fishing it offers. Staring in December the river comes alive with a consistent midge hatch that occurs daily around 11am-3pm. Then in late March-April the Blue Winged Olive Mayfly takes center stage and brings almost every fish to the river surface. During the summer months Caddis, PMDs, Terrestrials and Rodents make up most of the hatches, except for the famed Green Drake Hatch that usually occurs in July. This is a favorite hatch of Middle Provo River anglers). Fall is a time to fish tiny BWOs or break out the sink-tip line and 6 weight rod and chase big browns on over-sized streamers. Don’t be surprised if this results in the biggest fish of the year. Even though the Middle Provo River is such a great fishery, it has a couple draw backs that keep certain anglers away. First is its popularity. Like the Lower Provo River the crowds of the Middle are one of its greatest draw backs. Don’t expect to have a section of river to yourself, Middle see’s a lot of locals and guides. The secret is to getting away from the crowds is to hike to the harder to reach areas of stream away from the few access points. The second drawback is the slippery round river rocks that coat the river bottom. Studded boots and a sure step will prevent a cold wet day of fishing. Part of the restoration project was to install sportsman’s access points along the river, making the Middle very accessible. Most access points have a parking area as well as a restroom.
Courtesy of Utah Fly Fishing Club
Lower Provo River Fishing
Lower Provo River
The Lower Provo extends from Deer Creek Reservoir downstream to Utah lake and actually includes three distinct sections. The dam to Olmstead Diversion has special regulations and the lower sections have general regulations.
Utah Lake to mouth of the canyon has been dredged, channelized and largely abused but still has large numbers of trout where there is good holding water. You'll be fishing behind trailer courts, malls and housing developments but it's all part of the urban fishing experience.
From the mouth of the canyon upstream to the Olmstead Diversion there is lots of fast pocket water and a few nice holes. Fish nymphs in the pockets behind rocks. It's not the best dry fly water but dries work during hatches. The most heavily fished section is from the Olmstead Diversion upstream to Deer Creek Reservoir. On weekends you may have a difficult time finding a spot to fish but if you are patient and courteous, you will get to fish most anywhere. Many anglers live for the dry fly hatches there but nymphs and streamers all work very well.
The trout move as hatches and water temperature change. In cold water, fish the deeper slow areas and when hatches are prolific, fish the shallow to deeper runs adjacent to deeper water. When the water comes up due to runoff, and it will sometime in May, the trout often move in tight to the banks. The middle of the river is too fast and deep to fish in most areas.
The Blue Wing Olive hatches are going very well now and mayflies will continue to hatch until the high water. Fishing pressure drops off drastically as other waters in the state get ice free and start fishing well. Caddis hatch later in the summer. Sowbugs, egg patterns and San Juan Worms are always worth a try, year-round. Courtesy of:
Vivian Park Pond
Fishing at Vivian Park Pond Provo Canyon UT
"My husband (and our grandpa!) enjoy taking our kids fishing. But fishing is only fun for kids if they can catch something! Our favorite spot is up Provo Canyon at Vivian Park–a kids only fishing spot. We catch fish every time we go! You can catch and release, or you can take a couple home (I think the limit is two). This pond is stocked with rainbow trout so they are GOOD!
There are also a sand volleyball pit and two playgrounds, in case your children get bored while waiting for the fish to bite. There are bathrooms with running water. And big trees offering lots of shade. It’s a perfect way to spend a summer morning, complete with a picnic for lunch!" Blogger
Fish in the Provo River Utah
By Dave Webb
On almost any day you will find 10 or 20 or 30 people fishing the wild section of the Provo River, from Olmstead Diversion upstream to Deer Creek. But there will be very few people fishing below Olmstead — almost as if there is an invisible line drawn there that says good fishing above, poor fishing below.
Fortunately, Mother Nature doesn't work that way. There is very good fishing available below Olmstead, as many Utah Valley kids will testify. Big fish are available — perhaps as many big fish as in the famous, heavily fished, wild section.
"I guarantee you that you can catch just as many nice big browns down below (Olmstead) as you can above it," said Charles Thompson, DWR fisheries manager for the area. "It's loaded with fish."
Thompson said the entire river is loaded with fish. "There is no way we can put more fish in that upper section unless we go in there and make more habitat. Really, we could talk about the river all the way from the dam to the mouth of the canyon. We're getting a lot of reproduction up there up above and there's no place for the new fish. They're being pushed out by the other fish and they end up down below. There is a tremendous population in the lower river."
The water level is lower below Olmstead and the river is fairly easy to fish. But the upper section gets a lot of publicity and so it attracts the most attention. People just don't seem to get interested in the lower section. Last year the DWR did a study on the wild section during June, July and August. They found the river supported 33,000 fishing hours during the period, and that 34,650 fish were caught. That's 1.05 fish per hour — good in anybody's book. Fishermen kept 2,000 fish. That section of the river is getting about as much pressure as it can stand and still maintain its aesthetics and wild beauty.
The lower section of the river can stand more pressure. It's a very good fishery and we might as well enjoy it. But let's work to maintain it as a quality stream.
Above Olmstead fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures, to allow effective catch and release. The brown trout limit is two fish and there is a slot limit. The idea is to protect larger fish and see if they will grow to trophy size.
There are no special regulations for trout fishing below Olmstead. But UTAH FISHING magazine encourages people fishing the lower Provo to adhere to the spirit of the regulations enforced on the upper section. Practice catch and release. Let's protect the bigger fish and see how big they will get.
Studies indicate that 10% of the trout which are caught on artificial flies or lures and are then released die. However, the death rate is even lower for fish caught on flies or lures if they are handled carefully and then revived before being turned loose.
The death rate is far higher for fish caught on baits (over 50%). There is a good chance that more Provo River trout die from being caught and released than die because they are taken home and eaten. Lets work to make sure the fish we release actually survive.
Periodically, even the best fly fishermen injure fish. There is nothing sporting about releasing fish which will just die. When you injure a fish, take it home and eat it, if you can legally do so. It might as well die for a purpose. That's no problem on the lower Provo, where the regular fish limit applies. But too often, people fishing the wild section keep throw back seriously wounded fish. The best strategy is to use barbless hooks, play fish quickly but carefully, and return each one uninjured to the water.
Kids fishing in Utah
Children Fishing In Utah – Youth Fishing in UT.
Fishing and the great outdoors offers kids an alternative to many influences they encounter in their busy lives today. A single fishing trip could be the turning point in a young life and we encourage you to invest the time in Utah kids. The rewards are endless and it takes so little effort.
Utah offers many opportunities for kids to fish and experience the thrill of the “tap-tap-tap”. Watch the eyes of a youth light up no matter how big or small their catch may be. You have the opportunity to experience it with them and share their joy.
Fishing in Provo Canyon with Children
Tips for beginners:
1. You dont need a ton equipment to start to fish. The tackle is cheap and you can build it up over time. For example, the only thing the fish were biting on today was bread, white bread.
2. Find a place that will be fun to play at when fishing gets old. Vivian Park up Provo Canyon is our best bet. There are 2 playgrounds, lots of grass, and a sand volleyball court(perfect for sand castles)
3. Try a pond that has been stocked (farm raised fish) That way kids are almost guaranteed a bite or two!
4. Bring plenty of patience and a good lunch doesn't hurt either. These are memories that your kids will hold on to for a long time. It is up to you to make it the best memories possible.
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