Weekend Angler: Salt Lake City
The Provo River is a year-round tailwater canyon stream that originates inthe Uinta Mountains, meanders through the Heber Valley, collects inJordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs, and ends up in Utah Lake.
The Provo was once known as the West's premier brown trout river. Then channelization, heavy angling pressure, water diversion, and a handful of other problems sent the river into decline. Since then, regulations and renewed environmental consciousness have led to a comeback of the brown trout population. The biggest browns can even reach 28-30 inches.
This once-great brown trout fishery has lots of pocket water, runs, often fast androily, with riffles, deep pools and long glides, and flatwater. The sectionsbelow the impoundments fish small like typical tailraces. The Provo runs past gorgeous mountains, agricultural fields, and through a stunning canyon, providing over 60 miles of quality fishing.
The Provo is loaded with heavy brown trout but getting to their lairs is the challenge. The Provo is a fertile river, loaded with scuds, sow bugs, aquatic worms, midges, sculpin and golden stones, along with the usual array of mayflies and caddis. Think nymphs and streamers and think underwater.
Browns and 'Bows and Cutts
Along the Provo, anglers will find hidden beaver ponds, streamside willows tocatch their flies, and thick forests. The Provo River holds wild brown, rainbow, and native cutthroat trout.
The browns average 12-16 inches with plenty of trout reaching 20 inches long and like any brown trout water worth its reputation, the Provo holds some lunker brown trout as well, famous for its five-pound-plus big boys.
The Provo River is often crowded, or at least it seems that way, and is only an hour south of Salt Lake City. There is plenty of public access. But if you see anglers knee deep in its tricky-to-wade waters, just drive a bit further, find a turnout, and you'll discover your own section.
There are three general sections of the river; six miles below Deer CreekReservoir, the lower Provo; six miles above Deer Creek and below Jordanelle Reservoir, the middle Provo; and above Jordanelle Reservoir, which is private water serviced by outfitters and guides.
Access can be found at Charleston Bridge in Charleston, along Midway Lane between Heber and Midway, downstream from Hwy. 40 near Midway Junction, below Jordanelle Dam. Above Jordanelle Reservoir, the river is mostly private water but at Rock Cliff Recreation Area, there is a bit of public water (on the east shore of Jordanelle Reservoir) and a day use area.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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