Fishing the Provo River in Utah is on the list of must do activities for anglers across the U.S. The Provo is a Utah Blue Ribbon fishery, which basically means it fishes extremely well. The Provo offers 3 distinct sections, naturally reproducing fish populations, extremely dense fish populations, tons of public access, and trophy sized trout. In this article, we are going to give you everything you need to know in order to have a successful fishing trip on the Provo.
There are three distinct sections for fishing the Provo River, each with large amounts of public access for anglers. Below, we will describe each of these sections, as well as point them out in a helpful map.
Provo River Map
In this map, we show the whole stretch of river and highlight some common parking areas without getting overly detailed. This map will help you find the whole river and locate places you’d like to travel to on your own.
Middle Provo River
The middle Provo River is a 15-mile drive east of Park City, Utah, making it a very popular stretch of river. The middle Provo rises in the Heber Valley and flows into the Strawberry Reservoir just off Highway 40.
The middle Provo River is a tailwater fishery located below Jordanelle Reservoir. This causes stable water temperatures and flows, rather than a freestone river with significant changes in flow and temperature. The temperature stays colder in the summer and warmer in the winter, creating a stable environment optimal for trout.
Lower Provo River
The Lower Provo River comes from Deer Creek Reservoir and passes by Sundance ski resort. This section is also a tailwater formed by Deer Creek Reservoir, so it also provides steady year-round fishing.
This tailwater contains numerous sow bugs, scuds, and midges that allows trout to grow quite large. Anglers have chances at fish exceeding 20+ inches in this section relatively frequently.
This section of river also has blue winged olive, mayfly, and dun hatches that can lead to some pretty amazing dry fly fishing.
This section of river parallels highway 189 in Provo canyon, where there is beautiful surroundings, but it is heavily trafficked in the summer where anglers wil encounter tubers, and rafts floating down the river.
Upper Provo River
The Upper Provo River stretch is located from where it enters Jordanelle Reservoir all the way to the headwaters in the Uinta Mountains.
The Upper Provo is mostly a free flowing river with heavy flows in spring, and lower flows in fall and winter.
This section also has more private sections that other parts of the river. The upper sections of the upper Provo contain mostly brook trout and cutthroat, where the lower parts of the upper provo contain more brown trout, some rainbow, and cutthroat trout.
Access to this portion of river is easy along SR 150 (Mirror Lake Highway) where much of this is National Forest land with public access.
The River System
The Provo was originally referred to as Timpanoquint, which means, “water running over rocks” in the Ute indian language.
The Provo begins in the Uinta Mountains and flows south and then west towards the Jordanelle Reservoir. The South Fork of the Provo meets the main section, North Fork, of the Provo at Highway 35. Anglers will find ample populations of cutthroat and brook trout.
After reaching Jordanelle Reservoir, the river flows are dam controlled creating incredible tailwater fishing that can house some really big fish, and river that contains upwards of 4,000 fish per mile in some sections. Anglers can even catch fish in through the town of Provo.
What Fish Are In The Provo?
Upper section of the Provo contain mainly brook trout and cutthroat trout, but also contains brown and rainbow trout. The upper section houses smaller fish than the middle and lower sections, but still can produce some great sized fish.
The middle section and the lower section of the Provo are both tailwater fisheries with a healthy and self sustaining brown trout population. These sections also has rainbow trout, and cutthroat, and the fish in this section tend to be quite large and in high numbers. Particularly large brown trout and rainbow trout
Best Places to Fish The Provo River
The best places to fish the Provo River are dependant upon season, and the type of fishing you want to do. Avoiding the crowds, and fishing a free flowing river for wild fish, brook trout, and cutthroat, the upper section can be amazing, and there is very large amount of public access water here.
The middle section contains beautiful views, big fish, and constant flows, which makes it a great year round fishery with a heavy population of fish per mile. It may be considered one of the best producing sections of river in terms of quantity, and still contains big fish.
The lower section also houses some big fish, and is very easy to access from Provo. We recommend testing each section at different times of the year to find out what your favorite is. Keep in mind that the Provo is a world class fishery in all three major sections, so pointing out the best, is nearly impossible.
River Rules & Regulations
Here is the Utah fishing rules and regulations book: https://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/2019_fishing.pdf
Find the Provo River regulations on page 19. It is important to know that there are many different regulations depending upon the section of the Provo, so be sure to read the rules and regulations in this book for the section before you travel.
Best Flies for The Provo River
The Provo River is a very diverse fishery that changes based on the conditions and part of the river. Nymphing will be successful year round, but all sections of the river also have fantastic dry fly action depending upon the hatches that are going on and current conditions. You can never go wrong with midges, scuds, and small emergers in the tailwater sections if drie flies are not working for you.
Provo River Fishing Guides
If you are looking for a guide in the canyon, be sure to check out the following, or reach out to us.
Use our page on Provo River Fly Fishing Guides, to find a guide for the Provo River.
Current Water Flows For The Provo River
Current Weather Conditions
Here is a detailed forecast for the next four days. Keep in mind that the weather may differ between the Provo area vs up in the Uintas pretty substantially, so be sure to check for the specific location you plan on fishing:
Mostly clear. Low around 11, with temperatures rising to around 13 overnight. East southeast wind around 5 mph.
Snow after 2pm. Partly sunny. High near 33, with temperatures falling to around 29 in the afternoon. Northeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.
Snow before 5am. Mostly cloudy. Low around 16, with temperatures rising to around 18 overnight. East wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 31. South wind 5 to 8 mph.
A chance of snow after 5am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. South southeast wind 6 to 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
A chance of snow before 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12.
Directions & Parking
Our map above gives you locations for several parking areas as well as general areas in which you can find parking. This river has tons of public access and free parking.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about