Provo River Fishing Report

Last update: 3/9/2024

Report Overview

Current fishing tips and conditions for the Provo River.

  • Midge hatches are becoming more consistent.
  • Midge hatches should continue strong through March with Blued Winged Olives picking up in April, but bring some BWO patterns with you just in case.
  • You can fish every stage of the midge emergence (larva, pupa, adult)
  • If fish aren’t rising target the deeper pools with Baetis nymphs, sow bug, scude, and caddis larva patterns.
  • Fishing the warmer parts of the day should increase your catch rate.
  • Streamer fishing still produces especially when it’s overcast.

Monthly Fishing Reports

Monthly fishing reports and conditions for the Upper, Middle and Lower Provo rivers.

Fishing on the Lower and Middle Provo River really gets under way in March. Fishing the upper Provo River doesn’t get going until early to mid summer.

March brings the mayfly hatch and with it anglers and fly fisherman anxious to catch giant browns, football size rainbows, and the occassional cutthroat trout. The Buffalo midge hatch hits full swing on the Middle Provo by mid March and Blue-wing olive (BWO) mayflies are just beginning to hatch. Midge fly, BWO, Mother Shuckers and cluster midge patterns are ideal for targeting big Browns, rainbows and cutthroats during these hatches.

Effective techniques for March fishing on the Middle Provo and Lower Provo include bounce nymphing, dry fly fishing, or using a dry fly dropper setup. For nymphing this time of year sow bug patterns get the most action. Egg patterns should be used for targeting rainbows in the lower section of the Middle Provo near Deer Creek Reservoir.

Provo River worm patterns will pull in trout year round but are particularly effective during high flows following spring runoff, snow melt, or heavy precipitation.

Some of the best fly patterns to use on the Middle Provo during mid to late March are listed in the following chart.

Dry flyNymph & Emerger
Midge ShuckSOW Bug
BWO ShuckProvo River Worm
BWO FlyBarr's BWO Emerger
Noseeum (midge)Lawson's Halfback BWO Emerger
Hare's EarMicro Pheasant Tail
Parachute AdamsEgg Patterns
BWO Nymph
Midge Nymph

The four must have fly patterns for fishing the Provo River during March are Sow Bug, PR Worms, Midge and BWO Shucks.

If ever there was a river with smart trout, it would be the Provo River. Don’t use cheap flies here. You want to use precise fly imitations and natural presentations if you want to get trout to bite.

When hatches subside, nymph fishing can be quite effective. And when fish just aren’t biting try a dropper setup with a trailing BWO emerger or Pheasant Tail.

Skwala stonefly hatches get underway at the beginning of April. The Skwala hatch offers the opportunity to fish some large dry flys with droppers, and target some of the larger trout in the middle stretch of the Provo River.

Midge hatches are prolific along the Lower and Middle Provo River throughout April. BWO hatches are now in full force and Black Caddis hatches and March Browns are just getting under way. Fishing from noon to 2pm is typically quite productive. Red, green and black midge nymph patterns sizes #18-22 produce well. BMO #18-20 patterns in brown, gray and olive also get action.

Dry fly fishing or nymphing are the two most common fishing techniques, but nymphing tends to be more productive. Dry fly fishing is most productive on overcast days.

The Lower Provo tends to be the best bet for anglers this time of year. Anglers report sow bugs sizes #10-12 consistently produce catches along the Lower Provo.

Recommended fly patterns:

  • BWO #18-20
  • Parachute Adams
  • RS2 #20-22 (black, gray, olive)
  • Olive Parachute Hare’s Ear
  • Olive Sparkle Dun
  • Pheasant Tails
  • Midges #8-12 (brown, olive, yellow with copper bead)
  • Yellow Stimulator
  • Assorted Nymphs Scuds
  • Beadhead Pheasant tail
  • Zebra midge #16-20
  • Olive or grey Hare’s ear
  • BH Prince
  • BH Hare’s Ear
  • Comparanduns
  • Noseeums
  • Griffith Knat

Golden Stonefly hatches get under way in May and continue through July. Green Sedge hatches also appear in May and continue through August.

Anglers report mayfly nymphs, sow bug, and midge dry fly patterns continue to produce throughout May. Nymphing is typically the more productive fly fishing technique.

Water levels along the Lower Provo are typically high this time of year. Anglers should take care for their safety when wade fishing.

Water flows tend to decline as spring runoff subsides, however, as a tailwater river, flows may remain high during June when water is released from the dams.

PMD hatches are in full force and caddis and yellow stonefly hatches are starting to appear. Spotted Sedge hatches also appear on the water toward the end of June. Green Drake hatches appear mid June, but are typically small.

When water levels are high, nymphing tends to be most effective. Nymphing with midge, sow bug and caddis larva patterns tends to be productive along both the lower and middle sections of the Provo River throughout June.

PMD nymph, small midge, and sow bug patterns tend to produce good catch rates on the lower and middle provo rivers during June.

Anglers report success fishing a caddis dry fly tandem rig with a stacked caddis (#18) trailed by a translucent emerger (#18) along the Middle Provo. Along the Lower Provo a tandem rig with sow bug (#14) trailed by a smaller sow bug (#20) produces strikes.

Toward the end of June early July water flows subside on the Upper Provo river upstream of Jordanelle Reservoir and the river becomes accessible for fly fishing. Fishing doesn’t really become viable on the Upper Provo until water flows are lower. During years with above average water levels, fishing along the Upper Provo may not get under way until mid July.

PMD hatches are still strong on the Lower and Middle Provo. Along the Lower Provo PMDs are out in the afternoon and caddis flies are emerging in the evening. Caddis hatches along the Middle Provo are typically strong. Ideal fly sizes are #18-22. These hatches provide for some productive dry fly fishing.

Anglers report PMD, sow bug, elk hair, and parachute caddis patterns fish well along both the lower and middle sections of the Provo River. Nymphing with PMD and midge patterns tend to generate the highest catch rate. Dry fly fishing is most productive in the early to late afternoon.

A few Green Drake hatches are starting to appear, but Green Drake hatches tend to remain sparce.

Whitefish can be taken from the Middle and Lower Provo fishing sow bug and caddis patterns off the bottom.

Fly fishing along the Upper Provo from Jordanelle Reservoir upstream to the base of the Unita Mountains gets in full swing by mid July. Dry flies are the most common lure fished along this stretch of the river.

Terrestrials, including grasshoppers, ants and beetles, take the stage in late July. Terrestrial patterns can catch some big Browns along the lower and middle stretches of the Provo River.

July tends to be one of the most productive times to fish the Lower Provo if you can handle competing with rafters for water space.

Smaller size #20-22 PMD nymphs and caddis larva sizes #18-20 are consistent producers on the Middle and Lower Provo rivers during August. Anglers report the best fishing on the Lower Provo is in the later afternoon from 4pm to sun down.

Dry fly fishing tends to best on overcast days. Both nymph and dry fly patterns are productive along the river throughout August. Anglers recommend PMD and caddis patterns.

August is one of the more productive months to fish the Upper Provo.

Fly fishing along the Middle Provo is still productive through September. Pale Morning Dun and midge dry fly patterns sizes #18-22 is what most angler are using. Anglers are seeing good results with yellow, brown and olive PMD patterns. For midge patterns anglers recommend black and gray. Later afternoon produces the best catch rates. Fishing nymph patterns subsurface will get catches all day.

Fall hatches of BWOs begin in late September and continue through October. Fall BWO mayflies are typically smaller than Spring BWO hatches.

Some angler report higher catch rates when nymphing versus dry fly fishing the Middle Provo during September.

September is one of the more productive months to fish the Upper Provo.

With Pale Morning Duns (PMDs) hatching in the mornings and Blue Morning Olives in the afternoons, the Middle Provo provides some excellent fly fishing opportunities for anglers who can match the hatch.

Dry fly fishing is producing catches and anglers report the best fly sizes are midges #18-22 in gray, olive and pay yellow colors. Effective nymphing flies include mayfly nymphs (#18-22), midge nymphs (#22-24), RS2’s and attractor nymphs including Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails and Sow Bug. Streamers also effective throughout October.

There are some big October caddis hatches that take place along the Middle and Lower Provo that provide excellent fly fishing opportunities for Browns. Fishing for rainbows on the Lower Provo is most productive using egg patterns and sow bugs.

Fly fishing on the Upper Provo is productive during October but begins to slow nearing the end of the month.

Both the Lower and Middle Provo rivers fish well throughout November. Anglers report orange sow bug and midge patterns are effective throughout Novemeber. Along the Middle Provo both dry fly and nymph midge patterns sizes #22-26 in orange, black and red colors produce some good action. BWO nymphs and flies (#18-24) , Pseudo mayfly patterns (#20-26) and attractor nymphs (Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ears, Sow Bow) are also productive. Streamers fish early morning and late evening have been reported to generate bites.

The Upper Provo is still a productive fly fishery through the beginning of November weather permiting. During some years, early snow and ice over make it impossible to fish The Upper Provo.

As tailwater rivers, both Middle Provo and Lower Provo river water temperatures remain above freezing throughout December. Midge hatches along the middle and lower sections of the Provo River are prolific and trout continue to bite. Winter hatches produce flies that are relatively small, ranging in size from #24-28.

The Lower Provo is a sow bug factory and trout will take any fly that resembles a sow bug. Gray sow bug patterns size #20-24 are most productive. Sow bug patterns are effective from December through January.

Brown trout continue to spawn through December. Egg patterns are effective and can be used December through January.

As a freestone stream the Upper Provo may freeze over during mid winter closing down fishing along some sections.

Dry fly fishing along the Middle and Lower Provo rivers continues throughout January. Midge hatches remain strong, but midges are typically smaller sizes #26-30. The most consistent fishing during January is along the Lower Provo.

Fishing sow bug patterns (#16-20) continue to generate bites. Anglers also report brown, black, and red thread midge patterns yield catches consistently.

Fishing tends to be more consistent in the afternoon as water warms. Target the slower deeper water in the morning and faster shallow riffles in the afternoons.

Streamers fish well during January.

The Lower Provo River can produce some great trout fishing throughout February. January midge hatches continue through February but midges are now a bit bigger—sizes #16-20. Nymphing on the Lower Provo is popular and effective during February. Bounce rigs and in-line nymphing techniques work equally well.

Angler’s report nymphing small midge emergers and sow bug patterns sizes #16-20 produce nice catch rates, as well as dry flying Griffith Knat and Mother Shucker patterns. Tandem rigs with a sow bug (#18-20) trailed by any one of various midge patterns produces consistent hookups.

The Middle Provo river also fishes good during February, weather permiting. Buffalo midge hatches can be strong some years during mid afternoon. Use dry fly patterns in the #18-20 size range and match the hatch. Nymphing with gray, black and brown midge larva patterns sizes #18-26 also produces good catches on the Middle Provo.

Blue Wing Olive mayflies start hatching around the end of February with the best action coming in March.

Top fish species

The following are the most common catches reported by anglers.

Brown trout, Cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, Mounain Whitefish