Utah's Lower Provo

6 January 2007 By Dan Bachman • Fishing-Spots • Comments (2)

The Lower Provo The week of Thanksgiving was spent with family in Utah, but not without my fishing gear stuffed in the trunk of my car. After spending a warm couple days in Logan I head to Salt Lake where the weather turns decidedly colder. After taking a couple days to recover from the obligatory tryptophan coma I head to the Provo River on Saturday morning to meet up with my fishing buddy, Jon, that grew up fishing the Provo. The mercury is barely into double digits when I arrive and Jon has been on the water since 7:30 AM when the temperature was closer to zero. A mad man to be sure, especially when you consider he left his hat in Idaho.

The fly of the day is a tiny size 22 beadhead Serendipity fished below a strike indicator. The browns are quite active in the water that is much warmer than the air that freezes the tips of my fingers. Jon is an expert on this water and has landed a dozen fish before I even show up. He shows me how to rig up and points me to a stretch of water he has yet to touch.

Jon hooked into a nice brown It takes me about 30 minutes to get my first take. My tiny balloon that I use as a strike indicator stutters as it drifts just across from me in the current. I pull downstream to set the hook and the suprised brown makes a series of wild turns that would look like a child’s scribble if drawn on paper. The fish has strength for it’s size and doesn’t stop fighting until I net it.

I pull a glove and the cold water numbs my fingers as I struggle to remove the tiny fly deep in the mouth of the brown. Releasing the brown quickly I notice a rise along the far bank from the corner of my eye. In this cold air midges on the water are drawing a rise from at least one fish. At first the surface takes are very sporadic and I watch as the rises from a single brown become more frequent.

Lower Provo Brown The switchover from my nymph setup to one with a tiny CDC BWO emerger takes an eternity with my cold fingers struggling to tie a simple knot. Four or five tries later I’m ready and the brown is taking down a natural several times a minute. Large willows prevent any backcast and a couple rollcasts later I drop the tiny fly upstream in the brown’s feeding lane. A moment later the snout of the brown breaks the surface and pulls down a natural only two inches from my fly. The tiny waves swamp my fly and I let it drift well past before roll casting again upstream. This time the fly lands a little offline but the timing is perfect and brown takes it more agressively than previous flies. With the head of the brown still out of the water I set the hook.

It’s been a good and cold day of fishing.



  1. 16 January 2007 Lew

    Great story – sometimes the best fishing days are the coldest fishing days, aren’t they?

  2. 17 January 2007 Insane

    I enjoyed reading your post, and I am jealous that I wasn’t the one reeling in the brown! Very nice work on the site…

    best wishes,

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