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Beginner on the Provo

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Beginner on the Provo
I'm sure you all just love hearing from the clueless so I apologize for the very broad and vague question.

I'm just getting my feet wet with the fly and I'm about to run up the Provo canyon and give it a shot. I'll be there mid day, what flies, where should I be looking for fish (not locations, but depths, edges, eddies etc. any where in particular I should be aware of?), and how should I fish to have the best chance of success?

Thanks for any help you'd be willing to throw my way.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Wife and I fish a lot, but never the Provo until last Friday, so by no means am I an expert on that water.

However, from about 12:30 to 2:30 we did reasonably well on the Middle with small (16-18) Blue Wing Olive dry flies. Might have done better if we had some size 20-22. It was easy to see when the hatch came on because fish started rising with some enthusiasm.

I think you'll find a lot of folks on this forum enjoy responding to the type of question you're asking. However, if you do a search, you will find more posts than you can read in a day on tips and techniques for fishing Provo. Always a good way to start.
(This post was edited by kandersonSLC on Mar 16, 2015, 7:10 AM)
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Re: [kandersonSLC] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Thank you, Sir. I appreciate the information. I'll keep an eye out for another hatch. I'll keep you posted on my day.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
I won't speak to the Provo specifically because I don't fish it. But if you are looking for some broad and basic tips on how to read water, present flies and rig different types of flies, I suggest that you check out the Orvis website. They have a bunch of how to videos and posts that talk about all these things as well as casting techniques and pointers. Tom Rosenbauer has a podcast that I listen to all the time as well. He is very good and taking something can be as complicated as fly fishing and simplifying it to a point that I can get a hold of it. I don't know if this is what you are after or not but I find that to be a great resource. I learn something every time I listen to the podcast or check out the website.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
My favorite fly for the Provo would have to be the rs2 in a number of colors and sizes. I usually either swing them or drift them on top. But there is really no wrong way to fish em!
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
I was on the Lower Provo earlier today. I was running a size 20 parachute adams with a black rs2 under it. I got a bunch on the adams and one on the rs2. Eventually I just cut off the rs2 because it was causing me more trouble than it was worth. I got a lot of action on my dry fly and there was not much of a hatch going on. The fish must be hungry. Smile

I was up by Vivian Park. I was working the seams and riffles. There were some really big fish considering how shallow the water was. I got a bunch standing in the middle of the river and casting near the banks too.

Make sure you can get a natural drift. I find myself using a lot of reach casts to get my fly drifting naturally through different currents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0tdJXq9pho
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Re: [grunttwice] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Awesome! Thanks for the information, I'm glad you found some success. This was basically my first attempt at fly fishing. And it went about as well as I expected to. Didn't hook anything but saw quite a few jumping all around me. Unfortunately I don't think I had the right fly in my box. I started out with an 18 Baetis nymph and ran that for a bit until I noticed a hatch.

I'm not up on my entomology so I have no clue what it was, but the closest fly I had that matched the hatch was this one in the picture I posted below. I forget the kind of fly, perhaps you guys can give'er a name? I think it actually could have produced, except it was a much larger size than any of the real bugs in the air. I think its about a 16 or 14 or so. Not to mention, no doubt my presentation was subpar.

I really need to hook up with a guide or somebody experienced to show me the ropes.

At the end of the day, skunked or not, the view was gorgeous and the weather was stunning so I've got nothing to complain about, but I'm looking forward to learning this beautiful art.

Thank you all for the patience and kind words.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
That stretch you fished gets pounded, those trout are well educated, starting on the Provo can be frustrating, maybe try the Weber to get a feel, Whitefish are pretty easy to catch and there are some bruisers, throw a Prince Nymph for some whities, keep at it.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Oh, and fish in November!
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Re: [remo_5_0] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
remo_5_0 wrote:
That stretch you fished gets pounded, those trout are well educated, starting on the Provo can be frustrating, maybe try the Weber to get a feel, Whitefish are pretty easy to catch and there are some bruisers, throw a Prince Nymph for some whities, keep at it.

Makes sense it's one of the simpler holes to get to. I'll definitely hit Weber next. Thank you for the advice.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
  I fished the Provo several times before I ever caught a fish. The easiest thing for me starting was streamers. I would just strip a streamer across the river from the opposite bank and then move upriver a couple steps and repeat.

The fly you were showing imitates a blue wing olive. I think those should have begun hatching by now, but I did not see any on the river where I was at. Where I was, it was all midges. Most of what I learned about entomology I learned from "Handbook of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Food Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them."

I will warn you that this is my opinion and not a fact. I think the most important thing to match is size, then shape, then color, when you are matching a hatch. That's how I do it at least, and I have been quite successful. Also, I think if you learn the difference between a midge and a mayfly you will have 90% of your fishing situations on the Provo covered.

I've been fishing the Lower Provo three or four times a month for about two years now. I'm usually up there on a Monday or Tuesday, sometimes a Sunday. You won't catch me within miles of it on a Saturday though. Laugh I am always happy to share what I know, even though I'm a relative newcomer to the sport. I could have saved a lot of fishless days if I had someone to show me the ropes. Feel free to send me a PM sometime and I will be glad to tell you where and when I will be there. I'm more than happy to help.
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Re: [grunttwice] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
If I were you I would definitely take grunt up on his offer.

I can show you what I know too just pm me and we'll go up there or even hit the Weber.
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Re: [grunttwice] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
grunttwice wrote:
Feel free to send me a PM sometime and I will be glad to tell you where and when I will be there. I'm more than happy to help.

I am absolutely going to take you up on that, Grunttwice. Both of you! Thank you so much, I'll send you a message in a bit.
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Re: [remo_5_0] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
+1 on November fishing Remo. When it comes to hiring a guide, my advice would be to absolutely do it. But I would put in some time on your own (or with some of the friendly and willing BFT folks) to get some basics down. If you have a decent foundation for casting and some overall knowledge, a day on the river with a professional guide will be worth every penny just in education. What you don't want is to drop a grundle of money on a guide and spend all day watching him untangle your rig and climb a tree for the last of the hatching fly pattern. Not to say that is where you are, it's just where I was when I started. If you are a competent caster and can mend properly, the guide can really take you to the next level. I try to get out for a full day with a guide once a year if I can. I ALWAYS learn something new and it changes my game.

LECH
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Another method that works great is swinging soft hackles. Cast down and across, one big mend and let it swing in the current then do a few small twitches and strips and repeat. I killed it today on the lower doing this!
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Feeling is mutual DPKen I have been fishing the Provo the last two years and feel like I need some help. These guys on here have great insight and I hope to meet some on the river this year for some pointers
zimaggie
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Re: [zimaggie] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
I learned to fly fish on that stretch of the Provo as a kid, and fished there growing up. We used to catch some biggins there! BWOs and midges on top this time of year, then soon the caddis will take off...that's fun! I fish nymph rigs there 90% of the time. I like to use a caddis casing fly for my first fly, and then usually a #18 bh hare's ear or black zebra midge for my second. Figure the depth of the water you are fishing, then double that for your indicator length. If you are not getting moss and an occasional snag...you aren't in the right zone. The fish there are very, very educated...so a perfect drift is a must. High-stick it if possible and follow your indicator down as to avoid any drag. And always pay attention to what is going on around you...keep an eye on the water for what bugs are moving and hatching. Match the hatch! Good luck...wish I still lived close to the Provo, but life has taken me away. Unsure

TIGHT LINES

>c((((@

-RICH
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
Some great advice. Never feel bad about asking the questions. Everyone has to learn somewhere. The Provo gets a LOT of traffic, so the fish are pretty educated. It can be a fickle beast of a river. I have gone two days in a row where one was fish on every other cast and the other was next to impossible to turn a fish. Stick with it, and those great days will show up.

One thing that I find on the Provo, is I like finding the water that isn't hit as hard. This usually means lower in the canyon where there aren't as many fish and usually not nearly as big either. But the fishing can be a blast anyway and I avoid a lot of other people.

I have heard, though never given it a shot, that through town down in Orem can be great too. Might have to try it out for myself this summer.

Have fun and see ya on the river.
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Re: [DPKen] Beginner on the Provo In reply to
I live about 15 minutes from the mouth of the canyon and spend a fair amount of time up there, especially this time of year. My 1st piece of advice would be to wait for a grey, cloudy day and fish the blue wing olive hatch. There are usually a couple of different sizes hatching at the same time, ( like maybe a 16 and a 22) and I typically do pretty well splitting the difference, say with a size 18 or 20. (don't like fishing the really small stuff anyway) Everybody has their favorite pattern; I tend to tie my own and I really like small olive parachutes with a quill or biot body. Not sure if you can buy them....or RS2 type emerger patterns can be good too. Most important thing is a good drift; you cannot cast up and over provo river fish and expect to do well. If you can get a long side-downstream drift, that can help.

Why a grey cloudy day? the bluewings are grey/slate/blue, and come off the best when the ceiling is low and the same color, most likely for camoflouge reasons; the best fishing I've had up there time after time is in a driving rain or snowstorm....enjoy, when the hatch is on, you can be almost anywhere in the canyon and find fish.