Fishing the 13 miles of the Middle Provo River from the Jordanelle Dam down to Deer Creek Reservoir is a special opportunity for fly fishermen and women. In fact, anglers travel from all over the world to experience the Middle Provo’s prolific Blue Wing Olive and Green Drake hatches, along with the breathtaking scenery one will experience while fishing this Blue Ribbon fishery.
River History and Conservation Efforts
Between years 2000 and 2008, the Utah Mitigation and Conservation Commission invested nearly 45 million dollars in restoring the diversity and productivity of the fish and wildlife habitat between the dams, as well as restructuring the meandering stream flow through the Heber Valley.
Prior to the construction of the Jordanelle Dam, the Middle Provo would flood the farmland during high spring run-off, hampering farmers’ ability to plant and harvest crops and manage their cattle. In response to annual flooding, farmers built dikes and straightened the river to manage the spring flows. This practice, although great for farming, wreaked havoc on the trout population. Today, with dam-regulated flows year round, the Middle Provo River is one of the most productive tailwaters in the Western United States.
Middle Provo Public Access
As part of the Utah Mitigation and Conservation Commission, seven convenient public access points were built along the river with restrooms and parking for anglers. In addition to those access points, an 800- to 2,200-yard wide public access corridor along the Middle Provo River between the Jordanelle Dam and Deer Creek Reservoir allows anglers to spread out and fish the river. This corridor was purchased from landowners and restored with native trees and shrubs, as well as stream improvements.
Middle Provo Fishing Regulations
You can fish from Legacy Bridge upstream to Jordanelle Dam to your heart’s content using artificial flies or lures—especially if you don’t mind a little bit of walking. It’s all catch-and-release fishing above the Legacy Bridge, but you can, if you choose, keep two trout under 15 inches. While brown trout are by far the most common type of fish in this section of the Middle Provo, it’s also possible to catch the occasional rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, or even a Bonneville cutthroat trout.
From where the Middle Provo flows into Deer Creek in the small farming community of Charleston up to Legacy Bridge, anglers are allowed to keep up to four fish of any size. Bait fishing is also allowed along this section of river; although, we strongly encourage anglers to use artificial flies, due to the incredible fly fishing on this section of the Middle Provo. Again, anglers are most likely to catch brown trout along this section of river, but it’s not unheard of to catch the occasional big rainbow or even walleye coming out of Deer Creek in this section of the river.
Besides fly fishing, the Middle Provo River is great for bird and wildlife viewing and cross-country skiing in the winter. However, you cannot use the area for hunting, boating, camping, or equestrian activities, as well as bicycling, roller blading or the use of motorized vehicles. As always, being courteous and respectful to your fellow anglers and recreationists is always good practice, along with giving your fellow anglers plenty of space to fish.
By: Jan Peterson, Founder
This post was updated on July 8, 2022.
Guided Fly Fishing on the Middle Provo
Best Trout Flies for Early Summer
Middle Provo River Access Points Map