Quick Utah Trip

Just got back from a quick trip out to SLC. Since moving to Virginia, I just don't get out to the family vacation house too much. Managed to sneak away from work for 5 days, and hoped to get on some of my old waters.

Managed 3 days of fishing (would have liked more, but my wife and her friend were much more keen on hiking).

Day 1: Hit the Lower Provo in the morning. Water level was way up, with lots of rafters clogging the stream. Still managed a couple nice 17" browns pulling Zuddlers. Tough wading with the water like that. At mid-day, decided to head up to the middle Provo. Fished in the farmlands (similar water to the Yak farmlands). Slow going, but picked up a beautiful 18" brown on a beadhead PT soft-hackle. Then moved up to the water below Jordanelle dam. Hadn't been on this water for several years (since they did the stream restoration). Gotta say that they added a tremendous amount of great holding water. Picked up several 12"ers, but never got into the real hogs that live here. Beautiful evening though, just too crowded (the river is only 20 minutes from Park City, and 45 from SLC).

Day 2: Made the long journey to fish the Green. This is like a religious pilgrimage for me. I make it out here once every two years. Floated with a guide from Tr-----eek. Nice young kid who did a great job putting us on a lot of fish. Specifically requested a late start (noon) to avoid most of the rafting/fishing armada. Made for a great afternoon fishing big terrestrials to some very large fish. You can't believe the stories about the Green (20,000 fish per river mile, fish averaging 16", 20+# browns) until you actually make the float. The anticipation of the float always makes me giddy. Trying to convince my fishing buddy of the fishing bonanza he was in for that day made me laugh out loud. Needless to say, despite battling some strong wind, we had a dynamite day. 8.5 hour float, incredible scenery, heeping gobs of 16-20" browns, rainbows, and cuttbows. All fish on the surface using a double-ugly (variation on a renegade with an extra furnace hackle in the middle of the fly). I'm not one that has the money to hire guides often, usually I just go it on my own. I've gotta say a float trip on the Green has always been worth the money for me.

Day 3: Spent most of the day hiking in Big Cottonwood Canyon (trying to appease the wives). Managed to sneak away for a couple hours fishing the local creek. Great afternoon catching small browns and cutts (8-10") on PMD hairwing duns. Great fly for fast water, great fun with a 3wt rod.

Now I'm back at work, and planning my next big adventure. Can't wait til Sept 2007---return trip to Kamchatka!

Tight Lines, JW

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
The streams you mentioned were my old stomping grounds. I haven't been back to fish the lower or mid-Provo in about a decade but still make it a point to get out and fish the Green. The Green is such a great spot, wish we had a comparable fishery a little closer. Which section did you float? My favorite is either b or c, less people, bigger fish.

You'd mentioned that the fish you caught below Jordanelle were on the small side and a buddy of mine that fishes it regularly says that since the stream modifications took place that he still hasn't seen many big fish in that section. The area below the dam on down through the Heber valley used to hold some great fish and it was an untapped fishery. I suspect that there is fair amount more pressure there. I've also heard that Heber has grown tremendously. I remember fishing down the Provo from Wanship before Jordanelle was put in, it used to be idea.

Big and Little cottonwood canyons are exceptionally pretty, especially this time of year. As you mentioned, the streams there are somewhat fast and have smaller fish but the scenery can't be beat. They should be starting up the Oktoberfest there any time. When the temps in the valley would get too hot, I'd shoot up the canyons with a small pack rod and my teva sandals and wet wade.

Anyway, thanks for the report, sounds like you had a great trip.