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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to Salt Lake City, UT in mid June for son's freshman orientation to become a Ute.

Have a couple of days to fish the waters near SLC so looking for a guide....

Did some research and found the nearest river - Provo River might be the best choice for trout ?
Middle or Lower Provo is considered to be blue ribbon fishery according to Utah DNR.

Full day of walk/wade on a local river is what I am looking for - no boat fishing - I hate fishing from boats...

Sorry, I don't have the ambition to drive to the Flaming Gorge, drift boat down and fish dries on the Green - sorry too much driving for me for just a day...

So far I have found a Park City & an SLC guide who are priced around $400-$500 for a full day to have a newbie or traveller with no gear flying into SLC with a complete outfit: waders, boots, rod, reel, fishing license, lunch and the guide picks you up. (I don't need nor want that treatment)

Other guides I have spoken to do not have knowledge about clients using a switch rod and spey casts. I am bringing my 4wt trout spey with lots of different floating heads and that seems to put a wrinkle in the stone hardened guides who strictly believe only single handers get to fish with them!
Last time I checked, my trout spey rod is just like a single hander as it sends line out onto the waters for dry, nymph, swinging, sinking, etc.... I just use spey casts with 1 or 2 hands as it is easiest on my shoulders.....


One guide service in Park City did reply back and said the 11' switch rod is perfect for the Middle Provo as it is currently 50-60' wide with the high water flows and the longer rod would have the ability fish a majority of the river. They seemed to be the most knowledgeable but trying to negotiate a lower rate as the rate is inclusive of all gear including a 1 day fishing license.

Since I have an annual Utah fishing license and bringing my gear I don't need the newbie treatment nor a guide that turns their nose up to spey anglers and have to pay for that. The only thing I need are flies that are used in the local rivers from the guide....
So I can bring my own lunch and everything else...
Looking to fish multi flies on the swing with soft hackles, drifting dries, or a combo dry/nymph.....

Anyone have a SLC / Park City guide they would recommend to help find choice spots for some big brown trout on the Provo ?
 

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I fished the Middle Provo in March. Not sure if it was just because of the midge hatch or nice weather, but that river was slammed. There are plenty of nice fish and beautiful scenery, but not the place for solitude-- at least in my limited experience.
 

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I fished the Provo two years in a row in Sept a couple years back. So my info is based on that.

A single hander was plenty sufficient for most runs, but there were some spots where I felt like a two hander would be useful, but to be honest, a 13' spey might be a hassle. Still, I'm sure you could catch firsh with it. That said, the guides also seem to have people throwing a lot of multi nymph bobber rigs. Not classic dry fly casting, but to be fair, it was what produced. Streamers didn't get nearly the same attention at least at that time of year. So that might be something to consider. Throwing bobber rigs with a two hander isn't my idea of fun. Then again, throwing bobber rigs generally isn't my idea of fun.

I'm no guide expert, but these dudes seemed solid:

http://www.bloodknots.com/who-we-are.html

We fished with them one day when my company hired a handful of guides to get a mess of people who'd never fished out on the water. You could always talk to the crew at the Park City shop (troutbum2) for recommendations as well. Little bit of a "we're cool because we're in a destination fishery" vibe in there, but their info was usually solid.
 

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I've fished the Provo a few times before, upper, middle and lower Provo. I don't know any guides but never felt the need to hire a guide for it. I would focus on the middle section, that area seemed to be very accessible, fairly intuitive and that's where I had the most luck.. Decent hatches, nice fish. I would check a shop located closer to the river. I seem to remember a shop or two in Orem and/or Provo.
Good luck,
Steve
 

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I fished with a guide from Troutbum 2 in Park City. It was a spur of the moment decision, so I had no gear with me, and not even a map of the river, so the guide option proved useful. Nice guys in the shop and a personable guide. Small nymphs are typical, and I fished a single hand rod, but I think a trout switch would be applicable for the split shot and indicator. If there is a hatch on, I think a single hand rod would be easier and more efficient than a 2-handed rod.

If you're going to be self-sufficient then you may not need a guide. Just stop by the shop and pick up the flies that are working at the time you are visiting.

Sg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of your input!

Believe it or not, I found a local SLC guide who said the same thing as all of your reports - too crowded, rude anglers and tubers drifting on the Provo.
He fishes out of the Weber river on private property he accesses.
I just booked a guide day with him and will report back on the results...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I fished with a guide from Troutbum 2 in Park City. It was a spur of the moment decision, so I had no gear with me, and not even a map of the river, so the guide option proved useful. Nice guys in the shop and a personable guide. Small nymphs are typical, and I fished a single hand rod, but I think a trout switch would be applicable for the split shot and indicator. If there is a hatch on, I think a single hand rod would be easier and more efficient than a 2-handed rod.

If you're going to be self-sufficient then you may not need a guide. Just stop by the shop and pick up the flies that are working at the time you are visiting.

Sg
Thanks Salmo_g - I have a day to spend on the middle Provo on my own so I will stop by the local fly shop and pick up flies...

Interesting about water temps during that time of the month between different rivers:

On the Provo, water temps are predicted to be quite chilly in the high 40's so waders will be needed even in June.

On the Weber, the guide said that river will be in the mid 50's which means - WET WADE in the summer = my type of fishing!
 

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Thanks Salmo_g - I have a day to spend on the middle Provo on my own so I will stop by the local fly shop and pick up flies...

Interesting about water temps during that time of the month between different rivers:

On the Provo, water temps are predicted to be quite chilly in the high 40's so waders will be needed even in June.

On the Weber, the guide said that river will be in the mid 50's which means - WET WADE in the summer = my type of fishing!
The upper Provo is a tailwater release from a dam, so the water is cold. Weber is a good choice too, especially private water.
 

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I only spent one afternoon on the Weber and didn't have any luck. Though I suspect had it come at the end of my trip and not the beginning (or if I'd had a guide to give me some advice) I'd have done better. From what I've seen, it was significantly less crowded than the Provo. Though, as I say, my experience is limited.
 

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I lived in Salt Lake City for several years @35 years ago. Fortunately fly fishing the Provo back then allowed solitude. The Weber River isn't much further, but in a different direction. I have caught several nice browns out of there. No guide needed on either river.
I would definitely call Western Rivers Fly Fishers for fly selections and other questions. That shop was in Salt Lake as 1 of 2 fly shops back then, if not the only one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I lived in Salt Lake City for several years @35 years ago. Fortunately fly fishing the Provo back then allowed solitude. The Weber River isn't much further, but in a different direction. I have caught several nice browns out of there. No guide needed on either river.
I would definitely call Western Rivers Fly Fishers for fly selections and other questions. That shop was in Salt Lake as 1 of 2 fly shops back then, if not the only one.
Thank you for the fly shop suggestion - that is about the only major fly shop in SLC.

I also found out that Utah has certain areas the public can access the rivers.
Found the Provo river has many access points and easy to get to:
https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/brwaterbody.php?id=32

The Weber river has fewer but still some access for the public:
https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/brwaterbody.php?id=63

For larger areas of land access called "Walk in Access" where you get a number to register and sign in at different sites.
Very nice feature for us anglers: https://wildlife.utah.gov/walkinaccess/
 

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Thank you for the fly shop suggestion - that is about the only major fly shop in SLC.

I also found out that Utah has certain areas the public can access the rivers.
Found the Provo river has many access points and easy to get to:
https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/brwaterbody.php?id=32

The Weber river has fewer but still some access for the public:
https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/brwaterbody.php?id=63

For larger areas of land access called "Walk in Access" where you get a number to register and sign in at different sites.
Very nice feature for us anglers: https://wildlife.utah.gov/walkinaccess/
good info.
curious to know the details of your 4 wt trout spey.

j
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
good info.
curious to know the details of your 4 wt trout spey.

j
I have the Redington Hydrogen trout spey in 4wt.
It's my first freshwater 2 hander - 11' switch rod length with a line grain range: 250gr-375gr
Mated to a very light single hander reel (6wt).
It is very versatile = light enough for single hand casting (false/back casts, nymph rig casts) yet flexible to cast 2 handed (I prefer using spey casts whenever possible)
This rod is a just a pleasure to use - does not wear on your arms, shoulder or hands - so much different than my heavy salt water 7, 8, 9, 10wt spey rods...
Super light - able to cast out different shooting heads of varying lengths - 15' OPST Commando, 22' Rio Skagit, 25' Airflo Rage, and 27' Rio Scandi.

Since the Weber river guide said that afternoon hatches of PMD is common, he said to bring a floating scandi line for dry fly fishing.
I have never caught on top of the water using dries because where I fish they are all subsurface.
If I catch one on a dry, I will post it here for sure.
I plan on bringing my short chunky OPST for close quarters, tight brush to swing flies and my Scandi head for dry fly drift and casting...

Now I have to get some dry fly floatant - so many different choices available - Loon, Frog fanny, etc.... Maybe the guide will have some on hand ??
 

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I fished the Provo out of Heber City a few years ago in early May. The fishing was very productive, but unfortunately at that time of year was all nymph fishing. It was only about a 20 min ride to the river from Heber and there were a number of cheap motels on the "strip". I stayed at Macs Motel which was clean, but had a number of sketchy individuals staying there. I had no problems, but took everything in from the rental car.
 

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@4sallypat, it sounds like you really love that rod! I've fished an 11' 5wt but I might have to try a 4wt.

I might suggest that if you have a single hand trout rod, throw it in as a back-up - just in case. Accidents happen and it would stink to be without a backup. Also, if you are lucky, your guide might tell you about some smaller, lesser known waters where you'll be happy you have a shorter rod.

Since this is hopefully your first trip of many to visit your son, I'd consider also learning a bit about the middle Provo while you are there. Even if you don't hire a guide, I'd at least scout out the area and access points and maybe fish a little. This way when you are back home and doing research, it will make more sense and you'll be better prepared for next time. If checking it out DIY, head over I-80 to Park City and start below Jordonelle Dam and explore downstream between there and Deerfield. There are a lot of access points to check out. If you wanted to explore more than fish, you could also just drive down the river all the way back to Orem/Provo, stopping and checking out accesses and quickly hitting a few spots if you have time.

I have fished below Deerfield a few times but prefer below Jordonelle. Lots of anglers for sure but I have never seen anyone floating it up there. There are lots of well-worn fisherman's trails along the river below Jordonelle and the river is fairly small. (I can easily cast across it in most places with a single hand rod although your Spey casts will help because of limited back casting room in places.)

If you have fished small rivers and streams for trout much, it's pretty straightforward. And trust me, there will be anglers and guides in just about every good spot so at least you'll learn where to go next time, LOL. And while you said you'd like to pick up the local hot flies, I truthfully have done way better by showing them something different. And by different, I mean dries and I mean stuff that was way bigger than what most people fish there.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@4sallypat, it sounds like you really love that rod! I've fished an 11' 5wt but I might have to try a 4wt.

I might suggest that if you have a single hand trout rod, throw it in as a back-up - just in case. Accidents happen and it would stink to be without a backup. Also, if you are lucky, your guide might tell you about some smaller, lesser known waters where you'll be happy you have a shorter rod.

Since this is hopefully your first trip of many to visit your son, I'd consider also learning a bit about the middle Provo while you are there. Even if you don't hire a guide, I'd at least scout out the area and access points and maybe fish a little. This way when you are back home and doing research, it will make more sense and you'll be better prepared for next time. If checking it out DIY, head over I-80 to Park City and start below Jordonelle Dam and explore downstream between there and Deerfield. There are a lot of access points to check out. If you wanted to explore more than fish, you could also just drive down the river all the way back to Orem/Provo, stopping and checking out accesses and quickly hitting a few spots if you have time.

I have fished below Deerfield a few times but prefer below Jordonelle. Lots of anglers for sure but I have never seen anyone floating it up there. There are lots of well-worn fisherman's trails along the river below Jordonelle and the river is fairly small. (I can easily cast across it in most places with a single hand rod although your Spey casts will help because of limited back casting room in places.)

If you have fished small rivers and streams for trout much, it's pretty straightforward. And trust me, there will be anglers and guides in just about every good spot so at least you'll learn where to go next time, LOL. And while you said you'd like to pick up the local hot flies, I truthfully have done way better by showing them something different. And by different, I mean dries and I mean stuff that was way bigger than what most people fish there.

Have fun!
@Freestone - thanks for this very important set of tips!

Yes, I will bring a back up rod - most likely the lightest single hander I have is an 8wt.

Purchased a Utah fishing license for the year means I'm returning for sure! I see at least 3 more trips to Utah in the near future this year alone....

Appreciate the tips on where to start looking to fish - Utah has a list of rivers they call hotspots where access points and fishing conditions are updated.
Very cool site: https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/

Yes will pick up local flies and try my hand at dry fly angling - never have tried fishing dries at least here in California where everything is subsurface....

Do you prefer any certain floatant to use on dries ?
Very confusing - gels, sprays, brush on, powders, etc....
 

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Yes, I will bring a back up rod - most likely the lightest single hander I have is an 8wt. Purchased a Utah fishing license for the year means I'm returning for sure! I see at least 3 more trips to Utah in the near future this year alone....
Cool thread.

Sounds like a new rod is in order ;) You'll get a good look at a lot of different water which will really help the eventual acquisition. Good chance your guide will have a couple on hand and ready to roll.. always nice to demo when an opportunity presents.

Floatants are pretty straight forward, any good well recognized one will be fine. A container of desiccant crystals can be nice to have on hand but not always necessary. I like it when fishing fairly small flies and right at dusk into dark when tying a fresh fly on can be quite challenging.

I'd be sure to have a few spare leaders on hand in appropriate sizes, couple spools of tippit to match. Sometimes it's a lot quicker and easier to just loop on a fresh one rather than deal with patching the one on your rod. That can be done under lights at days end or prior the next mornings outing.

Sounds like a good time.. looking forward to report/s.

I truthfully have done way better by showing them something different. And by different, I mean dries and I mean stuff that was way bigger than what most people fish there.
Wow, what a solid informative very helpful post.. words of experience. I also have found larger than average ties to produce.. especially of it's rare the fish see them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Instead of strike indicators which are a pain to cast, has anyone tried fishing a dry w/ floatant as the indicator on top while still having a second fly below like a nymph ?

Just trying to double odds fishing 2 flies....
 

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Instead of strike indicators which are a pain to cast, has anyone tried fishing a dry w/ floatant as the indicator on top while still having a second fly below like a nymph ?

Just trying to double odds fishing 2 flies....
I do use a dry-dropper rig sometimes but I've never tried it with Spey casts. Only one way to find out though.

Everyone has their favorite floatants. You can't go wrong with Aquel and you can find it nearly everywhere. I do also use the powdered desiccant to dry tiny flies or CDC flies.

If your budget allows, I'd seriously look for a cheap 4 or 6 piece 5wt combo and leave the 8wt home. It's way overkill and your shoulder will thank you. Even a cheap 5wt would be more fun than casting an 8wt on those small rivers. If budget is tight, Cabelas has a 9' 5wt combo on sale for $70 right now that I've seen decent reviews on. You could always justify it as a going away present to leave with your son - that you will just happen to borrow a few times a year!
 
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