Our City + State

The Day Trippers | Provo River Fly Fishing

10/22/2018 | Sammy Elam
Kerri Fukui

It’s been a minute since we took you on a Day Trippers, but our enthusiasm for the idea hasn’t waned a touch. You remember the series: rather than dedicating an entire weekend to exploring one of the many great spots our state has to offer (see: The Weekenders), our Day Trippers shows you those worthwhile jaunts/drives/hikes/activities that require just a chunk of your precious day. Like we said before, “no hotel rezzie needed and don’t worry about packing an overnight bag”…these magical excursions will put you home before sunset.

I'd rather be fishing.

While Utah offers endless opportunities for outdoorsy types, there are a few tried-and-true, classic-sportsman undertakings that we can appreciate. Fly fishing falls squarely into that category. It’s equal parts majestic and methodical, and it appeals to every age and class. Even if you’ve no interest in hooking a rainbow trout, surely you can appreciate the all-American grandeur that fly fishing evokes. Thigh deep in a pair of a sexy waders (there…we’ve said it), the river gently pushing by as you look through the changing tree colors to snow-capped Mt. Timpanogos. This is the stuff of Whitman and Thoreau. You can’t beat it.

As luck would have it, I’m a COLLECTIVE real estate agent who also happens to love fly fishing. So much so, in fact, that I’m a guide…so we took to the south for a day of peace and nature and bringing a few brown trout to the net.


PROVO RIVER IN HEBER VALLEY, 45 MINUTES: Hop on 1-80 East and head for the hills. Just a quick drive past Park City on Highway 40 brings you to Heber City and Midway. Settled by Swiss immigrants way back when, this picturesque area is known for its quaint mountain-town vibes, Swiss architecture (including some pretty stunning chalets), and one certified Blue Ribbon trout fishery perched along the Provo River. Here's where we wade in...

Cast away: This scenery is unreal, so take a few minutes to savor the all-too-fleeting fall foliage while you can. If you’re new to the fly fishing game, a guide can help you find your footing (literally) and maybe even net a trout on your first day. I like to start my trips by flipping over a few rocks to show those I’m guiding the insects that these trout are snacking on. Odd as it seems, Entomology can be a helpful place to start, and the flies I hand-tie are meant to mimic the color and movement of what these fish see as "lunch." Now, let's get you set up with that Woolly Bugger. The Blue Winged Olive. That Green Drake Hatch.

Our recommendations: Remember that patience is key, and you're here for more than dinner or a trophy shot (after all, it’s called “fishing,” not “catching"). This is some truly beautiful country, and we're thrilled to death to get out in it any chance we get. With the right instruction, anyone can get the hang of it, and maybe even snag a trout or two. It’s easy to fall in love with fly fishing, and once you do, it becomes clear that there’s no end to the things it'll teach you. Just be patient, enjoy your beautiful surroundings, and remember that practice makes perfect. Now, come on in...the water's fine.

(Note: for more info on fly fishing, visit our friends at Western Rivers Flyfisher in 9th & 9th. And if you're looking for someone to show you the ropes or help you hone your technique, request Sammy. Guy knows his flies. And better still, he can swing you by one of the amazing mountain getaway-style properties available in this area. You know, two birds, and all that...)

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