Thursday, July 18, 2013

Utah Trip: The Provo - Part 2

After seeing what kind of crowds the Provo drew I sought out less pressured water. I figured if I went away from where the drakes supposedly were I'd find less fishermen. My logic proved correct and I found a location where no vehicles were parked. When I entered the stream caddis were every where. They were so bad in certain places along the bank I had to hold my breath. It didn't take a genius to guess maybe a caddis would be a good pattern to try first.
I could see fish rising but I didn't get one take on the caddis. The next step was to drop a nymph off the dry. This didn't get me anywhere either. I worked the banks looking for active fish. There was a deer trail that followed the bank and quite often I'd scare some kind of rodent run into the brush. There was a point around a bend where I really worked a seem that had rising fish. I had a difficult time getting my drift right. Eventually I had a mercy strike and the fish hooked itself while the fly was dragging downstream. The action was pretty boring after that. I went hours without a hit. I came to one section of the stream where there was a cobblestone island and two nice runs went along each side. I started to get really frustrated because I knew fish had to be in both of these runs. I stopped fishing and just stared out at the water hoping for some inspiration. I had been wanting to try streamers for quite awhile but I've never had a lot of confidence fishing them. I just got a new batch from The Fly Stop just for this trip. With the way the fishing had been I figured I had nothing to lose. I tied on an olive streamer and cast into the end of a run. As I was stripping the fly in I felt a tug like I had hung on the bottom. Instantly the fly was free and I noticed after bringing the fly in that it didn't have moss or any sign of hitting the bottom. Could it have been a fish?
My next cast I changed the retrieve up a bit. I did two big strips then a pause then another few strips. After the 3rd strip I felt a tug and saw a major splash in the distance. I had a fish on and it was a good one. The fish thrashed and my 5wt could handle the fish but could not over power it. When the fish came close I got my first good glimpse and thought for sure I was going to lose it. The fish jumped several times and it started to wind itself up in the leader. This was one of the few times I was actually glad I had my net. When the fish came close I scooped it up as quickly as possible.
I just stared at the fish in amazement. How did this happen? The fishing had been so slow up until this point. I never fish streamers. This is probably the biggest brown I have ever caught.
The fish was beautiful and the whole experience was surreal. I worked the streamer here and there and I'd notice movement several times where my fly was. I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, I'd cast and see a flash or see what looked to be a fish follow my fly several feet. There was another run similar to the first one where I had caught the previous brown. Just like before on my second cast I felt a massive tug. This fish was really working to stay deep. I managed to get it in the calm water where I could net it.
This brown wasn't as long as the first but it was definitely thicker. I was going way out of my comfort zone and being rewarded. Was this a fluke or is streamer fishing really this effective? I was definitely going to experiment more.

To Be Continued.... Part 3 Ogden Canyon


  1. I'm surprised you didn't hook up with River Damsel or Brian Schiele who live near and fish the Provo. A cheap guide service...

    1. I did contact River Damsel but we couldn't find a good time to meet up.

  2. Those are really nice Browns. Glad you had your net on board. Sometimes changing things up is just what is required to get the better fish going. Streamer fishing can be a hoot!

    1. I read something awhile ago about Lefty trying streamer fishing for a whole year so he could really give them a chance. I might do the same. It would take a lot of discipline and motivation. I'm sure you have a ton of skunk days.