The right flies for fishing the Provo River in Winter

As many of you know, I enjoy fishing the Provo River, especially in the winter. For this trip, I asked Michael Orr to tie a number of flies for me as I was short the typical fly patterns for winter fishing.

This is a great time of year to be fishing western streams as the crowds are much lower and you catch large fish with the only downside being a little cold weather.  There are some amazing midge hatches this time of year which I’ve experienced in the past as being fantastic in the middle of snow flurries.  Your best bet during winter fishing on the Provo river is to fish size 20-24 adults and emergers with a light rod.  Fish feed on adult midges in the afternoon hours and so its not unusual in March to have so many Buffalo midges on the surface that the trout can’t find your fly.  Sparse midge, baetis, and sow bug nymph patterns have been taking some great fish throughout the entire river, as well as soft hackles. Streamer fishing has been productive during the low light hour, early mornings on both the Weber and Provo rivers.

Flows in March are at about 150 cfs out of Jordanelle Reservoir Dam which should continue at this low flow until spring. Wading the river at this flow is very easy; accessing both sides of the river is a breeze! The Middle Provo fishes very much like a spring creek at these flows, which can make for some technical and highly rewarding fishing. Using Flourocarbon leaders and tippet in 5X or even 6X makes a huge difference when nymphing. I suggest fishing small dry flies on a 9-12′ leader with 6X or 7X Supple-Flex tippet.

Now this is where Michael Orr comes in.  I asked Michael to put a box of both adult and emerging midges and baetis flies together for me.  I contacted one of my guide friends out west who gave me a list of local patterns. Many of you may see Michael off in the corner at our club meetings selling flies, but I would like to encourage you to use him for outfitting a box of flies for any of your trips this summer.  The quality of his flies are amazing.  You can reach Michael at
Michael Orr Flies

See this month’s  photo album for more pictures.  These flies were tied by Michael Orr.

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Box of midges

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