Pro guide suggestion for SLC Utah fishing for trout - middle or lower Provo river ? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Pro guide suggestion for SLC Utah fishing for trout - middle or lower Provo river ?

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 - way 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 a fly 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 I am 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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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 04:37 PM
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Not sure on guides, i have heard good things about Trout Bums 2. I would go with the middle stretch due to the fact they have done a lot of restoration work, lots of dry fly action, and less inner tubes floating down stream. Ultimately your guide is going to be the most knowledgeable for choosing the best spots. Nate
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Bring the swing.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 10:15 PM
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Try Western Rivers Fly Fisher as there should be someone around that knows spey casting and guides the area. Hopefully they will talk you into bringing a single hander too. I can't begin to explain how spectacularly pointless a trouting two hander is on these waters. But if you must, have at it.

Not sure of your definition of 'big browns' but the days of actual big browns ended decades ago. Anything around 18" is a nice fish. Finding something bigger...hmm...sure they are there but just like 20# steelhead there are many more claimed than actually caught.

Any decent shop will have the flies you want. And they would also part with directions to the pull outs of where to fish if you want to DIY. River is stuffed with fish. Some areas have more than others. But overall if you can fish you will find the fish.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2017, 09:56 PM
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sounds like maybe inland is might be right. maybe you might be better off without a guide. as long as you can read water well, you will be fishing to plenty of fish. since you have already made up your mind how you want to fish, all a guide can do is take you to the water you would find yourself eventually. read the water, take into account the water temp and hatches, and have at it. fwiw, good two hand runs will be few and far between. access is pretty obvious with a good map.

btw, your son is joining the Ute tribe ? I used to live next to the Ute reservation in Durango. Very prosperous tribe. i'd like to join myself.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 11:35 AM
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btw, your son is joining the Ute tribe ? I used to live next to the Ute reservation in Durango. Very prosperous tribe. i'd like to join myself.
Sounds like he is going to the University of Utah. Home of the 'Utes'!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 05:28 PM
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You may not need a guide, but you should call Western Rivers. Steve Schmidt, the owner, is a long-time user of 2-handed rods. Several others in the shop also use them. And they certainly know the Provo! Talk to Steve if possible.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 05:56 PM
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I can't begin to explain how spectacularly pointless a trouting two hander is on these waters. But if you must, have at it.
Hahaha. Wow, inland tell us how you really feel!

And I was just thinking of adding a new switch specifically for the local water...in fact I think its inevitable
I would agree though that if you are traveling, spending a full day on the water with who-knows-what conditions and crowds, single hander with a bag of reels/lines will be the best bet. That's a lot different than having year round access to the river from your home.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your input!

I just finished "interviewed" 4 fly fishing guides in SLC and Park City.
Amazing differences between guides for sure.

Has anyone heard of or used:
Kennie @ Salt Lake Fly Fishing ?

After speaking to different guide companies, it was evident that some guides catered towards non equipped/traveler type angler where the guide supplies everything from waders, boots, rod, lunch, and will get a fishing license on your behalf - you just show up. Plus they will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel! BTW: MOST expensive @ $400-$500 per day prices.

Other guide services I noticed only fish the Provo river and will not do other rivers.
Still others said they do not do 2 handers.
Guess they are biased towards single handers ??

I spoke to Kennie at length and he was open to use of a 2 hander trout rod and going off the beaten path of crowded fishing on the Provo.
He asked lots of questions about what I am expecting, conditions, type of fishing, etc...
I said I love to swing flies, try my hand at dries which I never did, walk & wade in the water, and prefer to wet wade in the summer.
Kennie finally said "Weber River". Weber river is warmer compared to the Provo where waders are needed - but when he heard I prefer to wet wade I said - Weber!
So I also ask isn't the Weber difficult due to mainly private property ? He said no problem - he has access rights on private property lots on the Weber so fishing will be in solitude!
So we are targeting brown trout and our backup will be whitefish in the Weber.
Plus he will pick me up and drop me off since I am staying in SLC near his home!
Price $300 full day w/ lunch - just what I wanted!

Will have to report back with what our trip and guide finds...
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Try Western Rivers Fly Fisher as there should be someone around that knows spey casting and guides the area. Hopefully they will talk you into bringing a single hander too. I can't begin to explain how spectacularly pointless a trouting two hander is on these waters. But if you must, have at it.
I spoke to Kigen at WRF and believes that a 4wt trout switch/spey rod may work on the Middle Provo river since it can be cast as a single hander, single hander w/ spey casts, and a true spey rod.

Have to say how light and easy to cast this beautiful Redington Hydrogen trout spey - compared to my 7wt and up steelhead & salmon rods....

I just don't do any single hand fishing much these days with my shoulder...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 12:41 AM
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If you need to run two hands to keep your shoulder from making your fishing miserable by all means run two hands. I hope your trip is enjoyable and you find some fish.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Found Kennie Garcia as a professional guide who got me onto tons of Brown Trout - all wild - all over 12" up to 20" on the Weber river!
Fished them with 4wt trout spey and loved how these angry browns fought!

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 01:47 PM
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Glad this post came up. I'm headed to Park City in a couple weeks. I was planning on heading to the Green, but maybe just stay closer on the Provo and Weber, etc. Thoughts?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Glad this post came up. I'm headed to Park City in a couple weeks. I was planning on heading to the Green, but maybe just stay closer on the Provo and Weber, etc. Thoughts?
@Skol_Bandit yes, the local rivers are doing well with lots of water and lots of hungry fish.
You should watch the river streamflow daily to monitor the flow if you are doing a DIY trip.

Middle Provo is high still @ 1000 cfs but hard to fish. Some guides were taking clients fishing the banks using very small #22-#28 midge patterns with a lot of split shot (Provo bounce rig). Remember the fish in the Provo are fewer & smaller due to higher fishing pressure!

I may visit the lower Provo which is better for fishing conditions now but still running high.

Middle and lower Weber is back in shape @ about 200-250cfs last time I checked this week which means wadeable river and great fishing using sowbug, leeches, worms and if the PMD hatches start in the afternoon - dry fly fishing!
I prefer the Weber now that I know the fishing pressure is a lot less and the fish are huge!

I am returning next month to fish the Weber for sure since I learned a lot from the guide.
But I am hiring him again to fish exclusively dries in the upper alpine tributaries near Park City.

My guide does trips to the Green from Park City (he has an office out of Snowbird) but he says it's all drift boat fishing because of the high flows. I don't like fishing from a boat myself so I say the Green is out of the picture for awhile....

Picture of the Middle Provo @ Cottonwood access point running very high and fast last week:
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