ProvoBold white clouds sailed overhead as my guide, Will Westrate, and I motored down to the lower Provo River. The wind blew at a steady 15 – 25 miles per hour so casting was going to be challenging on this otherwise perfect Rocky Mountain day.

Fortunately we chose a weekday to fish this very heavily fished river. Access is easy off Highway 189, which runs from Provo north past Sundance. There’s something romantic about being near to Sundance, Robert Redford’s hangout. I always wished I could be Katharine Ross so the Sundance Kid could tell me to take my clothes off in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Not so much now at my age.

Will riggingOur day proved fruitful using a bounce rig, which is the standard set-up in these rivers. Sometimes I worry I might become a “purist” – that is one who will only dry-fly fish – at least in the summer. This rig is a fish catcher – no doubt about it – but it does seem contrived. In this rig, you put weights at the bottom of your tippet, which helps to slow the flies down to more closely match the speed of the “naturals.”  It is especially good for selective fish in heavily fished waters, which defines the Provo well. For a great overview of a bounce rig, check out

I casted awkwardly at first due to the rig as well as the wind. There are so many bounces along the river bottom that you have to train your eye to see the real fish tug as opposed to hitting bottom. With time I got it as well as a football fat brown trout.

The bonus on this day was a family of Sandhill Cranes. Sandhill



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