There are multitudes of stories to be told and sometimes I have a hard time focusing on one or two and trying to tell it. One usually leads into another. Something that has a deep meaning for me are my memories from the times when I was growing up and they keep getting in the way.
One of the things I loved to do was to go to the Provo River, sometimes, other times it was very frustrating. That was all dependent on how cooperative the fish were because we were generally there to fish.
The Provo River has always been a good sized river, at least the lower Provo. It was usually a good river to fish and it produced some very good sized fish.
A number of years ago the Division of Wildlife Resources decided to make the Provo a very restricted stretch of water. From Deer Creek dam to the diversion dam down the canyon was restricted to artificial flies and lures only and they kept the limit of fish you could take very low. They wanted to create a premier fly fishing water and they did it. I still fish it and enjoy it greatly but it has changed greatly also.
Back in the days we started going to the Provo the artificial flies rule was not in force and you could use bait. We always used flies though, I started fly fishing when I was 10-12 years old and still am pretty exclusive about that and I used to do good on the Provo. It was not always easy to fish though and could be frustrating.
Back in my young days streamers were very popular and I did quite good with them but a couple of years ago I went looking to buy some streamers and I couldn't find any even at Cabella's. Another one I always did real well with was woolly worms or buggers and they were not to be found either.
Oh well I will have to see if I can still tie some.
The river is still very good fishing but the atmosphere has changed. It used to be just a two lane road going up the canyon and right at the turn off for Vivian Park there was a Restaurant/Coffeeshop called the Chalet. I used to really like to go there for breakfast and dinner also. They served a little rib eye steak like an open faced sandwich and it was fantastic. The best part was the atmosphere. It was quaint and you could look right out the back to the river.
When they widened the road to four lanes they took out the Chalet and a bait shop that was there also.
I can still remember one day up there when I was about 14 and we had gone up to go fishing. We had stopped at the Chalet for breakfast and just as we came out I noticed a fisherman walking up the river just the other side of the Vivian Park road. He was carrying a fish and I mean a FISH! I was a brown and he was holding it by the gills and he had to keep his arm bent to keep the tail from dragging on the ground.
It was a magnificent old brown trout that he had caught and it weighed 24 pounds 8 ounces. That fish hit all the newspapers and really created a stir all over this area. Over the years I've caught 6-8 pounders out of that river but nothing like that old brown was.
That was a number of years ago but there is still fish like that in that river even today. The fishing is different now with the traffic from cars, walkers, bikes, all those things make those big old guys very, very wary, but they are still there just waiting for the right morsel.