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Fishing Utah’s Prolific Provo River with Spencer Higa


By traveling for a couple hours in the air, or spending a day driving, you can be standing in one of the best fly fishing rivers in the western United States. Utah’s Provo River, not too far south of Salt Lake City, is a true fly fishing mecca just waiting for all of us here in SoCal. The Provo is one of Utah’s best fisheries and holds good numbers of both rainbow and brown trout.

The river is usually described as being broken into three sections: the upper, the middle and the lower. Although the upper section consists of mainly private land, the middle and lower sections have very good access for anglers. These sections of the Provo hold dense (and we mean dense) populations of brown trout and ample rainbows as well. The fertile tailwaters below both Deer Creek Dam and Jordanelle Dam produce so much forage that this river easily supports both high numbers of trout, as well as some very large trout.

The popularity of fishing this river can tend to “educate” the fish, so fishing at times gets a little technical, but good hatches come off throughout the year. So these steady and prolific hatches improve your chances of fooling the fish when you cast flies that match the natural insects.

Our guide on this great western river is a good friend of our club and has been with us before. Spencer Higa last visited SoCal five years ago when he showed us fishing throughout his entire home state. This time he will focus on his special river. Spencer grew up in Orem, Utah, just minutes from the Provo, which he started fishing when he was 12.  If he wasn’t fishing with his dad, his mother would drive him up to Provo Canyon, drop him off so he could fish and then pick him up hours later. So Spencer has been fishing the Provo for more than 30 years.

He began his formal guiding career at age 21 and has been guiding waters throughout Utah ever since. Currently Spencer is the Fishing Manager at Falcon’s Ledge, a lovely lodge that was awarded the Orvis endorsed Lodge of the Year in 2012. He has a team of guides that he’s helped teach about all the rivers in the area. As a sidenote, while guiding, Spencer created the fly pattern Higa’s SOS, which now catches fish around the western U.S. Another inventive and creative endeavor began a few years ago when he and a couple friends started manufacturing “Tacky Fly Boxes,” which are today sold in fly shops around the country. And along with guiding and helping run Tacky Fly Fishing, Spencer is a filmmaker, having produced several films that have been selected to run during the International Fly Fishing Film Festivals. This hobby has taken him to New Zealand, Alaska, Canada, and just recently, Iceland.

During his presentation, Spencer will show and tell us about techniques he has learned, top fly selections and the best access points on the Provo to help you achieve success. He enjoys sharing his love of our sport with others, but his true passion is seeing people enjoying the waters he grew up fishing. If you want to learn more about Falcon’s Ledge and the fishing opportunities Spencer is in charge of, go to: