Whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned angler, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work,” goes the adage. We agree! All of that outdoor adventure will make you hungry. Here, you’ll find tips for where to a line and get a post-river bite for yourself.
It’s not hard to get hooked on fly-fishing: the peace of watching a fly floating on the surface of a gently swirling eddy, the thrill of the catch (and release) when silver flashes and your line goes tight, and the pure enjoyment of being one with nature standing in a crystalline river. Let’s get started.
The Middle Provo River is one of Utah’s finest blue-ribbon fisheries, stretching from Jordanelle to Deer Creek Reservoirs. Great public access is only a 15-minute drive from Park City. Take UT-224 out of Park City to US Hwy 40 East, travel nine miles, and turn right at the light at River Road. Two fisherman’s access areas are right there (one on the right, one on the left) with parking, portable restrooms, and lots of other fishers to swap tales with. You’ll catch brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout on this beautiful, braided section of river, with lots of easy spots to fish from shore or by shallow wading (depending on water flow). Flies and lures only. Best bets: PMDs, caddis in the evenings, and grasshoppers in late summer.
You’d be happy simply lounging on the deck of the restored, 80-year-old ranch house of Back 40 Ranch House Grill, taking in the beautiful, pastoral views of the Heber/Midway Valley while sipping nothing but the water from their own artesian aquifer, but … with so many farm-to-table, locally sourced ingredients, you’d be remiss if you didn’t order, say, the smoked jalapeño cheddar burger made with beef from the Circle Bar Ranch two pastures away and artisan cheddar from nearby Heber Valley Cheese. Wash it back with a local cold brew from the full bar menu. 1223 US Hwy 40, Heber City, 435.654.3070, back40utah.com
GET YOUR FEET WET
Each summer Monday evening at 5 p.m. (until Labor Day), Jans Mountain Outfitters hosts free, beginner fly-casting lessons at the ponds at lower Deer Valley (next to the gazebo). You don’t need a reservation, but call ahead and let them know you’re coming so they can bring enough rods (bring your own if you have one). Typically, you’ll end up with a group of 8 to 10 new anglers perfecting their “10 o’clock, 2 o’clock” casting technique. Then, book a guided trip with the fine folks at Jans or Trout Bum 2 for a true fly-fishing experience on a local river. Jans Mountain Outfitters, 1600 Park Ave, 435.649.4949, jans.com; Trout Bum 2, 4343 Hwy 224, 435.658.1166, troutbum2.com.
After learning how to cast more beautifully than Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It, reward yourself with a light, lovely repast at Deer Valley Grocery Café. Sit on the outside deck and check out the duckies and stand-up paddleboarders floating by. Mouthwatering faves are the BLT with maple bacon, tomato, artisan greens, and tarragon aioli on toasted nine-grain bread or the open-face albacore tuna melt with local cumin-spiced cheddar, vine-ripened tomato, and cracked grain mustard on sprouted wheat berry bread. DVGC also carries a plethora of gourmet to-go items if you want to pack a picnic. 2250 Deer Valley Dr, 435.615.2400, deervalley.com