Home Waters


The Middle Provo River


David Whiteman

Professor C. David Whiteman, Retired Atmospheric Scientist, University of Utah

David Whiteman, a scientist, avid fly fisherman, and longstanding member of the High Country Fly Fisher’s community, has dedicated years to both fishing and studying the intricate ecosystem of his “home waters,” the Middle Provo River. Collaborating with various individuals, including students from Wasatch High School’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies and Professor Roger Gold, he is nearing completion of his comprehensive research publication. Whether you’ve peacefully cast a fly on the serene currents of the Middle Provo, hold a deep passion for conservation efforts, or call Wasatch County your home, Whiteman’s exhaustive studies warrants a prominent place on your reading and viewing list.

Aerial view of the Middle Provo River


Video Tour of the Middle Provo River

I created a video tour of the Middle Provo River using Google Earth Pro to complement the HCFF report titled “The Middle Provo River – An Introduction for the Fisherman.” This video serves as an informative tool for anglers interested in familiarizing themselves with the river, its geographical features, and nearby amenities such as hiking trails, roads, tributary confluences, bridges, parking areas, and restroom facilities.

Initially, I considered capturing footage with a drone; however, upon discovering the capabilities of Google Earth Pro, I opted to utilize this platform for the project. The video traces a predetermined flight path along the approximately 12-mile stretch of the river, spanning from Deer Creek Reservoir to the Jordanelle Reservoir, maintaining a consistent virtual elevation of 150 meters above ground level.

Key infrastructure elements are prominently labeled throughout the video tour. Additionally, the locations of data loggers deployed in the river between March 2022 and March 2024 for the purpose of monitoring river temperatures as part of the HCFF Middle Provo River Temperature Monitoring Project are marked. The findings of this conservation initiative are detailed in a report accessible on our website.

Furthermore, a separate video tour has been developed to document the macroinvertebrate sampling sites utilized by high school students participating in training at Wasatch High School’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies. This collaborative project between HCFF and Wasatch High aims to enhance students’ understanding of aquatic ecosystems and conservation practices.

C. David Whiteman

Macroinvertebrates of the Middle Provo River

Wasatch CAPS Students

Fall 2023 Wasatch High School CAPS Students collected the live samples

Professor C. David Whiteman, a member of the High Country Fly Fishers, partnered with Professor Roger Gold, advisor of students at the Heber City Wasatch High School’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies program, to embark on a project to investigate the macroinvertebrate population of the Middle Provo River. As part of the initiative, students collected, identified, and counted these tiny aquatic creatures, which play a crucial role in the river’s ecosystem and serve as essential food sources for trout. The project culminated in the creation of a video showcasing live samples of the macroinvertebrates collected in early December 2023.

This informative video, a valuable resource for fly fishermen and fly tyers, goes beyond fly selection and equips viewers with the knowledge to become responsible stewards of the Middle Provo River ecosystem. By understanding the importance of macroinvertebrates, viewers can contribute to conservation efforts and ensure a thriving fishery for generations to come. The video offers valuable insights into the delicate balance of the river and empowers viewers to make informed choices that promote healthy fish populations and sustainable fishing practices.


The Middle Provo River – An introduction for the fisherman

This paper provides an overview of Utah’s Middle Provo River, situated within Heber Valley between the Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs. It explores the historical evolution of the Provo River, from its origins in the Uinta Mountains to its transformation due to the Central Utah Project (CUP). Specifically, it discusses the construction of the Jordanelle dam and its impact on the Middle Provo River’s ecosystem. The focus then shifts to the river’s post-dam reconstruction, examining its hydrology, fishery, water quality, and the role of resident macroinvertebrates as a primary food source for fish. Additionally, potential future challenges facing this renowned Blue-Ribbon fishery are highlighted.

Middle Provo River Temperature Study

In 2021, the High Country Fly Fishers, partnered with CAPS at Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah, for a three-year conservation initiative. The project aims to monitor stream temperatures in the Middle Provo River, spanning from Jordanelle to Deer Creek reservoirs. Over this period, students will collect macroinvertebrate samples and data from in-stream temperature loggers.