Winter fly fishing on the Provo River
Photo from Rebeca Granillo

Podcast Ep. 104 – Winter Fishing and Building Friendships on the Provo River with Rebeca Granillo

In this episode we Wadeoutthere with Rebeca Granillo from Salt Lake City Utah.

Podcast episode appears at the end of this short article.

Rebeca started fly fishing in Utah and is a guide on the Provo River.  She is also the founder of the Wasatch Fly Club, where she connects and teaches other lady anglers in the area.  

We discuss:

  • Fishing small streams in Utah
  • How to find small streams to fish
  • Winter tactics on the Provo River
  • Winter fly selection
  • Winter presentation
  • Winter trout behavior
  • The importance of building fly fishing friendships
  • Fly fishing opportunities for women in Utah


“In my body, fly fishing is like a drug  And its side effect is this drowning pull to always find new water.”

Rebeca Granillo

The river is different in the winter.  A different place.  A different experience.  The colors transformed from golden wheats and greens to grays and browns.  The river’s true shape is revealed.  Carvings of earth and rocks and logs that mysteriously house the water that produces fish throughout the warmer seasons are revealed.  We learn the true reasons for the flows and seams we cast to.  

The river has changed in the winter, but somehow it’s familiar.  Amplified somehow in every experience.  We walk out to the river, but it’s quieter.  The sound of snow crunching beneath our boots reminds us of that silence.  We read water, but the seams and pockets are more nuanced and subtle.  We pick flies, but the cold numbs our fingers and we struggle to pinch the tiny nymphs and midges from our boxes.  We cast and mend and hookset.  All the rhythms we are used to, and just as when we explore the mountain creeks that Rebeca yearns for, the day is filled with discovery. 

The river is closer to us in the winter.  Smaller and more intimate.  It forces us to fish deliberately.  To search longer, work harder.  The river requires a little more in the winter.  It is very much the new water we are all pulled to.  It’s no wonder she loves it.

Key Takeaways

  • Small differences in the imprintations of dry flies on the water can make a difference in what trout will eat.   If changing a fly’s size or color doesn’t work, try a differently tied version of the same fly.
  • “A Fly Fishers Guide to…” books are a great place to start with exploring new waters and small streams.
  • The Provo is a great winter fishery with less pressure than the summer
  • When flows begin to drop in the winter on the Provo you have to be more stealthy. 
  • Larger stoneflies sometimes work good in winter, but typically smaller patterns are better, especially on the surface
  • Don’t pass up fishing the riffles in the winter.
  • Good winter flies: mother shucker, griffith’s gnat, ninety percenter.
  • There can be good midge hatches and clusters of midges in the winter
  • The ninety percenter fly emphasizes the shuck of the midge
  • Noseeum flies are great all year but especially in the winter.  Made by a man in Francis Utah.  Get them at Fish Heads Fly Shop.  Great in winter for midges.
  • Green Drake hatch end of June and beginning of July is a great time to fish the Provo
  • Tightlining can be a good approach the Provo
  • Soft hackles work good on the Provo, and help when a natural dry fly presentation is tough

Learn More

To schedule a guided trip with Rebeca visit her online at Fish Heads Fly

You can find out more about Rebeca on Instagram at @chewwwbeca
Or join her and her friends at Wasatchflyclub on Facebook or Instagram @wasatchflyclub

If you want more information on some of the topics we discussed try reading these blog posts from Wadeoutthere:

Embrace the Drive
Six Techniques for Fishing Small Streams
Look Through and Fish the Flash

If you enjoy the Wadeoutthere Fly Fishing Podcast, and want to help it grow, please leave a rating and review.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed talking with Rebeca. Wadeoutthere friends.


Jason Shemchuk

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