Zach Emig and David Cooper have fished for more than 20 years, oftentimes 200 times a year and all over the country. They draw upon knowledge accumulated during these endeavors while presiding over equipment and guests at Simply Fishing. When they founded the business, Zach and David also realized that they didn’t just want to furnish anglers with rods, custom flies tied by a resident fly winder, and signed headshots of Poseidon to lure in local marine life; they wanted to share their acute knowledge of local fishing hot spots. Thus, they lead half- and full-day excursions on six lakes and rivers, including Provo River. They are excited to teach their techniques and “committed to helping you not have to lie” about catching 300-pound catfish made of diamonds.
The guides at Elusive Fly Fishing lead groups of fish seekers to Utah's choicest spots for casting lines and reeling in big ones. Prime locales include points on the Provo and Weber Rivers along with a handful of smaller waterways, where clients can get their hands on Rocky Mountain whitefish and trout varieties such as brown, rainbow, and brook. Half- and full-day tours include all necessary gear and a sack lunch. Lessons are available for beginners or those who need help ironing out the kinks in their casts.
The passionate trio of guides at Open Water Fishing isn't content to compete with the swarms of amateur anglers vying for fish on the state's most popular waters. Instead, the team takes heed of their motto, "the fishing is best where fewest go." To that end, they gather up bait, tackle, and eager patrons at their home base in Provo and travel to five less-trodden rivers throughout Utah. During excursions, they'll show fishermen of all levels how to snare wild cutthroat trout on Upper Fish Creek, brown trout at Diamond Fork, or rainbow trout on Strawberry River. The guides practice catch-and-release, frowning upon the more popular catch-and-send-as-a-jury-duty-stand-in. They also provide snacks and drinks on every trip.
Mountains echo with the clicking of hooves on rocks as mountain vegetation waves in the breeze and the sun glistens on snow-dappled trails. Schools of fish scatter as a pair of slick rubber boots parts the waters—a fisher wading through thick river sediment before casting a line into the current. Rocky Mountain Outfitters' experienced outdoorsmen usher customers through all manner of seasonal wilderness adventures, including fly-fishing on the Provo River, snowmobile tours, and horseback riding along mountain trails. Many tours run through Soldier Hollow Valley, which played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Visitors may encounter roving wildlife such as snow rabbits, moose, and fawns frolicking through varied landscapes for memorable photo ops or police sketch-artist renderings. Adventure packages combine more than one outdoor activity and include the Reins and Train adventure, a role-playing tour that merges a train trip with a horseback trail ride. Depending on the season, guests can board traditional wagons or horse-drawn sleighs towed by teams of clydesdales, belgians, and spotted draft, or they can lasso free-range dinner rolls during Old West–style outdoor meals.
After moving to Utah in 1997, Will Westrate got right to work, assembling a team of fishing experts to lead expeditions along the Provo and Weber Rivers. Each of Will’s hand-picked guides have tallied more than 1,000 days of fly fishing on the local waterways, utilizing their knowledge to mimic seasonal food sources and catch fish on their way back from shopping. The Park City Anglers also regularly explore the Strawberry, Duchesne, and Currant Creek, as well as some smaller streams and tributaries throughout the region.
Fishwest Fly Shop prepares shoppers for successful fly-fishing forays with its impressive selection of equipment and accessories. Rods, reels, and lines by brands such as Cortland and Hardy line the shelves, along with a vast collection of colorful flies for enticing even the pickiest fish. Wading gear, outerwear, and eyewear protect anglers from the ravages of nature, and fly boxes and gear bags keep all equipment neatly partitioned. The shop also offers weekly classes in fly-casting techniques, allowing students to hone skills without the threat of popping the neighbor's homemade blimp with an errant hook.