True Confession: I am afraid of fish. Okay, so I'm not really afraid of them, but the thought of touching a fish makes me squeamish. It's unreasonable, but avoiding fish on a day-to-day basis is not difficult, so this fear has not generally been a big problem for me. Until recently.
We were offered the chance to try fly fishing with Rocky Mountain Outfitters. I hate to pass up the opportunity to try something new, so I called my husband for his opinion. It was: “Let's do it! I can't wait to see you fly fish.”
A few weeks later, on a beautiful Saturday morning, we met Ryan and Adam at the Rocky Mountain Outfitters stables, just outside of Midway, Utah. Midway is arguably the most charming small town in Utah. It is less than 30 minutes' drive from Park City and less than an hour from Salt Lake City.
Our guides helped us suit up in waders and boots and then we drove a short distance to a pretty spot on the upper Provo River.
Ryan started by showing my six-year-old son how to cast, and almost didn't notice that they had hooked a fish on the first try! It was a nice sized brown trout and it was an exciting way to start our morning on the river. My eight-year-old daughter was next and she started to get frustrated when it took her a whole ten minutes to hook her first trout.
Then it was my turn. I didn't catch anything as quickly as my children, but I enjoyed learning the motions of fly fishing. More than once, I didn't even notice my bobber go under because I was busy enjoying our beautiful surroundings and the perfect weather.
When I finally did catch a fish, I decided to overcome my fears and pick up the fish for a trophy shot before releasing it back into the river. I very slowly and tentatively wrapped my hands around the slippery thing, and apparently wasn't holding it very tightly, because this is my trophy photo:
I can't say I'm “hooked” on fishing now, but I had a good time and I'm glad I went. Our fly fishing trip with Rocky Mountain Outfitters is a great addition to my family's “been there, done that” list.
Here is what you need to know if you'd like to book your own Utah fly fishing trip :
Rocky Mountain Outfitters makes it easy
They provided waders, boots, fishing gear, fishing licenses, bottled water, Clif bars and fruit snacks for our 2-hour trip.
Rocky Mountain Outfitters is one of only two Orvis endorsed guide services in Utah. Orvis produces sporting equipment, including most of what we used on our trip, and the company endorses outfitters that meet its standards for “great service, great fishing and an experienced, professional staff.”
In 2013, Rocky Mountain Outfitters was awarded the title of “Orvis Endorsed Guide Service of the Year.” This award is based on customer feedback, and it's a real honor for Rocky Mountain Outfitters.
Fly fishing is a family-friendly adventure
It is best suited for children over the age of five or six. Rivers can be dangerous places for children to play, especially in the spring, so get a sitter for children who are not old enough to participate.
Ryan and Adam gave my children lots of attention to ensure that they were safe and that they had a good experience. My eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son loved their fly fishing experience. They caught two fish each and had a lot of fun. I believe that experiences like this are great confidence-builders for kids.
Your packing list
Here is what you'll need to have a fun and memorable day on the river.
- long, comfortable pants for everyone
- warm socks for insulation against chilly water
- change of clothing for children – I had no trouble staying dry during the trip, but both my children fell in the water. My son was soaked from head to toe. Thankfully, we had his swimsuit and a spare t-shirt with us.
- cooler for bringing fish home (optional)
Good to Know
Where: We met our guides near Midway, but they will lead trips from several places along the Provo or Weber rivers.
When: Year-round, by reservation.
How Much: A 4-hour trip with two guides costs about $150 per person. The 2-hour trip is around $80 per adult and a little less for kids. Don't forget cash to tip your guides.
How Long: You can book a 2-hour, 4-hour or 8-hour fishing trip. Two hours was plenty for my kids and me, but my husband would have enjoyed a longer trip.
Amenities: Rocky Mountain Outfitters will provide all of the gear needed for the trip.
Disclosure: Rocky Mountain Outfitters gave us this trip at no charge so we could review it for other families. The opinions expressed are my own.