High Country Fly Fishers, Chapter 599

Covers persons living in Summit and Wasatch Counties. However, we welcome all persons interested in fly fishing, regardless of your location. You are also welcome to attend our meetings even if you are not a Trout Unlimited member. If you are a part-time resident, you are also welcome to participate in our meetings.

Chapter President: Eric Luna hcff599@gmail.com

Meeting Time and Location: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, First Wednesday of every month, Starting at 6:00 with social hour followed by guest speaker. On occasion, the meeting schedule may change so always check the calendar page on our website Chapter Website: HighCountryFlyFishers.com The most important pages are the calendar and the signup pages.

Brief Description of Major Chapter Activities

HCFF is an active Chapter with meetings held every month except December. In early December, we have a Christmas Party to start the holiday season. HCFF sponsors fish days and fish outs (multiday fishing outings). All activities are shown on the club website calendar. In addition, throughout the year, we sponsor conservation projects, humanitarian projects, fly tying classes, beginners fly fishing classes and other activities. On the website, there is a projects page that lists the types of projects we have performed over the last few years.

Fishing Types and Locations:

We have two groups of fishers in HCFF and some members participate in both groups. These are fairly unstructured and organize a day of fishing based on weather, hatches, and wind.

Moving Water Group: This group focuses mostly on fishing rivers and streams. In the fall, they fish a favorite lake that offers friendly and large cutthroat trout. The moving water location varies throughout the year by following hatches and sometimes just for variety.

Stillwater Group: This very unstructured group that fish lakes and reservoirs. Most of the participants fish from kick boats (pontoon boats) with electric trolling motors. Some use float tubes without a motor. We have no schedule but fish weekly when the water is not frozen.

Provo River Temperature Monitoring Project:

In 2022 HCFF collected data from set monitors along the entire Middle Provo river and identified temperature increases driven by continued or future drought conditions that may be stressful or harmful to the trout fishery. The dataset will provide information to fishermen on temporal and spatial temperature trends that affect the hatching of macroinvertebrates, and analyses with related datasets on discharge and water temperatures at the dam will be used to gain a better understanding of dam operations in the fishery. The project will introduce high school students to fishing, the river, project planning, and data collection and analysis procedures. The web-based document will provide comprehensive information on the river and its fishery for local and visiting anglers. Check out our website for more information CLICK HERE.

Willow Starts for Provo River Delta Project:

HCFF partnered with other local fly fishing clubs to cut more than 2000 willow starts that were planted in the Provo Delta Restoration area above Utah Lake. In two separate outings, HCFF volunteers contributed nearly 100 hours working with Paula Trater on this effort.

Strawberry River Willow Planting:

In 2019, HCFF was awarded a TU Embrace A Stream (EAS) grant to plant willows on the East Fork of the Strawberry River. To supplement the TU grant, HCFF raised additional funds from our members and got an Orvis Matching Grant to achieve a total of $5000.

The HCFF willow planting on May 7th & 8th, 2021 was the final phase of a much larger DWR project to improve the streambed in the East Fork of the Strawberry River. The EAS committee worked with Alan Ward of UDWR to coordinate the schedule and to purchase 1100 one-gallon container willow plants.

During 2020, UDWR and the US Forest Service worked with Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) funds to mitigate US Highway 40 construction activities. The efforts focused on the east channel of the Strawberry River north of US Highway 40, near Dock Flats Road. UDWR’s short-term goal was to aggrade the channel and reconnect it to the floodplain, limit bank erosion, and stabilize the banks with vegetation.

Alan Ward directed the installation of 27 beaver dam analogs, made from wood posts and willow cuttings, along a 2,600 LF section of the Strawberry River. The beaver dam analogs trap sediment, build up the channel, and seal off the stream bed so it can hold water on the surface year-round. At 12 locations (1,100 LF in total), coconut fiber fabric was installed in streambank laybacks to establish a gradual slope to existing vertical raw banks to connect the riverbed to the floodplain.

Once the major portion of the DWR project was completed, HCFF gathered volunteers from High Country Fly Fishers, Utah TU Council, Stone Fly Society, Bonneville Fly Fishers, UDWR and UDWR Dedicated Hunters, and US Forest Service, Spring Creek Landscaping, Harmon’s Grocers, teachers, students, family members, and friends to plant the willows in the Strawberry River streambed. The goal is to apply these measures to the entirety of the Strawberry River north of US Hwy 40 so that it will hold water at the surface throughout the year to allow the fingerling Bonneville Cutthroat trout to reach the Reservoir. We’ll be planting again in the coming years as more funds for willow purchases are raised.

Catch and Release Tool

A member of HCFF developed a simple tool in 2020 to release fish without netting or touching them. His prototype was distributed to other members to use that summer. After successful testing, HCFF made 250 of these tools as a 2021 Conservation Project and gave them away to fisherman and women. A video showing the use of the tool is on the HCFF website. Some members reported catching 30 to 40 fish in a single day and never touching one. Click Here for Video.





High Country Electroshocking


High Country Willow Harvesting


Willow Planting