$1 million to be invested in fly fishing ranch along Utah’s Upper Provo River

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Sporting Ranch Capital Management (SRCM) has purchased a 204-acre tract on the Upper Provo River just east of Park City, Utah, with plans to create an unrivaled fly fishing ranch by enriching its waterways and improving conservation and management of the pristine property.

The property is within minutes of the 6,500-acre luxury resort development Victory Ranch Club and its Rees Jones championship golf course, and 22 minutes of downtown Park City and less than 15 minutes from Deer Valley and their dynamic skiing opportunities. It will offer spectacular fishing and recreational opportunities.

Sporting Ranch acquired the land from Property Reserve Inc., which manages real estate owned by Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  According to Sporting Ranch’s press release, the Mormons rarely sell property of this ilk.

“No project like this has ever been done in the Upper Provo River basin,” says SRCM founder Jay Ellis . “We plan to invest $1 million to improve and enhance the property, creating 10,000 feet of spring creek along its north side.”

The Provo River offers a premier blue ribbon trout fishery just north of the ranch, which means brown and rainbow trout reach record lengths there — a typical fish runs 18 inches or bigger. In some areas, the Provo River offers 3,000 or more trout per mile. When the transformation is completed, the ranch will have 3 miles of fishable water.

“We are creating an asset that simply is not available in today’s market,” Ellis says of the Dallas-based recreational ranch property fund’s fourth acquisition (the other three are in Colorado, Idaho, and New Mexico). “There has never been a river restoration project done like this in the Woodland Valley. We are creating the finest fly fishing ranch in Utah.”

SRCM has hired CFI Global, a leader in stream restoration management, to enhance the fishery on the property, creating oxbows and ponds along the spring creek. SRCM will build buck-and-rail fence around the property, and construct a striking entrance for the property. “We will do everything but put a structure on it,” Ellis says. “It will be strikingly beautiful.”

All of the SRCM-enhanced properties are scheduled to be on the market by Labor Day this year.

SRCM looks for properties with titular creek and wildlife habitat that are close to an airport. “We only look at places with live water,” Ellis says. “That’s the main value creator that the consumer looks for: a private, pristine fishery on their ranch. A nearby airport is also imperative in our formula, because if a guy owns a ranch, he wants to be on that ranch within 45 minutes of landing (a plane). It’s easy to buy a ranch in the middle of nowhere.”

Ellis left Morgan Stanley last May to start Sporting Ranch Capital. The fund expects to monetize the properties it acquires and enhances through outright sales. SRCM intends to create a new end-market. Never before has there been a professional effort to acquire properties in the most desirable locations, enhance the sporting attributes and monetize the assets.

“We’re creating the blank canvas of the trophy sporting ranch,” Ellis says.

The Sporting Ranch Capital ManagementOpens in a new tab. fund was created to acquire recreational ranch properties in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah at depressed prices and create value through specific enhancements that SRCM has found to yield the most attractive investment returns including; enhancing the fishery, enhancing big game and upland bird habitats, eliminating access issues, removing unsightly structures and equipment and adding roads, utilities and high-quality fencing. The fund considers income-generating activities and takes advantage of state and federal incentive programs. Entrepreneurial legend and billionaire T. Boone Pickens was one of its initial investors.

Image Credit – Provo River, near Heber City, Utah, taken by Janet AytonOpens in a new tab..  Flickr Creative Commons.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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