right time, right place for fishing
By the time Brent Stettler and I arrived at the Millsite State Park boat ramp Tuesday morning, Calvin Black and Dan Keller already had their catch on ice in the cooler.
They had trout, nearly a limit of rainbow and splake they had hooked and hauled aboard the big aluminum boat in a little more than an hour on the lake. Even for experienced Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries biologists like Black and Keller, it was not exactly routine. They were smiling.
For Stettler, the DWR's regional conservation outreach officer, it meant that the fish were cooperating in the effort to make sure that the reporter from Price was not disappointed.
Black and Keller took us to the honey hole they had found near the dam. "We line up with that buoy and right in front of that driftwood," Black said. The water was 22 to 28 feet deep at this place and, according to the blips showing on the sonar, the fish liked the location.
The experts explained that the water temperature is probably more suitable for them after a winter under ice and there could be features on the bottom that are also attractive.
Whatever it was that brought the fish there, it was the bait and lures that brought them out. The anglers were having luck with chartreuse Powerbait with sparkles, cast out from the boat and rigged to float about two feet from the bottom, then slowly retrieved.
Green tube jigs with red flecks were also good.
The lake, at elevation 6,100 feet, is ice free. As of Tuesday, the trees in the year-round campground were beginning to bud.