Millsite Reservoir, a great spring fishery

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PRICE, UTAH—While most water bodies in Carbon and Emery counties lay under a sheet of ice in mid-March, Millsite Reservoir has opened, and presents an opportunity for some excellent early spring fishing.

Millsite Reservoir is the centerpiece of Millsite State Park and offers a diversity of recreational opportunities, including camping, picnicking and golfing at its adjacent 18-hole golf course. The 435-acre reservoir is situated four miles west of the town of Ferron and State Road 10. The park is within an hour’s drive of most locations in Carbon and Emery counties and is 165 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

As the first water to open in Castle Country, Millsite Reservoir offers some unique qualities for expert and novice anglers alike.

First of all, the reservoir is home to four species of trout—splake, cutthroats, rainbows and tiger trout—all of which accommodates multiple angling styles, such as bait dunkers, spincasters and fly fishermen.

Spring shoreline anglers need not worry about competing successfully with boaters. Spring trout cruise shallow water and are within range a cast from the bank.

Those who prefer to fish from a boat will want to watch for remnants of ice that may remain after cold winters. Although launching a watercraft from the concrete ramp offers no challenge, the floating boat dock is often out-of-service until early May, due to a draw-down of water during winter months.

A number of time-tested baits and lures will put more trout in the creel of spring line wetters. Bait dunkers have had excellent luck with worms, PowerBait, salmon eggs or egg sacs. For the early bird who prefers to throw soft plastics, try a curly tail or tube jig. The best colors for turbid water are white and chartreuse. Brown, black or pumpkin plastics attract more fish, swimming in clear water. Spincasters get the most hits with a Jakes lure, Kastmaster, Blue Fox, or Mepps. The preferred pattern for spring flycasters has been a size 6-8 leech or soft hackle fly.

The state park is open year round, although most of its amenities open in early April. These include modern restrooms, showers, disposal stations and drinking water. The park is ADA accessible. The cost for park access is $3 a person and $5 per carload. The park offers 20 camping sites for $16 per night. The park features multiple picnic tables and two covered pavilions for group events. Reservations are not required but highly recommended. For a reservation, call 1-800-322-3770. For additional information, search your Internet browser for “Millsite State Park.”

As spring arrives, other Castle Country lakes and reservoirs add to the list of good fishing destinations, but for the March angler—itching to drop a line—Millsite State Park is hard to beat.

On the first warm weekend, grab your fishing tackle and family for a day of fun, followed by a dinner of fresh trout and some lasting memories.