Catching Smallies at Rockport Reservoir 8-23-15

Fly fishing pal, Shad “Rack” Thomas, and I did some fly fishing “sploring” (exploring), as we called it, yesterday. Normally, we fish for small-mouth bass at Deer Creek Reservoir above Provo Canyon and below Heber City, Utah.

We did some research and decided to give Rockport Reservoir–east of Park City about fifteen to twenty minutes and just off of Interstate 80–a try.

We arrived about an hour before sunrise because we thought the reservoir was farther than it really was. (Apparently we didn’t do enough research to know exactly how many miles away from Springville Rockport was so we could arrive at sunrise, which was early enough, for goodness sake.) At least we were able to drive around the reservoir to locate the most viable and cheapest parking areas before sunrise.

We finally decided to park and gear up at the parking area just above the dam. There, with a few trips carrying gear and pontoons down a mildly steep and rocky trail, we could launch at the western edge of the dam itself.

We were excited about testing this new (for us), water. Of course we had no idea what we were about to experience; we just hoped we’d catch some fish which would maybe warrant a return trip.

It didn’t take long. My first cast using my Nadi Fly Rods CTS 5 wt with fast sinking line, a weighted, size ten mohair olive leech pattern with a transluscent optic green beadhead and a touch of flash just below the beadhead and at the tail, yielded immediate results that never slowed throughout the five-and-a-half hours we fished Rockport.

It was a day like none I had experienced before!

Superlatives like spectacular, amazing, awesome, incredible, incomparable, etc. would hardly do it justice. (A couple of anglers I spoke to early on called it “beginner’s luck” after I described how well Rack and I were doing . Not exactly beginners, nor totally luck; but I was okay letting them think that.)

There were moments when multiple casts in a row–8, 9; I’d lose track–yielded consecutive fish. (I just kept track of how many fish I was catching and landing. At times I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task, but I somehow stretched my limited mental powers successfully at least for a few hours as it became clear this would be one special day.)

I thought to myself, “fish hatchery?”

Nope. I just chuckled; Rack giggled in disbelief at the kind of success we were experiencing. We laughed a lot!

(“Okay Cheech. Cast to the the bottom of the visible portion of the dam or to the bank, then strip. Smallie strikes hard. Retrieve and release. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…)

Bam, splash, flying smallies everywhere from a few inches in length to 14-15 inches. (Rack caught and lost the biggest of the day [See one of his in the slide show: great fish!]. My largest were 10-11 inches and bunches were in the 8-10 inch range.)

The long and short of the day fishing for small-mouth bass at Rockport Res: 138 landed by Randy. Over 220 total for Cheech and Rack combined!

I’ve never, ever had a fish catching day like yesterday’s. (No other anglers I saw on the reservoir did what we did, either, I’m pretty sure.)

I’ve had numerous big days on other waters including the lower Provo, Diamond Fork, Hobble Creek, and Huntington Reservoir, but yesterday’s numbers more than double the number of fish I caught on my biggest days on any of them.

I took a few photos of some of my bigger smallies and one of Rack’s better fish. (He lost one that he said might have gone two pounds, lamenting it understandably off and on the rest of our trip.)

So check out the slideshow.



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