Scotts Flat Reservoir is a medium size lake that can be found just outside of Nevada City. It is well-known for its smallmouth bass population and is a popular place to beat the heat in the summer. I've been wanting to check out Scotts Flat for a while now and with a free day off during the three Memorial Day weekend I packed my tube and rod and set out for the lake.
What got me excited about fly fishing Scotts Lake was an article that I read on targeting the smallmouth there. To reiterate a saying common saying, "Smallmouth are pound for pound the most hardest fighting fish on the end of a line". Not only do they pull hard but they also jump at least once during the fight.
After driving up from Yuba City and paying my $10 day-use fee, I rigged my rod with two different colored buggers, inflated my tube, and began searching for my target. The water was very warm and the Memorial Day crowd was naturally there. A few casts in and I get my first of the day. I was hoping that this momentum would continue but I didn't get a single take for the next four hours.
|First Scotts Flat Smallmouth|
I covered a lot of water from the bushes that were sticking out to the trees that I could see. No one was home. I felt defeated and confused. Could it be that there were a bunch of people on the lake? Could it be the wind? Could it be where I was fishing? I took a break and napped on the shore for a few minutes. When I awoke most of the crowds were gone. It was time to try again.
I figured out the crowds weren't a factor because the same areas that I fished were still fishless. I moved to another cove that was much more rocky rather than muddy and hooked a big largemouth that immediately threw the hook when it jumped. Now I knew that I was doing something right and in the right place. As I continued fishing the surface of the lake turned to glass and the sky darkened from the sunset. I finally hooked into my next smallie. The fish were closer to the shore than I expected and were only hitting the olive bugger. I doubled up on the olive and worked my way along the banks. A few more fish hooked and I was done for the day. Two landed out of five hooked. Not too shabby...
|Smooth Surface On Scotts Flat|
Overall my experience was decent. I'd like to return to Scotts Flat sometime and explore the different coves along the lake. The only thing keeping me away is the day-use fee. The day-use area is not very big and can get crowded really fast. There are also no bouys separating how far the boats can come to the bank; I watched as a big boat came all the way to bank while navigating through a crowded coved of swimmers and kayaks. All-in-all Scotts Flat is nice but not that nice.