Just a few minutes northeast of Fairview is a hot little fishing hole called Bench’s Pond.
You may know it by one of its aliases: Beaver Dam Reservoir, or the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) Pond.
No matter what you call it, though, this pond is a great spot to take your family fishing.
Bench’s is the perfect choice for parents with children and those who can’t negotiate along a natural shoreline. The parking lot is graveled, a boardwalk stretches along the north side of the pond, and a Forest Service restroom sits just off the water. You can fish from the boardwalk without getting stuck in the mud or snagging your line on overhead trees or shoreline shrubs and debris.
Brent Stettler, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the pond may be small (it’s just over four acres in size), but it has plenty of fish to catch. “From Memorial Day until Labor Day,” he says, “biologists stock the pond with rainbow trout every two weeks. These rainbows make for good fishing almost any time. Most of the fish are about 10 inches long, but some over 12 inches long are also caught.”
Stettler says the best fishing happens in the early morning and in the evening, but midday fishing can still be productive. Night crawlers, PowerBait, marshmallows and salmon eggs are good baits to try. Start out with a sinker, and fish off the bottom. If that doesn’t work, put a bubble on your line, and fish your bait under the surface. “These fish are young and inexperienced, with a lot of competition,” he says. “They can’t afford to be too fussy.”
If you’re still not having any luck, remove your bait hook, and tie a spinner to your line. Two good choices are a Jakes Spin-a-Lure in silver or gold, or a Kastmaster.
As you retrieve the lure back to you, keep it running above the moss for best results. “If nothing bites,” Stettler says, “go for a hike, and try again in the evening.”
From Fairview, Bench’s Pond is just off of state Route 264 — about two and a half miles southeast of its junction with state Route 31.
You can also get to Bench’s from the east by driving an hour out of Huntington.
Although there’s no camping at the pond, plenty of campsites are available nearby. Visit the Manti-LaSal National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/home for a list of all the picnic and camping sites in the area.
Don’t forget to check the 2013 Utah Fishing Guidebook before visiting the pond. The free guidebook is available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
Fishing reports for Bench’s Pond, and for other fishing hotspots in Utah, is available at wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.
For more information about fishing at Bench’s Pond, call the DWR’s Southeastern Region office at 435-613-3700.
Image courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources