KSL outdoors with Adam Eakle - Saturdays at 6:30pm

KSL Outdoors: Yuba Reservoir

By Adam Eakle

Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors and welcome to Yuba Reservoir. You know there has been a lot of changes here at Yuba and the state park. Tonight we hope to show you them all. Biologists are undertaking an effort right now to bring more fish into the reservoir to help the trophy pike and the walleye fishery here. Tonight we are going to show you a new zip line and we are going to go out chasing northern pike with a guy who like to tackle them with a fly rod.

(Adam) look at that. (steve) oh yeah this is a good one. (adam) oh look at that. OH, that's a monster dude, that's forty.

I've seen and caught some big pike at Yuba for nearly a decade. But never on a fly rod, tonight let's introduce you to Targhee Boss, a Yuba fishing guide who targets these toothy critters with a fly rod.

(adam) what is it about these fish that made you want to come down here and do this (Targhee Boss, UtahStillwaters.com) in Utah there are some of the biggest, meanest, nastiest fish you can find.

(Targhee Boss) There's nothing like watching a big fish come out of a weed line our out of the depths and just watching them maul your fly. It's a visual addiction and it's as good as it gets on a fly rod.

Targhee has fly fished all over the world for big powerful fish, like snook and tarpon, but close to home, this is as good as it gets for him. His largest pike to date is this 42 inch, 22 pound beast.

(Targhee Boss) I'll get people out here that have actually never even fly fished before, but they've caught pike up in Northern Canada or whatever you know. So they know the appeal of pike fishing and want to experience that on a fly rod. (Targhee Boss) and then I've got guys who are super accomplished, have been down to South America fishing for Dorado, golden trout our Bahamas or whatever.

Today the bite is a bit tough, the fish would follow but not commit. That's pretty typical here at Yuba. I think catching a pike on rod and reel at times can be pretty easy. On a fly rod, it's anything but.

(Targhee Boss) it's kind of a niche venue for fly fishing. There are loads of fly fishing guides in Utah, many of them are great. I have good buddies that guide for trout and what not. This is something I have found a passion for. It's something I'm looking to share with other people that have broad interests in fly fishing. Aside from just trout or looking to broaden their interests.

Thanks for taking us out. That was a lot of fun. Biggest fish I've ever had on a flyrod, at least here at Yuba. I know that was a at least 30-33 inch pike, just need to strip set a little harder. (targee) yeah there are so many variables, but yeah it never hurts to break your rod in half on a pike that's for sure.

The goal is move thousands of these 3-9 inch yellow perch to Yuba. Back in the mid nineties Yuba Reservoir was considered one of the best walleye and perch fisheries in the state, if not the West.

That changed in 2003, when the reservoir was drained for dam repairs. Once the reservoir began to fill back up, biologists re-stocked perch back into Yuba and it was hoped that once the perch came back, the walleye would follow. But, now a days anglers are catching very few perch, some walleye, and main predator now is the Northern Pike.

(Mike Slater) Yuba Reservoir we just don't have that forage fish, the yellow perch in the numbers in any way that we really need to support both the walleye as well as the popular northern pike.

In two weeks, the DWR and the volunteers who helped initiate this project captured over thirty five thousand perch. The fish were then loaded into a hatchery truck. And released in Yuba.

(Richard Hepworth, DWR S. Reg Aquatics Man.) One of the real neat things about this project is it's got the potential of benefiting two of Utah's more important fisheries. Fish Lake for one we are removing perch that are overabundant, we have to many, they are hurting some of the trout fishery that we have here and we are taking them down to Yuba. It has the potential to benefit the walleye, the northern pike and the perch fishery there.

(George Sumner, Volunteer) We wanted to do something you Yuba to demonstrate that something was being done with Yuba.

(Ray Schelble, Volunteer) This is an innovative project, it's really thinking outside of the box. What we end up here is the potential is that this could provide perch for other waters in the state. Rockport for instance. Perch have become a real popular fish especially for ice fishing and especially for kids. Perch is a great way to get kids involved in fishing.

so the hope with these perch is that they survive a couple of years, get off a couple of spawns and increase the population of perch at Yuba.