Dave’s Big Backyard

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by Dave McCormack

Karen and I headed south the first week of June. Utah has some fishing opportunities just not available in South West Idaho.  Willard Bay Reservoir just north of Ogden is an example of giving anglers more choice and better experiences for time spent on the water.  “Wipers,” a cross between a White Bass and a Striped Bass is a hybrid that’s fighting ability is top drawer. They are not ariel specialist; their savage strike and reel smoking runs make them as fun to catch as any fresh water fish I have encountered.  Willard Bay also has a sustainable Walleye, Crappie, and Channel Catfish population which I have caught targeting Wipers.  Utah is known for its spectacular National Parks and is a fisherman friendly state.  Utah has a great variety of Hybrids, Wipers, Tiger Muskie, Splake, and Tiger Trout to name a few.   A three-day license is only $24.00, in comparison to Idaho or Oregon non- resident fees.  So, I have touted the positive aspects of Angling in Utah it seems to me Idaho could take some steps for different angling opportunity not complaining, just sayin.

Fishing is not the only attraction in this northern Utah destination.  On the second day of our trip the wind picked up making fishing impossible.  The Bear River Nautical Bird refuge is just north of Willard Bay.  There is an interpretative center just west of interstate I-15 and a 12-mile loop road that spans the entire refuge.  Although there were time constraints, we made the loop undoable the interpretative center was time well spent.

July can typically be a month when fishing can go into the doldrums as water temperatures rise, angling success can sink.  Reservoirs along with local ponds can become unfriendly to anglers when surface temperatures approach 80 degrees. Also, fish and game usually suspend stocking programs when fish survival becomes uncertain.  There are still fishing opportunities, if you like to hike high mountain lakes fish well throughout summer months.  Rivers and streams can be good, the upper Payette and Boise drainage’s to name a couple close by fish well through the summer.  Check regulations some have special rules.  Summer is here get out and enjoy what outdoor Idaho has to offer.


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