Birch Creek Fishing for Rainbows and Tiger Trout

Today we are at Birch Creek Reservoir over in Rich County. This is a little gem in the Northern part of the state. That is under-utilized. We manage it for trophy tiger trout, and it’s got a really nice rainbow component to it as well.
Never been here, but it sounds good.
looking forward to some big fish.
Birch Creek is located about ten miles West of the town of Woodruff, just off of state road 39, often referred to as the Monte Cristo road. Off 39, you drive down a dirt road to the north, about two miles and park at the base of the dam.
Hey we’ve got a pretty steep climb here. Are you going to hike my pontoon up the top there? No but I’ll beat you over the top.
woo, made it. Finally.
We rely on this as a put, grow and take fishery. The fish that we are hopefully going to be catching here today are going to be two, three, four years even. Rainbow fishing is really good right now.
There is a lot of smaller ones in here from last years stocking. But there is also a size class in the three to four pound range that hopefully we’ll today. Then we have tiger trout in here. We’ve netted them up to twenty eight inches in length. A lot of twenty two to twenty five inch fish. We are going to be using some sinking line to start with. Some streamers, try different colors and see if we can’t find one of those big tigers to.
dang it. another hit? oh I got him. Nice.
Came back after it huh? He did. Nice. Little guy? yeah.
This little guy was probably stocked last year. About three inches and now he’s up to maybe 11 or 12 inches. Nice and thick, nice and fat. We are just looking for his bigger brother or sister.
If you are persistent in this water, you will catch a big tiger trout, the rainbow trout that we have stocked in here kind of keep you interested when those tiger trout are not on for a given day. So it’s nice to have that component. It’s a long way to drive not to catch a fish. You can pretty much come up and catch fish and just look for that one day where the tiger trout aren’t tight lipped and you are going to have a blast.
Birch Creek is probably best fished from a pontoon boat or a tube. But, there is access all around the reservoir to shore fishing and Mickey was giving us all a clinic.
You can use two rods in Utah. I’m using two rods. I’ve got an indicator rod out here now. Keeping my eye on that. There is a midge hanging down below that. Then I’ve got just a goofy little olive fly. They’ve been pounding them.
There we go. there we go. He hit it three times right there.
oh the indicator, the indicator is down! get him? Yeah. Nice! Look at you!
the rainbows are just cruising the shoreline. I came here in early April and from the dam I think I caught 25 little bows. I caught two that were about 4 pounds. Yeah you can do a lot from here at Birch Creek as well.
Better fish, little heavier.

but it’s fun to get in a tube, kick around, we can cover the whole reservoir today.
If you come up on a weekday in the summer, Spring or Fall or whenever, a lot of times you will have it to yourself. So you can just go where you want to and no crowds, there’s some big fish in here. We haven’t seen them just yet today but there’s still a chance.
Well, we are moving in the right direction Adam. Yeah what have you got? We’ve got a little larger tiger trout. So we are still after a 20 plus tiger trout, but going from a 12 incher we are moving in the right direction. This one is probably 16-17 inches.
really thick, put up a good fight. Actually jumped a couple of times to.
Yeah a couple of more inches and we’ll be to that twenty. Lets see if we can’t get one even bigger than that. Twenty four or five today.
Well Paul says there is some big fish in here, we’ve yet to find any, but we are not giving up just yet. Hey and we also want to welcome a new sponsor to our outdoors family. Klymit, it’s a local company that makes some great products and they are giving you a chance to try one of them out by answering our quiz question.

Fish on!
Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, back here at Birch Creek. It looks like Mickey is into a nice tiger, but still not quite as big as we were hoping for, but it’s a start.
Oh yeah nice tiger. That’s the best we’ve seen.
yeah he’s really pretty, got some pretty markings on him.
How big? Oh 26! no he’s only about 17. I’ll take it.
There’s a lot of leaches, so black leach is a good fly to use. But, they eat a lot of snails to. So whatever is in the water. There is mountain suckers as well so they do feed on some fish to and I’m sure, since we stocked these fish, both species about three inches, that the larger tiger trout will probably be eating small rainbows and even tiger trout as well.
that’s a big fish.
oh! Woo, hoo. I don’t know if I can net him. Oh don’t loose him.
wow! Do you dare have me close enough to come and net it? Or do you want to try it?
wow! I can’t get him in this net. Mickey you might want to come and net him. oh don’t loose him. help! Help, that is a big old tiger.
Toss is into a big fish, too big for his net, luckily Mickey was there to rescue him and the fish.
Wow! What a maneuver! Woo! Mickey thank you. Holy crap! that’s a big fish. That’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught.
He hit it and I just thought it was one of these little regular, then he came to the surface and I was like holy mackerel that’s a big fish.
wow look at that! look at that baby! On a fly rod. First tiger trout. On a fly rod. Is that your first ever tiger trout? Yup, holy cow dude, that is a tank.
What did he hit Toss? He hit a damsel fly.
He hit it firm, but you know most of these fish today have been hitting it firm. But they’ve all been rainbows. Then when he came to the surface he just rocketed out of the water.
Yeah, twenty three. Twenty three and some change.
Should we let him go? Let him go.
I hadn’t caught one all day and everybody was catching one. We were like just around the bend from finishing us today, windy, rocks are pounding us today. It was great.
So, if you’re going to try and fish Birch Creek, Mickey suggests that you bring a variety of lines and flies. The best line today was a fast sinking line because of how fast the shoreline drops off.
Try mixing it up. We got them on midges, damsels, wooly buggers and mix up the speed of the retrieve. When we started I think slow was a little bit better, as we got going a quick retrieve worked a lot better.
and leave it to Mickey to catch the last and most beautiful fish of the day.
Wow! Nice fish. That’s a good one. That’s my best of the day. Yeah, I’ll say.
You know Birch Creek is managed as a trophy fishery. There are a few big fish here as you saw there is a lot of little fish. Paul was saying that a lot of those little fish should be by the end of the summer, 12-13 inches. Next year who knows they could be as big as the one Mickey caught as well.

Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. We’ve moved to the Lee Kay Center where the DWR is holding an auction. Something that they don’t do very often. They’ve got all the animals here that have been confiscated over the past four years.
We’ve got our antler and hide auction going on.
seventy, want to give a seventy dollar bid now. I’d do it, it’s your money.
Most of these are from some kind of case or an illegal take or a poaching, but not all of them. We come to have this stuff in a number of ways. Whether it’s unknown cause of death, natural cause of death. So it’s just stuff that has accumulated over the last four years. But the majority of it is from illegal wildlife activity. >
A lot of it is a culmination of four years of work in investigations and actually stems from a lot of information that we receive from the public. >
We rely heavily on the help we get from the public. and we continue to ask for that help. Any time they see or suspect some illegal activity we encourage them to let us know so we can look into it and determine whether there is something illegal going on or not.>
The last time the DWR held an auction like this, they fetched over one hundred and thirty thousand dollars. This year, prices are up a bit and interest is still high from both the average hunter and the those trying to make a buck.
We are here to buy antlers for the exports market, the craft market and the dog chew market.
Right now we are paying $12.00 per pound.
I just wanted to see what was available and just see the trophies that Utah grows. Are you saddened to know that a lot of these are poached? Yeah it’s too bad some of them are poached. I’ve heard some of them are road kill. It is sad that people take them illegally.
I like big muleys. That’s what I’m on the hunt for.
One of the big bucks up for auction was this huge velvet buck that Lesa’s dad shot some four years ago. Lesa was here to make good on a family mistake. My dad and my brothers all hunt together and my brother drew out on a big buck tag. My brother wasn’t able to be at the hunt that particular day and my dad was up there and he saw this buck walk by and he said that was the nicest buck he’d ever seen. He said, “I’ll just fill it that tag for my son because he was in school and didn’t have much time anyway. So my dad filled it and had it mounted. but, he felt really guilty about it. So, he turned himself in and I think they fined him about two thousand dollars and they came and got the mount.
< He always told us, that when it came to auction he was going to go buy it and he would spend whatever it took but he got sick and he died about a year and a half ago. So we are here paying whatever it takes to get it. Lesa paid just over twelve hundred bucks for the buck. She say's it was a small price to pay to reclaim her dads trophy and his honor. We are glad to bring it home and put it on the wall. Let the kids know it represents honesty in our family. That grandpa was a honest man. I'm going to cry all the way home. I'll cry all day today.

All of that money at today’s auction is going to go into the general fund for the DWR to help fight poaching and to help fund projects across the state. Time now to check with Jeremiah over at Wilde Arrow as he gets us ready for this years archery hunts.

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