KSL Outdoors: 2013 Flaming Gorge Fishing Derby

(Adam Intro) Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and welcome to beautiful Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The 2013 Flaming Gorge derby, fisherman are headed out. (dennis) see you guys. (adam) see if they can catch some kokanee, rainbows, lake trout, you name it.

(Dennis Woolley, SLC) it’s just a great outing and it’s usually our first outing of the year on the water other than ice fishing in the winter. (adam) kicks off the summer? (dennis) yeah, you get the boat out see how bad it runs. (laughs)

One of the largest open water derby’s in the nation, kicked off with cloudy skies, wind, even some rain, but over one thousand fishermen braved the elements to try and catch the biggest trout, bass, channel cat or kokanee for big prizes and cash.

(Adam) why come out and do the derby? (Roy Hatch, Magna) because of my grandson over there, he’s a fisherman (laughs)

(Luke Hatch, Park City) it’s fun, if I could do a little more fly fishing, that would be better. (laughs)

(Jerry Taylor, Co-owner Lucerne Valley Marina) “It starts our season and it kicks off the season for Daggott county and our area. It gets everybody charged up for the season and that’s what we are trying to do is stir interest in fishing.” (adam) “and you think you are going to have a good season, especially for kokes?” (jerry) “Kokanee is going to be a fantastic season. We had a really good season last year and we think we are going to get a record this season, because we are already catching four plus pound fish that are in the derby today and this is early in the season. They’ll mature out, we might see a new record this year.”

(Ryan Mosley, Utah DWR Flaming Gorge Project Leader) Last year was an exceptional year for kokanee, there was a lot of people who where excited about the fishery. High catch rates, healthy fish, most of the fish caught were three year old kokanee. A lot of people said it was the best year on record. This year those fish will be four years old,. Should be exceptional, especially for bigger fish.

(Adam) what do you think she’s at? (troy Scott, Tremonton) She’s probably about 28.or I don’t know. My scale isn’t working that good.

Troy Scott and his son Chance are fishing the lake trout category and are leading with a 36 pound fish. Flaming Gorge is one of the best mack fisheries in the West. Just the week before the derby, Wyoming Game and fish netted this 52 pound lake trout near Stateline. The fish if caught by hook and line, would beat the current lake record by one and a half pounds. The fish was weighed, measured and released to hopefully one day show up on the line of a lucky angler.

(ryan) rainbow. (adam) mosley was right. (nats netting fish)

(Ryan Mosley) “Really healthy rainbows in the gorge right now as the water temperature warm up into the 50’s it will get even better. Those fish will kind of get engaged in the spawn and you’ll pick them up in the backs of canyons, shallow rocky points. Wherever there is water coming in the reservoir, they tend to congregate there to. They’ll provide a lot of opportunity for some healthy fish, anywhere from two to four pounds.”

(Volunteer) 21 and 7/8th (adam) and what was the weight? (Volunteer) 4.17.

(Volunteer) you are in first place! (Mike Mitchell, Magna) oh geez, is it over right? (Adam) almost.

(Mike Mitchell, leading rainbow category with 4.17lb fish) oh it’s just a hoot, fun. (adam) catch rainbows like that. (mike) first time in four years. Usually just come up for the prizes and a good time. (adam) and that could net you some cash. (mike) it could.

Brothers Dillan and Garrett Christensen were having a little competition of their own. Turns out Garrett’s twenty inch, three pound rainbow, not only beat his brother, but also secured him second place in the youth division.

(Garrett Christensen, 2nd place youth division) it was great, really fun. (adam) pretty fun to come out and do this with your family? (garrett) yeah fishing is one of my favorite things to do, fishing and hunting. (adam) is that fish going to net you some money? (garrett) yeah I think so.

(Adam tag) Well there you go we caught some nice lake trout, little rainbows, Ryan says as the water warms that temperature gets around 55 degrees the fishing heats up. Look for around Memorial day for the kokanee to kick on and it’s usually pretty good all the way June, July, even August. Hey coming up on KSL Outdoors.

(Adam on mic) team 227, two thousand bucks, not a bad fishing trip.

The big fish are announce, and information you’ll need know before you head to the gorge.

(James) if you do launch without it, you are susceptible to get a ticket if you do get stopped on the water if you don’t have your seal or your receipt.

(Adam) that story in just a moment, but first tonights quiz question.


(nats of fish jumping on scale) (bubba off cam) there is a lot of them that size right now.

At the weigh in, anglers were getting their catch finalized. Bubba and his partner Rock come for the smallmouth and the competition.

(Bubba O’Neill, Evanston) “Oh yeah they are healthy, there are no longer than they used to be, they are just fatter. They come out of the winter doing well, next couple of weeks you are going to see a bunch of fish on beds.”

If you planning a trip to the gorge this year you need to know that Wyoming is taking the battle against quagga and zebra mussels very seriously. This year Wyoming made it mandatory that any watercraft transported into Wyoming from March 1st through November 30th must undergo a AIS inspection prior to launching on any water in the state. These check stations are located at ports of entry, border locations, and at some boat ramps. There’s one located at the Evanston port of entry and it took about 5 minutes.

(James Johnston, WY Game and Fish AIS Inspector) When I send you on your way, you’ll have this between your boat and your trailer and this yellow receipt and then when you do launch your boat in the water you’ll cut this thin wire and take this brown seal with you and your yellow receipt in the boat. That way if you were to get stopped out in the water you have this seal and this receipt that shows you were inspected before you put it in the water. (adam) This is aggressive by Wyoming isn’t it? (james) yeah, This is the first year that they’ve had entering into the start is mandatory for inspections yeah.

(Adam bridge)
In addition to getting your boat inspected at any of the check stations. You also, if you are going to boating on the Wyoming side of Flaming Gorge. You have to purchase their AIS sticker, it’s about 30 bucks and it goes right here on the side, right by your registration on your boat.

(Jerry Taylor, Lucerne Valley Marina) the protection of the lake is the most important thing. Of course you were down at Lake Powell just recently and I was down there and we saw those mussels being discovered down there, we do not want them here.

(Adam) How about a big round of applause for our DWR and the Wyoming fish and game, they’ve done a dang good job with this reservoir.

At the closing ceremonies, organizers handed out over sixty thousand dollars in cash and prizes, including two brand new Polaris 500 atv’s. But the biggest prize was seeing three young men make it out alive. Team 287 was fishing in rough waters when their boat capsized. If it wasn’t for the selfless act of other fishermen in the area, who saw the boat go down and rescued these young men, they wouldn’t be here now accepting the hard luck prize at the derby.

(Adam on mic) so we’ve got a little prize for you. The next time you guys go into the drink, we’ve got you some new lifejackets. Courtesy of Lucerne Marina.

(Weston Gunn, Rescued fisherman) we’ll just say we got the most important catch. (adam) there you go. Their mothers and fathers will appreciate you. I know I would.

(Adam on mic) so first place. Team 2 with a weight of 4.19 pounds with a length of 21 7/8 inches long. Mike Mitchell. $1,500.00. (applause) biggest rainbow. Not bad (applause)

Mike’s big rainbow held out, as did Troy’s 36.8 pound laker, that netted him two thousand bucks.

(Troy Scott, 1st place with a 36.8 lb mack) People in Utah should be proud of what they have here, it’s a trophy fishery for sure. (adam) lake trout and kokanee. (troy) and rainbows we do really well on rainbow here too. Yeah we are fortunate to have this kind of lake in our state.

In the youth division, Garrett held on to second place and won two hundred dollars.

(Adam on mic) first place, 400 bucks he caught a kokanee, it was three and a half pounds, just over 20 inches long. Braylynn Nelson. Where are you at buddy. Oh it’s Braylynn, we like that, not bad young lady, four hundred bucks.

(Adam) look at Garrett he doesn’t want to get five feet from her. She’s just a girl, she doesn’t bite. Hey she like to fish, I don’t know about you but that’s a bonus for me.

(tag) a brand new four wheeler, (jeff) brand new. (adam) congrats. (jeff) thank you so much sir. (adam) be back next year? sounds good. Hey we’ll have more coming up on KSL Outdoors in a minute, but first back to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights fishing report.


(Adam Intro) Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. Well we’ve moved over to Evanston Wyoming, where the rain is trying to come down, but that’s not dampening the spirits of Evanston’s annual “Bear River Days.”

(Marilee Jackson, President, Bear Project Inc) “In 2006, we started a big river rehabilitation project. Cost us over a million dollars to go into the Bear River and clean out the riff raff, to rehabilitate it, to get the fisheries back. To get the stream flowing how it was meant to flow. The first year we did the river festival was in 2007 and that’s when we did the big ribbon cutting and we celebrated the clean wonderful ribbon of green, the new and improved Bear River.” (adam) “and so you continue to celebrate the river with this festival?” (marilee) “We do, we want to encourage people to come to the river. The river flows right through the center of Evanston, it’s the heart beat, the life blood of our community. For years we’ve turned our back to it and now we want to turn around and embrace it and enjoy it.

(marilee) our theme has been music, white water and art.”

(Cody Bateman, Chairman, Bear River Festival) we’ve got four live bands today, food vendors, beer garden. Scavenger hunts for the kids, face paintings, we’ve got different vendors booths.

(Cody) there is a crawdad catching contest.

(Adam) oh that’s a big one huh? This is a monster. This is the part you eat right there.

(Mom) show him the ones you got. (adam) look at those bad boys.

(Adam) that is a mess of ugly right there. Isn’t it? Cute kid, there you go, nice job. (mom) thank you.

(Cody) there is the kayak and standup paddle board races.

(KAYAK RACE ORGANIZER) First one to cross the finish line wins. God speed, no pulling of skirts and avoid Joann because she’ll punch you. (laughs)

(marilee) We work it around the kayak race, people think we are crazy doing it in this weather in May because you never know what the weather will be like in Wyoming but we do it at high water and we have no control over the Bear River. It’s the Unita’s and Mother nature is what the flow is. So we try to work it out so we get the peak flow and it’s usually the weekend before Memorial Day.

(Marilee) it gets really competitive, we started last year offering a thousand dollar purse and this year we are offering a thousand dollar purse again, so it is competitive. They do timed race and basically fastest guy down wins and we do three places. We do boater cross where they literally fight each other all the way down and then we have heats to find out the top three boater cross. Couple of years ago we started up with SUP races, Stand up paddle board races and that’s been a kick.

(Anthony Monson, Utah White Water Gear, 7307 S. State) Stand up paddle board is basically an oversized surf board.

(Anthony Monson) surf board you have to ride the surf, paddle board you go where ever you want.

(ADAM TAG) Evanston Wyoming has some great events coming up in the next few months. If you want a little fresh air, freedom and fun for your family. Go ahead and check out outdoors calendar page right there at KSLTV.com. Hey and if want to try out paddle boarding, check out Anthony and the guys at Utah White Water gear right there on 7200 S. State. Time now to dive, alright not dive, but look at tonight’s Utah Field Guide.

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