KSL Outdoors: Three incredible fall fishing destinations

(Rod, Tonya and Adam Intro) thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and of course Rod Zundel. (rod Zundel) Hey this is awesome, Strawberry in November, can’t beat that. Great time to fish, other than ice off, here until the first of December when the ice gets back on, it’s the best man. I brought my 80 year old mom and she had a blast in 35 degree temperature catching big ol rainbows. (adam) that’s why we are here. (rod) well hopefully, we’ll see how a good a guide you really are today. (adam) i’m not very good. And we brought the fisheries girl, Tonya Kieffer with the DWR, let’s kick her butt. (tonya) yeah we had to pretty this group up. (tonya) you guys are both…. (adam) oh we’ve got the challenge on now, it’s go time.

(Adam) Alright game faces on, let’s go. (tonya to camera) urrr..

There is no better time to fish Strawberry Reservoir than in November and early December. The air is crisp, and the fish are hungary as they put on the feed bag in anticipation of winter. Today we’re headed out with the guys from the Strawberry Bay Marina.

(John Beck, Strawberry Bay Marina Guide) Now normally I use a small red sided minnow. This is a Utah Chub. I’m using a #6 treble hook on it, which is bigger than I normally use because I’ve been pulling it out of their mouths without hooking them. I go into the gill plate with a treble, with the barbs pointing down towards the tail, and I go around the body twice, maybe three times and half hitch the tail. Now I’ll do this for you. And then snug it, that way you can throw it out. These fish will take it head first every single time.

(Tonya) Oh he’s fighting.

(tonya) yeah, look at that sexy thing.

(John land fish) getting better (tonya) oh yeah baby. check that out. (john) kiss it. (tonya kisses fish) yeah!

Tonya is kicking our butts, she’s already into two fish, it’s time for the guys to put up or shut up.

(Kenny hits fish) (rod) “fish on!”

(Rod) do you want a net for that big one?

(release fish) (rod) that took all of about 35 seconds.

Fishing can be extremely fast this time of year from shore or from a boat.

(other boat nets fish) Yeah!

Some of the best lures to use right now is the lucky craft pointer minnow, a tube jig tipped with a nightcrawler and my good buddy George Sommer introduced me to this white fluke. Just cast to or from shore and hold on, but keep your drag loose, don’t horse them.

(Rod) oh man look at that. (adam) did he get off, did he get off? Come on break the line, break the line. (tonya screams) (adam) yes he broke the line! (tonya) you are such a jerk, my minnow. (adam) toss one up for the fish.

(tonya) I think you need to step away son, before you get hurt.

(Kenny) did you get another bite zipper? (tonya) yeah zipper get on it. (rod hits fish) oh, that’s a good one, make sure your drag is good.

(Rod) It feels like a good one Tonyaaaa. That’s the best one of the day right there.

(paul) Here you go. (rod) Oh yes, oh yes.

(Rod) look at that right there baby, ok it’s not as big as it was in the net. Hey Tonya, see this is what it looks like when you actually catch it, reel it in and kiss it. (kiss fish) yes, ok tell grandpa to come join the fun.

(Tonya) I got it. (guys) oh, she got one, kenny’s got one. Three fish on, oh Kenny had the yanks. (tonya) if you guys do not help me I swear to god.

Our catch rate actually got better as the day went on. Our best technique…drifting minnows in the back of Bryant’s fork.

(Rod) that’s heavy. (adam) big one of the day. (kenny) Let’s measure that one, I’ll bet it goes at least 20.

and don’t forget about the slot, any cutt between 15 and 22 inches must be put back.

(Rod) here we go rainbow, oh that’s nice. (net fish) yeah our first rainbow.

(Dave Russell, Fisherman) everybody is saying that it’s hitting really good, so you come up and see if they are lying.

No lying here, Dave and his daughter have proof, just check out the huge fish that McKenna caught.

(Mckenna Russell) that’s a big one isn’t it? Is that the biggest fish you’ve ever reeled in? Why do you like fishing this time of year? (mckenna) because it’s the funnest.

(Adam) so Rod says he kicked both our butts. (tonya) yeah but you know what this isn’t over. (adam) he’s all talk (tonya) he is all talk, we’ve got a couple of more reservoirs to check out. (adam) alright, Steinaker and Starvation. (tonya) Steinaker and Starvation and you know what I think we are going to put the smack down on them. (adam) those two reservoirs coming up in just a second, but first tonights quiz question.


(Intro Eakle and Kieffer) welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle, back with Tonya Kieffer and Tonya we are at a new reservoir. (tonya) yeah Steinaker Reservoir over near Vernal. Never been here. (adam) Me either, I’ve always driven by here, never fished here. We’ve brought Ed Johnson along and also Ron Stewart with the Division of Wildlife Resources, they say there is big fish in here. (tonya) big fish, i think with this big fish we should have a challenge? (adam) what’s that? (tonya) i don’t know, winner takes all, loser has to grovel. (adam) alright, game on.

(Ed Johnson, DWR Fisheries Biologist) Most people just aren’t really aware of quite how good of a reservoir it is. Lot of people drive by it on the way to the Gorge I fish it. It’s 10 minutes from my house in Vernal. It’s a great reservoir. It’s got 3 years classes of rainbows in here. We got some really large brown trout. It’s on of the better largemouth fisheries in the state. Plus it got a really good bluegill fishery, I mean it compares with Pelican Lake.

(Adam Eakle) Ok here we go. Game on. Let’s see how big of fish we can catch. In fact, I think if Ron catches a fish, she won’t know. We’ll just say it was mine. Right Ron?

(Ron Stewart, UDWR) woops, fish on, here we go. (adam) fish on!

(Tonya Kieffer, UDWR) Fish on! Fish on! Woooo!

(Tonya) Know what is sexier than my fish? Not a whole lot.

(Adam) Alright. Time to get serious.She’s catching quantity but we need quality. So, we’re going to put on a really big lure and hope for a really big brown.

[Notes:Ed and Tonya with doubles on 19 12:30,]

The day included multiple doubles for Ed and I on our kayaks. Adam and Ron in the boat… not so much. Our lure of choice, is trolling this perch colored rapala.

(Ed Johnson) (adam) Got secret lures on over there. Ed- Oh yeah. Anything with orange on it. They like the fall colors on their lures.

(Tonya, DWR Biologist)This is GORGEOUS! If you haven’t been to Steinaker, obviously you need to come out and check it out, ya know. It’s very low key and ya know, we have the whole thing to ourselves right now, so.

(Ed Johnson) They have really nice camping facilities here. It’s really beautiful campground. It compares with any of the forest service campgrounds around here, in my opinion.

(Ed Johnson) and we’re actually putting a fishing pier in here in the spring, too. We just got funding for it, so.

(Ron Stewart) so this is the larger age class)

(Ron Stewart) Well, these fish are a couple of different age classes, and theres a lot of difference between the two. The bigger one, about 18 inches, 18-19 inches, coming in at about 2-2 1/2 pounds. And then you have the smaller ones that are 14-15 inches, and there coming at about a pound. Then we have a third age class, that’s a little bit less than a foot.

(ed Johnson) I get rainbows all year round. The fall fishing is just spectacular. You can see. You just catch one fish after another.

(Ed Johnson) but you can catch trout out of this reservoir 12 months out of the year. There’s some nice fish. Towards the end of December, we’ll have good, solid ice. They’ll be ice fishing it by Christmas. We’re gonna have a derby here this winter, an ice fishing derby. Should be real good. You see all the fish. It’s gonna be great ice fishing this year

(Tag) well I definitely caught four fish, but I had my hand in that 18 inch fish. I helped catch it. (tonya) I didn’t see it, I feel it was a figment of your imagination. I caught six though. Not bad for a nice November day. (adam) let’s go somewhere else? (tonya) yeah we are going to Starvation because this is not over. (adam) The game is on still. While we head to Starvation, let’s head back to the guys at Fish Tech for some more fall fishing reports.


(intro Starvation) (adam) Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. (tonya) I’m Tonya Kieffer. (adam) and Tonya another reservoir you haven’t fished. (tonya) I haven’t fished this one. (adam) and you know a lot of people don’t drive past Strawberry to come to Starvation but there are some big fish in here. (tonya) yeah I hear they call them, Starvation Steelhead? (adam) Starvation Steelies, let’s go get them. (tonya) we are going to.

(Adam) how did Starvation fish this summer? (ed Johnson, UTAH DWR Fisheries Biologist) Oh it’s been good all year, started back in the spring and it’s been really good. I noticed that there wasn’t quite as many big perch this year, but there was really good perch fishing, but not a lot of the monsters, but the rainbow fishing has been fantastic holding up all year.

(Ed) that is a nice, nice fish, he’s fighting like a big bow. That’s one of those really big bows. (tonya) are you getting me on camera? (adam) no. (tonya) Hey Adam what’s happening right here, pay attention.

(ed) that’s a fat one. (adam) dang it. These are the ones you were talking about Ron, it’s a nice fat rainbow.

(Ed) yeah we’ve seen fish 24-26 and I suspect there is some guys that are not talking about the one age class above that we do have one more age class in there to. There is some real footballs in here, really nice fish.

(adam) last year ice fishing here was good. There wasn’t a lot of ice, but what there was, was really good. Yeah there will be an ice fishing derby here this year again, we’ve had it the last couple of years, it’s a lot of fun. People will want to watch out for it, lot of prizes and stuff.

(Adam) did you guys stock more rainbow here? (ed) yeah, we haven’t missed any stocking. There was some question whether or not because it wasn’t showing up on our stocking list and what it was it was coming out of Jones Hole, out of the Federal hatchery, so it wasn’t showing up on the states stocking records. but we’ve been stocking it every year and there is really good numbers.

All of our fish caught today were on that same perch colored rapala we used at Steinaker. Starvation also has a good population of brown trout, walleye, perch and even smallmouth. What amazes me is that it keeps producing good sized fish in all those species and that we haven’t seen a crash of the prey species, that is the yellow perch.

(Adam) how is that possible? All the prey and predator species are doing well? (ed) Yeah most of them are feeding on juvenile perch. So they seem to be holding up so far. The walleye are doing really well. We are seeing fish over 10 pounds again which is a really nice sign.

(Ed) he just barely thumping, he’s fighting really weird. You know what he’s fighting like? He’s fighting like a walleye.

(Ed) It’s a walleye guys, we got a net? somebody come net this thing for me would you. That’s a sweetie there, I told you we might get a waldo.

(Ed) you know Sept, Oct, Nov, every year some of the best trout fishing of the whole year and that’s all over Utah too. Everybody goes hiding when it starts getting cold and I mean there’s only two or three boats on this lake. There wasn’t anybody on Steinaker, these lakes are wide open, it’s a whole opportunity, great fishing and no people it’s ideal.

(Ed) Nice one. (adam) Starvation Steelies, yeah he’s fighting really well actually.

(Ed) and you can take a lot of fish, there’s no special regs on them, you can take a limit of four big ol rainbows and you can catch them on bait, it’s a good alternative. 11:24 and if we have a nice long fall, this will be all the way into December until the ice sets up this should be a good fishery.

(Adam) Football (net fish) (ed) he’s a good one.

(Adam) So did you have a favorite? (Tonya) I think I liked all three of them for different reasons. Big fish here, bigger than yours, fast fishing at Steinaker, more than you caught. Yeah I’m pretty sure I kicked your butt buddy. (adam) you did pretty good and what was I supposed to do? (tonya) bow down. (adam) is that what it is. (tonya) yeah (adam) maybe next year. Hey don’t forget to get your family and friends out the Strawberry, Starvation, even Steinaker, some beautiful fishing and like Ed was saying it could last all the way until December if this warm weather keeps up. (tonya) good fishing, fish on. (adam) Let’s dive now into tonights Utah Field Guide.

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