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Yuba (aka: Sevier Bridge Reservoir) is typically known as a walleye fishery with perch and northern pike also sharing the water. A few years back, a supplemental surplus of rainbow trout were dumped in it to tide anglers over until the walleye rebounded from an apparent slump or "bust" cycle.
The rainbows grew rapidly in the warmer waters of Yuba and by the fall of '07, large fish were being taken on a daily basis. Supposedly, Jake's lures and rainbow pattern Rapalas were the hardware of choice and the hot bait was a green marshmallow hiding the barb, below a juicy nightcrawler.
While pulling up to Oasis State Park (near the dam) I saw Yuba for the first time. I was greeted by sunbeams bursting through the clouds and across the valley. It made for a very memorable welcome.
The fishing wasn't hot, by any means with only a few small perch coming in over the course of a few hours. Perch may be excellent table fare, but when I'm out for trout, nothing bothers me more than those little yellow bait thieves swiping my trout rigs!
Even if I know trout are in the area, I seldom get my offerings past the armada of perch mouths waiting to nip up anything that will fit. They get to decent sizes, so I hear, but my personal best from here was probably only about 8 inches or so.
With little action at Oasis, I decided to try the Painted Rocks state park about half the length of the reservoir upstream. The change of landscape was unexpected and it was nice to see some rock formations cropping out into the water.
During high water periods, two islands stand watch over the park and supposedly harbor good numbers of fish. Later in the year when the water is drawn down, two islands are seen as one and the water is usually very muddy. Many years, the water is so low that the island isn't even surrounded by water.
Yuba is generally a pretty hard place to fish. When perch numbers are up, the walleye do really well, but are difficult to catch since there's plenty to eat. When perch numbers are down, the walleye suffer and are just hard to find.
The carp never seem to have any problems finding food:
The trout, as I said, are basically just something to fish for in between good walleye seasons at Yuba. At least, that's the way the DWR seems to run it. Despite their tendency to become dinner in Yuba's waters, those that survive tend to grow pretty well.
My only two trout from here came from the outcropping at Painted Rocks in '07. Both took a worm. I haven't caught trout at Yuba since, although there have been more stockings of trout in recent times. We'll have to wait and see if they survive.
Catfish and smallmouth bass are a couple more species that inhabit Yuba real estate, but I've never seen any examples to speak of. I'll just take everyone's word for it for now.
Northern Pike grow to record sizes in Yuba since everything is food for the gaping maw of one of these top predators. Sizes up to 49 inches in length have been recorded and bigger still, are believed to live there. My only pike ate a minnow in the shallows by the boat ramp at Oasis. Nothing too big, but at 29 inches, it was an exciting catch.
This photo was actually published in the 2008 Utah State Fishing Guidebook, the annual regulations booklet the DWR prints (page 6 at the bottom).
In the future, I plan on taking more trips to Yuba, but the trout have been very hard to find in recent times. The targets for my next trip will have to be pike, perch, carp, and walleye.
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