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Expert angler Joe Balderston amazes novice fishers on Yuba outing

January 5, 2013 -- The second attempt at the Yuba River had a much better outcome than the March 2012 outing with almost everyone catching fish and some doing so well it became a skills demonstration. The morning started off bright and sunny with some anglers heading down river, others fishing just down from the barbecue and another group heading up river. The crew fishing the river below the barbecue, the "Irish Brigade," lead by Barry O'Regan with friends David O'Connell and Liam Keane were some of the first to score, picking up some nice fish on large rubber legs. Jeanette and Jerry Neuburger, Jean Fujimura and Steve Von Berg headed downstream and struck out fish wise but Jeanette discovered a fresh blood trail at the river that lead up into the brush along with some cougar tracks to go with it. In addition to that scene, deer tracks covered the road and at least one bear track and some scat were also discovered.

A blood trail that led from the river to the brush. A cougar kill?
Photo by Jerry Neuburger
When the upriver crew came back for lunch, new member Ed Barich reported that he had some excellent results fishing egg patterns, landing five fish and LDRing quite a few more. Other fly fishers reported mixed success with president Marty saying he had stuck a few but didn't bring any to the net.

Herman, in the mean time, had been cooking up a storm and had a lunch of Polish sausage, hamburgers, pork and beans, potato salad, chips, a big bag of oranges and even some miniature chocolate bottles of cognac, brandy and Kentucky bourbon.

Herman cooking up the tube steaks and burger patties. Photo by Jerry Neuburger
Pretty much everyone checked in for lunch with the exception of hard core fishers Joe Balderston, Bob Fujimura and novice angler Steve Specht. They had brought their lunch with them and with the success of the upstream fishing, didn't make the walk back for lunch.

Lunch over, the crowd headed back up river to join the three since that's where the fish seemed to be congregated. Al Smatsky reports that, "Everyone that walked up river caught fish.  Some one or two, others five, six,  or more.  Steve von Berg had a very nice steelhead, probably 20 inches plus, but it came off before he could bring it to the net.  Joe Balderston brought a steelhead in that was in the “pounds”.  Steve Specht hooked several nice trout, maybe one big enough to be a small steelhead.  I had a very nice steelhead on for a short time that made a few jump and came off, probably four pounds."

Joe Balderston into a fish during the afternoon fishing. Photo by Bob Fujimura
Bob Fujimura states that, "After learning a few tips from Joe Balderston, Steve Specht and I were pleased in locating an overlooked holding water and caught a nice fish each. After we were finished fishing this small section of shoreline, our "instructor" caught several fish from the same spot."

Dan McDaniel posted this somewhat cryptic description of his day. "Pink was reported to be the color of the day, and I was using pink most of the day without any success.  Yet hope springs eternal.  A few maybe grabs, then one headshaker - and then it happened around 3:30 to 4:00 - I had a fish!  I knew he was a good fish, and after crediting himself worthy of the battle, the anadromous beast revealed himself to the net - he was about a 20" mint bright adult steelhead.  Not big mind you, and I did not even notice if he was a wild fish.  Das macht nichts.  My curiosity was directed solely at the fly yielded effortlessly from his mouth, Glo bug no, but pink yes.  Another secret weapon to be revealed only to those who inquire."

Jerry and Jeanette Neuburger stayed behind to give Herman a hand cleaning up lunch. The bread loaf sized boulders down stream had aggravated some of Jerry's old foot injuries and Herman said he was just too out of shape to make the hike upstream to where the others were fishing. In the mean time, Jean Fujimura fished the riffle below the picnic area and caught a nice little rainbow.

Bob Fujimura summed up the outing fairly well when he posted on Facebook, "Weather, company, and food were great...most anglers I spoke to touched or landed fish including new or novice anglers. Joe Balderston was a fish-catching machine and several others were into fish. Red egg patterns were the hot ticket for the high scores. Hats off to Herman for leading this long-awaited event."

Additional outing photos can be found at the club's photo album page.

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