Life is Better With Teeth.

A few weeks back the whole crew plus our buddy Tom hit the road in search of some Sac River Salmon with some awesome pit stops along the way.

Tom and Glenn rode together as they left later than the rest of us. Our car consisted of Matt, Kelly, Jason and myself.

The night before we all were sending our usual organized chaos of text messages ironing out our plan of the trip ahead.  We decided that the 4 of us would head up towards the North Fork of the Yuba in search of some wild rainbows and that Glenn and Tom were going to try their luck at “combat fishing” in Oroville.

As dawn broke the next morning the Yuba River crew shoved off into the mountains. None of us had fished this area before but with some guidance from Jon Baiocchi  and our friends over at Streamworks we knew what spots to hit and what these spooky trout were currently biting on.

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So after some twists and turns and a member of the crew getting a little car sick we were pulled off the side of the road looking for any signs of life on the river.

First and foremost this was some seriously beautiful country and the river was crystal clear. We immediately spotted a lot of rainbows in the 10′-12′ range. But with the water being so clear, they undoubtedly spotted us as well.

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We spent the next few hours exploring this new to us river. We all went in different directions and at the end of the days we had several rainbows to the net and a new location to check out next time we are in the area.

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We went in search of lunch and ended up in Downieville for some pizza before heading towards Oroville to see if we could meet up with Glenn and Tom and see what all the fuss was about this so called “combat fishing”.

Pulling into Oroville was an experience in itself. Right off of freeway we see a homeless looking gentleman arguing with another man about some religious points of view. With a picket sign in hand and a creeper van parked not far away this gentleman was positive we were all going to hell. Well I guess the homeless guy didn’t agree and they were in a spirited conversation regarding that topic.

As we laughed and made our right turn towards the Lake Oroville Dam we saw a billboard that made us all say “WTF?!”

“Life is better with teeth!” the sign proclaimed with the name and number of a local dentist displayed right below.

Now I mean no disrespect to anyone out there reading this that lives, lived or has friends/family who live in Oroville. But from what we’ve heard the meth problem in the area is pretty bad. But if the local dentistry industry is capitalizing on the opportunity.  That some cold blooded capitalism right there.

Once we visited the Dam and was told how to find the “combat zone” we made are way back down the hill. There wasn’t much combat to speak of and Glenn and Tom somehow hitched a ride on an acquaintances boat for the day so they weren’t squaring off against anyone when we showed up…bummer.

The salmon run had been slowly building up where as the same time last year they were stacked in the river system. But there were still a good handful of folks “flossing” for them but we didn’t see any getting caught. This didn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy about our chances of getting into them the next morning. But we had in our opinion the best guide on the river to help us with that challenge.

The next morning we met our guide and friend Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service in the parking lot of a nearby McDonald’s which was only a few hundred yards from the launch ramp.

Scott has eaten a bad seafood burrito or something the night before and was feeling just a tad bit under the weather as expected after eating less than fresh ocean creatures. But like the professional he is he power through the battle raging in his belly and we shoved off just before sunrise.

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It wasn’t more than a few minutes before the laughs and shit talking began. Glenn must he had a flashback to a day he went marlin fishing or something because the first nibble he felt on the end of his line sent him into a hook set that could have landed Moby Dick.

He set the hook so damn hard he rocketed backward in his chair almost going over the back of the boat ultimately landing him on his ass. Man, this made Kelly laugh for at least the next 2 hours. But I will say, he did land that 2 pound pike minnow like a champion….

Over the course of the day there were many more laughs to be had. With every hook up there were the screams of “Don’t fuck this up!” coming from every direction. Every time Scott would tell one of us to keep the “rod low” while fighting our fish the rest of would be yelling “Rob Lowe!!!”

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Whenever one of us set the hook and nothing was on the other end there would be the “That’s not a fish” or “You just missed a 30 pounder!”

Basically we are a bunch of little kids that talk shit and play grab ass in every aspect of fishing, other than catching fish.

This was our 3rd trip with Scott over the past 2 seasons and he’s used to our shenanigans at this point. He even went so far as to call us the #dreamteam. That’s a little far fetched in my opinion, but we do get down and fish our asses off but make sure we have a damn good time doing it.

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As the other 2 trips have proven Scott is a master of his craft. He’s the best damn guide on the river and his numbers and customer loyalty prove it. At this point you better get a trip booked now for next season because a seat on his boat is damn hard to come by.

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Not only is Scott awesome to spend a day on the water with, Captain Jack makes the day even better. Such a good pup and boat dog.

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At the end of the day the crew went 6 for 6. No lost fish and we all brought some quality meat home to the loved ones.

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Scott and Captain Jack, you know we’ll be seeing you again next season and for any of you out there that are looking for an awesome salmon trip…look no further.

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Until next time go out and explore. There are too many opportunities to see something for the first time. Don’t let those slip by.

-Duffy