No…..I’m not calling them steelhead for their size but for the amount of casts it takes to catch one. We have our very own “fish of a 1,000 casts” here in AZ. Ron and I hit it today, fished for about 6 hours and landed probably nine between us. The lake temps were 50-52, virtually no algae and enough chop on the water that we can’t blame even that. Three of the fish went 2.5 lbs with one spewing eggs after Ron caught it. Fish are there….I see them on the finder but I can’t get them to eat.
This chromer fought really hard and you can tell they have been eating good. We landed fish on egg sucking simi’s and peacock ladies. Can’t remember the last time I caught a fish on a peacock lady but it is still as deadly as it ever was…at least today. While I was on the water I heard from Mike Lopez. He told me AZG&F were on Crescent and Carnero and both hold good fish. Also they have determined they will manage both fisheries for 25″ trout. That means aerators. AZG&F is getting with it and trying to grow some big fish…..hooorrrraaaayyyyy!
Brian and Travis came up for a couple days of fishing. We hit Pacheta, Reservation and Horseshoe while they were here. Fishing was so-so on all of them. We caught fish everywhere…just not what we were looking for. Although we caught 3 20″ fish at Pacheta…that was pretty much it for anything of size. Reservation and Pacheta both still have algae blooms, especially Rez. We need more cold nights to knock it down and get the fish moving. Yesterday at Horseshoe we had two storms collide over our heads and it dumped hail for an hour….and I mean dumped. You can’t tell from the pic but the water looks like they just threw fish pellets into the hatchery water. It was bad enough that we had to head for the timber. That hail was so big at times that it actually hurt even through two layers of hoods and a ball cap.
Brian under cover. Fishing’s gonna get better…..it always does.
Rains finally quit so I hit Sunrise this morning. When I got close to the top of the hill the fog was pretty bad…about 50′ visibiity. When I hit the lake it opened up ….just like saying “come on in…water’s fine”. And it was fine…52 degrees and just a hint of algae left. Looked perfect. I wish the fish knew it. I fished for 5 hours and landed 5 fish. One went 3.5, another went 2.5 and the rest were 12″ footballs.
When I hit the lake this Spring it was full of big fish. I think too many have been lifted by the “C&K” crowd. May be time to hit Crescent to see how it faired through the Summer. It will have fish just like these if they made it. I don’t think it was hit as hard as Sunrise either so may be it is holding more big fish…..we’ll see.
We had a WMLF meeting at my place this past Saturday. After all biz was discussed we hit the water. Most of us went to Big Lake and a couple guys hit the West Fork of the Black. They caught quite a few smallish browns. They both hit Canyon Creek Sunday and both caught at least one 14″ brown and lost several others. Joe reports they were using dry/dropper rigs and had several smack their elk hairs, but all the hookups were on the droppers…bhpt and a biot fly.. Pics below
Big was still in the 58-60 degree range and had quite an algae bloom, much more than I experienced the last time I was there. I think the winds are churning it up and redistributing it downwind. The weather has warmed some so not sure how long it will be before the water temps get to that low 50-40 degree mark. When that happens the fishing should really turn on. All our lakes are holding good fish. Should be an awesome Fall….so good that I am staying here this season and not hitting the Erie tribs this year.
Fishing was quite a bit slower than last time, probably because we hit it in the afternoon. Several guys we know had caught nice cutt’s that morning. Ron landed one at three lbs….no pic…(sounds like a fish tale to me). Most of the cutt’s landed were the 16″-18″ variety and fought hard. There are some good rainbows in there now. Rick reported that he had weighed several ‘bows 5 to 6 lbs in the past couple weeks. Get ready for Fall….won’t be long.
I can report now that AZ has been cleared by the Feds to introduce Tiger Trout into several of our lakes. AZG&F had some ordered from Wyoming but they didn’t meet their quota for their state so we were put on hold. I know this will upset some. Changes always do. I think it’s great. AZG&F is finally trying to make improvements in our fishing. It may not work because we have no past data to gain knowledge from. We are paving new ground here. If the Tigers don’t work in the lakes they choose than they can stop stocking them. They are hybrids so they are sterile and can not reproduce. I for one am not sure they will work in at least one of the lakes but only time will tell. A strain of fish planted on one lake will thrive while the same fish in a similar lake will not….so we’ll just have to wait and see.
WMLF is also taking steps to improve some stream fishing. That’s all I can say for now but steps are being taken to improve trout fishing in AZ….both stillwater and moving. This is a good thing.
Nice pics Gentry. Looks like a fun day for all
This is the way I started my morning….love it. Hit Big Lake this morning around 6. Raining off and on but launched anyway. Eventually it died down and I ended up in the back end of Railroad Cove. Had to go to the bobber after only three fish in the first three hours. Water temps are 62 and the lake is fairly clear, some algae but not bad. Cutt’s and rainbows ate smallish deep leeches like they were candy. The cutt’s all were between 14 and 16″s…not huge but good hard fighters. I had one good fish on that just ripped me so don’t know what it was…probably a rainbow. Talked with Rick on the way out and he said they have weighed in several rainbows over five pounds the past couple weeks. When the temp’s get down some the lake should be another great one to hit this Fall.
Sorry no pic’s…just didn’t take the time
Hit Sunrise this am with Ron. Lake was dead calm and we had the lake to ourselves for the first couple hours. Trouble was it seemed like the fish weren’t there either. We fished for four hours and landed 3 fish between us. The biggest went a solid 4 and fought like a beast. I have been hitting it about every other day for about a week now and I have landed at least one good fish every trip. I’ve never fished more than four hours so maybe it would get better later but I have never done that well on Sunrise in the afternoons. The good news is the big fish made it through the Summer. If they made it at Sunrise, they most likely survived in Crescent as well so this could be a Big Fish Fall like we haven’t seen for awhile now.
This fish went 4 as well. Sorry for the poor pic….selfies suck. This guy had a pretty good hook jaw on him…too bad you can’t see it. Water temps have been around 60. When I got on the water this am it was 37 degrees out and the bulls were bugling everywhere. The cooler nights will help a lot. Once the water temps get down into the low 50′s the lake should turn on….just not sure how many of the big boys are still in there. I think the lake got hit pretty hard this Summer by the “C&K”crowd. Gonna be an interesting Fall.
The lake has been hit or miss. One day you’ll get three fish and the next you”ll catch ten. I gave up the bobber and have been doing better stripping simi’s in dark colors….Black/Purple, Can Black, Black/Red and Blood Leech.
See ya on the water…..gonna hit Big Lake Friday…..hearing reports of BIG cutt’s being caught….yeehaw!!
Hit Sunrise this am for the first time in about a month. Lake level is still low but water temps’ were 60-61 and the algae is dissipating. Some areas were algae free. I fished four hours and landed 2 fish….still Dog Days for sure. I fished assorted flies all under a bobber. As much as I dislike it I didn’t think the fish would be actively chasing anything yet so the bobber was the choice of the morning. Fished a dozen different c’mids, Dogbones, SJ worms and leeches. The only action came on simi’s. Usually I don’t bother to report a slow day like today but catching the one good fish made the Fall season look brighter for me. I am hoping this means the bigger rainbows made it through the Summer because he fought very hard and as you can see he is in great shape. The Fall has always been the best time to catch BIG fish. This fish was 19″s and probably only 16″s this Spring when we were catching the 20-21 inch fish. Think how big those fish could be by now. Let’s hope they made it as well. Could be one of the best Fall’s we have seen around here in a long time. All the lakes hold good fish….if they made it through the Summer.
See ya on the water.
Hit Sunrise this am…first one on the water…glass. Headed for my area looking for rises. I wanted to see if I could get them to eat my hopper. Not a ripple on the water so any top water motion would have been detected….nada. Fished for 4.5 hours and saw one rise. I think it’s because the algae has gotten so thick the fish can’t see anything on the surface anymore. Temp’s were good …62 the whole time I was there. Fishing is getting tougher every time I go. Managed to bag two nice 21″ ‘bows. They fought like Hell again and swam off …no problem. Fish are in great shape but the algae is making it hard …..and it’s probably going to get worse. Might be time for a road trip.
Hit Becker this am looking for the ant bite. Ants never showed but the fish ate the hopper like it was candy. I fished from 6 to about 11 until the wind came up and put the bite down. I was using a #10 tan foam JR hopper and landed 15….missed at least two dozen more. It always takes me some time to get adjusted to the top water bite. I’ve been stripping so much that I just react and take the fly right out of the fish’s mouth. Seems like the bigger the fish the longer you have to wait…..and I didn’t on a LOT of them. The fish weren’t the hardest fighting fish I’ve caught but the top water grab more than makes up for it. Several went 21-22″s and some of the 18-19″ fish were fat as butterballs.
I’m gonna hit Sunrise tomorrow and see if the fish I’m catching there will eat the hopper too. Many of the fish I catch there are risers that I cast to so I think they may just eat that hopper….I’m gonna find out!
Been hitting Sunrise mostly. Tried Big but didn’t get much time on the water before the thunder/lightning hit. I boogeyed and Joe and Gentry stayed ’til dark. They got into some nice cutt’s….even a few on dries at dusk. Next day they hit the East Fork and found some 10″-12″ browns in the upper section above Diamond Rock. Rains chased them all the way back to my place.
The monsoons have been pretty steady and sometimes very heavy. Sunrise has risen about 3″-4″s and the water temp’s have dropped 4 degrees as of Sunday. Algae is getting worse but as long as it stays growing it won’t be a problem. It’s when it dies that things start going downhill.. Lake didn’t fish well but I think it had more to do with the Super Moon the night before than anything else. I’ll hit it again probably tomorrow and report back. Becker has had an ant hatch but otherwise is fishing pretty slow.
Let’s hope the Monsoons keep coming and it continues into a great Winter. We definitely need the water.
Sorry…no pics…mostly by myself.