I met Ron at Havasu Wed afternoon. We checked out a new spot I had scoped out and blanked…..found beds but all were empty. I knew we were a bit early but we were itchy for some bed fishing and the weather looked promising. We went scouting a couple spots we knew had fish from before and sure enough they were in…beds with fish on them. Next morning we launched at Windsor and fished the shoreline all the way to the channel. Found a few players but they just weren’t hot at all. Managed to coax a couple to grab but they both spit the hook after vaulting into the air. Hit the channel and found some more active players.
We fished our way back to Windsor but the algae had gotten so bad we couldn’t see much. So we headed to see my buddy Doug Bell, from Whitefish, Mt. Doug winters there for three months and is on the water pretty much every day. He told us about a couple coves up north that his buddies had fished and landed some smallies stripping leeches and Clousers. Next morning we hit it and found bedders right off the bat. Again we found beds but most were empty. We landed a couple and then went to the deeper water stripping but found very few fish that morning. The day before there were plenty of shad but they must have moved out because it was pretty quiet.
A good trip….maybe a tad early but pretty nice for mid February. Next month should be excellent….if the algae doesn’t throw us a curve.
Yes, Ron caught all the big fish…..I know that…he made me aware of it as well. Good fishing with him again…been too long
Went over to Pasadena to see my son and hit Havasu for a day on the way back. Hit Site Six again looking for the stripers…nada. Only fish that wanted to play for me were the largemouth. I fished from 7 to 2 and these were the only bumps I had. Never had a bump after 10. I did see a nice smallie caught by another fly guy. Saw probably 4 stripers being carried away from the fishing pier. But that was pretty much all the other action I saw. I can see why the FLW tourney was so tough.
The water had risen at least a foot and had warmed 6 degrees in the past couple weeks. I didn’t see the numbers of shad that were there last time I was there either. A bad algae has formed…one I had never seen before. Locals said it happens every year but I have fished the lake for 9 years now as late as April and never saw this before. The lake is getting nutrients from somewhere. Maybe that’s why the fish keep getting bigger?????
This is a shot from the London Bridge. Normally you could see smallie beds from this viewpoint…not happening this year. My bed fishing season may be cut short this year. Oh well…the high lakes opened before I left this past week. I hit Horseshoe a couple times and landed this 3.5 lb brown. This guy went into the smoker.
Just an FYI….Simms is launching a new Bass page on Facebook. Give it a look. I’m sure there will be some valuable tips and info on how to better your game for bass. I’m not big with Facebook but I’ll be checking in. I can use all the help I can get….trying to get Mr Bucketmouth to eat when he doesn’t want to.
Hit Havasu again and fished with a buddy from Montana. Got into two big stripers and managed to get one of them in. This one went 10 lbs…no idea how big the other one was. He took me 100 ft into my backing in about 10 seconds. After a ten minute tussle he broke me on the structure below. Both hit 1/0 DHM’s in silver and silver holo. Gonna go back for sure with more next time. In a month it’s smallie time so looks like I’ll be hitting I-40 for awhile in the future…..well worth the 5 hour drive.
I hung up the trout gear and have been hitting some of the bass lakes. I know it’s early but I have to do something. Apache has been a bit stingy. I caught a few smallies but fishing in general was slow. I checked the weather this past week and it called for wind there so I checked Havasu and calm and sunny showed up. Havasu it was. Last year the lake was different for me. I usually start at the Bill Williams end because it is generally warmer. I don’t catch smallies but I usually pick up some lmb’s and stripers. Last year there were very few shad down there and of course that means fewer stripers and lmb’s. I did all my good fishing midlake up last year so this year I started at Site Six….good call.
Fishing wasn’t hot and heavy but after about 5 hours of casting/stripping and losing flies to the structure there the fish finally started to play. First striper I hooked up fought me for about 5-7 minutes and finally broke me on the structure there. Second one I managed to get it away from it and landed him…a nice hard fighting 6 lbr that had me well into my backing. I had forgotten how hard big stripers pull. Man, they are horses. I hooked up one later on but he came unbuttoned on me.
The shad were thick and plentiful there and I’m sure that is why the stripers were there also. I fished til the sun went down and was rewarded with a nice 4.5 lb largemouth that hit my same Ultra Foxy as the stripers had….quite a nice bonus.
Sorry for the crummy pic….hard taking selfies with a cell phone. Next morning I went down to the Bill Williams just to check it out and it was slow too but I picked up two lmb’s…one that went 3. Lots of smaller stripers down there now and not as many shad.
The fish are in the best shape I have seen in the 9 years I’ve been going there. The bass were chunks and have been eating well. The 3 lbr must have been chowing on crawdads because I caught him right against a rocky bank and his mouth was totally red from grubbing in the rocks for food.
It is a 5.5 hour haul from my place up here in Show Low but it is well worth the drive. I don’t think many guys bass fish with a fly rod but there are times when a fly rod will outfish a conventional guy. Site Six has a fishing pier with lights. The locals congregate there all day and into the night. During the 6 hours I was fishing I saw at least 60-80 guy/gals fishing. I never saw a fish caught but in that same time I hooked up 4 quality fish using flies. Give it a shot…it’s a blast.
Tim Oliver, Steve Martin and his brother Pete Martin made the annual fall trip to Erie Pennsylvania area to fish the streams running out of Lake Erie. Water has been low all fall, but there were still a good number of fish being caught on Elk Creek, so this is where we focused our trip this year. Started out on Sunday November 9th fishing upper Elk Creek above Folly’s. Had a ¼ inch of rain the night before, so the fish were pretty active and feeding quite well in moving water. Fish were taking small egg patterns and flash back PT’s. Fishing was good throughout the day and everyone landed quite a few fish. On day two (11/10), started on lower Elk Creek just above the mouth and found very few fish. Did land one nice Steelhead and saw a few Browns taken around Uncle John’s Cabins. Moved back upstream late morning and fished below Folly’s. Found lots of fish, but fewer fish feeding. Did land a few nice fish below Folly’s, then moved up and fished the water right behind the fly shop at Folly’s. Ended the day with regular hook ups the last couple of hours. On day three (11/11) we headed up to Platz Road parking area (Sterrantania) and fished upstream and downstream from the parking area. Another fabulous day of sight casting to Steelhead in moving water. The fish were a bit more picky, but persistence paid off to a well placed PT or Juju midge.
After three days in PA I was developing a little tendonitis in my right elbow from tussling with so many Steelhead. My trip then took me the Cattaraugus River in New York where I met up with Jason Myers, a buddy from Buffalo. This is a big water with its headwaters on the Seneca Indian Nation. We went upstream and fished Zoar Valley above Gowanda. This river is in a picturesque deep valley with high walled cliffs surrounding the river. It is a great size for those wishing to fish it with a spey rod or pinning gear. Having said that, we fished it with our nymph rigs and had several hook ups. Did land one bright 8 lb Steelhead (see picture below) on a cold and windy day.
On Thursday, November 13th, we made our way over to Oak Orchard (flows into Lake Ontario) with hopes of landing a big Brown or two. Fishing started out fast and furious with 8 nice fish landed (a mix of Browns and Steelhead) in the first three hours (one Brown in the 8 lb class – see picture below), then they reduced the water and the fish just turned off. Nothing much happened for the next couple of hours so we broke for lunch. It was during lunch that the snow started and we called it a day. Met two nice guys from West Virginia who had been fishing Sandy Creek with good success. They landed sever double digit Browns and Steelhead on this latest trip on the Sandy. As always, another great trip back east and am already looking forward to next year.
Looks like a terrible time, Tim. I’ll be there next year for sure
Sorry for the lack of posts this past month. Busy with work and the lack of anything major to report is my excuse. I have been walking the banks of Horseshoe working the spawning browns. Nothing major to be seen. I picked up maybe a half dozen in the 3-4 lb range….not really exciting stuff but it was close to home and I’m actually getting a bit tired of trout. Ready to hit the bass scene …looking forward to it. I hit the X Diamond yesterday with Mike Faulkinbury and we picked up a few browns and rainbows each on hoppers…all small. The creek actually was iced over pretty good early on. All the slow water and ponds are solid. Went by Sunrise on the way home and it was solid as well….all except for a couple 30 yd patches full of coots. About 10-12 bald eagles were patiently waiting for the ice to close around them. Horseshoe was still open. Not sure of Big or Crescent….not really worried about them to be truthful. Time for BASS.
I’m trying to get a report up from Tim on our annual steelhead trip. I opted out this year….like a dummy. I’m having trouble getting pics up. I’ll keep working on it.
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