Gentry, DW and I hit Big Lake yesterday. It was the first day after opening 273 so the lake hadn’t seen much pressure yet this season. The lake is way up and the water looks excellent. Temp’s were 48-50 with some moderate winds. Lake was fairly busy for being this early. We hit Railroad and didn’t find a whole lot so we headed up the channel and hit the cove off of it. Found more fish there mostly out in the deeper water. Fishing was very spotty. You’d catch a fish and then nothing. Switch flies and you’d catch another…both stripping and under the bobber. Ended up with about 14 between us. The biggest went about 18″ with most in the 15″-16″ range. None were colored up yet…..pretty much all pre spawn fish. We used an assortment of midges, mayfly and dragonfly nymphs.
With all the new water…it looks to be a great season. It’s nice to have multiple choices to fish instead of being relegated to the only lake left with suitable water.
Daryl and I hit Havasu this weekend, fishing up around Lake Havasu City. Lake is definitely different than 10 years ago. Water is not nearly as clear and the fish have definitely been worked over a lot more. Not sure if people are keeping the bedded fish they are catching or if the tournament guys have moved so many of them off their beds that they aren’t spawning in the same old places as before. We hit several areas that usually hold a lot of spawners and found almost none. We found fish but really had to go looking for them
The smallie spawn must have really started early this year because quite a few of the beds we found had the male guarding tiny 1/4″ frye swimming around. Those fish are not nearly as eager to grab a fly as one that is guarding a bed before the hatch. We actually found quite a few lmb’s staging and some already paired up. I saw more lmb’s bedding or staging this year than ever before….and I’m always on Havasu in March so timing has nothing to do with it. The one good thing is we saw giant lmb’s this year…bigger than I have seen previously and several of them.
The good thing about flyfishers is we catch them, take a quick pic and let them go. They’re right back on their bed ready to do their business. We’re not hurting the population one bit. There are supposed to be six different tournaments this weekend counting AZ and Cal tourneys. Not sure how much a lake can take…even the size of Havasu.
Here’s a few more pics
Love that lake. Have one more trip planned…probably be all lmb’s. I’d love to get into one of those big ones we saw this weekend.
Went down to Saguaro to fish for bedders this morning with Kevin. Been hearing about all the fish on beds and all the boats going after them. Reports were right….on both counts. Plenty of fish but everyone of them had a boat on ’em. Wednesday….doesn’t anyone work anymore? I mean this of course IS work for me and Kevin…..are you buying that? My wife never did either.
These were the two best ones. We managed to bring in a half dozen between us. Plenty of shots at others and a couple giants that we couldn’t get to go. I think most had been sore lipped previously because some just flat ran from the fly. Kevin said last week they were much more playful. Not sure how far along it is but I imagine it will go on for quite awhile longer. Fun stuff….watching how they react. They’re all different and you have to figure what it’s going to take to get them to open their mouth….some days you don’t….like today
Hit the valley this weekend, fishing with DW, Steve and his buddy Dallas. We hit Boulder Cover Saturday. It looked more like Encanto Park than the usual clear water of Canyon. Not sure what’s going on but it was not ideal for bed fishing. We finally found some clear water and were able to play with some fish. Not many pic’s taken but we probably landed a dozen between us. Missed some better fish, of course and had some break us off.
Next day Daryl and I hit Rosey launching at Windy Hill west side. Same conditions as Canyon, mucked up water and tons of debris. No clear water for bed fishing found so we stripped DW’s and Helmet Heads. Gold was the color…but no size to the fish we caught. Lake should be on fire when it clears up. I left around noon and DW hit Apache on his way home….nada. Sure hope the Golden Algae doesn’t affect the whole system. So far only shad have shown up floating. Let’s hope it stays that way
Ron and I hit Havasu Wednesday intending to fish three days from his boat. High winds were predicted for Wed (surprise, surprise) so we decided to check things out around some areas we know where you can find bedders from shore. Good thing we found them because as it turned out…they were the only two we were going to be able to fish to. You know the story….boat troubles….whaa, whaa, whaa.
Anyway it turns out today was going to be just as windy so it would have been a tough day for bed fishing. Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug!
Here’s a couple pics
Daryl and I hit Apache yesterday am. We launched at Burnt Corral and immediately noticed all the dead shad floating in the water and lining the banks. Talked with several other anglers and they said upriver was just as bad. Hopefully it is just a weather thing with the current cold front we are having. Don’t even want to think about anything happening to that lake now.
Not sure if the shad thing had anything to do with it but it was a tough day for me…nada. We fished BC for a couple hours with no action so headed down to the marina. Didn’t see much sign of a shad problem down there. DW landed three, a couple small smallies and this nice 5 lbr. He was using a DW Minnow with a Helmet Head on it in a golden color. After a few hours of nonaction I bummed one but they just wanted to play with Daryl. Oh well, it was really nice to get out again and a nice day fishing with DW.
I had a WMLF meeting this weekend down in the valley. Finally got to a point where I thought the knee would stand some kick boating. DW and I hit Sag looking for some early bedders….not much going on there. But we caught a few stripping Helmet Heads. This was the only one worth a pic
The bite was pretty slow actually. DW landed four smaller lmb’s ….all on chartreuse Helmet Heads. The water is somewhat stained and will make for some difficult bed fishing unless it clears some.
I have been laid up after knee surgery and haven’t been on the water for a couple weeks. DW has been hitting Plez every weekend and still getting into them. They move around a lot and the lake has risen about 8-10 ft he says but if you can find them, you can catch them. This past Sunday he had to go back to find some clearer water and found some smallish stripers and a small lmb.
Last weekend he saved a few for a cookout. A couple of these went to three lbs. Didn’t hear how they fared. They may not be big but it sure beats hobbling around the house on crutches…or watching tv. He caught them all on the Helmet Heads , mostly in the yellow chartreuse color.
Can’t wait to get off these crutches. I’m hearing some decent reports from Mohave also. Smallie time is coming up and I WILL be ready.
Daryl and I hit Havasu Sat and Sun targeting mainly stripers but more than willing to play with any fish that wanted to eat our flies. We started at the Bill Williams end launching at the Wildlife Refuge. Water was up from last year and clear as I have ever seen it down there. Water temp was around 51-52 with cloudy skies and mild chop on the water…..perfect day. Except we didn’t find many shad and with stripers…it’s all about the shad. We picked up a few fish in the 1.5 to 2 lb range and a stray 2 lb lmb but it was pretty uneventful. We packed up after the morning and hit Site Six up at Lake Havasu City. Two and three years ago that was the place to be. Last year not so….at all. We found more shad and caught more fish but again they were in the 2 lb range. We actually caught some small 12″ stripers which I had never seen there before. Bodes well for next year but we were there now. Ended up with about 5 stripers and a couple lmb’s. Next morning we hit the BW again and caught 5 between us in the 2 lb range. We headed back up to Site Six and had some lunch. I had to leave after eating to get back up here with my 5 hour drive ahead of me. I called DW when I hit Flag and he was into them. The birds (gulls, and diving birds) had found a big wad of shad and were diving on them. This excites the stripers big time and he ended up with at least 12 with a couple in the 3 lb range. All the fish were caught on Helmet Heads in either shad or a yellow chartreuse that DW had made up. Not an epic trip but a nice start to the bass season. Mohave is in the mix in the future…waiting on reports
I went down this past Sat and fished Pleasant with Daryl. Apache had slowed considerably and DW doesn’t stay home on the weekends….so he hit Plez and has been doing really well on the stripers. Nothing of any size, but their fight is right up there with any other freshwater fish I’ve ever caught. I fished a new Orvis recon 10 wt (their bass rod) and those fish had it folded in half. We stayed in Castle Creek and landed an easy 3 dozen between us. Nothing over 2.5 lbs…..so no pic’s. Looks like ….if the weather holds….we’ll hit Mohave next week. Bigger stripers and some good smallies. I’ve keep you posted.