I have been super busy with materials/flies this past couple weeks. Finally had enough and said s***w it and headed to Havasu. This is the earliest I have hit it ever but was worth the drive….(I guess). Hit the Bill Williams end first as that was the best last year. Fishing wasn’t on fire but good enough to warrant future trips this early in the year.
The first morning I got there the winds came up and pushed me off after three hours in. Managed 3 small ones before I gave up and grabbed some lunch and got my room up in Havasu. The afternoon quieted down a bit so I went back down and fished til dusk. Managed another four small ones and a little lmb.
Next morning’s forecast was better and I hit it before sunup. Found lots of fish but no birds. There were also enough balls of shad on the bottom but nothing moving them. This tells me the big ones aren’t in yet. You need them to bust up the shad balls and get them to the top. The birds then tell you where they are so you’re not just fishing totally blind. Didn’t happen this trip. Maybe all the big arcs I saw were carp? Definitely saw enough of them bust the surface, coming completely two feet out of the water. I ended up getting six in about 6 hours of fishing…all between 1.5 and 2.5 lbs. Fun fish but not what I drove 5 hours for.
Met a local and he told me that the big ones were in a couple weeks ago but they had terrible winds and the cold came in. Pushed the big ones back out and they’re just now coming back in…..the old “should have been here yesterday” story. Anyway, thought I’d get a report up finally. I’m hearing the Browns are starting to slow down up here….off to Mag Bay for marlin and the mangroves next week. Hopefully I’ll have a good report.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” – Charles Dickens, opening of A Tale of Two Cities
As John mentioned in a previous post, this summer had some of the worst water conditions up here on The Mountain I can remember. It sure is nice to see improvement with the arrival of fall….and it really crashed the party.
On 10/14/18 I fished Big Lake and today, 10/16/18, I hit Horseshoe Cienega.
I heard that South Cove of Big Lake was fishing well. I did not find that to be true this past Sunday, but did find fish near the mouths of Railroad and the adjacent cove. After offering the standard fare of nymphs and midges, I had better luck with dark colored Simi Seal Buggers. One really nice one slipped away, but I did get about a half dozen into the net in the 13-15″ class. They were fat and hard fighting.
Today on Horseshoe Cienega was the opposite. They wanted the midges and were short striking the buggers. I was fishing large zebra midges and while orange and copper was the hot color, the tried and true black and silver worked as well.
They were really hammering the midges off the dam. At first I was fishing them under an indicator, but eventually was just casting them out on a floating line and using a hand-twist retrieve. Several of the takes darn near ripped the rod out of my hand.
One word of caution, watch out and be prepared for weather!
Well….I hope you all enjoy the new site as much as I do. Thanks to web master, Mike McLaughlin for the new look. I know it was a lot of work and I’m sure he’s glad it’s done. Still a few tweaks going on but the majority of the work is behind him.
I have been asked why no reports were going up this past Summer. Our lakes and streams are as low or lower than I have ever seen…and I’ve been fishing up here since the 60’s. I did not feel it was in the best interest of all of us for me to encourage people up. The trout fishing in the lakes was spotty and really took a turn for the worse in August. Big, Carnero and Luna all suffered some kill, not total but bad enough that I left them alone and tried new and different stuff. Surprisingly some of the lakes fished well the whole time…you may have had to use some new techniques but the fish were still there and very healthy. Pacheta and Earl Park fished really well. In fact on Pacheta it was like shooting fish in a barrel. They were really concentrated but in good shape and fought hard.
One good thing that happened was I had to adjust and try different approaches. I am not a real big fan of indicator fishing. I don’t have the patience to watch a bobber to see if it is going to make a move on still water. Moving water is different but let’s not waste time getting into that. I started naked nymphing in earnest and really enjoyed it. I can fish as deep as 25 ft and still feel takes. It makes me feel more like I’m fishing the fly instead of the bobber. On several occasions where others were indicator fishing and catching small fish, I was constantly getting into bigger ones on the bottom….and most importantly…it was fun! I had to make up new flies that rode with the hook up and came up with a new pattern that has worked for me everywhere I have gone…not every time but to the point on several occasions where it was working better than the usual patterns. I caught rainbows, browns, bluegill, smallies and even a walleye on it. You can also strip it if they are chasing.
I was able to hit Show Low lake and fish it the whole month of September when most of our trout lakes were suffering “Dog Days” and did well. The lake was clear and only a 10 minute drive from my house. One of my goals when I moved up here was to try and figure out the local lakes (Show Low and Fools Hollow) for smallies, largies and walleye. I tried hard the first two years and mostly blanked. I caught some fish but really had no pattern as to what I was doing. I feel like I really made some progress this year. It’s nice when you feel you’ve figured something out and you know what to expect when you hit the water. I feel that way a lot with trout but bass are a different story. October hit, the weather cooled and the fish moved. Now I have to go find them again and figure out what will get them to open their mouths. That is the fun of fishing anyway…figuring things out.
We have already had our first good snow up here. More supposed to get here in a couple days. Let’s hope it is a good wet Winter and another and another!!!! I plan on hitting the trout lakes until they get hard and then it’s striper/bass time. You gotta love AZ. There is fishing all year long here. You may have to travel a bit but it’s there….Have a great Fall fishing season.