Magdalena Bay Nov ’19

Another great trip to Mag Bay….our best to date.  Six of us, Joe Staller, Chuck Bull, Dave Weaver, Bob Bowers, Phil Click and myself joined Jeff DeBrown of Reel Baja for 6 days of fishing for marlin, tuna and dorado outside and many species inside for fish up to over 20 lbs.  For three of the group this was their first experience with big saltwater fishing.  The beauty of this trip is that all six of us landed at least one marlin with several landing two.  The weather cooperated this trip with 5 fishable days and only one when we couldn’t go outside.

Check out the videos of what it’s like casting for marlin with poppers

 

We had some pretty unusual events occur this trip also.  We had sea lions chasing our hooked dorado.  A sea lion also chased Phil’s tuna and waited under the boat until the guide released the fish. It came up and ate the fish right out of his hands, leaving just the head.  A hooked dorado swam under the boat while trying to be landed only to break off and jump in the boat on the other side with the fly still in it’s mouth.  Bob and I both hooked up a marlin with our flies while trolling for dorado.  His line broke mine and he landed the marlin.  The mangrove fishing wasn’t quite as productive species wise as last year but the fish we caught were better quality.

Here’s some pic’s

All in all…an excellent trip, several marlin over 200 lbs and mangrove fish over 20 lbs.  Great group of guys, excellent guides and good accommodations at the Whale Tail Inn through Mag Bay Outfitters.  I recommend it to anyone….we’re going back for sure!!

 

x

White’s

I was fishing Pacheta yesterday with a couple buddies and was made aware by an old shop customer fishing the bank that I need to get more reports up.  I apologize….between lots of materials being made and my general apprehension getting on computers…it has been badly neglected.

I have been fishing almost exclusively Becker, Show Low, Big, Earl Park and Pacheta yesterday.  These lakes have held up the best for me.  I have had reports on other lakes and they didn’t sound all that great and you only have so much time.  The one exception is Carnero.  Although it suffered a kill last Winter, the Spring stockers  (along with a few holdovers) have provided very steady fishing all Summer.  They’re getting them on dries, under a bobber, stripping, anything in the water seems to get ’em.

Becker fish held up really well this Summer….very few floaters.  The bite was much like other seasons…midges in the deeper holes were the ticket.  Had a great ant hatch early on and several smaller ones later in the season.  Fish are very strong and fight hard.  They’re not getting as big as we would like and I am trying to see if some Gammarus scuds can be introduced to possibly give the fish a stronger food base.  Big scuds grow big fish!

Show Low wasn’t as productive as last season but still put out some giant smallies again this year.  It’s a funny lake…you never know how it will fish from one day to the next.  Jiggly’s were the ticket all season.

Earl Park has some good fish, especially the rainbows.  There are a lot of small rainbows, browns and brookies that have been stocked and will be a real plus in a couple seasons.  I have been fishing Jiggly’s (naked nymphing…I like to call it deep water nymphing) right on the bottom to get the bigger fish.  Indicator fishing seems to produce a lot of smaller fish.

Pacheta yesterday was great.  We caught them on  Jiggly’s under a bobber and stripping along with stripping regular simi’s too.  Nice chunky rainbows 15-18″s.  Not any water coming into the lake so we went deeper to find the fish.  Lake is in great shape, a little low but I’ve seen it much worse.  It should Winter well.

Off to Big and Becker next week and I’ll post reports.  The best fishing of the season is coming up.  It’s been a late Fall, not cold enough yet.  Temp’s at the lakes are 55-56.  When it gets down in the 40’s things should start popping.

I am off to Mag Bay the end of the month for a week of marlin and mangrove fishing.  Come on up.  The leaves are turning.  We saw at least 100 elk yesterday… a couple of bulls with their ladies.  Great time of year.  Enjoy!

BTW….we finally got the NEPA passed on Luna.  That was out biggest hurdle.  Luna should have aerators next season.  Let’s hope they make a difference.

 

Show Low

Charlie, Ron and I hit Show Low yesterday morning.  Landed over a dozen smallies and

a 5 lb cat.  Most were 1-2 lbs except for this nice 4 lb’r of Ron’s…all on Jiggly’s

Water temp’s really haven’t started to cool down yet.  When they do even more big fish

should start showing…gonna be fun

Show Low Smallies

Fishing up here has been pretty slow to realllly slow starting about the end of June.  July was slim pickens so I started hitting Show Low again seeing if could repeat the success I had last Dog Days on the smallmouth.  It stated pretty slow as the lake is totally different than last season at this time.  The lake has a lot more water and has been off color ever since ice out.  It’s clearing somewhat now and has dropped probably over 6 ft.  Still plenty of water, much more than last year. 

I have pretty much fished the Jiggly under a bobber.  For a short time they were chasing and I fished a Tadpole variation that DW came up with from a Pyramid Lake fly.  That worked for a short time but I caught more walleye than smallies with it.  That is one thing about the Jiggly, I have caught every species of fish in the lake except for a largemouth on it.  Anyway the past four trips I have had at least one good smallie on.  I think they are finally coming around  and playing a bit.  This is about the time I started fishing it last season.  Been really fun.  Nice to have some water so close you can fish it every day if you want….and some nice fish.

This was this am

Show Low, Big, Becker

I apologize for the lack of posts.  My program has been on the blink and wouldn’t allow me to post.  It won’t allow me to write anything after I post pics so I’ll do the post and then add pics at the end….make sense???  Not to me either.

I’ll give you a rundown on what’s been happening up here for the past several weeks.  I had been hitting Show Low pretty consistently because of the winds.  I can fish a portion of the lake that is semi protected.  The smallies continued to grab pretty well but slowed around the end of May.  They have not been really aggressive and the only way I can get them to eat is fishing a fly under a bobber.  Not my favorite method but “you do what you have to do”. 

Early June I started hitting Big Lake and had some decent days fishing c’mids under an indicator again.  Several guys were stripping small pt’s with some good success.  The Bonneville cutthroats AZG&F planted last year are up to 17″-18″ now and fight very hard.  Some of the Snake River’s are still around and have been caught up to 5 lbs recently.  We fished it this past weekend and had some good success on some really nice 18″-20″ holdover rainbows fishing midges….sorry no pics. 

Becker has been off and on again…as usual.  I have been fishing top water catching some nice Tigers and rainbows using ants and hoppers.  Both species are in excellent shape and fight as hard as I can remember any fish fighting in Becker.  Most all the rainbows are 17″-20″ and some of the Tigers are pushing 20″.  The last trip we got into the bass pretty good and had a great time.  The LMB’s are not long but very tall and thick.  Lake is up but is starting to get a bloom.  Rain in the forecast should help that and possibly get the ant hatch moving.

Here’s some pics….the first three are Show Low.  The Tiger is Ron at Becker and the remaining three are some of the bass we got at Becker

John

Havasu Redears 5/10-5/12

The weather up here has been pretty ugly lately—-37 degrees wind and sleet last Wed.  The weekend and next few days were 40-80% chance of rain.  Time to head for Havasu again.  I had always wanted to get into the spawning redears.  For those that don’t know what a redear is it is a sunfish in the bluegill family but gets much larger and is a tremendous fighter, especially on light weight 3-4 wt fly rods.  The state record is over 6 lbs.  we didn’t find any near that size but found them almost a pound.

They spawn much like a bluegill…in groups with their beds very close to one another.  They are an aggressive fish but are not that easy to catch, especially the nice ones.  We caught most with small flies under a bobber.  A few were caught with flies actually on the bed, much like we do for smallies and lmb’s.  But most would not aggressively attack the fly on the bed itself.

Another great trip to Havasu.  Last one this year.  When I left Show Low going over it was 41 mid morning.  Sunday it got up to 95 over there.  This old man wasn’t really used to that anymore.  Time to play in the high country.

Show Low 5/2-5/3

I have been hitting Show Low whenever the wind allows….which hasn’t been very often.  This morning was calmer than any day in the past month so I went for it.  The lake is full but a dirty brown.  Viz is only about a foot so sight fishing for bedded fish is impossible.  I tried stripping the usual chartreuse streamers of various design previous times with not a single grab.  So I switched to the small crayfish patterns fished under a bobber like I used last Fall and found some players.

I fished for 5 hours and landed 3 smallies and a couple nice rainbows.  Not exactly what you’d call “on fire” but a nice enough morning considering the condition of the water.  Fishing will just get better and better as the water clears.  Nice to have a good smallmouth fishery this close to home.  Maybe I’ll go back out this afternoon.

Hit it again this morning.  4 smallies and 1 nice 18″ trout.  Viz is 2′ now but wind in the forecast all next week!

Most all of these are females that are stuffed full of eggs.

Becker

We finally had a decent day with little wind so a few of us hit Becker, my first trout fishing this Spring in AZ.  Lake is full and the water is beautiful.  We all caught some nice rainbows, mostly on midges under an indicator.  Not my favorite but you do what you have to do.  No real monsters.  18″ was probably the biggest but strong fish and in great shape.  Should be a good season…..water everywhere.  Pic above is Bob Bowers from Pinetop, a member of the flyfishing club up here and a WMLF Board member.

There was a pretty good turnout for a Friday.  Even got to fish with my old buddy, Ron.  Nice day

Havasu 3/2-3/4

Tim and I hit Havasu Saturday for the afternoon bite and found the smallies a bit more playful and the wind not as bad as last weekend.  More beds, warmer water temps and less wind…can’t ask for much more than that.  Tim had a nice afternoon landing 3-4 smallies.

DW joined us the next day with even calmer water and more sun.

We caught about 20 fish between us all with bed fish flies.  Tim left that afternoon and DW and I hit one of the marinas trying new water.  Good call!

 

DW even caught a bluegill stripping a simi

Getting a couple lmb’s at the end of the trip was a real bonus this early in a cold season.  We saw plenty of big lmb’s cruising but not that many locked on a bed.  DW and I landed between 35-40 bass that day, all between 2-3.5 lbs….unreal!

Phil Click joined us and fished a different area in his boat.  Here’s some pics from him.

All in all another great early season trip to Havasu.  May be the last time I get to hit it his season until maybe April for the redear.  Plenty of water up here this year and lots of new opportunities.  Can’t be everywhere.  Nice to actually have choices this coming season.  Trout, lmb’s, smallies, stripers…eenie meenie….

Havasu Feb 25 ’19

DW and I hit Havasu Sunday for a day, targeting bedded smallies.  We knew it had been cold but the forecast was for warmer, calmer weather for the entire week.   I have always found bedded smallies by March 1.  It was a little early but I had cabin fever and had to get out.  After two hours of three of us shoveling snow, I was able to get my truck on asphalt.   Two hours later I was on I 40 heading to Havasu.

We hit the first spot we frequent for the smallies and found beds but the water temp was still 51-52…a bit too cold for them to comfortably stay on a bed.  We were counting that the sunny, warmer forecast would bring them back in by the afternoon.  About 8 the clouds thickened and a cold North wind hit and blew that plan up.  Off to sight #2 that was a bit more sheltered and also holds bedders.   The water was warmer, 54 and the beds were there but again no smallies to be found…not even a cruiser…nada.  Havasu can really be a frustrating lake to fish.  Sometimes it is as if there are nooo fish at all and then the next time they’re everywhere.  This unfortunately was the former pattern.

It was about 1 in the afternoon by then and we had one small lmb DW got stripping at the first site.  Pretty bleak for my 5 hour drive.  One thing about Havasu though is the drive is worth it for me just to fish it.  To me, it is a pretty special place…quite challenging but if you get lucky and hit it right it is really rewarding.  We gave up on the bedders and decided to grab the heavy sinking lines and go find some stripers.  The forecast finally caught up with the day and it turned calm and sunny….thank you very much.  We hit one of our usual spots and didn’t do much the first couple hours.  DW caught a couple small stripers but I was still stinking it up.  I hit a spot I had previously caught some good fish and picked up three nice lmb’s all 2.5 to 4 lbs.  Wow, all of a sudden our day took a turn for the good.  We ended up catching about 8-9 lmb’s between us and a smallie that DW picked up out main lake.

Here’s some pics

The day turned out to be pretty good and it points out the fact that more times than not…the original plan is not going to happen and you need go to plan B or C.  All the fish were caught on big 5.5″-6″ Helmet Heads in shad color.  I was fishing a similar pattern in about a 3.5″-4″ and not doing much until I snagged two shad with it that were at least twice the size of my fly, so I switched to a larger fly and started hooking up.  Another odd thing is we caught more lmb’s than smallies or stripers.  The stripers are supposed to be dummies that you can catch on any reasonable imitation.  And the smallies are not that difficult when on beds but we ended up catching supposedly the hardest species of the three to fool.  You just never know when you get out there what’s going to happen.  There are sooo many shad in the lake right now (and big ones ) that I think the stripers are just fat and sassy and feed when they want.

The lmb’s are really getting good size there too.  The smallies will be on soon and I’ll be back to go for them.  March is Havasu time.  I think fishing up here is going to be late as well.  But we definitely will have water….yeeaaahhh!