Becker, Show Low AGAIN

Joe and Dick Brooks came up for a few days of cooler weather and some fishing.  Hit Becker first morning and landed some very nice rainbows and a couple Tigers on #16 midges.

Hit Carnero the next morning to find a bunch of floating fish in the weeds and at least a dozen boaters on the very small fishable area with two more ready to launch.  Decided to go hit Becker again.  With Becker being Becker, the fish did not want to play with the same midge that day and we pretty much got spanked.  Not the first time…won’t be the last.

Decided to fish Show Low the final morning and she came through for us again.  Landed bluegills, green sunnies, walleye, catfish and of course some nice smallies…all on the Jiggly again.

Nice to have such a versatile fishery so close to home

 

Show Low

Show Low has been decent for some good smallies the past couple weeks, mostly fishing Jiggly’s under a bobber.  Next time out I plan to try stripping some baitfish patterns.

Big still is off and on and hasn’t really turned on like past years.  My theory is that the Snake River Cutt’s haven’t been planted for three years now and the numbers are way down.  These cutt’s came into the shallows to spawn every Spring.  They were followed in by the egg eating Rainbows in the lake, making them more available to us shallow fishing fly flingers.  This happened on a much smaller scale than previous years.  The Bonneville Cutt’s didn’t come in shallow (maybe spawning in deeper water?).  We may have to adjust our tactics somewhat in the future.

Becker has been Becker.  Good one day, off the next.  The ticket has been size #18 midges but that seems to have tailed off lately.  Off to new tactics again.  The ant hatch has finally arrived with the Monsoons, so some good fishing should follow.

Been a rather wierd year up here with the Rez lakes closed.  Luna Lake has gotten their aerators installed and fired up so hopefully it will make a difference in future years to keep the lake fishing strong later into the hotter months.  Hopefully Crescent is next.

Stay safe

Becker, Big, Show Low

Sorry for the lack of posts, but between all the work and wind there hasn’t been a lot of time on the water for me.  I hit Becker with Charlie yesterday and we got almost three hours in before the wind forced us off.  We both landed some nice 16″-18″ rainbows on hoppers and of course missed a few as well.  He landed a nice 18″ Tiger that was the big fish of the morning.  The water is up and reeeaaally clear.

I have hit Big Lake three times with some seriously good fishermen and the biggest fish any of us caught were 14″ Bonnevilles.  There were some Snake River cutt’s in South Cove but not many were landed.  I’m not really sure how many are left in Big.  AZG&F hasn’t stocked the Snakes in three years so numbers are almost certainly down.  For some reason the bigger Bonnevilles just haven’t come in yet??? …as of a week ago.  The water is as good as I’ve seen in years and is up.  Eventually it will turn on.  This Spring has been surprisingly cold at times and the wind has been continuing even into this month??  Life in the mountains…love it.

Show Low has still been putting out some fatty smallmouth.  With the wind kicking up all the time, it has been my go to, even if I only get a few hours on it

Wish I had a better report but with the rez shut down, it definitely limits our choices.  One good thing about the shutdown is the fish should be in good shape once it reopens….let’s hope sooner than later

 

Show Low, Big Lake 5/14-16

Joe came up Wednesday night to fish Thursday-Saturday.  We hit Show Low first thing Thursday am to a nice day comparably to what has been going on up here wind wise.  The weather had turned cool the previous couple days…cool enough that I actually turned my heat back on for a bit.  I believe this contributed to the slow early fishing that day.  That and the fact that we switched to a fly they wanted…a Dk Olive Jiggly.  This was my main fly last season with the stained water.  Earlier this season I switched to a Copper/Olive Diamond Dub Jiggly that worked well too but not that morning.  Once we found something they wanted we proceeded to have a good day….probably 14-15 smallies between us, a walleye, nice holdover trout and a green sunfish.  I love Show Low for it’s diversity.

No really big smallies but several 2-2.5 lbr’s that fought like the usual SL smallie.

Next day we hit Big Lake to see what was going on troutwise.  I hadn’t had any good reports yet on the lake but it was time to start playing with the trout.  We hit South Cove first thinking the trout may still be deeper and that cove has better access to deep water…wrong…nada, not a bump.  Off to old faithful Railroad.  We met Tim there and fished with him for awhile, landing a couple 14″ rainbows.  Tim didn’t have much time so Joe and I headed around the corner to the next cove (not really sure what it is called) and got into some fish there stripping BH Flashback PT’s.  Joe landed 4 brookies and I got a Bonnieville Cutt about 14″ and a brookie.  Not what you’d call on fire but at least some action.  Didn’t see much else going on so we hit Show Low again Saturday…..loving that 7 minute drive.

Tim and Bob Boyd met us at the lake and we were into fish almost immediately.  Bob landed several really nice females.  The one at the top went a good 5 lbs and fought him like a tuna…..on the Dk Olive Jiggly again.  I could hear him screaming “where’s my 8 wt?”  We didn’t get a lot of pics because we were spread out pretty good….but we caught a lot of fish that morning. Tim got a nice 2.5 lmb which is pretty rare for that lake.  I landed the fattie above, a female that looked like she was ready to burst.

A very nice three days of fishing with some gooood weather.  This wind usually starts dying down about now.  Which is great because I plan to keep hitting Show Low for the big girls that will be coming in soon.

Show Low smallies

With the virus keeping us homebound, it’s time to tie flies.  This was the case all last month as April was the busiest month I have ever had with materials.  Great for the wallet but tough for the fishing experiences.  I didn’t have much time to hit the water lately.  Some early season trips to Becker with some good/bad success was about it.  I have had some luck fishing Show Low lately for the smallies.  They have just started to play this past week.  You usually get two-three hours before the wind gets you.

Water temps are starting to warm so this should be fun for the next month or so.  Carnero is the hot spot right now.  Fish are being caught on small nymphs and simi’s stripped.  Holdovers 16″-17″ are taking smallish top water flies as well.  Big Lake fish are still out deep so a deep water nymphing trip is in the future.  I just need to find a day where the wind will let me play more than two hours.  I tried my hand at the grassies in rainbow and got totally spanked.  They average 24″s and are everywhere.  Another new project.  Love it!

Hopefully I’ll have some trout pics next report.  It’s just so easy to hit SL….seven minutes away and those smallies are some kind of fight.

Parker Strip, Havasu

Tim Oliver, Joe Staller and I hit the Parker Strip Saturday and met up with Phil Click for an afternoon of bed fishing.  We all caught fish, mostly smallies and one good lmb.

We headed up to Havasu City that afternoon and got ready for the lake the next day.  We split up and found some of the waters we normally fish, not fishable because of the water being pretty cloudy.  Not sure what is going on but the lake was not the usual clear water we were accustomed to.  On to Plan B.  Joe and Phil fished his boat and Tim and I hit another spot. 

Not sure how many fish we caught but we kept busy all morning netting fish.

Next day we hit the river again at a different spot

We fished it all day, taking turns and landed smallies and lmb’s.  Curiously the lmb’s were all paired up and the smallies weren’t.  Not sure what’s happening there either…usually it’s reversed.  Great trip with a good group.  Havasu comes through again but it is definitely not the same old Havasu of years past.  I’m seeing more and more gizzard shad harassing the bass.  Between the fish that are taken off the beds and left unguarded and the gizzard shad gobbling eggs, I have doubts Havasu can maintain the fishing it once had.  I talked with a conventional guy who saw a ball of gizzard shad rolling a spawning female like a football gobbling the eggs as she was laying them.  All her eggs were not going to be hatched.  You wonder how often that goes on.

 

Havasu 2/27-28

Hit Havasu this past couple days.  Water is still a little cold but managed to land 10-11 in the afternoons.  Mornings they were off the beds until the water warmed a bit.  All were between 2.5 and 3.5 lbs.  Solid, hard fighting smallies.  Lost 4 to jumps that I didn’t get to the net.  I only found them in one of my usual spots.  It seems the water is getting a little dingier every year.  Not sure what’s going on.  Maybe the quaggas have something to do with it?

Here’s some pic’s

Headed back again next weekend.  Hopefully this coming storm won’t cool things down even more.  We need more of that good old AZ sun.

Spring almost here

Spring is right around the corner up here.  It has been a weird Winter. We have had a pretty normal snowpack and some fairly mild weather the past month, but it has gotten cold enough at night that I still have snow on the North side of my house from last Christmas???  Show Low Lake has been spilling over the spillway since the end of January.  It didn’t thaw last year and spill until early April?  I’ve tried finding the bass at SL but have had no success.  I’ll pick up a trout every now and then but no smb’s or walleye.  Becker has been fishing well for a month now.  I have had my best luck stripping bunny leeches slowly on the bottom.  Two weeks ago it was 38-40 degrees.  Yesterday it was up to 44 and the trout were doing their spawn dance in the shallows?  Haven’t seen that in several years.  Not quite sure what’s going on there because these are supposed to be Triploids that don’t spawn.

Overall the outlook is good.  Lakes are up and the runoff really hasn’t started yet.  Luna is scheduled to have aerators installed this Spring.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

Here’s to good 2020 fishing season

John

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.