I was in the shop this am bent over a dubbing blender as usual when I noticed the trees weren’t swaying like they have been for the past weeks. I figured it might be a good time to hit the lake….and I was right. I only got a couple hours on the lake before the winds hit again but I managed to find a few fish….4 smallies and 3 holdover rainbows to be exact. And I missed a couple as well. Water temps were 51-52. Still early temp wise but they are starting to stage….and it was good to feel a smallie tug again. Love that lake. They ate Jiggly’s again just like the past 3-4 years
Took a drive up to Sunrise to check out conditions. Lake is wide open and very low. The island is now a peninsula again. The reef at what is now basically the end of the lake is pretty much above water. I think it may be possible to walk across the lake without getting your feet wet. If not it is very close. Not a good pic but I got as close as I needed to see what I wanted to see…or maybe not what I wanted to see actually. It looks bad right now but I have actually experienced good fishing in low water conditions like we have now. The fish get more concentrated and more accessible to us fly flingers. I would get on it soon as I am not sure how long it will last. The “Catch and Keepers” hit it pretty hard. Should be some good fish as I doubt we had a kill.
This is A-1. About as low as I’ve ever seen it.
I haven’t been able to get away much this season due to the exploding demand for tying materials since Covid hit but I managed to get away for a half day to Horseshoe….more to check it out than anything else but at least I got to play around with some new patterns. Plan was to hit the upper end where the creek flows in, thinking spawning rainbows. The road got me about half way in before the drifts stopped me. A half hour hike got me down to the creek to find it about a foot across and snow/ice all around it. I had no idea how thick the ice was so I backtracked to open water and chucked flies for a couple hours…to no avail. Lake is about half open with 6″ of ice in front of the store and open water on the creek end. Talked with a native who was ice fishing…having the same amount of luck I had. He said the ice would probably be gone in a week….not sure about that but he’s definitely got more experience about that than me…sooo. Give it a couple weeks and it should be “go time” Throughout the years I would say April 1 is about the average opening of Sunrise. Should be some really nice rainbows this season early.
Horseshoe is one of the first to open up along with the Greer lakes. Becker has been putting out some nice fat rainbows. I would hit it early this season. Not too sure how fishing will fare as the season progresses. Although we didn’t have much snow this Winter it has been cold and quite a bit of the snow is still on the ground. Not going to be much runoff because of the slow meltoff, but it will be good for our forests come fire season. Fishing in AZ can be a challenge sometimes….this season may be one of the more challenging ones…both for bass and trout
Mag Bay 2020 is in the books and was one of the best if not the best annual Baja trip yet. La Nina affected the overall fishing, leading to less marlin and yellowtail tuna but the abundance of several other species of tuna, snook, dorado and grouper made for some very exciting action. Jeff de Brown of Reel Baja upped his program significantly with new accommodations and gourmet food. Joe Staller, Tom Horvath, Skip Culbert, Dave Weaver, Vince Deadmond and myself enjoyed 6 days of great weather, good fishing and great food…really lucky for saltwater fishing.
Skip…aka “Pappie” with beautiful 18 lb snook caught in the mangroves
Tom getting chummy with a mangrove grouper
A flock of frigates in the mangroves. When outside in the blue water, we look for these birds circling to locate baitfish. Find the baitfish…you find the game fish.
One of the nightly appetizers served by our gourmet chef, Crystal. We were served these every night, usually large enough that it could have been my entire meal
If you are looking for a first class trip to the Baja…either East Cape or Magdalena Bay check out the Reel Baja at www.thereelbaja.com…888 2874076.
Dave with a nice dorado
Fished Sunrise Lake this morning and landed nice 16″-18″rainbows stripping Mega Simi Seal leeches…2″ Nice to feel the old Sunrise grab. No lake up here has a better strip bite than Sunrise. They eat it like they’re going 100 miles an hour…broke off the first couple on 3x. The bobber boys were doing even better.
Sorry for the lack of reports but I’ve been hitting Show Low and Becker and you can only do that same report so many times. All the rez waters are open now and I would imagine they are all fishing well with the lack of pressure on them early this season. Time to hit it. You don’t really know if they will stay open. It all depends on the number of new virus cases that show up.
Hit it while you can
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 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.
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
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.
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.