Rainbow Grassies 8/23


Trout fishing has slowed to a crawl in our lakes up here due to the warm weather.  This has become a common occurrence the past couple seasons.  To  a year round fly fisher this can be a problem.  Winter time I can hit the Colorado River/lakes along with the local bass haunts where weather allows goood fishing for bass and stripers.  Summer time presents another problem.  It’s TOO hot everywhere anymore.  I had to find a solution or go nuts.  Problem solved.  Within 15 minutes of my home I can hit Show Low and can be reasonably sure I can catch smallmouth, largemouth, walleyes and a few trout.  Recently I started hitting Rainbow for the grass carp and found it to be very intimidating and frustrating at times but very rewarding at others.  These fish will hit dry flies if you get lucky and hit it right.  They are very wary and much harder to catch than trout or bass AND the fight is awesome.  The average grassie in Rainbow goes about 5-7 lbs and there are enough in the lake to make it interesting.  One of my buddies landed one that went close to 15.  This one took a hopper and went 8 and took me close to ten minutes to land on a 5 weight.

I realize everyone is not going to drive 3 hours to catch carp but there are many, many more opportunities in the valley than up here.  Take advantage of what you have and go fish….at least until you can’t handle the heat anymore.  Time for a cool one and some AC.  You have two fly shops in the valley now that have employees that can get you into one of these guys.  Try it….I think you’ll be surprised.

Bighorn Browns and Bow’s

Just got back from a few days fishing the Bighorn with Nomada Flyfishing.  We stayed at the Bighorn River Lodge and was very impressed with the entire operation…First Class.  Good food, good accommodations and great guides.  They got us on browns and rainbows over 20″ on hoppers.  I had two fish that took me 50 yards into my backing headed upstream and I never landed them.  One Brown I got to the boat had to go 22″-23″.  Rest of the time I threw streamers….can’t ask for anything more than that.  Everybody caught more than their share of good fish….plan on going back with them next year.  Sorry no pics…just lazy

Becker Hoppers 6/13

The hopper bite is on at Becker.  Both Tigers and Rainbows are chowing on them.  Good early morning when they are up munching midges and then again after the wind starts up, hit the shorelines.  Strong fish….had two rainbow breakoffs today on 4X.  Wind didn’t seem to bother the bite.

Show Low Smallies

The wind has been pretty brutal and my trout fishing has not been that great so far.  I hit the old standby and caught some good smallies.  Landed 8 in about 4-5 hours.  Biggest went 4.1 along with a couple over 3.  Caught them on Watermelon/Red Jiggly’s under a bobber again.  Seems to definitely be the best way for me to be successful on them.  Much rather be stripping but the fish don’t want it that way …at least for me.

You can see from the pics how dirty the water is.  Doesn’t seem to bother the smallies much tho.  I think fishing the darker Jiggly helps a lot.  Still cold up here.  Water was 55 and it barely reached 70 today.  Luv it

Fishing Report….sorta

Well…first post in a long while and it’s not really much about fishing.  More of a water report than anything else.  I hit Big Lake with Tom Horvath this am.  Glad to say there is plenty of water this year.   Drifts along the road in were six-seven ft tall in some areas.  Water in Railroad is about 6′ from the bottom of the ramp and goes back 70-80′ into the cove.  Went all the way back to the fence line around the corner in the north cove.  Marked one fish in all that time.  I remembered that Rick Law told me it takes the fish awhile to get back into Railroad some years, especially if it’s been a long winter.  Packed up and hit South Cove to see if we could find some fish.  About a dozen boats out….all in the deeper water still.  Went to launch and my fin strap broke….end of my fishing.  Just another extra I’m gonna have to carry around along with all the other extra stuff in the back of my truck.  You can see why it’s not much of a fishing report.

Sunrise has water all the way back to the cinder pit.  There is water at the boat ramp across from it.  Not sure how deep it is but it’s probably been at least 10-12 years since we’ve had water back there.  Crescent looked very good.  Water is not up to the high water mark but it has a ton more in it than I’ve seen in awhile.  A-1 is maxed out and Horseshoe is spilling over into the creek below.  I hit it about 2 weeks ago and landed 6 walking the bank in a three hour period using soft hackle SS 60’s w/orange bead.  Biggest went 16″  All in all, it looks like we may have a decent season.  Although I’ve seen it before where the water gets high and the fish seem to disappear.  Not complaining, I’m loving it

Glad to have the time to spend on the site.  I’ll try and keep the posts coming

Sunrise Lake 5/16

Got away for a morning with Tim.  We hit Sunrise, first time this year.  Lake is low and off color but the fish are there.  Tim was fishing an indicator rig and I was stripping leeches.  He picked up three and lost one.  I had two grabs and managed to land them both.  All the fish were like clones…3+ lbs and solid, hard fighters.  Sorry, no pics.  Just too hard to keep them still long enough for a shot.

Show Low 4/9/21

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

Ice Off Sunrise 3/30/21

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.

Ice Report 3/7/21

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



Magdalena Bay 2020

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