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


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!!




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


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.