Hey All

Well….I hope you all enjoy the new site as much as I do.  Thanks to web master, Mike McLaughlin for the new look.  I know it was a lot of work and I’m sure he’s glad it’s done.  Still a few tweaks going on but the majority of the work is behind him.

I have been asked why no reports were going up this past Summer.  Our lakes and streams are as low or lower than I have ever seen…and I’ve been fishing up here since the 60’s.  I did not feel it was in the best interest of all of us for me to encourage people up.  The trout fishing in the lakes was spotty and really took a turn for the worse in August.  Big, Carnero and Luna all suffered some kill, not total but bad enough that I left them alone and tried new and different stuff.  Surprisingly some of the lakes fished well the whole time…you may have had to use some new techniques but the fish were still there and very healthy.  Pacheta and Earl Park fished really well.  In fact on Pacheta it was like shooting fish in a barrel.  They were really concentrated but in good shape and fought hard.

One good thing that happened was I had to adjust and try different approaches.  I am not a real big fan of indicator fishing.  I don’t have the patience to watch a bobber to see if it is going to make a move on still water.  Moving water is different but let’s not waste time getting into that.  I started naked nymphing in earnest and really enjoyed it.  I can fish as deep as 25 ft and still feel takes.  It makes me feel more like I’m fishing the fly instead of the bobber.  On several occasions where others were indicator fishing and catching small fish, I was constantly getting into bigger ones on the bottom….and most importantly…it was fun!  I had to make up new flies that rode with the hook up and came up with a new pattern that has worked for me everywhere I have gone…not every time but to the point on several occasions where it was working better than the usual patterns.  I caught rainbows, browns, bluegill, smallies and even a walleye on it.  You can also strip it if they are chasing.

I was able to hit Show Low lake and fish it the whole month of September when most of our trout lakes were suffering “Dog Days” and did well.  The lake was clear and only a 10 minute drive from my house.  One of my goals when I moved up here was to try and figure out the local lakes (Show Low and Fools Hollow) for smallies, largies and walleye.  I tried hard the first two years and mostly blanked.  I caught some fish but really had no pattern as to what I was doing.  I feel like I really made some progress this year.  It’s nice when you feel you’ve figured something out and you know what to expect when you hit the water.  I feel that way a lot with trout but bass are a different story.  October hit, the weather cooled and the fish moved.  Now I have to go find them again and figure out what will get them to open their mouths.  That is the fun of fishing anyway…figuring things out.

We have already had our first good snow up here.  More supposed to get here in a couple days.  Let’s hope it is a good wet Winter and another and another!!!!  I plan on hitting the trout lakes until they get hard and then it’s striper/bass time.  You gotta love AZ.  There is fishing all year long here.  You may have to travel a bit but it’s there….Have a great Fall fishing season.

Big Lake

We had probably the best Becker Best Days this Saturday that we’ve had.  We finally hit it where Mother Nature was kind to us….thank you Madam.  Fishing was a bit tough at the lake but that has been the situation this whole Spring/Summer.  The fish are there and very healthy but are not quite as friendly as usual.

I hit Big Lake the following day with Tim for a few hours.  I landed five nice cutt’s stripping a small flashback bh pt.  Tim caught as many or more under an indicator.  The spawn is all but over and the fish are moving back out to deeper water.  Several of the fish I caught dropped eggs that were already starting to be absorbed.  Tim had the same experience.

The rains are pretty steady.  Monsoon is strong so far.  Let’s hope it continues.  It’s only going to help the lakes some…probably not much, but any new water is good.

Antero, CO

Four of us DW, Bryan and Travis and I hit Antero Lake in Colorado the end of June for three days of stillwater fishing.  We met Joe, Phil and several of Joe’s friends from Co who were already there.  The weather forecast was wind, wind, wind and unfortunately they hit it right this time.  Never worked so hard for three days of fishing in my life.  The afternoon before we got there a lightning strike hit across the lake from us.

This was the fire two days later.  We watched several slurry drops and then a chopper arrived taking water from the lake every 15 minutes.

Unfortunately with the high winds and everyone spread out, we didn’t get many pics.  Here are a few of the 3-4 lbr’s but we didn’t manage to get any of the 6-8 lbr’s that guys caught, Travis especially.  He found big fish every day.  These fish fought incredibly hard.  Everyone of us got broken off multiple times every day on 2x…..even under a bobber.

The majority of us hit the road early Sunday am.  DW stayed and fished that morning and got into some fish that were cruising an island.  He sight fished and caught fish 6-9 lb’s.  Evidently the winds died down enough that the damsels could hatch and he found some gorging on them.

Awesome trip ….going back for sure.

Worman’s at Carnero

Old friend, Matt Worman and his son, Matt Jr hit Carnero this past week and shared their pics with me. 

Matt Jr landed a 18″ Tiger and a 20″ Rainbow. 

Looks like a nice “father and son” day to me.

 

Sorry

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I had the busiest April for materials I’ve ever had and with the wind this Spring I haven’t had much time on the water.  I hit a few of the high lakes with mixed success.  Carnero is off the charts for nice rainbows and the occasional Tiger.  Black simi’s have been the ticket for me but others are catching them on different patterns as well…stripping and under an indicator.  The lake is wide open and the weeds that normally determine where you can fish are non existent so far.  Big was slower for me.  The fish were still out deeper than I was fishing, but that was three weeks ago.  Becker has been fishing well…using the normal techniques.  I have been spending some time on Show Low Lake, trying to figure out the smallies there…with moderate success.

Materials are slowing down so I’ll try and do a better job posting.

Carnero

Daryl came up for a day of fishing at Carnero.  Lake is lowww and is stained.  It is a totally different lake from previous years.  Last Fall all the weeds died in the center of the lake.  The Spring winds have stirred up the mud and spread it throughout the water column, leaving about a foot of viz.  You can fish the entire lake now instead of just the open areas.  The fish have much more water to move around in so you have to go find them.  Before you had no choice, you had to fish the open water and channels.

Don’t get me wrong fishing… was great.  We landed at least 45 between us.  Most were caught on small black simi’s stripped close to the bottom….which in most areas wasn’t more than 3-4 ft.  DW caught a few under an indicator but they definitely preferred the fly stripped.

Fish are very healthy and fought hard.  Biggest couple went 18″s, a couple 17″s and a quite a few 15″-16″ fish.  I don’t think AZG&F had stocked yet.  These all looked like fat, colored up, holdover fish and really fought hard.  We didn’t land one Tiger which was a little disappointing.  Not sure what’s going on because we fished pretty much the whole lake.

Sorry, no pic’s.  I forgot my phone.  Here’s a couple from DW.

Rosey

I hit Rosey again Friday morning about 10 and fished until 4 that afternoon.  Launched at Windy Hill this time seeing if I could find some clearer water that had been sheltered from the winds some.  Water was about the same but the algae wasn’t as bad so I had some better viz.  Problem is the place had been hammered and the bed fishing was tougher.  Managed to land a half dozen in about  the first four hours….all 2 lb bucks.  Fish were spooky and hard to get to play.  I’m sure they had been harassed plenty.

Wind came up so I started stripping, which turned out to be much more productive.  Using gold and shad colored Helmet Heads I landed 5 in the last two hours…biggest went almost 3.

I stayed entirely in the Windy Hill area…fun day.  Still looking for that big one.

Rosey

I hit Rosey yesterday afternoon for a little bed fishing.  Wanted to see what the water quality was more than anything.  I fished from 11-5, strictly looking for beds.  Launched at Cholla and fished the shoreline all the way around to the back of Rock Creek.

I found quite a few beds even under the floating algae.  Unfortunately many of the fish were really spooked.  I expect many have been harassed already and lots of empty beds as well.  I landed a half dozen and lost a few….all small males

I did see a few bigger fish that just wouldn’t play.  Going back for sure.  The bed season only lasts so long and I try and take advantage of it when I can.  I am addicted!!

Havasu March 10-11 ’18

Joe, DW, Tim and I hit Havasu this past weekend….smallie time.  I had gone two weeks prior and the smallies had made beds but the recent cold weather had pushed them back off out into the deeper water.  I fished one full day looking at empty beds under cloudy, rainy, windy conditions.  Not exactly what you’d call a productive day of bed fishing.  We had been checking the weather and the past week had warmed up considerably so we decided to give it a try again.  Naturally getting close to the weekend the forecast changed to rain and clouds for Sat and Sun.  Saturday dawned just that way and stayed that way all day, cloudy and spitting rain occasionally.  We still managed to have a decent day but knew we were missing a lot of the deeper beds.

The smallies must have been just waiting for the water to warm because there were at least three times the amount of beds in the area from the previous visit. We even found paired up lmb’s, quite a few pair.  We managed to get a couple to play after a considerable amount of harrassment.  They sure don’t have the aggressiveness of the smallies.  Those smallies just annihilate your fly once you get them hot.  They’re awesome!!!

 

I’m not sure how many we landed but it had to be around 20 to 25 bass.  It rained that night and was cloudy early the next day but forecast showed it clearing and minimal wind.  Now this is more of what we needed for bed fishing!  We knew there were beds we missed the day before and with the sun and milder winds we had a pretty incredible day.  We all caught a lot more fish and even found more paired up lmb’s.  We couldn’t get all of them to play (especially the biggest ones) but got a few to cooperate.

We all caught over twice as many fish the second day and lost a bunch that jumped and spit the hook.  When the sun came out the second day the algae started to bloom later in the day and made it much harder to spot the fish.  I believe this may become a problem once the weather finally stays warm.  The lake is definitely different than it was in the past.  I have been hitting it every Spring now for the past 12 years and it is not nearly as clear as it used to be.  Not sure what the problem is but if you plan to hit it…I would go soon.  Not sure how it’s going to fish after it starts staying warm.

Pleasant

Hit Pleasant yesterday with Daryl and Tim.  Beautiful day on the water….65, mild wind …and mid January.  Gotta love AZ.  We fished form 9 to 5 and caught at least 20-25 a piece.  Fishing Helmet Heads of various colors and sizes using 250 to 400 grain sinktips.   Didn’t really seem to matter if you got into a pod that was eating.  Most were down deep from 16′-24′ so a deep sinking line was a must.  We landed stripers, lmb’s and white bass….mostly small.  The average striper is of the pound variety but still fun and good fighters for their size.

These are the two best fish

IMG_1159IMG_0711

We were in Castle Creek and had quite a bit of activity for a Winter day….maybe it was the 65 degree temp’s and holiday weekend….ya think?  If the weather continues like it’s been…it’s gonna be an early spawn this year.  See ya on the water.