It has been quite awhile since I have gone on an overnight fishing trip so I felt the need to get out and do that. Freeman luck has been sparse lately, lost job and a host of other things so I needed to get out and clear the cobwebs. Charles and I met up at 5am on Sunday and headed to Becker lake. We had a nice leisurely drive and some McDonalds dog food and shot the bull for 4 hours. We got on the water and Chasmo proceeded to kick my ass. There are some donkeys in Becker and he proceeded to introduce himself to several of them. It is not all about the numbers, I know this, but when you are outfished 7 or 8 to 1, you start questioning your manhood. Finally hooked one, manhood reestablished, but just barely. Was a great day on the water and was tired from fighting the wind so we called it a day. We drove to my favorite restaurant only to find it closed. Found another one that made a decent chimichanga with green sauce so I was happy. Head hit the pillow at 9pm and we actually slept in until 7am.
Off to big lake. We saw a boatload of deer and elk on the way over including a nice lone bull. I have not driven this section of the white mountains since the big Wallow fire in 2011 so was pleased to see lots of new growth. The elk and deer were thick in the burn area which was cool. We got on the water at Big lake around 9am and 5 minutes after getting in our toons, the wind kicked up. The wind blew until we got off the water at 4pm. We decided to wait awhile and see if it would abate and it finally did around 5:30. Fishing was slow all day although I did manage to catch a 17″ and 20″ cutthroat which was an added bonus. Fishing was slow but we both managed to catch a few nice trout. we found cell signal and found out the fave restaurant in Springerville was open so we headed on down. Another fine chimichanga was on the menu for Paulito and Chasmo.
We got up early yesterday and gave Becker another shot on the way out of town. Fishing was certainly better with some nice fish to hand. Best part was just getting away and spending some time with a good friend and spending some time in the white mountains. All the problems of life disappeared for a couple days so I am now ready to hit the job search trail again.
Few pics this trip and none of yours truly, but in reality, that is probably a good thing.
This is what a dropped 20″ rainbow looks like! and then a picture of nice fat bow.
Yesterday my buddy Mark and I hit up one of our favorite trout ponds in Northern Arizona. He picked me up at 5:30am and after an obligatory stop for coffee we hit the road. 90 minutes later we were inflating our toons. After almost a month of above average temps, it was nice to have to wear a jacket. We got on the water and after 30 minutes Mark was on the board for the 4th or 5th time and I was wondering if I had forgotten how to fish. That old “man I suck” thought came to my head, then bam, Paulito was on the board. Damsel nymphs were the ticket as was Marks tried and true Naked Lady fly. Fishing was never off the charts good, but was steady until we went to grab some lunch around noon. Charles showed up around 11am and first fish was a nice 13″ grayling. Mark landed a nice 19″ brown right before lunch as well. Weather was windy and temps were cool all day but what a great way to spend my birthday. No clue how many fish we landed and it really did not matter. Most of the fish were between 11-13″ and a nice mix of brookies and rainbows. On the way out I told Mark that I used to see turkey right in this spot when I was in college, on cue, we rounded the corner and there was a flock of turkey, 8 of them, right were I said they used to be. Great way to end the day. Mark and Charles, thank you for taking me and out and spending my birthday with me. A day I will not soon forget!
My buddy Charles and I decided to head up to the Ferry yesterday. It had been a long time since I last fished so I was a little extra excited for this one. Got to the river around 8:30 and we took our time getting rigged up. One car in the parking lot when we arrived. Finally got on the river and started doing some drifts. After about 20 minutes we started changing flies, adding weight, all the things we are supposed to do. After 15 minutes, rinse and repeat, after 10 minutes, rinse and repeat. What the heck?
Weather was overcast with a slight breeze, great conditions. Biggest problem I could see besides no fish, in an hour and half I had not seen one midge! Tossed on some junk flies thinking that would be the ticket, nada, nothing, zip! Around 11am we decided to have an early lunch. Bumped into two other guys, they had the same luck as we had. The campground host was out taking anglers surveys and stopped to chatted for about 30 minutes. He said the fishing has sucked for the last 4 weeks, at least in the walk in section. Charles did catch one on an olive bugger and out of 7 angles the guy had chatted with, that was the only fish caught.
I felt like I was fishing in a desert wasteland, no bugs, no fish spotted, just blank nothingness. Around 12:30 we just looked at each other, shrugged, and without a word, went back to the truck and started getting ready to leave. Two guys from Flagstaff were eating lunch next to us and they decided that a mixed drink would be more beneficial than heading back to the river.
Lees Ferry is a beautiful place to fish, glad I went, but I think I will wait til it warms up and I know that there is some bug activity. Dang, Arizona is a tough place to fish in the winter. Oh well, next time!
2014 was one of those years where I ask myself, “Was this a good year?” After thinking long and hard, I would say it was. We finally sold our house in Cornville. It has been an elephant on our back for 4 years and it finally sold. We also bought a piece of property on the edge of town and are in the very early stages of design for our “dream” home. It will not be the palatial palace we have always dreamed of, but we will make it our home and it does not have to be fancy to be a home. Man cave will be moved into the garage! Our health is good and we are not out on the street, so I guess you can say we had a decent year.
Fishing was just ok this year. Had a good trip to Pyramid with some great friends, a week in Pagosa springs with family and that was good as well. A day trip here and there around the area filled in some gaps. Hoping the 2015 will offer more fishing opportunities than 2014 provided. I had several 4-6 week breaks between fishing days this past year, and that is unheard of for me, but sometimes life dictates things for you. Beth’s health is improving and I am very grateful for that.
We ended 2014 with 7 inches of the white stuff outside, but no pictures since my phone is sleeping with the fishes in Northern California. It is beautiful outside. Here is to a wonderful 2015. Happy New Year!!!
It has been a coons age since I last reported a fishing trip. Not to say I have not fished since Pagosa Springs, but nothing all that exciting. Beth had lung cancer surgery the end of July. It was a tough pill to swallow, working through the whole process leading up to surgery and then post surgery. All signs are very positive and she is healing up nicely. Was very scary, most the uncertainty of it all. She is a tough lady and I knew she would pull through with flying colors.
I did take one trip to Lee’s Ferry with my buddy Paul. We had a pretty solid day, fishing was not off the charts, but pretty good. Oh and I went upriver with Charles one day. Fishing again was pretty darn good. Got some fish to eat some simi seal leeches, so that was cool.
The second weekend of September, I drove down to Phoenix and dove hunted two mornings with Iron Mike. It had been 8 years since I had shot a dove so was a little worried if I still had it. I ended up shooting 19 birds in two days, so not too shabby. I also shot my first Eurasian collared dove so that was cool. Also good to hang out with Mike for a days. He also knows his way around a bbq grill. Thanks buddy!
Hoping to get out again soon prior to going to California for a week with Beth. Maybe do a little pond fishing one of these weekends coming up.
Figured I would just toss in some random photos of some great people, great fish, and great times over the past several years.
My wife and I spent a week in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Since being diagnosed with lung cancer and all the turmoil that goes along with that, we decided we needed a break. We drove up through the reservation, then through Cortez, Mancos, Durango and on to Pagosa. We stayed in a really nice resort right on a lake. When you receive news like she had, priorities seem to change and we have made a concerted effort to start enjoying our life together and this was the first step. The first couple of days we just hung around the resort, just enjoying spending time together. On Wednesday, we drove down to the San Juan and met up with my good friend, and guide, Chip. We did a full day float. This was Beth’s 2nd time fly fishing ever and boy did she do great. We did a few trips around the Texas Hole just to get her feet wet. She stuck a few, lost a few, and generally, got used to casting and mending. By the time we hit 3 island run, she had found her sea legs and her mojo. By the end of the trip she was catching as many, or more than I. Was so pleased to see her smiling and laughing, and just enjoying the moment. Because we were having so much fun, we only got a few pictures, but the memories will be burned into our memory for a lifetime.
The following day, my stepson and I drove back down and let the girls have a day to themselves. Andrew has only fly fished a handful of times himself, the last at Pyramid Lake 5 years ago. I had to undo a few wind knots, but other than that, he went off by himself at times and asked for no help. He killed it in the main channel for a solid hour and even taught me thing or two. Was fantastic fishing with him and I hope to do it again with him soon.
The following day, I set my sights on the one of the large grass carp that inhabited the lake behind our resort. I had been watching them daily and I was pumped to get one. I tied on a greenish colored simi seal leech and went after it. I spooked 4 before I was able to get one to eat, and eat he did. Took a solid 20 minutes to land the brute on my 5 wt. What a blast. Was cool that Andrew was there to witness it. Also caught a few Largemouth bass that morning as well.
The rest of the trip was about spending time with family We went to dinner a few times, played some miniature golf, and even did a little bait fishing (Shudder) and even that was fun. The best part of the trip was seeing my wife smile and relax and to see her face light up when she saw her son, that is what life is all about.
Not really the hookers part. Stopped at a gas station for gas and a soda and there was a brothel right behind it, thought it would make a good picture. No business transactions took place! Best part of this brothel was a sign on the highway with the name of the establishment, and underneath it, it said, “Hot sauce, gifts and souvenirs.” Not sure how to take that one. Ken, Jon, Charles, Mike, and I took our annual trip to Pyramid lake. Company was great, fishing was so-so. Our group caught a couple double digit fish, but fish are not quite moving in yet to the shallower water. We tried everything in our box, indicator rig, sink tips, full sinks, you name it. We caught most of our fish on the bobber rig. Wind was an almost constant and made for some tough fishing conditions. We gave it the old college try though. The last day, Charles and I went to fish the Truckee river for a few hours below Sparks, the first fish picture below is a nice 19.5 inch rainbow that Charles caught. Here are some pictures from the trip. I hope my spring break is a little later next year.
2013 was one heck of year. Lots of things went on my life but I came out of it stronger for it. Did not fish as much as I would have liked this year but still more than a lot of people so I can’t complain. Lots of day trips this year. My year started off with taking 4 of middle school kids on an overnight camping/fishing trip. The guys had a blast and a few fish were caught. Did a couple trips in the Williams area to a few small ponds that hold some nice fish. Spent a couple days fishing for pike at Upper Lake Mary. In June I spent 5 days in Colorado mainly fishing the Roaring Fork but spent some time on the Pan and the Colorado as well. This fall I did a couple one day trips to Silver Creek up by Show Low which was a nice change of pace. My wife Beth and I also spent a week in Canada which was amazing. 2014 is already looking better as I have a trip planned to Pyramid Lake up by Reno with some great friends, hopefully some time up in Yellowstone and several trips to the white mountains. I also want to check out some of the small streams in AZ as well. Lake Pleasant is calling my name for striper action also. Let’s hope we can get a good snow pack this year to recharge our streams and lakes. Fly tying was up this year as well, as the economy seems to be improving slightly, so spent more time at the vice this year, which is a good thing. My fly boxes are bulging and lots of orders went out this year. Here are some pics from this year. Thank you all for your support.
I was able to hit Silver Creek two weekends out of three. This time I met my friends Jon and Herve there. We started fishing around 7:30am on Saturday. Weather reports were for strong winds. Every now and then a blind pig finds an acorn and this time the weather reports were spot on, damnit!! Fishing was pretty tough, long waits between tugs. We all caught 8-10 fish apiece. This trip, all they would eat were chamois worms and white leeches, at least for me. Jon was able to land several on a SOS fly. We only caught a few apache trout this trip. Most of our bows were between 18-22″, with Herve landing one of the big guys. Not sure of the length or weight as he stayed an hour after I left and of course that is when he caught it. Despite the wind, the company made our trip amazing. Thank you gentlemen. Here are a few pictures from our day.
I would like to send out a warm and appreciative thank you to all the Veterans out there. My father, the most influential person in my life, served in the Korean War. I know he saw things that he will never forget. To this day he has never spoke to me about his service over there. He is a deeply religious man and I know that he is scarred by what happened over there. This has not stopped him from being a very successful person, professionally, as a husband and father, and as person in general. My wife also served in the Middle East during the first war in Iraq, she too is scarred, but is one of the strongest women I have ever known. Many of my friends and their family members, and many of my past students, have or are serving in our armed forces and I want to thank them all for what they did or is doing. Thank you Iron Mike, Phil, Rob, Will, Fred, Michael, and the many others too numerous to mention. On this day of remembrance and thanks, I just want to say thank you to all our veterans who have made this the most amazing country in the world. Dad, Beth, and friends, thank you and I love you!