By Jim Harken (ďThe Fishing Guru in TrainingĒ) AZGFD
Hello once again friends! I gladly take the reins of the Fishing Report from Rory the Fishing Guru for a couple weeks while he is off playing in the mountains. He says he has to work, but I donít think this has ever been work to Rory!
A wise person once told me: ďIf you love what you do, youíll never work a day in your life.Ē Iíve been with Game and Fish about four years now and I truly understand that line. I love this job!
Fires, rain and dust, Oh my! Is it just me or has the weather just been crazy this summer so far?
On a serious note, [at press time], the wildlfires are mostly under control, and we feel for those who lost homes or were displaced for any length of time. What an ordeal; I can't even imagine and they say it might not be over yet for this season. Come on monsoons [without lightning, please]!
The rains have begun pretty much in earnest in many places across the state and we pray they donít wash too much junk into the lakes, rivers and streams. Erin, A co-worker of mine said she saw a bunch of dead fish in the Gila River out near Safford because of ash in the water.
You might want to call ahead to wherever you are heading to make sure itís open and that fish are viable.
Dust Storm 2011
And now, those of us in the Valley have lived through what they are calling ďDust Storm 2011.Ē Royal Norman, our weather friend at Channel 3, says this is one for the record books! Mary (my wife) and I watched that monster roll in from our backyard. What a sight! [Thanks to whoever posted the accompanying photo.]
Iíve never been so excited and that nervous all at the same time. Once safely inside, we looked out the front window and could not see the neighborís house across the street! Iíd say itís maybe 100 feet from our house to theirs and you could not see a thing!
I got to wash both my cars the next morning just so we could see out the windows to drive to work. They looked as if they had been sitting there for 100 years. What a mess!
Luckily a dust storm [even one a mile high and 100 miles wide] doesnít hurt the fishing prospects too much.
Extra Trout Stocked
As of July 7, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has opened back up the water areas that were closed on the Sitgreaves side because of the Wallow Fire. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes are open as well, and the fishing has been pretty decent.
Iím told the rain up there hasnít ruined too much by way of fishing, but some run off is being reported. Show Low Lake, Fool Hollow Lake and Scotts Reservoir have all received lots of extra trout that we couldn't stock in other waters because of forest closures due to fires. I hear itís kind of like fishing in your bathtub in some spots!
Where Are The Northern Pike?
I was asked at a recent off-highway vehicle information event where a person could fish for northern pike in Arizona. After his buddies got done laughing at him, I was able to promote Upper Lake Mary as one of the best places in Arizona to try for them. Walleye, catfish, yellow perch, and my favorite, largemouth bass are all in season round those parts this time of year. Old reliable Kinnickinick Lake is hopping right now too. So give it a chance.
Some Other Possibilities
With the rain, the barometer has been dropping recently. When that happens, those trout just love to move. You can probably get some good bites at sunrise and toward sunset. If you want to take home something to really be proud of, try Becker Lake in Springerville. You might catch a record there!
After a new moon turns to a little sliver in the sky, there is a period of great night-time fishing. Use the submersible lights and use small bait.
Feel free to chum a bit to get the interest going. Hungry fish will flock to where you are. Lake Pleasant can be neat after dark with all the wildlife that comes down for a drink as well as the local herd of burros.
Watch out when driving out there after dark and make sure you wear your lifejacket when out on the water.
If the heat in the Valley is too much, Lees Ferry is always a great trip ó excellent fishing, not a lot of people, and some fun places to stay while you are up there. As always, I recommend the breakfast at Lees Ferry Lodge; of course all their food is great, but I especially love the breakfast! Say Hi to Charlie from me when you stop in.
Let Us Know
If you are out and about, let us know at "Been Fishing?Ē at firstname.lastname@example.org and weíll share your story in the weeks to come. You donít have to give away your special hiding spot, but itís always neat to hear about someoneís success.
After all, they do call it fishing, not catching!
Go catch some memories and I hope to see you out there!
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