"A Parachute Adams might work or you might even want to try an
Irresistible," he replied. That's the advice avid fly-fisherman Bob
DeRosier gave when I asked him about types of flies used for
DeRosier began rattling off names that were Greek to me. Words
like "Wooly Buggers," "Peacock Ladies," and let's not forget the
ever-so-popular "Elkhair Caddis."
But, my favorite response from DeRosier was when he whispered,
"The most popular fly around is - ." "Yeh," I said, moving closer so
I could hear his elusive secret.
"Well," DeRosier remarked, "the
most popular fly is, well, it's the one's that's working of course!"
Ha, I laughed out loud, after realizing DeRosier had reeled me
in, hook, line and sinker. After that, I was hooked and wanted to
know more about what people find so fascinating about fly-fishing. I
soon found out.
DeRosier knows all about fly-fishing; he should, he's been at it
all of his life. He was first introduced to the sport by his father
when he was only five.
And, for DeRosier, keeping up to date on all the new fly-fishing
equipment available is easy since he and his wife Pat have owned and
operated Paradise Creek Anglers in Pinetop, Ariz., since 1994.
When I asked DeRosier about suggestions he had for anyone first
starting out, DeRosier responded, "The best way to learn is to get
with someone that has experience, and if that's not possible, take a
lesson from a reputable fly-fishing store.
"Don't rent a video and try to learn from that; it's not a sport
you can just go out and do. Casting lessons can speed up the
learning curve and make fly-fishing much more enjoyable."
As for the basic gear that's needed, "It's not near as expensive
as some people think," DeRosier said. "All that you really need is a
good flyrod, reel and line, and flies. You could easily get started
for around $150."
"When's a good time to fly-fish," I asked? DeRosier paused,
"Anytime you can, of course, but if you're wanting to know when the
best fly-fishing seasons are, then I'd have to say that the prime
months are when fish feed all day long: spring, summer, and fall."
DeRosier added that's the great thing about the White Mountains:
With over 40 lakes and 240 miles of fishable streams, you can fish
from ice-off through June, then during the warm months from June
through September, then again after the lakes cool off, from October
The White Mountains are renowned for their excellent
trout-fishing opportunities - everything from the elusive Apache
trout to rainbows and browns to brookies and cutthroat can be found
in areas such as Sunrise Lake, A-1 Lake, Little and Big Bear lakes,
Reservation Lake, and the ever-so-popular Big Lake.
Take The Family Fishing
Some of the most notable and fishable
trout streams DeRosier named were the North Fork of the White River
and the East and West Fork of the Black River.
With over 2 million acres in the Apache-Sitgreaves National
Forest at your disposal, including views of the largest stand of
Ponderosa pine trees in the world, along with numerous camping areas
for parking your RV or tent, the White Mountains is the perfect
cool-haven getaway for anyone wanting to escape the summer heat and
try out his or her new fly rod.
Besides, as DeRosier states, there's no better way to connect
with your family than to take them out fishing. As he puts it,
"Fly-fishing is about more than just going out and catching a fish;
it's a lifestyle."
If you'd like to know where the fish are
biting, or if you're interested in taking a fly-fishing lesson,
contact Bob DeRosier at Paradise Creek Anglers at (928) 367-6200 or
check out his Web site at
For information about permits to fish the lakes and streams on
the White Mountain Apache Reservation, contact Hon-Dah Ski and
Outdoor Sport at (928) 369-7669. For information on all other
fishing permits, contact the Pinetop Game and Fish Department,
Pinetop Office at (928) 367-4281.
To contact the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Lakeside
District for camping information or fire restrictions call (928)
Stephanie Rainey is an outdoor writer and host of a television
program in Lakeside, Ariz.: "Stepping Outdoors." Her articles and
photographs have appeared in Big Game Adventures, Bow & Arrow
Hunting, Sportsman's News, and Bugle magazine.