Waterscapes Mark Kile

By Jim Allen

This month's Arizona Boating & Watersports is devoted to fishing. As part of this month's issue, my wife Carol and I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Kile. This probass fisherman is one of the nicest people I've met.

Mark was born in Tucson and grew up in Picacho where he started fishing with his dad at Picacho Reservoir. Mark attended Central Arizona College and the University of Arizona where he obtained a degree in Wildlife Management.

Mark also spent four years in the Navy, stationed in San Diego.

Along with his probass fishing career, Mark does instructional videos, operates a storage facility near Roosevelt Lake and, along with his partner Cliff Perch, is opening a tackle shop near Roosevelt Lake.

We arranged to meet Mark at a caf in Rye. He has a new home that he recently built on a ranch just outside Rye. We had decided to take our granddaughter Kelsee on this trip, and Mark made the outing perfect. After lunch, he invited us to see his new home and to let Kelsee fish with his nieces Jayme and Morgan Chilson on his private pond. Watching the three young kids fishing brought back many fond memories.

My first fishing trip was with my grandfather Lloyd. He took me out to one of the creeks around Wayne, Neb., and the first fish I caught was a bullhead. I realize that AB&W is about Arizona, but I, like many, came from other parts of the country, and there are a lot of us here from Nebraska. (When I first moved to Arizona, it was unusual to find a native Arizonian - not the case now.)

Those little creeks were also good for carp and catfish. The bullheads had giant heads and practically no bodies. I don't think anyone I knew ever ate them. The carp were "muddy," but if cleaned properly, they tasted good. Catfish were good eating if prepared properly and a lot of fun to catch. The first one I caught was only about nine or 10 inches, but when it struck, I thought I had a whale on my line.

As I recall, none of the fish were quite as big as the horseflies. If you have never experienced the bite of a horsefly, it is only somewhat less painful than the bite of a horse. The best-tasting fish to me were the walleye that my grandfather brought back from Canada every year. The walleye is non-native to Arizona but was introduced to Arizona lakes in 1957.

My second fishing experience was with my dad on the Niobrara River in Nebraska. Dad worked for the state highway department, and during the week, he stayed in a small office/cabin on the river.

I went with him for a week, and my memories are of the mice that click-clicked in the walls at night and of fishing on the river during the day. I don't believe that we ever caught anything, but the scenery and rushing water are sights that are still with me today. It is beautiful country and much different than the little creeks around Wayne, Neb.

Another Nebraska fishing image is one that I only imagined...,,

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