It’s always a joy to introduce a new member to fly fishing and help them navigate through the learning curve of fly fishing. God only knows how technical, confusing, and frustrating it can be without mentorship.
I remember when I first got introduced to fly fishing in Colorado in 2004. My mentor, who happens to be my oldest Arizona friend, was living in Scottsdale and persuaded me to leave the dark side and discard the worms and power-bait and get into fly fishing. Living over 800 miles from me wasn’t any help while I was wetting my line in the Big Thompson River which is located just outside of Denver. For several months, I would carry my spinning equipment, and after frustrating myself for a couple of hours with a fly rod, I would exchange it for my spinning gear and start landing trout. I eventually gave all my spinning gear to a grandfather who loved to spin fish with his grandkids.
It’s now 14 years later, and I’m still learning, but definitely landing trout on a regular basis with a fly rod. On Monday, Oct. 7, four other club members and I headed to the White Mountains for three days of fishing. Dan Rheinauer and Brad Smith headed to Big Lake and Becker Lake for some still-water fishing, and in two days, they landed over 15 trout between them. Dan Roberts, Bob Ludwig (our club’s new guy), and I headed to the Wildcat Crossing on the Black River. The fishing was absolutely fantastic! At 7500 feet, the temperatures were in the low to mid-60s, the aspen trees were turning golden, and the river was flowing crystal clear. You couldn’t ask for a better day to fish; however, the catching sucked. Matter of fact, there wasn’t any catching that day.
On the second and third day, the three of us fished Silver Creek and started landing hogs. The trout in Silver Creek can weigh as much as 10 pounds and snap fly lines as though they were thread. The fishing was great, but the catching was really fantastic. Just ask Bob. He landed five to six pigs and lost a few others. Handling large fish (two to five pounds) on a lightweight fly-line is difficult for an experienced fly fisherman, let alone on your first time out without a guide. By the time we headed home, Bob was hooked on fly fishing. Both Dan and I were Bob’s personal mentors for this trip, something we try to do for all inexperienced fishers.
With permission and support from the IronOaks new general manager, John Reyhons, the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club (SLFCC) is bringing out several disabled veterans from Project Healing Waters this month to try their luck for carp fishing. We’re all excited and we’re especially excited to know that our new GM supports our veterans.
Please contact SLFFC President Randy Smith at [email protected] or 480-371-8406 if you have any questions.
Fish On! Fish On!