Bass on a fly

Jack Houck landed this two-pound largemouth bass on his last cast at Black Canyon Lake.

Jack Houck landed this two-pound largemouth bass on his last cast at Black Canyon Lake.

George Abernathy

Most people associate fly fishing with catching trout by wading a river/stream or floating in a one-man boat on a lake. On September 4, Dan Rheinauer, Brad Smith, Jack Houck and I headed to the Black Canyon Lake for some bigmouth bass fly fishing. The lake is located about 140 miles from Sun Lakes on the Mogollon Rim and at 7000+ feet. The temperatures in the morning were in the 70s. Even though most bass landed were small, everyone caught numerous fish, with the exception of one. Jack was able to land a two-pound largemouth bass on his last cast.

I would like to publicly thank Stewart Wright, an Oakwood resident who donated numerous rods, reels, waders and miscellaneous fishing gear which will be given to Project Healing Waters. The usable gear is then given to the disabled veterans who participate in their program. If you have fishing or camping equipment that you no longer use and would like to donate it to PHW, please contact me. It will be well appreciated.

In August, I attended another Apache Scout Troop, 1/9th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division reunion in Alexandria, Virginia. Of the 170 people attending it, over 70 of them actually served with the unit from 1969 through 1971. The remainders of the attendees were wives, siblings and two Gold Star families. To kick things off, I arranged a fly fishing tournament on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Eight of us spent the entire day floating the river and fly fishing for smallmouth bass. Everyone caught hordes of bass, and not one hand grenade was used. Seeing how most of us were either combat helicopter pilots or door gunners, I was just relieved that the fishing was good with a rod. At every reunion, the group always does a fundraiser for a non-profit organization, and this year I had persuaded them to honor the disabled veterans by raising money for Project Healing Waters.

On the 24th of this month, 12 Sun Lakes residents from the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club are headed to the San Juan River for some trout fishing. This is one of our annual trips and, by far, historically one of the best. We’ll be on the water wetting our lines for three days, hunting whales (large rainbow trout).

October is also the month that fishing in the White Mountains is at its best. I would venture to say that other members and I will go on at least three to five trips before Christmas.

If you enjoy fly fishing and would like to meet others who enjoy the same, join us for breakfast at the Stone & Barrel restaurant at 8:00 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday through next spring.