Fall fly fishing

George Abernathy

On Wednesday, October 5, Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club members Brad Smith, Bob Ralph, Dan Rheinauer and I met at Becker Lake in Springerville. There’s nothing like a peaceful drive through the mountains and let me say that autumn is a beautiful season. What’s not to love about mild temperatures and achingly clear skies in the fall and the changing of the colors? Dan was staying in his motorhome in Show Low for several weeks prior and the three of us checked into the Reeds Lodge in Springerville. Just across the street is a Mexican/American restaurant that serves exceptional food and pitchers of margaritas which made our evening.

Let’s talk about the fishing. Frankly, I’m considered going in for a medical examination for carpal tunnel. Even though the wind started picking up at Becker after a couple of hours, a couple of us were able to land multiple Tiger Trout with midges and an indicator. Landing several three to four lb. Rainbows by stripping a crappy jig with a sinking tip line got us real excited. On one occasion my jig was just dangling in the water about eight feet down while I was grabbing a sandwich when all of a sudden my rod jerked and almost went in the lake. Luckily, I ended up landing a three lb. bow. What a day, but the best day was yet to come!

The following morning Brad, Bob and I were on the water by 7:30 a.m. at the Railroad Cove on Big Lake. After venturing out a ways, all three of us ended returning to the cove and fishing in three to four feet of water. For most of the morning we rigged up with two black and silver midges with an indicator. The catching and landing was relentless until about noon. I can honestly say that I personally stopped counting my landings after my 12th Cutthroat Trout and the majority and I mean the majority of them weighed two lbs. plus. On several occasions we all had our lines snapped by larger powerful fish.

Only second to our trip a few weeks earlier to the San Juan River; this trip by far was the best one in 2016. By the time this article is printed several of us should have ventured back to the same lakes at least once. Hopefully if the roads aren’t closed due to heavy snow, we’ll head to the mountains for an additional trip this month.

I can’t even begin to express how much I love fly fishing in the fall – the weather, the view, the wildlife and oh yeah, the fat feisty trout! Many anglers enjoy fishing throughout the summer months as the weather is warmer as opposed to the fall. But to those that put their pontoon boats and equipment away after Labor Day; these fly fishermen are the ones that are missing the best part of the year for catching quality fish.

Gone fishin’, be back at dark-thirty!” – Author unknown

Fish on! fish on!