The weather forecast for Carnero Lake on Thursday, May 3, was a low of 27 and a high of 70 degrees. It was the perfect forecast for fly fishing for Brad Smith, Dan Roberts, Dan Rheinauer and me, all members with the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club. By the time we stopped fishing around 4:00 p.m., the temperature dropped and it began lightly snowing. Who would have thought that we would see snow falling in Arizona in May?
Carnero Lake is located several miles above Pinetop at 9200 feet elevation and has historically been an excellent lake to fish for rainbows and tiger trout from a one-man pontoon boat. Last year, it became my favorite lake. Because of the lack of snowfall this past winter, we estimated the water level was down three and a half to four feet which left the deepest part at six feet. Normally, this lake is crystal clear, but the entire lake was fairly clouded. With this being said, you’re probably guessing the catching was lousy.
Almost everyone had a successful day at landing multiple rainbows. Most of us landed trout that ranged from 14” to 16” with the exception of Dan Roberts who landed a real nice rainbow that measured 19”. The fishing part is always fun. It’s the catching that gets tough sometimes, according to the one member who got skunk. I guess that’s why they call it fishing. The following day while fishing at Becker Lake, he made up for it by landing a couple really nice hogs.
Catching fish at Becker was difficult for all of us due to the fact that, unbeknownst to us, AZGFD was on the lake all night shocking the lake to extract bass and perch. According to our resident fish and game biologist Brad Smith and a blog I researched, shocking fish doesn’t have any after effects. The others and I believe differently. Although everyone landed fish, no one caught anywhere near what we normally catch.
Whether the fishing is excellent or slow, it’s still a great way to spend a couple days with your friends. The highlight of the trip was traveling to Becker Lake from Greer and spotting several bighorn sheep, a herd of elk and several deer. What a sight to behold!
Our club normally meets on the first and third Tuesday every month for breakfast; however, I’ve postponed the meetings until this fall when the majority of the club’s members return. Until then, we will periodically get together for drinks and tell each lies about how large the ones we missed were. We might even enjoy a cigar. If you’re interested in our club, email me at [email protected] and I will let you know when our next get-together will take place.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Fish On! Fish On!