Fly Fishing Year Round

George Abernathy landed this fish with a trout jig.

George Abernathy, Founder

On Feb. 2 seven club members drove to Cottonwood and fished the Dead Horse Lakes. Upon arrival, our day started out with 28-degree temperature. It was nippy, but the sun was out, and we enjoyed little or no wind. Fishing was excellent; however, catching was tough for most of us. Dan Rheinauer landed eight rainbows by stripping and trolling a variety of trout jigs and nymphs from his boat. Brad Smith landed seven bows from shore by using a trout jig, and Dan Honerkamp landed one bow by using an indicator and a semi seal leech. After changing up flies multiple times and different depths to stripping and using an indicator more times than what I prefer, finally, on my last cast, I landed a bow with a trout jig. Seriously, it was my last cast of the day.

It’s always relaxing to be out wetting a line, and here in Arizona, you can fish 12 months out of the year. Fishing in Arizona might not be as good as many of the fisheries throughout the USA, but Arizona has something to offer that no other state can. Arizona has eight different types of trout to fish for. The Apache and Gila trout are indigenous to Arizona. The other trout are the Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Tiger, Cutthroat, and Grayling. For those of you who are up to a challenge, the Arizona Game and Fish Department offers the Arizona Trout Challenge program, and details can be found at

So far, the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club has several out-of-state trips on the calendar for this year, including trips to the San Juan River in New Mexico, and the Flaming Gorge in Utah. With most of the higher elevation lakes currently iced over, fishing the lakes on the Rim and White Mountains will resume in late March and April; however, Becker Lake in Springerville and Silver Creek in Show Low are fishable. There are several other streams that can be fished, but check for road closures prior to going.

In addition to keeping our lines wet, the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club supports the Disabled Veterans with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHW) by hosting different events for the veterans throughout the year. The club is always looking for financial donations for the veterans, including any camping or fishing gear that Sun Lakes residents would like to donate. If you have these types of items and would like to donate them, please contact CJ Berry at 480-330-9516 or me at 480-521-1060.

The club’s philosophy is to bring people together who want to fly fish; no red tape, no politics, “catch and release.” Just wet your lines and go hunting. Whether an experienced caster or new to fly fishing, you’re welcomed to our club.

“Does fishing make men liars, or do only liars fish?” ~New York World, 1900

Fish On! Fish On!