George Abernathy, Founder of the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
I haven’t seen fishing this good at Lees Ferry since the ‘80s and ‘90s when the trout were plentiful and had some decent size to them. However, this trip wasn’t just about fly fishing. It was also our inaugural trip for bringing our wives so they could experience 15 miles of 1,000-foot cliffs, crystal clear water, and a close-up, water-level view of the Glen Canyon Dam which backs up Lake Powell. We launched our boat in the Marble Canyon at the same location that all the river rafters launch their boats to go down river, except we headed up river.
Every year, my brother-in-law Lee Augustine and his wife visit us for a couple days of golf, but this year, we also incorporated a day of fishing at Lees Ferry. Lee has belonged to our club for the past several years and has gone on multiple club fly fishing trips with us as well.
We opted to stay at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge which is part of Lees Ferry Anglers. The rooms were clean, the food was excellent, and the advice and service were five stars. As I have historically, I opted to rent a boat from them and operate it myself; however, most fly fishers opt to hire guides.
The following morning, we were on the water by 8:30 a.m. fishing the ripples, and I proceeded to land and release rainbow trout all day long by stripping streamer flies. After landing several fish, my initial fly was completely destroyed, at which point, I switched over to strike indicator fishing (fly fishers call bobbers strike indicators or thingamabobbers) with a blue midge and a purple midge fly. I managed to land one rainbow and then switched back to a new streamer fly. With stripping, you’re able to cover more water and, of course, stay a lot busier. Of the 15-plus fish I landed, most of them measured between 14 to 17 inches with a couple of 13-inch trout. The last one I caught was 18 inches, which was a great way to end the day.
At first, Lee opted to fish European style nymph fishing with little success, and soon switched over to indicator fishing with two black/silver midges. By the time the day was over, he landed approximately eight trout.
After informing other club members of the trip results, a few of us are now drawing up plans to fish there again this coming fall, but without the wives this time. Additional information about this trip and our club can be obtained at our website at sunlakesflyfishing.com or email me at [email protected] or Randy Smith (club president) at [email protected]
Last but not least, our club typically meets for breakfast or lunch on the first and third Tuesday of every month; however, with the current (hopefully past) virus issues, this schedule might be changed. Check our web page or contact us.
Fish On! Fish On!