George Abernathy, Founder, Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
The annual Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club (SLFFC) trip and fly-fishing competition to Lees Ferry was one of the best fly-fishing trips in 2020 for 12 members from our club, especially for club member Morris Johnson.
Twelve members showed up at the river on Monday, Oct. 19, and most of us fished the walk-in area with terrible results. I’ve learned over the years that the walk-in area is either “hit or miss,” and on Monday, it was a total miss. However, the following two days, members who hired guides landed 12-plus rainbows and browns averaging 14 to 18 inches per day. Since my first fishing trip to Lees Ferry in 1986, I’ve always rented a boat and piloted it myself. It wasn’t until the late afternoon on our last day that a rigging technique was formulated by Dan Roberts that started yielding some really awesome sized rainbows, including a 19-1/2-inch bow I landed.
Morris Johnson, an Ironwood resident and a new member in our club, on his very first day of fly fishing ever, landed a 21-1/2-inch Brown trout that easily won the “Top Fly Fisher” for the SLFFC for 2020. A trophy was presented to him at our last luncheon in October, and in addition to splitting the $200 pot with his guide Capt. Scott Keller, Morris can enjoy the bragging rights through 2021. All the guides and my boat were hired and/or rented from Lees Ferry Anglers at Lees Ferry. Great guides, fantastic service, and clean rooms to stay at while fishing at Lees Ferry. At least one trip is being planned for 2021.
Last but not least, we held our annual Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) fundraiser auction in October and raised close to $1,700, plus numerous other items for the disabled veterans. Normally, the auction is done during our annual October cocktail party; however, due to COVID-19, the cocktail party was postponed, but the auction was successfully accomplished virtually.
At this time, I would like to personally thank all of those who contributed to our fundraiser. Numerous residents donated fly and bait fishing gear along with other items.
PHWFF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities, including education and outings.
Throughout this forthcoming year, if you find yourself with fly fishing gear that is not used and just taking up space, the disabled veterans can use it. Please contact either me, or one of our members, and we would be honored to pick it up.
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 welcome. We typically have club luncheons on the first and third Tuesday of each month at noon, at the Stone & Barrel restaurant in IronOaks.