Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club

Carl Smith holding a 22-inch Cut Bow that he landed on his first day of the two-day competition

George Abernathy, SLFFC Founder

This past October, other members with the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club and I went on an out-of-state fly fishing trip to the San Juan River in New Mexico, and held our annual two-day fly fishing tournament. Just below the Navajo Dam, this part of the river is considered to be one of the best tailwater fisheries in the United States and offers excellent fishing for large Browns, Rainbows, and Cut Bow trout. It’s also considered to be an extremely technical fishery, and it is recommended to hire a guide to navigate the river. Carl Smith landed a 22-inch Cut Bow on his first day of the two-day competition. The money Carl won is minor compared to the perpetual trophy he received and the bragging rights he’ll have for a year.

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, members enjoyed a cocktail party and fundraiser for the disabled veterans from Project Healing Waters (PHW) in the Alcove Room at the Stone & Barrel restaurant. Libations and mingling were on the agenda, along with presenting the “Top Fisher” trophy to Carl. I’d like to extend a special thanks to John Reyhons, IronOaks general manager, and Steve Nolan, Cottonwood Palo Verde general manager, for their gracious donations to PHW. Including their donations, monies that club members contributed, and the fishing and camping gear donated by Sun Lakes residents, the club’s total contributions to PHW this year was just shy of $6,000.

Fall fishing this year has been extraordinarily excellent on Woods Canyon Lake for our members, with a few members exceeding 20 rainbow and tiger trout landed per day. In little over a two-hour drive, you could be fishing or hiking several lakes and streams just above Payson on the Mogollon Rim. At 7500-feet elevation, the weather is always cooler, and the air is cleaner than in the Valley, and it’s close enough for a one-day getaway.

Our club typically meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Cottonwood restaurant at 8 a.m. for breakfast. Some changes in dates and times do occur around the holidays; however, our club meets year-round. If you’re interested in befriending others who enjoy the outdoors and fly fishing, please join us at a meeting, or you can search for for additional information. I can also be contacted at [email protected], or 480-521-1060.

Last but not least, if you have fishing or camping gear that’s no longer being used and would like to donate it to Project Healing Waters for the disabled veterans in their program, please contact me directly. We will be more than willing to swing by your home and pick it up.

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan, unverified

Fish On! Fish On!