Do you remember when your son hit his first home run or when he opened a Christmas gift that got him so excited he couldn’t stand still? Do you remember the smile he had on his face that kept radiating forever? Well, that’s the kind of smile the four of us big boys over 60 years old had on our faces in November when we landed close to 20 hogs (when trout are this big, I refer to them as hogs or pigs), as in the picture of Frank Mills holding one of the trout landed.
We had a fantastic two-night, three-day trip to the Pinetop area for fly fishing. On the first day we didn’t get our pontoon boats on Horseshoe Cienega Lake until late morning and only managed to land a few trout. As soon as the cloud cover disappeared, so did the trout. The following brisk morning we headed up to Reservation Lake (9100’ elevation) and got our boats on the water by 8:00 a.m. and fished for around three hours with limited success. Dan Rheinauer, one of our four, suggested that we pack it up and head to Becker Lake which is managed by AZGFD as a Blue Ribbon fishery and is considered by many to be the “Trophy Trout Lake of Arizona.” It was a great day at Becker Lake if you were into sailing because the wind was blowing so hard that white caps covered the entire lake. Fly fishing in the wind is like golfing in the wind, they don’t mix well together.
We finally opted to drive to Silver Creek and fished there the rest of the afternoon and the following morning. As soon as we started landing hogs, all faces lit up with contagious smiles. Catching fish brings the little boy out of me. Even now as I write this story, I can’t stop smiling and I’m sure the other three members will be doing the same as they read this story. The one thing that makes all four of us treasure our experience more than catching the trout was knowing that all the fish were released unharmed, to be hunted and caught another day.
“If all politicians fished instead of speaking publically, we would be at peace with the world.” Will Rogers