Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club continues to grow

George Abernathy

Thanks to several club members for volunteering at the Activity and Open House Shows at the different Sun Lakes Country Club phases. We had a lot of inquiries and since then our club has grown to over 50 members. Our club membership of fly fishermen is growing! As with any type of club, you have active and non-active members. As I have shared with most, my personal goal for the club is to have a minimum core of 10-14 members that enjoy fly fishing year-round on a regular basis. I also encourage those that are just starting out to join our club. I and other members enjoy spending time helping those to help hone their skills at fly fishing. Some will enjoy stream/river fishing versus lake fishing. Others will prefer trout fishing over bass fishing and Arizona offers plenty of fisheries to accommodate all of us. Hopefully by February or March our core will be established enough so new members as well as existing members will meet and befriend other residents that love fly fishing. Our members may enjoy taking part in fly fishing that much, that they decide to take on some other forms of fishing instead, like shore fishing or freshwater fishing. Some of them may be adventurous and decide to give ice fishing a try (if they can handle the cold). To have a successful trip, they would need to buy some ice fishing gear to give them the best chance at being able to catch any fish. In the meantime though, our members are enjoying learning the different skills that are involved with fly fishing and the new friends that they can make.

I have been asked on several occasions; do we encourage or allow bait fishermen to join our club? The name of our club is Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club not Sun Lakes Fishing Club. One of the philosophies of the club also advocates catch and release. Some members like to bring spinning and fly rods with them when they fish. Because fly fishing is a lot more technical than bait fishing, it personally took me several years to make a permanent transition to fly fishing. I do not condem anyone that brings a spinning rod with them, but the topic of bait fishing and different spinners isn’t something we will be discussing at future meetings.

In the past several weeks other members and I have fished for bass on the Salt River from the shore and for trout at Willow Springs Lake from pontoon and belly boats. One of the best trips was up to Pinetop where we fished for rainbow Apache trout at Reservation and Horseshoe Cienega Lakes from one man pontoon boats. Some trips have been one-half to one day trips and other trips were overnighters. A few weeks ago we had a turnout of eight new/old members at my home where we discussed equipment options and the basics of fly fishing.

By the time this story comes out, other club members and I will have gone fly fishing three to four more times. Our next meeting will be on Monday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. and will be at the Oakwood Library. Future trips to Lee’s Ferry and the San Juan River will be discussed and solidified. January’s meeting will be on January 6, same time and place.

“There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.” ~Paul O’Neil, 1965

Tight lines! v