Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club Enjoys Annual Trip

Tom Larsen

George Abernathy

Our annual fly fishing trip to Lees Ferry in the last week of April was by far the most successful trip the club has organized in the past eight years. With 19 club members and guests attending, it was also the largest attended trip. It wasn’t until the member experiences were shared at our May 4 meeting that we learned just how successful the trip was. I was totally astonished to hear how many members had 30-plus rainbow trout landed in two days of fishing. I’ve always believed that fishing is always enjoyable, whether or not you catch fish, but the catching is the icing on the cake, and catching was really outstanding on this trip.

Lees Ferry is located on the Colorado River at the head of the Grand Canyon, which is where all the rafters start their rafting trips down river. Instead of fishing down river, fly fishers launch and fish up stream on 15.5 miles of pristine waters all the way to Glen Canyon Dam, which backs up Lake Powell.

Two of our members, Brad Smith and Carl Smith, also made a trip to the San Juan River in New Mexico the first week of April, and literally dozens of sizable trout were landed. The San Juan is considered to be one of the best tailwater fisheries in the Southwest, and after hearing about their success, another annual club trip is being planned for the first week of April next year, in addition to our ongoing annual San River trip in October.

The water shortage and probable fire hazards in the White Mountains and Rim this year are very concerning and will undoubtedly impede fishing this summer. Three years ago, while fishing Black Canyon Lake, we were told to leave the lake because of the fire hazards. The entrance to the lake was locked down while we were escorted out. If you plan on fishing the Rim or the White Mountains this summer, I highly recommend checking with the forest service for any lake or stream closures due to fire hazards.

The Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club has two goals: Keep our lines wet and support the veterans with Project Healing Waters (PHW) Fly Fishing. We just recently donated $300 cash from a raffle and lots of fishing and camping gear. Last year the club donated in excess of $6,000 in cash and fishing and camping equipment. PHW is a non-profit organization, and donations are necessary to enable their organization to function. If you have fishing and camping equipment that’s gathering dust or would like to donate $$ in support of our disabled veterans, let me know and we’ll be more than happy to pick it up.

For more information, check out our web page,, or contact me directly at 480-521-1060.

“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