Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club prepares for mountainous fishing

George Abernathy, Founding Member

For the past five years that I’ve been involved with the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club, I’ve had the pleasure of spending numerous days fly fishing with over 30 club members. Throughout all these trips, I have found that they all have one thing in common regardless of their background, experience or sophistication level; it’s the smile that fly fishers generate after landing a nice trout. It’s also the same smile that appears later when swapping stories over drinks and dinner.

Fly fishing isn’t just about smiling, it’s about spending time with mother nature and enjoying the outdoors. It’s about seeing a herd of elk from 100 feet or watching an osprey dive up to 50 m.p.h. to catch a trout, without turning on a TV set to do so. It’s about enjoying life to its fullest without having a cell phone or TV nearby.

The sport can be as physically demanding as you want. It can be as simple as stepping into a boat with a guide, kicking and rowing around a lake all day in a one-person pontoon boat or humping a river in search of elusive catchable fish. Just enjoy walking a stream or rowing a boat for a few hours, and it might convince you to trade in a pair of Zumba pants or your TV remote for a fly rod. According to club member Rose Summers, “Fly fishing is just a beautiful sport done in the exotic surroundings to the sounds of rushing water, trees whispering and quietness.”

I wish I could say that fly fishing is a family sport, but here in Sun Lakes, our community is way behind in national statistics. Out of the 55 members we have, three of them are female fly fishers. The national average is 32% of all fly fishers are female.

April and May are the start-up months for fly fishing in the Arizona mountainous areas. On May 29, multiple club members are headed to Christmas Tree Lake (9200’) for some prime Apache Trout fishing. Last year, the lake was mostly closed due to the fire hazards, so this trip should be one of the better club trips. I’m already smiling just thinking about it.

As with most previous years, other club members and I will spend 20 to 25 days wetting our lines. If you’ve thought about trying out fly fishing, join us at one of our breakfast meetings at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, at the Stone & Barrell and meet others members who enjoy the sport. You can visit our webpage at or contact Randy Smith, president, at [email protected], or call him at 480-371-8406 for more information.

“I am not against golf, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout.” ~Paul O’Neil~

Fish On! Fish On!