You haven’t missed nuthin…

George Abernathy with a nice rainbow trout that he landed at Becker Lake earlier this year

Brad Smith

We happily bid a fond farewell to the summer of 2018 which saw some very slow trout fishing. High winds, low water, high temperatures, low monsoon rain; all add to dismal fishing. But finally, fall is here and we can get serious about fly fishing again. While opening day of trout season in most states falls shortly after snowmelt, here in Arizona our best fishing is just beginning. Trout fishing is not a warm water endeavor, and those Dog Days of Summer (as chronicled in an earlier Splash) have seen our fishing success measured in imagined strikes rather than numbers landed.

But now all that changes. High mountain lakes are first to cool, allowing trout to move upwards to shallows and surface waters. Lower lakes are also cooling but must wait a few more weeks before they enter our rotation. The state’s trout stocking program begins to swing into action now, stocking thousands of pan-sized, ego-building (read: dumb) rainbow trout into our lakes. But also some formidable lunkers are released into a unique fishery; Silver Creek. Silver is a small, spring-fed stream near Show Low in which the state plants some war horses; trout studs that have completed their service to the hatchery programs. These fish can exceed 10 pounds and will challenge any angler’s abilities, as they “have seen it all” and are very selective in what they eat, require light tackle to fool and seem to know the location of every sharp rock in that stream on which to part your fly line. Another unique feature of Silver Creek is that the state allows handicap access directly to the upper stretch where the largest fish lurk. Our club usually makes several trips to Silver Creek each year.

Several lakes here in the Chandler are also stocked with trout each fall. One of these, Veterans Oasis Park, is only 15 minutes away. The Salt River below Saguaro Lake is also stocked and can be reached in less than an hour. Two- to four-hour drives are not necessary to get your fishing fix.

Our club averages one to three trips a month during fall and winter, including organized visits to special waters such as the San Juan River in New Mexico. Everyone has a great time on our trips, regardless of success with the trout. We welcome back our snowbird club members as well as anyone interested in fly fishing. Our club meets for breakfast at Stone & Barrel on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Feel free to stop by then, or contact George Abernathy for information at 480-521-1060 or email him at [email protected]