Yesterday my friend and I Marc set off for a very remote and hard creek to hike into in the Arizona high mountains.
I had warned Marc that this was no walk in the park, we set off early Friday morning only getting lost on the drive up once, that did set us back about half an hour. The log roads have very small road markers that are easy to miss.
Anyway, we arrived at our destination with the temperature where we parked hovering around Seventy-two degrees very nice. We knew going down into the canyon below us it would be warmer and it was slightly humid around eighty-six-degree Fahrenheit. The plan for the day was to hike a long way up to explore parts of this creek we had not been to.
Unfortunately for us, the water flow was pretty low, so it came down to fishing the deeper pools when we came across them, which were few and far between, so a lot of hiking!
This is a remote place, so I was very surprised to bump into a father, son combo who were walking and spin fishing downstream, we were walking upstream fly-fishing. I was on the west side of the creek fairly high up climbing on a steep slope looking down on the stream. They were on the East side, walking the banks.
The conversation as follows, me, hi how you are doing any luck? Reply, you fished the holes below us? Me, Yes, and my buddy is behind me following up. How about you? We fished the holes above us. Him, so all the holes are now screwed up? Me, well the lower holes we fished about an hour ago, so they are probably fine now! Him, you fished here before? Me yes sir, how about you? Him, All my life! Him, I was taking my son downstream to teach him that he needs to crawl on his hands and knees the last fifteen feet to the edge of the bank and stay low, as these fish are so spooky. If you catch one fish out of a pool, it is done and done. Well, good luck we are moving on up have a great day!
So, we hiked and fished in the heat of the bright noonday sun, came across some deep pools that you knew were holding some big browns. We tried all different techniques to no avail! Wrong time of day for sure.
Around three in the afternoon hiking thru some dense brush came across some fresh Bear spate, and you could smell the bear he was near. At this point, we had a long hike out so time to head back. A long hike entailed up and down thru bush on the trail on washed-up monsoon rocks in the heat of the day. Hard going.
Eventually, around just past five in the afternoon, we came back to the first fishing hole that we had fished early that morning in the bright sun now in shadow. The first order of the day was to cool off so we got out our filtered drinking straws, got down on our hand and knees and greedily sucked in as much stream water as we could we were seriously getting dehydrated at that point! Next, I took off my cap, filled it with water, and poured numerous times over my head and shoulders all the time knee-deep in the water.
Marc took it a step further I looked over he was stripping off, and in he went swimming all over the pool. At this point, I was looking at the deep pool I was standing and splashing in thinking, I hate being skunked. I picked up my rod that was set up with a leach and nymph deep under an indicator. I left all my gear on the bank, and waded up to my lower chest into the pool, with about fifteen feet left between the opposite bank and me. I cast my fly in slowly stripping back to give some movement. Third cast in I was retrieving about eight feet from my body in the water when I felt that I had snacked the bottom, slowly lifted my rod only then to realize I had a big, brown trout on that took off!! Fish on playing him, Marc asked, do you need the net which I had left on the bank with all my gear. Yes, sir, I started to walk back over the slippery rocks towards him playing the fish, at that moment the fish took off again I thought I had enough play in my rod tip to absorb the run and did not let some line off, snap he was gone breaking my 4 x leader!!!
So, to my point, on the one hand crawling into the side of the creek, total stealth. On the other hand, swimming in the pool wading deep into it splashing water all over yourself, general mayhem and big fish on just under your nose. That my friends are the joys of fishing, you never know what can happen!
Next, a long slog back up a very steep canyon that took us an hour and seven minutes to reach the top, whos counting I was! If I was going to have a heart attack, this was the place!!!! The last part up Marc took off I was stumbling along behind him mentally trying to get him to stop for a breather, this mind game was not very successful, well if he can do it so can I!!!! Stumbling to the truck, we tried to hand pump only to realize these two fat boys did not have the energy! Back to the gym!!!