White Mountain & Apache Reservation Lake Fly fishing

Fly fishing the White mountains and the Apache Reservation Arizona at over 8 to 9000 feet.

I am a very active stream Fly fisherman; however, I have just returned from my second trip to fly fish some great lakes at a higher elevation. If you have not gone to the lakes, now is the time before winter sets in, and many are snowed in. I am no expert on lake fishing and prefer fast-moving water, but I have to say the allure of bigger fish is attractive. Most of the fish I caught were on flies under an indicator, and staring at an indicator willing it to move can be boring as hell on still water! Also, as soon as you look away, the fish will strike at that moment!

When the fish are active, it can be a lot of fun, and of course, you have to be able to cast and deal with strong gusting winds, which can be its own challenge. Marc and I just returned from our first trip camping for three nights and four days of fishing. We are no camping experts and quickly learned that our old summer tents and sleeping bags are cold at night, so very little sleep. Plus, the Elk are in rut and bugled all night long; it seemed right next to our tent on either side, so we had surround sound!!!

Beans and beans fueled my system, much to Marc annoyance at night, talk about bugles!!!

Up early and fishing till dark is a long day, but as we had no boat, we walked many shorelines and figured out where the fish tended to be at certain times thru trial and error. We mainly fished two flies under an indicator; the bottom fly was usually about eight feet down from the indicator with the next higher fly about four feet above that—a few snags here and there but not too bad. Any small nymph with green color did very well, followed next by black and red-colored nymphs. On one afternoon, Marc did very well with a black Woolly bugger as the top fly. If you are having no luck, experiment until you get some bites; if you are down deep, come up to about five feet that also did the trick.

My favorite experience was about two hours before dark, the trout were rising, and we saw some very large browns gulping and a few jumping clear of the water, big boyzzzzz!!. We both changed up to a big dry fly with a small size twenty nymph about two feet below. Hard to see due to the setting sun and glassy conditions, but we struck on anything near our flies as it was hard to see. That night I caught two nice-sized browns, a beautiful small colored up brookie, and plenty of smaller rainbows. Also, earlier that day, I caught an Apache trout, so a great variety that day. Marc did as well, if not better, the last day, we actually stopped fishing as we had caught so many fish we were more than sated, can you believe that!!!!

For whatever reason, the rainbows in the lakes give a hell of a fight and stay deep on more than a few occasions; we both thought we had a monster on only to find a sixteen-inch bow giving us hell. The big browns just stayed deep; you just had to let them run and slowly bring them in. Completely different feel!

I was hoping to get one more trip in before the snow so tight lines all.

If you want more info, please privately IM me on Facebook. I will be happy to give you more information.

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