Marc and I headed off up into the higher elevations for a four-day fly fishing and exploration trip to find new waters for us! The Apache reservation is closed due to the Cov- 19 virus so we had to improvise.
We stayed in a small log cabin in Alpine AZ, elevation eight thousand feet, using this as a base. Rustic and costing only eighty-five dollars a night for two people, perfect! Originally, we had intended to fish some of the small trout streams that are in Arizona and then head East into New Mexico.
Unfortunately, the streams were running very low with little water so we decided to head into the higher elevation and rugged country of the white mountains that border the Apache reservation, truly breath-taking country!
We fished from approximately eighty-five hundred feet too as low as five thousand feet during the next days. Mostly streams with a lot of hiking into and a few small lakes just for the fun of it. The wind was blowing a gale the whole time, so we could not get out on Big Lake to chase cutthroat trout as we felt it would not be productive. Same with Becker lake. I have been to this lake four times now and have never been able to fish due to the strong winds blowing up white caps. Not to say you could not, but for us it seemed we had better options to catch fish elsewhere.
Many miles on the back roads all gravel that are well maintained we saw Elk, Deer, Wild turkey, Ospreys, rattle snakes the odd bear print to name a few.
Caught on the fly between us, Brown trout, Gila Trout, Apache trout, Rainbow trout, Grayling, Round Tail chub, sun Fish and Blue gill also the odd sucker.
We missed out on cutthroat, brook trout and Tiger trout!!
The lower elevations you get into a whole other bunch of warmer water species to Fly fish for that we will not talk about today as that was not our goal for this trip.
Of course, we both have a fish tale to talk about! Marc was fishing the head waters of this stream when he hooked a big nice size trout only to lose as it shook out the fly after a brief tussle!!!
I passed him at this point as I was going up river, he told me about this fish and he was staying until he caught it. Later that night he trudged back to the truck and I asked him if he ever caught that fish?
You will not believe this! I fished that run hard and a little later on as it was getting darker and more shadow on the run a huge missile came out took his small fly bent his rod in half and was gone just like that, it was huge!!! Very big fish, he just shook his head in disbelieve. I told him the good news is you now know he lives in that run so he will have another chance at him next time!!
My story is not as good, but I did hook a very nice rainbow easy twenty inches plus fought him and eventually brought close to my net.
The problem was I was in a position that I could not get low to the water and with my rod as high as I could go and my net as low as I could go, we just could not meet. I looked him in the eye, eye to eye he just gave one bigger shack of his head and my line snapped right at the knot on my brown woolly bugger and like that he was gone! Just two more fish tales to add to the memories!!