Gila Trout and Coral Snakes

Had an epic day out on the streams of high country Arizona. Chasing the Gila Trout. Plenty of people away from the stream walking but nobody fishing on the stretch I was on. I am not pretending to be any expert and my advise is just hopefully useful to some. No ego, just information to be used or thrown away.
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The water was a little lower than last time but still has good color, also helping was a slight overcast cloud cover for most of the time.
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I am like a broken record but what works works!!!. As we all know you have to find where the fish are feeding so playing around with depth is important till you get some action.
 
In this case most of the runs were about 4 to 5 feet deep. Under a small indicator 2 feet down black woolly bugger, I put a small split shot right on the head of the fly, most people do not, 2 feet down size 20 midge Black & silver. Cast up into the moving water slow drifts and game on!!
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Plenty of good fighting trout only fished for 6 hours from 9-30 to 3-00 pm approx. I did land 2 fish that were at least 16″ plus and fat in the shoulders took me awhile to bring in on 6 x tippet. While taking the midge out of the first one he jumped out of my hand before i could take the selfie!!!. The next big one i put the net in the water to take my camera out and he just swam off the edge of the net giving me the finger!!! Well I had the memory!!!!
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Also of interest caught a few very small wild rainbows beautiful markings, these guys were very aggressive taking the fly as soon as it hit the water and just starting to sink!! No big rainbows this day I think the Gila Trout have taken over!
The wild life in Az is so diverse, yesterday I had a very close encounter with a coral snake, literally next too me second most venomous snake in the world. Rare to see, the good news they have less than effective poison delivery system!!!! Good news.
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As you all know I tend to fish 4 or 3# weight fly rods in these small waters so the experience is so much fun you can not over power these guys and even the smaller guys put up a great fight. I always take plenty of time to make sure they are revived.

Well yesterday went to a nice little stream in the high country,

Well yesterday went to a nice little stream in the high country,away from the maddening crowds!! Landed a nice rainbow, lost another one, the big disappointment was a wild brown at least 17″ plus lost at the net!!! All these fish took a size 20 black with silver thread midge, dead drifted under an indicator deep. I had a semi leech above black and purple but no takes on that fly.
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It is correct to say a lot of places are closed but only on the camp grounds, toilets, main entrances etc” I know a lot of people are going to be up in arms but before you do. I went alone on my own. I parked in an out of the way place, most do not know of. I walked in for many miles on my own!! Even the Bears were quite.
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I fished on my lonesome not a soul about or in sight. I drove home all on one tank of case. I packed my own food in and took all out.
I did not shiiiii in the woods! no need!
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However on my way home HWY 87 was closed, I could not get back to Phoenix. I was in line and then we were directed to turn around and head back to the high country. I did not talk to anyone the police were at least 50 yards away and my windows  were all up.
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There is a silver lining in this as i had to take Hwy 188 to Roosevelt Lake a beautiful drive the lake is 97% full so the west end has many trees and bushes in it perfect for Bass or Carp, it looked so fishy!!! The inflow from Tonto and the other rim streams coming in from the North West looked in good flow. There is good fishing on this I am told, as you go higher up you get into Hellsgate wilderness which has some great browns and rainbows at higher elevation but it is very rugged, do not go alone!!!
Went across the dam only to find Hwy 88 closed to rock slide so ended up driving almost to Globe to take 60 West back to Phoenix. A two hour drive home turned into five hours. I kept my sanity getting out into the wilds just had to go!!
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Carp on a Fly

Carp on the Salt River AZ. I know they are there I have seen them many times, never had any luck catching them.

Yesterday afternoon I decide to go to the Salt as they had the day before changed the flows yet again! From 100 to 600 cubic feet per second. A day had gone by so maybe the fish had settle down!

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I went to the famous blue pool at the top end I could see trout at all different levels in the water column but they were not active. I tried all kinds of techniques I did get two hits but immediately these savvy guys threw the hooks.

I always fish barbless, i feel it give the fish a better chance and makes me a better fisherman having to hone my skills! All fair and square!

During this barren time another fly guy came on the river a little higher up than me, we soon kind of ended up fishing closer together and talking about how good the fishing had been this last month. Talking about different set up, flies and places on the river we had done well.

I was fishing for the second time only my new E bay special, recently I had snapped off the tip on my 4 wt fly rod. It was in for repairs. I just happened to spot an 8 ft 4 wt with one hour left for bid with no bids. I put a cheap bid in and low and behold I was the proud owner of a brand-new St Croix 4-piece fly rod for $80.00 delivered to my door.

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As we were yakking it up, I was fly fishing in close, really high sticking an indicator with a leech and on the bottom a yellow and red egg, bouncing along or close to the bottom. Not really paying attention as we were talking sets up to each other, when my rod just exploded in my hands. Fish on and a big fish on, off he went, straight across the river straight down to my backing. My rod was bent from the handle all the way up almost in a circle!!!!

I figured I had on a big Sonoran Sucker as there are plenty of them in this run.

I had no control over this fish he would run I would run along the sand banks in water trying to keep him under some kind of control. The bait guys lower down had to reel in as he was running along the channels, they were in. People stopped and watch. Time went on people stopped watching, taking too long!!!

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I did not see the fish for the first 20 minutes or so he was so deep and running. I had on a 5 x tippet and with the 4 wt rod i just tried to not snap the line.

About 40 minutes in i finally saw a large shape with some bronze color a big Sonora sucker i thought, maybe fowl hooked? as he was always head away from me and I could not turn him. Eventually and this is no exaggeration i got him in close and yes off he went again. Twenty minutes later I brought him really close to see this carp, it took me another 5 minutes or so to wrestle him to the net without breaking the line. Finally, in the net and my new friend took a few photos.

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I know there are bigger carp in there, but what a fight this guy put up. Don’t under estimate these fish on light gear it is all you can handle a great experience and end to the day