Rory’s Tip

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January 28th, 2009

Rory’s tips;

What a turn out on the Lower Salt for the inaugural rainbow trout stocking of the year (at least three months early) along the upper stretch of this classic desert river, we even had one of our nesting bald eagles do a fly over.

“A trout fishery in a desert river close to Phoenix – you just can’t beat it,” Bill Larson told Steve Bodinet with Channel 3 during a river-side interview.

Bill works the fisheries section at Cabelas and was a classic walking example of their fly fishing gear.

And once again, the Perry family from Buckeye showed up; young Hudson Perry and his mom, Rhonda grace the front of our Urban Fishing Regulations. This is a family that loves to fish, even grandma came over from San Diego to participate.

It’s all coming together – this is going to be a great fishing year.

Superb December precipitation and extraordinary winter runoff followed by luxuriant January sunshine so far – it’s a heady mix for anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

By the way, desert marigolds are already blooming in the desert near the Game and Fish headquarters along Carefree Highway and the brittle brush are leafed out and almost ready to put on a winter show of color as well. The resulting fishing, wildflower show and quail reproduction could all be terrific this year.

The economy may need a jump start, but it looks like our outdoor quality of life is already getting ready to fill our quality of life accounts with fun dividends. This is a great year for your family to make that all important outdoor connection.

Our nutrient laden desert lakes have been warmed by bright winter sunshine and uncharacteristically warm days. For some reasons, Lake Pleasant turned off a little but another low pressure system will likely get the striper bite going again.

The crappie bite has turned on at Alamo – it’s time to go. Alamo is quite often our first lake to warm up and turn on – this shallow bowl-like lake sits at the bottom of a bowl-like depression, resembling a perfect solar cooker. There have been times I have caught bass on beds there in February.

Another lake that often turns on with warm January sunshine is Saguaro, especially for yellow bass and believe it or not, channel catfish.

I also like fishing Bartlett, especially in the afternoons when the bass are sunning themselves in the shallows. I have great expectations for Bartlett this year.

Martinez Lake along the Colorado River can also be a big bass producer during prolonged spats of mild winter weather. Havasu is another large bowl-like desert lake that can capture the sunshine to prompt the sport-fish to become more active.

One type of winter fishing I haven’t done for a couple of decades is snowmobiling to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in winter to go ice fishing. Now that is an EXTREME winter fishing adventure. For those who go (please check the ice thickness before venturing out), please send me pictures to share. It sounds like winter anglers are also catching some nice rainbows at Luna Lake.

Another extreme winter fishing adventure of the luxurious kind is fishing for trout along Casino Row in the Bullhead-Laughlin stretch of the Colorado River and then catching a buffet and show at one of the major hotels. That can make even a poor angler feel rich and you only have to shiver when you see all the money being dropped at the tables and slots.

I also received some nice pictures of striped bass being caught on Lake Mohave near Davis Dam. Winter striper fishing can be viable. When you graph fish, chum with anchovies and hope for the best.

With this milder weather, this is a superb time to visit Silver Creek near Show Low for some native Apache trout and maybe some nice rainbows hiding along the reeds.

Go catch some winter memories. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

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