Rory’s Tip: This is a week for great fish tales

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August 25th, 2008

This is a week for great fish tales.

But before we get to the tales, here’s a quick rundown of hot fishing action:

Fishing is great in most high country lakes especially just before afternoon rain showers. The top spots typically deeper lakes like Big Lake, Willow Springs, Bear Canyon. Knoll and Chevelon Canyon, but Woods Canyon is a good spot for stringers of stockers;

  • There is superb action for hard-fighting stripers along the Colorado River Lakes;
  • Lake Pleasant is providing great fishing for hungry stripers and largemouth on topwater lures;
  • Roosevelt might be on-again, off-again but it is THE place for bass (and catfish ).
  • Alamo has turned on for crappies at night.

    Plus bluegills and other sunfish abound at all our desert impoundments and are great fun to catch for kids (or those who want to feel young again). Also, don’t ignore the plentiful yellow bass opportunities using KastMasters at Saguaro and Canyon lakes.

    This is the season for warmwater fish in the high county. Try Willow Springs Lake for smallmouth, crappie and largemouth, Fool Hollow for bass, walleye and trout, Show Low Lake for big walleye, small bass, and decent trout, and Upper Lake Mary for walleye, pike, catfish and perch.

    We are moving into the last quarter of the waning moon, so expect better night fishing than last week when the moon was full. This is a perfect time to fish at night – just enough moonlight to see by, but submersible lights can still do their plankton-attracting jobs. This might be the tale end (or is that tail end) of the Perseids meteor showers, but you might see some spectacular shooting stars now that the full moon has past.

    Also, I did have a great trip to Lees Ferry last week – the nymphing bite was terrific while drift fishing (especially near the dam), the weather was near perfect (a tad warm at times), the water temperature was hovering below 50 F (nothing like having chills and sweating at the same time) and my cameras got terrific work outs clicking away at one of the most scenic blue-ribbon trout fisheries on the planet. It’s an intense experience.

Ironically, this is the Ferry’s off-season for angler numbers, but one the most consistent times of the year to catch nice sized wild rainbows that’ll dance like a whirling dervish on the end of your line. Go figure. Thanks for the rainbow treat Terry (Gunn that is). The amount of fry in the river is phenomenal – this is one gargantuan age class of fish for the future.

Also, if you go swimming in the lakes this time of year to cool off and feel something nibbling you underwater, don’t be too surprised – bluegill like to nibble on folks. Sometimes it can feel like a small pinch that’ll make you say “Ouch!” Seldom do they break the skin, but these little sunfish can leave small welts. It’s nothing to be concerned about, it just feels like there is.
Let’s get back to angler tales. We all know that anglers can sometimes stretch the truth like a well-used Bungee Cord, but modern day digital photography helps act as a truthometer of sorts.

With that in mind, I’ll forestall my usual tips to entertain you with two good fishing tales. See the story in the “Fishing News” below about the East Verde trout wars that should provide fishing incentives for others. It’s an entertaining fish tale penned by a skilled story teller.
Here’s the other story from a devout flathead angler who took a licking and kept on, well, reeling.

The big flathead tale from Roosevelt:

After spending the day cooking in the sun and gathering a dozen or so bluegills, we anchored my pontoon boat up on a good spot, and waited.

Just before midnight my pole was hit hard, and I jumped up and got into a really good fish.

So I fought it for a while, until I ended up on the front deck of the boat.  I had my arms doubled up on the rod, and the fish pulled straight down and under the boat.  At this point the fish had the upper hand, and I reached out as far as I could to get a better angle on it, and I leaned against the corner rail which has a speaker mounted on it.  You probably can guess where this is going…

The fish made a really hard pull, and at that exact moment the speaker rotated (it’s designed to do this) and the other two guys on the boat came forward to where I was at, which dipped the front of the boat down.  Overboard I went head first.  And I went down several feet under, never touched bottom, and it took me a couple seconds to get myself righted and kick up towards the surface.  I lost one of my shoes, but held onto the rod.  It is hard to swim up when you have a 7-foot fishing rig in one hand, and shoes on!  But I finally surfaced, and one of the clearly shocked guys reached his hand down to help pull me up… and I promptly placed the rod in his hand and told him to keep on the fish!  While he did that I got myself up into the boat.

He then said, “It’s gone.  The fish is gone,” and I saw the slack line.  Man was I disappointed.  But I took the rod and started taking up the slack line, and there it was!  Still there, under the boat! I fought for another 10 minutes or so, and finally got it on the boat.  The pictures pretty much sum it up.
That’s the short version, I’ll do a much more descriptive and story-like version for my Website at
Take it easy, and tight lines to you-

–Christian Polak

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