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It looks like we are having another mild autumn – an angler who fished Chevelon Lake hoping to find brown trout in the spawning mode reports that the spawning activity isn’t underway yet. In fact, he said the egg sacs of the brownies caught were not fully developed.
It looks like the browns may end up spawning when the brookies normally do; curiouser and curiouser. La Nina (global warming?) strikes again. Who knows, maybe it will be a Christmas spawn for the brook trout.
But all in all, it is still a spectacular fall for mountain fishing (pretty good squirrel hunting too). For the most part, this mild weather makes for near perfect days on the water (except for last Saturday when the winds kicked up) at the mountain or desert lakes, streams and rivers.
It almost blows my mind that reports keep rolling in about anglers catching nice rainbows on the Lower Salt River just minutes away from downtown Mesa and Tempe. We haven’t stocked there since spring, so those trout being caught are larger holdovers. Other anglers are also catching some nice bass in the back eddies along the Salt.
One of my two favorites, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek, in the Verde Valley have been stocked recently with rainbow trout. Both of these meandering creeks offer hike-in fishing treats in some spectacular canyon country. In fact, they are cane-pole perfect.
Have the kids catch some grasshoppers and dig up some worms in the garden, grab the cane poles (go buy some if you have to), and head out for a Huckleberry Finn-type adventure. It’s a super treat for the youngsters and is guaranteed to make you feel young again, or at least you’ll feel that way until the citified muscles start aching from the country-boy exertion.
Another good place to cane pole is Oak Creek in Oak Creek Canyon. There is one section of the stream that is artificial lure, catch-and-release only (it’s well marked). Try using a tapered line on a cane pole (no reel) with a big fluffy wooly bugger fly. Even a 5-year-old can learn to fly fish that way.
The full moon this week might make for a great night on the water, but it is probably the kiss of death for night fishing using submersible lights this season at most lakes. We’ll be out surveying Saguaro Lake during the full moon. Hopefully, we are going to see decent largemouth bass reproduction from this year’s spawn.
If you are looking for a great place to go rubber-necking with the family, try the Apache Trail. Canyon Lake has been lowered 50 feet, and I hear it is quite a sight right now.
By the way, starting Nov. 1, the state and the urban 2007 fishing licenses go on sale for half price. What a deal. Get out and enjoy this great Indian summer. Maybe I’ll see you out there.