Rory’s Tips

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October 21st, 2009

Quick update: For those of you who are up early on Wednesday, Oct. 21, look skyward for meteors from Halley’s Comet just before dawn. There may be other mornings offering increased meteor activity, but NASA says Wednesday morning is best.

Cooler nights are back, which means water temperatures in the lakes should be dropping. Some warmwater lakes may soon experience turnover — when the upper stratum of water turns colder than the lower stratum, and they will change places, sometimes with dramatic results. The event does not always disrupt fishing, but other times the bite turns off like a light switch.

So get your fishing in now.

It sounds like one of the hot spots right now is Saguaro Lake for a mixed bag of fish, including lots of fesity bass in the 1-pound range and hordes of yellow bass that love gold KastMasters and yellowish spinners. I had an angler send me pictures of desert bighorn sheep that blessed his fishing expedition there (see the Saguaro Lake write-up).

Also try Roosevelt, Bartlett and Havasu. Check out the recent survey on Apache — it might be an autumn dark horse (not bad quail country either). Alamo got blasted with a storm on Tuesday, which may be its autumn swan song, or it could turn on again by this weekend. Anglers report seeing lots of rabbits along the road there, and you might even see some quail.

Still hearing good reports from most high country lakes. The brown trout and brook trout should be staging for the spawn. Putting some salmon eggs on the hook of any lure your use might be a good tactic. Cutthroat trout will also feed aggressively. This is the time of year when you can also catch large rainbows (with firm pink flesh). This is also a great time to catch some larger brookies. Crescent would be my first choice, but Big Lake can also get you some nice cuts as well.

Don’t forget that tree-squirrel season and waterfowl seasons are both underway in the high country. Take along the trusty .22 and your favorite scatter gun. I saw lots of waterfowl hunters in the White Mountains on the opening weekend.

On Tuesday, the department stocked trout in Green Valley Lake in Payson (it’s an urban program lake), plus Fain Lake near Prescott, Oak Creek (should be good colors), Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek and Patagonia Lake.

Also during the first week of November, the winter trout stockings will really kick into high gear with stockings at Deadhorse, the Lower Salt, Parker Canyon, and Patagonia. So once you put away those Halloween masks, be sure to spool up new line on the fishing reels.

There is probably one more week or so of good fishing at Lake Powell. I might even get a chance to go and update the photo library for the collaborative fishing guide book the depaprtment has planned with Arizona Highways magazine. The guide is 98-percent certain but there are still a couple of hoops to jump through. I’ll keep you posted.

Another good place to hit right now is Lees Ferry — this is a world-class fishery where you can experience solitude on most of the best gravel bars.

Keep in mind they have started stocking trout along Casino Row in the Bullhead City area of the Colorado River. They also stock trout at Willow Beach, where you might also see some desert bighorn sheep.

Last but certainly not least is Fossil Creek for catch-and-release, single barbless hooks for native chub (only a four-mile stretch of the creek). I will try to make it there this week and check out the fall colors. This travertine creek is special. Be sure to take along a camera. It’s a long, dusty and bumpy road to get there, but the visual rewards are superb.

Don’t miss out on the great autumn fishing experiences. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

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