Rory’s Tips

Share or Bookmark:
| More
May 27th, 2009

What a Memorial Day weekend – the fishing was great, and at least on Saturday, the expected rain kept the hordes away and the temperatures wonderfully mild. The parking lot at Lake Pleasant’s 10-lane was half empty Saturday morning. What a deal!

From the angler reports I have received so far, the long-awaited great post-spawn bite finally made its visit to many lakes this past weekend. Bartlett, Roosevelt, Alamo, Havasu, Canyon, Apache and Saguaro all seemed to be providing lots of action, especially when the rains blessed our parched soils with welcome relief (dove and quail seasons should be awesome).
Plus, a lot of the mountain lakes also provided bountiful fishing thrills during the holiday weekend. Anglers at Upper Lake Mary near Flagstaff had a northern pike bonanza using everything from black-and-silver Rapalas to inline spinners.

Lower Lake Mary seemed to do okay as well, but this is a very shallow, ephemeral lake. Even though it has hordes of trout, the water quality will slowly erode as we move into summer. So go catch the trout now. They are fat footballs (we mostly stocked them in late winter).
One of my favorite fishing lakes (it is a little scenically challenged compared to most other mountain lakes), Kinnickinick, once again produced a nice brown trout – at night. Those who love catching big browns will want to note this fishing strategy. Voracious browns (and other large predatory trout) will likely be feeding at night (quite often on other but smaller trout). So night fishing in some of the high country lakes might just get you that speckled monster salmonid.

By the way, occasional thunderstorms and sprinkles are expected the rest of the week in the mountains, so if you have a chance to get up there, go. The fishing is great, the weather is near perfect, and the holiday crowds should be a fading memory, so the wildlife should come back out from hiding.
As expected, Powell was on fire for 1- to 2-pound smallmouth bass and delectable walleye, with lots of striper action thrown into between wind gusts to keep anglers enthralled. By the way, the water is rising four feet per week right now, with lots of banks sloughing into the water being combined with vast acres of newly flooded vegetation – I have just described walleye heaven.

Another spot that broke loose during the holiday weekend was Lees Ferry. On a scale of 1-to10, one angler rated it as a 9. Can you imagine catching-and-releasing 100 wild, tail-dancing rainbows in a single day at one of the most picturesque tail-water fisheries on this planet? It was one of my tips for escaping the crowds last weekend, and it sounds like anglers hit a bonanza there. The crazy crystal ball sometimes works so well it scares me at times.

I haven’t heard much yet from the White Mountains, but I have little doubt anglers who went there will be replaying sweet catching moments in their dreams for months to come as the triple-digit fidgets visit the deserts.

I did have a pair of anglers leave a phone message (no names) to say the trout they caught (and ate) from both the West Fork and East Fork of the Black River had lots of grasshoppers in their bellies. Kids and adults – match the hatch, even if you are fishing with spinning gear or old cane poles (or alder branches for that matter). Live grasshoppers wiggling on the surface can really get the trout (and youngsters) excited.

We have a waxing moon with the first quarter on May 30 and a full moon on June 7. The brighter the moon, the more active the fish are at night. However on the flip side, the brighter the moon, the less effective are the submersible fishing lights. If you do fish on moon-bright nights, use dark lures. Sounds counterintuitive, but the dark lures make a better silhouette the fish can see from below. Noisy lures can work great. Black buzzbaits at night can get exciting at times. If you can’t find black lures in the stores, take your old banged up ones and zap them with some glossy black enamel spray paint. I did a chrome Rat-L-Trap with black tiger stripes to keep the flash while creating a bolder silhouette.

So go catch some great night fishing memories. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

Leave a Reply