Lake Pleasant…

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With only a few hours to fish on this morning, Pete and I opted for the real short drive to Lake Pleasant. I have mixed feelings about this lake due to being skunked several times before, but with a time schedule to keep, options were limited. Stories of different species of bass are always being told but usually those with success have some sort of boat to scour fishable areas. On my current income I am confined to the shore and anywhere accessible with a two-wheel drive vehicle. The Arizona sun soon was baking the desert at 85 degrees and we had seen zero action. After walking and fishing multiple coves, I finally happened upon a protected cove where I could see 7-8 different bass holding close to shore. Cycling through my limited fly selection, the black simi leech with an orange glass bead head was the ticket and got movement and looks from multiple fish. Only one of the smaller fish decided to play before we had to call it a day. Wish we could have kept fishing because we finally figured out where to be looking for fish and what they were hungry for. Aside from the one fish and a sunburn, the only other excitement was almost stepping on a rattlesnake. For three years, I have been tramping all over this state and this was the first rattlesnake I have ever seen. It was nice to end the terrible streak of bad luck at Lake Pleasant, but I look forward to getting back on the smaller streams.

Lake Pleasant Fly Fishing

Camelback Mountain…


View of Pheonix

Michelle and I spent a beautiful Arizona morning hiking Camelback Mountain located in center city Phoenix when we first started traveling after we sold our house. You can easily Sell Your House Fast In Phoenix. Neither of us had ever hiked the mountain and after a brief inspection of the internet for information we decided to enjoy the Phoenix weather before it will become unbearable. Sandwiches were prepared and water bottles filled in preparation for our epic journey to the top. We arrived at the base of the Camelback at around 10:30 and found a premiere parking spot right near the trailhead and applied some Car Polish at our car right there because we had time. To be truthful, I was extremely surprised that there was no designated area or established parking lot for the multitude of cars that were parked on the street. When you got bad credit on your auto loan right here, it is highly recommended you visit auto loans for bad credit kansas city mo to help you. My windshield got broken because a branch from a tree fell on my car, after the nice day I had to call auto glass repair spartanburg sc to help me out. By the way, if you know someone who’s planning to take a driving class, Miro Training is the best service to contact. For more details, just give them a call at 08 9459 5666. Since it was a Saturday during springtime in Arizona, we were not the only ones huffing and puffing our way along the rocky trail. We made good time to the top and were rewarded with a spectacular view of Phoenix and the surrounding metropolises. Michelle stated that from our vantage point one could really appreciate why Phoenix is known as the “Valley of the Sun.” The crystal clear air made visibility in every direction seemingly endless. The Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (FPSLFP) and the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan are two options that will allow some borrowers to be eligible for loan forgiveness after 10 years of qualifying employment and loan payments, go to for more information.

Arizona Chuckwalla
Sandwich Thief

At the top we spent some time appreciating the warm sun and cool breeze as we ate lunch. In the process we had to defend everything we owned from the random ground squirrels that must normally eat like kings by panhandling for scraps. After several pictures, we began our decent, which can be a little tougher on the knees than scrambling to the top. On the way back down we spotted several other critters that I hastily


identified when we returned home as chuckwallas. We arrived back at the truck with our legs pumping around 12:45. Overall our day on the mountain was extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Anyone who truly wishes to experience the beauty  and size of Phoenix should waste no time and scramble to the top of Camelback Mountain.

The soon-to-be Smiths

Rim Fishing…

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Changing Flies

The Saturday sun found my friend Pete and I double-timing it north east to the Mogollon Rim for a day trip of fly fishing. We both have a few days off next week and figured we could spend the day jumping from creek to creek seeing different conditions and accessibility of different areas for our upcoming trip. The day started crisp and cold but soon warmed to pleasant temperatures in the 60s. Water levels were high and creek banks were swollen, but the water seemed fairly clear the higher in elevation we fished. Strong winds made it difficult to cast 3 weights and the bite was almost nonexistent all day.

Big Rim Brown Trout

About noon my day brightened immensely, when cycling through my box, I tied on a #10 Hopper Juan with a stonefly dropper and lobbed several casts into the foam line of a dark pool. I crouched, watching several drifts slowly make their way through the pool, when the surface exploded and my hopper was hooked neatly in the corner of a 18-19″ brown trout. After a short battle, my 3 weight was able to breathe a sigh of relief as I cradled my best fish on a fly rod to date and also my first fish on a self-tied fly. A few quick pictures and the brute swam strongly away.

Blue Wing Olive

Around 4:30, we observed an extremely small hatch coming of the creek we were fishing. The majority of these bugs were #20-22s, which was much smaller than anything we had on hand. One large blue wing olive landed squarely in Pete’s fly box, but after flailing at the water with small parachutes for several hours, we decided to call it a day. Next week holds promise for smaller crowds, slightly lower flows, and the hope of more fish.

Fly Tying…


Winter has been long and wet. Rain and snow has made fishing difficult and slow, but the large snow pack will provide a good amount of water to sustain a quality summer fishing season. I have had the past week off of school with the added bonus of next week too. Life is good, but the first half of the week found me checking off a to-do-list. Tomorrow, I will be headed to the Rim do a little reconnaissance fishing for next week. If tomorrow shows promise, you will find me huddled around a campfire for a few nights next week as I continue to fish the Rim. Tying has continued to involve most of my down time. After being booted from the dining room table (which was perfect because of the plethora of room), I managed to snag a rickety little “desk” for the hunting room and continue to practice wrapping feathers onto hooks with grand visions of the fish they will catch.

Fly Tying Station

Oak Creek…


My buddy Pete and I planned earlier in the week that today, Saturday, would be a fine time to stretch our legs and see what is happening in some of the different waters here in Arizona. Several suggestions were tossed around and we were finally able to agree on Oak Creek in Sedona. Last weekend left me hopeful for warm weather and sunshine, but the narrow canyon of Oak Creek had different plans. I checked the weather report before I left and rain was forecasted, but as we pulled into our staging area, we were greeted by snow flurries. It was not very long before both Pete and I were soaked and cold from the wintery mix that plagued the day. We threw a delicious feast before the trout in the creek but it was not until Pete chose stonefly nymphs that we saw any sign of life. Pete had several takes but neither of us brought a fish to hand. Overall, I was surprised that the creek was not higher, although with the precipitation that was coming down, who knows how it will be after these next couple days. The day ended with a fine dinner affair at a local BBQ restaurant that left me uncomfortably full and not in any condition for the drive back to the valley. Even with no fish brought to the net, I consider the day a success. I spent the dark drive home planning time to tie stonefly nymphs and take another trip to Oak Creek.

Fly Fishing Oak Creek

Fly Tying: Frogs and buggers…

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Normally weekends can find me fishing the small streams that Arizona has to offer. Unfortunately, many of those creeks are running full tilt due to rain and runoff. My buddy has been asking me to go to Lake Pleasant with him for some time and so I conceded. I have been working on tying up several different patterns specifically for the lakes. The “frog” is constructed from sparkle foam from a local craft store and when I tried him out at the local pond, his open face created the perfect effect of a swimming frog when stripped across the surface.

Foam Frog
Foam Frog Underbelly
Simi-Seal Buggers

Wet Beaver Creek…


No day fishing is a waste. Having said that, trying to fish rivers and creeks overflowing with runoff rain and melted snow can be frustrating and slow. Weather reports predicted a beautiful warm sunny Arizona day and their forecast was correct. I had read different reports on this particular creek and had passed it several times on my way to Oak Creek. Knowing full well that everywhere else was going to be equally horrific, I chose to explore here for several hours. Wet Beaver Creek shows promise as it looks like most other small Arizona Creeks, and in my mind I can imagine big brown trout hunkered down behind each large rock, but today was not one of those memorable days of dragging in fish after fish. The creek was bloated with cloudy water and both banks were packed with sediment, logs, and whatever else the water picked up in the epic downpour. I fished extremely hard but did not even see a fish or feel a bump, but made use of my time practicing my roll casts and unsightly double-haul. In the future, I can see spending the time to hike in further and camp once the weather warms and the water recedes. I would like to think that I learned a valuable lesson today about not fishing saturated creeks, but rest assured I will be whipping the same horse next weekend. On a side note, I wrestled with actually posting this picture taken on my cell phone, and eventually decided to leave it as a reminder to myself that cell phones are for making phone calls and I really need to bite the bullet and buy a real camera.

Wet Beaver Creek

Fly Fishing the Salt River…


Fly Fishing the Salt River

Fly Selection

I began teaching at a Phoenix area school this year. This particular school has so many great programs that invigorate students to be active and these programs create a campus life that is like no other. Within a short period of time, several students found out that I had a fishing addiction and began pushing the concept of starting a fishing club. Within a few short months of the seed being planted, the Fishing Club began to take root and grow. Our inaugural outing with the Fishing Club resulted in one fish for the group during the 4-5 hours that we fished. I had the opportunity to tie on and bait hooks, attach bobbers, undo


“rat’s nests” and a small opportunity to wet my own line. It was really a great experience at our first trip to the Salt River. Unfortunately, due to the historical rainstorms that swept through and flooded the valley, the fish seem to have migrated south into Mexico. Our school photographer showed up and managed to catch me deciding which fly to throw at the mysteriously absent fish. Overall, the students and I had beautiful weather and made good memories outside of the classroom. The goal of the Fishing Club is to give students an opportunity to be outside with others and enjoy the art/activity of fishing. We are attempting to plan an outing each month to different locations around Arizona. Our first trip was a success with many more to come…