Skinny Water Gold

While fishing larger rivers and lakes for bigger sized trout is incredible, the skinny creeks and hard to get to spots will always be my favorite. The long fight of a trout in big water is a rush, but not quite as much as the short battles in log and tree crowded creeks. There is something special about casting into something so small that only a bow and arrow cast with a dry fly can make its way through the thick cover along the bank. The fish may be smaller, but the challenge in finding, hooking and fighting them can be greater than their larger brethren in bigger waters.

The first fish of the day fell for the mini hopper


Another draw to these small creeks is often they are isolated from hatchery fish making their way into them. While a hatchery fish can be a fun trout to target, they are not the same as their wild counterparts. They often lack the brilliant colors of wild fish, as well as the instinct and fight. One of the most incredible things about Arizona fishing is  the variance in fish from creek to creek. It seems as though each creek has its own distinct population of fish, with their own look and even types of fly they are preferential to.


This fish also fell to the hopper, but getting the fly to it was not as easy as I’d hoped. This took a bow and arrow cast into an eddy to bring the fly upstream and under a willow trees branches to where this fish aggressively took the hopper off the surface! The fish then did its best to wind me around every branch, log and rock in its home before I could finally land it!


Apparently I should have tied some bigger flies…
A larger brown trout surprised me when it charged out from under the bank in a tiny section of the creek to inhale the hopper!
A good sized fish for this creek with some great color! This fish gave the 6X tippet right about all it could handle as it ran up and down its pool and under a few logs!
A lighter colored brown!
This fish gave me more than I bargained for when he slammed the dry and proceeded to jump nearly bank to bank across the stream!

Any day on the water is good, but they are always better when they are spent tossing foam flies to hungry and wild trout!

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