Into the Land of Giants

Arizona is not known for either water or trout, especially not for the latter. However, AZ consistently dishes up some trout that in any other state would grace the guide service’s instagram profile. The difference is here there are no guide services to post the photos. Sure Arizona has a few guides, but they hold sway in only a couple of rivers and creeks. I’m sure there are quite a few people who fish the trout heartlands of Wyoming/Idaho/Montana that would love if this was the case for them too.

In Arizona we are lucky to have creeks that you know you have a good shot at a 20″+ fish on every visit, yet nine times out of ten you won’t see another person, let alone another fisherman.

It was one such creeks that I convinced my friend to join me in an attempt to find some of these fish. Dodging elk and deer most of the way from the house to the creek we arrived right as the sun began cresting the treed horizon. The descent into the canyon is short and not terribly steep but it is enough to keep most of the riff raff out. If there is anything I’ve learned since beginning to fish in Arizona it’s that people are surprisingly lazy. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of people that get after it in the state but the masses miss out on some pretty incredible stuff due mostly to an aversion to walking. I personally could not be more glad people have that aversion. It keeps the good stuff good.

The home of giants? Only one way to find out

Upon hitting the canyon bottom we found a huge pool that looks like it is the stopping point for most peoples hike. Upon bypassing this pool we arrived at a large, relatively shallow pool with a large bed rock slide leading into it. We both rigged up, me with a dark bugger and Andrew with a mini bugger on his Euro set up. One or two false casts and his rod was doubled over! It appeared he had found one of the creeks behemoths almost on arrival. After a spirited fight he was able to bring the large rainbow close enough that I could net it. Net it being a relative term as it was more of a scoop and hold as the fish he had landed was right on the edge of fitting in the net!

The net battle continues
Quite a rainbow out of a “small” creek

Small stream with big payoffs and the stoke was very high as we continued into the canyon!

Dry fly heaven
Minnow crushing rainbow
Tied for the ocean and now catching fish in the mountains
Fun little runs in the willows
Score! Fresh little antler stream side
Another wonderful piece of water

Not bad for a “small” creek in the desert state.

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