Archive | Sensei’s Fly-Fishing Journal RSS feed for this section

Arizona Urban Lake Guide Part 1

8 Feb

community fishing sign  I’ve had a few comments on my You-Tube videos asking for information on where I fish on a specific Urban Lake. The answer isn’t necessarily where I fish on any one of the Urban Lakes, but how I fish the lake. In the next few articles, I’ll try to share my techniques and hopefully make your Arizona Urban Lake fishing (now called “Community Lake Fishing”more satisfying.

Sunrise, Veteran's Oasis Lake, Chandler, AZ

Sunrise, Veteran’s Oasis Lake, Chandler, AZ

First and foremost, I loved the Arizona Urban Lake program. In fact, having relocated back to New Jersey it is probably the one thing I miss the most about living in Arizona. The Urban Lakes were my go-to fishing water. Any time I could spare even as little as an hour I would be on one of the lakes. And that is the first consideration as to how I would fish any of the lakes; time.

If I had two hours to travel and fish I would fish the Urban Lakes with a “Once-around” strategy. On days that I had three to four hours to fish (again with about and hour travel), I would either fish one of the lakes with more attention to detail or plan on fishing two of the Urban Lakes. Days where I could devote at least five hours to fishing, I would fish the “big-waters” – Lower Salt River, Canyon Lake or Apache Lake.

"Super-Moon" at Veterans Oasis Lake

“Super-Moon” at Veterans Oasis Lake

What is my “Once-around” fishing method?

As to Urban Lake selection, the three closest lakes to my home which was in San Tan Valley were: Veteran’s Oasis, Water Ranch and a small Urban Pond in Gilbert. I do not name it here as fishing pressure really put a damper on fruitful days spent there; however, those that are curious can read any of my past fishing journals and get the name. Generally speaking, these lakes were more often than not my “once-around” lakes.Additionally, depending on where my work took me, I would get some fishing in on another Urban Lake. For example, if I had to be in Mesa, I would fish Red Mountain Lake before my work. Lastly, time of day was not a factor, if my mornings started too early to fish, then I would fish at night.

Stocking Rainbows at Red Mountain Lake - see video page for more

Stocking Rainbows at Red Mountain Lake – see video page for more

Prior to fishing, I would have three fishing rods prepared and ready with all lures tied and set. My usual rod set up was;

   CIMG1161  Any species:

Fly Rod – 7-8 foot with a 5-6X tippet depending on time of year. I always start with a wet fly combination involving a streamer with a small nymph dropper fly. If fishing is super slow, I’ll change this to a small dry fly and fish bluegill instead of skunking out;

I would also pre-rig two bait casting rods. The pre-rig would depend on the species.

  CIMG3943   Largemouth Bass:

In addition to the above fly rod:

Bait caster # 1 – this will have a fast exploratory lure, usually a rattle trap in a weather appropriate color. In summer months; however, and if I’m on the water by sunrise, this rod will be outfitted with a top water proper;

Bait caster # 2 – usually with a spinnerbait or a soft plastic lure to use as a follow-up to rod number 1.

   CATFISH-3  Catfish:

In addition to the above fly rod:

Bait caster # 1: curved hook heavily weighted and baited with week old shrimp that I would salt.

Bait caster # 2: rigged for Largemouth bass to fish while my bait was in the water waiting for catfish.

   

chloe-fish Rainbow Trout:

In addition to the above fly rod:

Fly Rod # 2: a 7 foot fly rod with a 6X tippet with a dry fly and dropper combination. The dry fly is usually a hopper, or large ant pattern.

Spinning Rod # 1: In-line spinners

Once on the water, I start on the water as close to the parking lot as possible. I usually start with the fly rod to see if there’s any fish around. I hope for blue gill or small bass that may provide forage for larger fish. After a few casts, I’ll follow up with the rattle trap or popper. In all instances I start closest to shoreline and work my way out. After six to ten casts I move on a few feet. You MUST be careful walking the edge of the Urban Lakes as many times fish will hold close to shore and be easily spooked! In this manner I work my way around the entire lake. In most instances this takes about an hour.

To this general strategy I would add:

If I find good size fish, I’ll stay on that area longer and stay with that lure or fly. Once I feel I got what I can out of that area, I’ll resume my walk;

Based upon my experience, I have my “honey-holes” on each lake. Naturally I’ll fish them a little longer than other areas. But, the key concept is to fish as much water in the time available as possible.

If I loose confidence in any of my pre-rigged lures, I’ll change them. Circumstances may also dictate this. For example, if I’m catching small bass on a red streamer and have a chrome blue rattle trap on my bait caster, I’ll change that to something that is either red or includes red such as a “bleeding” pattern.

That basically summarizes my “Once-around” strategy for those days when I really do not have a lot of time to fish. If its one of those days when I really want to fell a tug on the line, I’ll spend the last few minutes of an outing with the fly rod playing with, catching and releasing blue gill. After all they decades of fishing, they always put a smile on my face on otherwise fish-less days.

Featured Video:

Please visit my video page for many videos on the Urban Lakes: https://flyfishingdojo.com/video-media/

In part two of this Urban Lake series, I’ll review my strategy for days that I can more time fishing the Urban Lakes. Until then, “Tight lines.”

Sensei John

Sensei John Szmitkowski

© Copyright 2017 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

sunsu-cactus   You may wish to view my martial arts blog at https://senseijohn.me

2015 Mid-Season Fishing Journal

8 Aug

Here it is. My first fishing journal since relocating back to New Jersey. Admittedly, this is long over due. A few unexpected events delayed our getting out on the water. During this delay, I day-dreamed of catching and releasing plentiful large trout and bass from the waters I fished in my youth. Many a mental fishing trip took place on the Big Flatbrook, the Musconetcong and Susquehanna Rivers, Greenwood Lake and Monksville Reservoir. Alas, once we were (finally) able to get out and fish, the spring trout season was over.

As an added measure to the joy of fishing, our little grandson joins us on the water this year. We also began the season with a new member, a Brazilian Terrier pup we rescued from the Secuacus Animal Shelter. Maharet now joins the FFD team.

   Maha-bluegill  Maha Bass

Chloe, who passed away in 2013 was our constant fishing companion. Maharet will have some mighty big paws to fill.

We'll miss Chloe on the water this year - R.I.P. little one

We’ll miss Chloe on the water this year – R.I.P. little one

Chloe helps locate fish on the Lower Salt River.

Chloe helps locate fish on the Lower Salt River.

It was also time to fish with a new mindset. I took my own advice and fished with the mind-of-a-white belt. (Click this link for my article on this topic https://flyfishingdojo.com/2012/05/16/fish-like-a-white-belt/ ). We fished new waters.

Catches were small and sporadic at first. A few of the early days we were skunked-out. Catches naturally, and thankfully included bluegill (click this link for an article on the perception of bluegill fishing https://flyfishingdojo.com/2015/06/29/bluegills-warlords-2/), shad, small pickerel (a species not found in Arizona, thus the first one I’ve caught in ten years) and small bass.
Although, we’ve began to experience more consistent and bigger catches, results are still mixed. As such, rather than name our fishing spots, in this post, I’ll simply refer to them as Lake numbers 1 through 4.

CIMG6408    Lake number 1 is an urban lake and easily accessible from our home in Bergen County. It is a small catch and release lake. I’ve been able to fish this lake before and after work. This lake also provides quick, impromptu fishing while my grandson is on summer vacation from school. In the weeks to come, this lake will become my quick go-to lake for regular fishing. Our initial catches were small to respectable. I did see a few bait fisherman catch and release largemouth in the four to four and a half pound range (as weighed prior to release). The trick for me will be to catch fish this size on artificial lures or flies.

Our daughter and grandson caught their first bass together.

Our daughter and grandson caught their first bass together.

One surprising catch (and a joy for my grandson) was a catfish caught using a # 16 pink shrimp pattern.
catfish stratt

 CIMG6531  Lake number 2 is one that I like for several reasons. First and foremost, it is less than an hour from home. Second, and most important it is not easily accessible. In order to reach this lake, you must hike a fairly rough trail almost two miles up a mountain Ramapo Trail   Ramapo Window

The few times we were able to fish, we caught an abundance of prey is, bluegill and shad, on various flies.          flies This was the most popular set-up.

 As we became more familiar with this lake, we began to catch larger and larger bass.

bass measured

The really big ones still evade us as of this writing. Internet searches result in people reporting large pickerel. I remain hopeful.

stratt bluegill scarlett    Lake # 3 is easily accessible. It is only a short hike from the parking lot. For this reason it has more fishing pressure than Lake 2 and 4, but not as much as Lake 1. So far catches have been small. On two occasions, I saw other fisherman catch and release bass in the two pound range using soft plastics. My favorite days on this lake so far have been those spent with my six tear old grandson catch and releasing bluegill on the fly. From the parking area for this lake, you can also access Lake # 4.

I love when little fish take a big lure!

I love when little fish take a big lure!

 

CIMG6446  Lake # 4 is about a one and a half to two mile hike up a mountain from Lake # 3. The hike is not as rugged as the hike to Lake #2; however, it is more vertical. While many hikers will take the trek to this lake, only those fisherman that are in some sort of physical shape venture up the mountain. To date this lake has produced the most reliable catches of respectable sized largemouth. A chartreuse spinnerbait with a white curly tail trailer produced my most productive day with six largemouth being caught and released.

  bass spinnerbait-mcmillan  bass mcmillan

In addition, largemouth have been receptive to a streamer fished with a nymph dropper. A twitch and pause retrieve works best.

     bass mask - mcmillan   flies mvmillan-apache lady
So, as August begins, I remain optimistic as to future catches of respectable bass and a few of those larger pickerel that are supposed to be present. In addition, I have a few trips planned to fly fish some of the salt water bays and see whats swimming around that may be enticed to take a fly.

    WC-NJ  Whether fishing in fresh or salt water, we’re ready for the New Jersey summer sun in our Wicked Catch sun protection gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).Or, you can also log in with my personal link (as of January, 2015)
http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/#_l_23

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor     As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.75 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.75, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

Sensei John

Sensei John

Sensei John is available for guest speaking engagements. Please see the “GUEST SPEAKING” Page tab above for more information.

Follow FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, please send a friend request on Facebook; see our “Video & Media” Page for more information.

Please feel free to “window shop” our unique logo products by clicking on the “SHOP” page tab above.

The FFD bandanna

The FFD bandanna

CIMG2517  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

Au Revoir Arizona Fishing

13 Jan

Now that I’m settled in in New Jersey, I wanted to post some final thoughts on fishing in Arizona. Simply put, I hated living in Arizona. It is dry, dusty and damnably hot. Having placed myself in a situation where relocating was not possible, I was doomed to try to endure. The one saving grace was fishing. During the triple digit temperatures of the Arizona summer, you would have to be out the door by four o’clock in the morning. This gave you at least until ten or so when triple digit heat would radiate from the Sun. I do not write about my intense dislike with living in Arizona to simply air my gripes in cyber-space. rather, I write of my dislike only to highlight the manner in which fishing provided if not an escape, then at least a respite. I write to that another, who is disillusioned with the Valley Of The Sun, might discover these words and be led to explore fishing in the desert.

My first exposure to fishing in Arizona was through the Urban Lake System (now called the Community Fishing Program). Frankly, the lakes in this program were a God-send. They are easily accessible and extremely user friendly, even for the novice fisherman. They are regularly stocked with catfish in the summer and rainbow trout in the cooler winter months. If you are an Arizona resident or winter visitor, you owe it to yourself to get the necessary (and relatively inexpensive) fishing license and try out one of your local Urban Lakes. While many of the videos on my video page (see the tab above) show some of the Urban fishing, here is my most memorable catch, a huge catfish on a fly rod, yes, a fly rod, filmed at Red Mountain Lake in Mesa.

Simply put, I cannot recommend the Community Lakes system enough for any Arizona resident, or winter visitor.

While the Urban Lakes provided easy access fishing, the big waters provided the most beautiful experiences in spectacular natural environments. By the big waters I mean Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake and my “watery-mistress”, the Lower Salt River. Even if you do not fish, take a ride and enjoy the day hiking at one of these locations. Not sure if its worth the trip? Then check out my fishing videos and see some unbelievable scenery. So spectacular is the scenery and so profound is the experience of being at these locations, that in addition to fishing, I often filmed my martial arts videos in these environments. Here is one of my most memorable filmed my very last day on the Lower Salt River amongst one of the many wild horse herds that call the river home.

You can also use this link to access all of my kata videos, all have a description advised of the filming location. Check out a few and then get in your car and check out these big waters. http://senseijohn.me/kata-syllabus/

In the last few months of living in Arizona, I was exposed to a very unusual aspect of fishing. That is fly fishing for carp (both common and grass carp, or amur). You can find exciting fly fishing in almost any irrigation canal that is not posted otherwise but, I recommend you checkout SRP’s website for regulations and further details as ALL fishing is catch and release.

canal

In addition, you will find carp, and largemouth bass, at the lakes at ASU Research Center in Tempe, again, consult the local regulations.

carp

Checkout any of the articles in my Fishing Journals category prior to the date of this post and discover the therapeutic beauty of Arizona fishing.

And so, with this post, I say “Au revoir Arizona.” In the next article, I’ll look to what’s ahead as I prepare to once again fish New Jersey waters, both fresh and salt.

vulture-me

In the photo I’m wearing an uv protection shirt I purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaffkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes). Or, you can also log in with my personal link (as of January, 2015)
http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/#_l_23

Sensei John

Sensei John

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor  As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.75 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.75, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

Sensei John is available for guest speaking engagements. Please see the “GUEST SPEAKING” Page tab above for more information.

Follow FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, please send a friend request on Facebook; see our “Video & Media” Page for more information.

Please feel free to “window shop” our unique logo products by clicking on the “SHOP” page tab above.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Fly Fishing Dojo Coffee Mug – click the “SHOP” page tab abobe

ffd coffee mug

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

September & October, 2014 Fishing Journal

2 Nov

September & October, 2014, Valley of the Sun. With many things on our personal agenda, including an upcoming relocation to New Jersey, we fished when we could and not as often as we would have liked. As of this writing, one of our team members has already relocated to New Jersey. Here’s a photo of her last bass in Arizona, a beauty caught at the Lower Salt River on October 3rd.

di last bass

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

With seriously decreased water flows, the key to success is finding deep, moving, well oxygenated water.

   salt-Sept   salt oct

Areas that previously had water may now be dry

Areas that previously had water may now be dry

Depending on the area you desire to fish, this can involve some degree of hiking. The results; however, are worth the hike.

  CIMG5462   CIMG5467

Notwithstanding the consistent low flows, I always consult the flow chart for the river before heading out the door. WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

   CIMG5470   CIMG5505

Our last visit to Canyon Lake was on September 30th. At the time, the fishing bridge at Boulder Recreation Area was still closed. We will attempt to verify the status of the bridge by the time of our next report.

URBAN LAKE FISHING:

Arizona Game and Fish will start stocking rainbow trout in mid-November.

Riverview Lake, Mesa

On Sunday, October 12th, 2014 saw major blooms of green algae in various locations on the lake.

riverview algae

From talking with other fisherman, it seems this phenomenon was relatively new. Our experience that day was that the algae seems to have hampered the bite. One small largemouth bass was caught.

   CIMG5487

 

vulture-me  In the photos I’m wearing an uv protection shirt I purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

sunsu-cactus Please feel free to view my weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts at http://senseijohn.me

August, 2014 Fishing Journal

8 Sep

August, 2014, Valley of the Sun. August proved to be cooler than normal. By “cooler” I mean that while temperatures did exceed 105 on some days, they never went over 110 as in prior years. Strange, but I’ll take it. Our fishing centered around the Lower Salt River and Canyon Lake. We also had two or three trips to the community lakes. Naturally, in retrospect, we would have liked to fish more days and on a larger variety of waters. I don’t think any fisherman would say that they were out on the water as many days as they would like. Well, here’s how our month went (and one really great day).
PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER
During the summer months the flows of the river tend to run high and remain somewhat consistent. August was different. Flows were slightly less than the same time in 2013. Additionally, flows varied quite a bit, sometimes quite drastic.

 

Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

salt-august

I don’t like to fish the river when flows have increased by more than 200 c.f.s. over a twenty-four hour period. I did; however, decide to “test the waters” on a day that the flows decreased significantly. Thursday, August 21st the flows significantly decreased.

8-21-flows

The weather forecast called for a forty percent chance of thunderstorms and much cloud cover. Curious as to the effect of the decreased flows and weather on fishing we headed out. We started at Coon Bluff Recreation Area. We stayed there three hours. On the first six casts, we hooked and released five largemouths. We even had a double.

bass-double

More fish followed. When the bite slowed, we hiked a few yards up and down the river. At each new location, the bite was on for the first dozen or so casts. Then we moved on. But, at all times we remained at Coon Bluff. The size of the bass varied from the micro to a decent size of sixteen inches or so.

bass-16   bass-rat-l-trap   bass-small

 

horse sign  We were also blessed on that day to catch a few glimpses of one of the wild horse herds that call the river home.

horses

The most productive lures proved to be rattle traps. As for flies the most productive was a # 12 red/white streamer with a # 16 bead head pink nymph as a trailer.

bass-flies-collage

All in all, it was one of the best days of fishing we’ve enjoyed so far this year.

I would love to commit time and energy into an informal study of the effect of the changing river flows on the largemouth bass population. Unfortunately, the need to earn a living limits the time that can be spent on the water. No-one that I know has the financial resources to fund such a project. I’m sure even if I did have such an acquaintance, their resources would be used for other endeavors. Hell, even the great author and outdoorsman, Ernest Hemingway bemoaned such matters.

“All the people I know with enough wealth to subsidize (a study of the marlin) are either busy studying how to get more wealth, or horses, or what is wrong with themselves with psychoanalysts, or horses, or how not to lose what wealth the have, or horses, or the moving picture business, or horses or all os these things together, and, possibly, horses.” (See Endnote # 1)

One benefit of fishing the river is that it is close to Saguaro Lake. On days where the river is less than productive, we often make a fast run to the lake to check on the bite.

saguaro

CANYON LAKE
As is the case with fishing in general, some days on Canyon Lake had better results than others. One particularly slow day, the only thing I hooked was a dragonfly. Yeah, that’s right, while fly fishing, my backcast hooked a dragonfly. I didn’t even feel the “hook-set,” I only noticed it when I cast forward and my fly line hung in the air, flying on its own.

drgonfly

There is one thing of interest for those readers that fish the Boulder Recreation Area.
August 12th fishing bridge was closed. That particular day was very windy & thunderstorms so, we weren’t sure if the closing was temporarily weather related. We fished that area again on August 19th and it was still closed. So, I wonder if it is closed due to a structural problem, like two years ago. As of this post, I am not aware of the status of the bridge. Here’s a few photos from a more successful day at the lake.

canyon bass collage-crankbait

hatch helicopter copy   In the photos I’m wearing an uv protection shirt I purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor    As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.00 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.25, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

ENDNOTES:

1. Ernest Hemingway from: Lyons, Nick, Hemingway On Fishing, (Nick Lyons Press, New York, NY, 2000) p. 119, originally published as “Out In The Stream: A Cuban Letter” in Esquire magazine, August, 1934.

You can follow the adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

ffd coffee mug   Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page.

sunsu-cactus  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts at http://senseijohn.me

July, 2014 Fishing Journal

8 Aug

July, 2014, Valley of the Sun.
I’m driving to the Lower Salt River one morning hoping to get in a few hours of fishing before the triple heat swoops in. Classic rock plays on the radio. A song ends. The D.J. begins the weather report, “Today’s weather; Christ is gonna be hot!” “One fourteen in Phoenix later, but now, the Talking Heads Burning Down The House.”
I think, “What a great way to sum up fishing in the Arizona summer.”

Hemingway once said,“No one can work every day in the hot months without going stale. To break up the pattern of work, we fish . . . “ (Endnote # 1) So, in these unbearably hot days, when one’s spirit can easily go stale, I turn to fishing whenever I can and my karate kata when I can’t. Before my fingers go stale, I best get on with July’s fishing.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

When time permits, fishing the Lower Salt is a double bonus. First, you’re fishing – ‘nuff said. Second, you’re able to wade its cool waters and keep your body temperature within a comfortable zone. Do; however, use caution. The river moves fast and has some tricky currents. A few people drown each year.

                     bass-c00n-b-rat-l     bass-tellico-coob-bluff

The problem with fishing the river is one of changing water flows. I always consult the flows before planning a trip. You can also do so by visiting
http://www.watershedmonitor.com/contentView.aspx?DT=0&KW=WW_LwrSaltRiver
If there is a change of more than 200 c.f.s. within a day of my trip, then I fish elsewhere. Here’s what the flows looked like for July, 2014.

salt-july

More photos from the river.

   bass-mask      salt-coon-bass-bh-eggi-juan-kenobi

 

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

On those summer days when I can spare a few hours to fish and the changing flows keep me off the river, I fish Canyon Lake. My exact choice of location is a function of the difficulty of hiking to the location compared with the temperature. My relevant temperature measurement isn’t the forecasted high temperature but rather how early it will hit one hundred degrees. The earlier the time of day, the less hiking I do. In those instances, I’ll fish the more readily accessible locations all along the lake.

 boulder-green sunfish-bluegill- copy

I always look for new fishing spots along the lake’s shore. If I’m on the lake and the heat’s a bit much, I’ll scout out new fishing spots for future trips. I recently began to explore the area in and around the Laguna Beach boat launch. I hope to have more in future reports.

CIMG5096

 

community fishing sign  URBAN LAKE FISHING

The Urban Lake System, now the Community Fishing Program, provides easily accessible fishing; often within a driving distance of less than fifteen miles. or so. On days that I cannot spare sufficient travel time to the big waters, then I fish these more accessible lakes.

Health issues, drastically cut into our time to fish these lakes. There are; however, two items of distinction from this month.

Riverview-Mesa   Riverview Lake, Mesa, AZ

The first is our trip to the newly renovated Riverfront Lake in Mesa. This lake is not quite in “our neighborhood” as are Veterans Oasis, Water Ranch and Red Mountain, but I wanted to see it after its renovation. All I can say is, “Wow, what a great job!” The lake is beautiful and well planned. We caught a few small bass, but did see quite a few larger fish. I think in the coming months that I’l do a full feature and video on this renovated lake. Definitely worth the trip.

Red Mountain   Red Mountain Lake, Mesa, AZ

The second item of distinction occurred July 2nd. We were fishing Red Mountain Lake in Mesa. It was a hot morning. We were walking the bank, going back to the truck when we saw a huge catfish an inch or so away from and facing the concrete retaining wall. He was feeding on something. I’ve seen largemouth bass also do this. I can’t seem figure out either this behavior or what they’re feeding on. We had a few rods with a soft plastic grub, a rat-l trap and my fly rod with a big nymph. To avoid spooking the fish, I decided to throw the fly.

catfish-collage copy

I cast about six or seven times letting the fly hit the edge of the concrete. I would then ease it into the water. On about the eight cast, the fish took the fly and a twenty-plus minute fight was on! Di was able to get some really great video.

I hope you enjoy the new collage editor I downloaded, it is my goal to be able to show fish caught and fly or lure used in future submissions.

7--20-13 inch-asu_Fotor_Collage

In the photos and video we’re wearing uv protection shirts we purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).

Until the next submission, thanks for stopp’in by,

Sensei John

Sensei John

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor   As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.00 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.00, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

Until the next submission, I remain,

ENDNOTES:
1. Hemingway’s quote cane be found in my favorite book on “Papa” -Lyons, Nick, Hemingway On Fishing, (Nick Lyons Press, New York, NY, 2000) p. 153, originally published as “A Situation Report” in Look magazine, September 4, 1956. For my review of this “must read’ please use this convenient link: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2010/07/26/hemingway-on-fishing/

You can follow the adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. This months new product – Fly Fishing Dojo Coffee Mug

Taking a coffee break from blogging and vlogging with the FFD logo coffee mug and FFD black and white baseball t-shirt.

office-mug-shirt

 

sunsu-cactus   Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

Here Comes The Sun – Damn!

26 Jul

Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes.
Unfortunately, I’m not referring to the Beatles song. Here in the Valley Of The Sun, the lyric is a warning. A foreboding of the inevitable. Most people embrace the coming of summer, and the joy of being on the water fishing. Not for me in Arizona. The forecast almost always includes temperatures that are in triple digits before noon. Many a day there’s an excessive heat warning and advice to refrain from outdoor activities. The summer heat is a challenge to fishing. So how to get out and fish?

7-1 temps

For some, the answer is to avoid the blazing sun altogether and fish at night. The option of becoming a fish chasing vampire is not available to me on a regular basis. So, the key is sun protection. I never really enjoyed slathering sun block over exposed areas of skin. For others in the Fly Fishing Dojo, the effects of chemotherapy mean that the idea of putting the harsh chemicals in sun block on is not even an option. The alternative is simple, sun protection clothing; including face masks, shirts, pants and gloves.

So, as often as possible (usually 4 days a week) we don our uv clothing, pack copious amounts of water, our home-made organic energy snacks and hit the water.

wicked catch

On days when the high temperature is expected to exceed 105 degrees, I also pack a water soaked hydration vest into a cooler. In a heat related emergency, the vest can put put on to immediately begin to lower body temperature.

The results of being able to fish under the drastic sun conditions pay-off. Here’s a video of a huge catfish caught on a fly one hot summer morning when the temperatures were already one hundred degrees by eleven o’clock.

CIMG5067  In the photo and video both Di and I are wearing an uv protection shirt we purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor  As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.00 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.00, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

sweat-hat_Fotor

In closing, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

FFD-sticker-website  Look for updates on my pending book, Fishing Dojo, coming by the Fall of 2014.

Sensei John is available for guest speaking engagements. Please see the “GUEST SPEAKING” Page tab above for more information.

Please feel free to “window shop” our unique logo products by clicking on the “SHOP” page tab above.

Follow FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, please send a friend request on Facebook; see our “Video & Media” Page for more information.

sunsu-cactus  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

May & June, 2014 Fishing Journal

5 Jul

May and June, 2014, Valley of the Sun, 

May 15th, that’s the day.
The sun rose warm promising temperatures approaching a hundred degrees. A bit early for near triple digit temperatures here in the Valley. But that wasn’t what made the day standout. It was the first day since mid-October when medical reasons kept us off the water that we were able to fish. It was only for an hour on a local urban pond and no fish were caught, but what a great day! If fish caught and released were the sole criteria for determining the quality of a day on the water, then some days were better than others. Thankfully results are not the sole factor in determining whether the overall day was good or not.

blk-ant  The first fish actually caught was this palm-sized bluegill on a # 16 dry black ant. I firmly believe that fishing results are a matter of perception. After all those months of surgery and chemotherapy, hooking this bluegill was like catching a blue marlin.

We started out slow, fishing the local lakes and ponds in the Community Fishing Program (formerly the Urban Lake system). We visited Red Mountain Lake and Discovery Pond regularly. We also made a few trips to Veterans Oasis Lake and Water Ranch Lake. The results were good with catches of small to mid-size bass. Enough to keep us encourage to continue building stamina back after chemotherapy and get out on the big waters.

Di first bass  After seven months of weekly chemotherapy, Di hooked her first bass. Oh, what a feeling!

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

bass-salt-   bluegill-canyon     redear-hat

We started fishing at the ASU Research Park Lakes. These lakes are part of an industrial/office park. As such, to avoid the “nine-to-five workday” we tend to fish these lakes on the weekend. The atmosphere is generally pleasing and relaxing. The fishing experience and results tend to be very satisfying. Hook-ups have included largemouth bass, catfish and carp (quickly becoming a favorite quarry for my fly rod).

bass no mask   CIMG4959   carp

In early June, health status was good enough to begin fishing Canyon Lake and the Lower Salt River. Both of these locations involve a fair amount of hiking along challenging terrain. Health-wise we did good. Fishing results were slow, but, hey we were off the water for almost seven months during chemotherapy. So, it may take a bit of time before we’re back up to snuff.

vulture-me  Fishing the Lower Salt River involves a lot of hiking; moving from location to location in search of fish. Our team member that finished chemo was still building her stamina and trips to the river proved challenging. So,we fished the river once a week; more as stamina increases. As the summer progresses, fishing will be limited to those locations that are not impeded by river tubing.

hatch helicopter copy  Our first trip to the Lower Salt River saw an unusual occurrence. US Forest Service and MCSO officers were looking for a poacher. As we cast, we watched the drama unfold with officers on horseback, and helicopter. We often heard “Come out with hands up and we can work this out, if we come in to get you, you’re going to jail.” Here’s a link to the full story: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2014/06/09/match-the-hatch/

In these dog days of summer fishing success on the Lower Salt varies depending on river flows. I check the flow beginning three days before any planned trip and the in morning before heading out. If there is a change in flows greater than 200 c.f.s., I don’t fish the river and wait for more uniform flows.

Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

salt-april-may-june

NON-TRADITIONAL FISHING
canal  With the popularity of fly fishing for carp growing in the United States, We started fishing some of the local canals in search of carp and amor.

saltJPG  We hope that we are able to continue to fish in these venues and provide more reports in the coming months.

Sneak-peak at July: July 2nd I caught this huge cat fish ON A Fly (details in the July journal) but, here’s a video (condensed) of the over twenty minute fight:

PRODUCT NOTE (and discount code):

In the photos I’m wearing an uv protection shirt I purchased from Wicked Catch gear. You can visit their website at http://www.wickedcatchgear.com/fishing-shirts/
use promo code: WCProstaff-JSzmitkowski at checkout for a 5 % discount (not applicable to shipping costs and taxes).

Fly Fishing Dojo FEATURED PRODUCT:
fly_fishing_dojo_bandana  This Month’s featured product is the FFD Logo bandanna. You can visit our “Shop” Page Tab or use this convenient LINK: http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.1286760541

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

FFD-STICKERS-2_Fotor  As a Thank-you for reading, I have listed a two-pack of FlyFishing Dojo on E-bay for only $ 1.25 which includes mailing. To get your FFD sticker two-pack, simply go to e-bay and search “Fishing stickers-FlyFishing Dojo Logo blog” – do not bid more than the $1.25, I’ll keep listing while supplies last.

Sensei John is available for guest speaking engagements. Please see the “GUEST SPEAKING” Page tab above for more information.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

CIMG2517  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

Finally – We’re Cleared To Fish!

7 May

Finally! 

At long last, it looks like we can once again get out on the water.

me shut down  The last time we were able to wet our lines was shortly before the U.S. Government shut-down in October of last year. (Here’s my post link: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2013/10/10/october-2013-fishing/ )

CIMG1685  Almost immediately after that one of our team members was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Since then, its been surgery, weekly chemotherapy, blood tests and highs and lows. The worst of which was depleted white blood cells counts which meant we were under medical “house arrest” – no going out unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, and despite our protests, fishing ranked lowest on the doctor’s definition of “necessary.”
But, the last chemo is May 9th, then scans and tests to determine final health status.

Now, we’re medically clear to go out freely. The first priority is to get our 2014 fishing licenses and get our tackle ready. Time to oil reels, change lines, sharpen hooks and the usual pre-season tackle check-up. You readers know I am a stickler for preparation. One of the three sources of martial warrior fear is “Futanren”, the fear of inadequate preparation. (Please use this link for my article on Futanren -Link: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2011/01/19/fly-fishing-futanren/ ) No inadequate preparation on our end as we look forward to starting our 2014 season.

bass  One area that we will be stepping up a bit is protection from the scorching Arizona sun. While we have always been attentive to sun protection, this season we are ramping that up a notch with greater sun protection clothing. UV protection face masks, shirts, pants and gloves will be standard gear. No more hearing that “Big-C” word at Fly Fishing Dojo. Even though the cancer was not skin cancer, seeing the effects of cancer and treatment first-hand means that no chances will be taken.

3-BASS-SIGN  So it looks like we should be back on the water in as little as a week. What I wouldn’t give to feel a simple bluegill tug on the end of my line. The rewards of fishing are all about perspective and our perspective has drastically changed for the better. Sure a fat, jumping largemouth, a big ‘ole catfish or beautiful trout is great, but the simple joy of being on the water in good company – that’s the best. I had written previously about perspective (“Warlords & Bluegills“- Link https://flyfishingdojo.com/2011/09/21/bluegill-to-bass-a-martial-arts-based-fishing-strategy/ ) but I now have a greater appreciation for my own words.

 

We'll miss Chloe on the water this year - R.I.P. little one

We’ll miss Chloe on the water this year – R.I.P. little one

We’re going to start on the smaller waters and the Arizona Urban Lake system while our stamina builds back up and the neuropathy from the chemo decreases. By early to mid June we hope to be one the bigger waters of Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake and the Lower Salt River. Maybe will see a few local readers on the water.

FFD-sticker-website   Look for updates on my “Fishing Dojo” book which should be available in hard print and an E-book by October, 2014. I’ll have a few promotional giveaways prior to that, so check back often.

Until then, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

Follow FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, please send a friend request on Facebook; see our “Video & Media” Page for more information.

CIMG2517  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life at http://senseijohn.me

Gone Fish’in – Well Not Really

15 Jan

For a few reasons, we’ll be off the water for the beginning of 2014.

So, in the meantime, I hope your enjoy some of the features and videos throughout the blog. Prior fishing  reports will remain posted, so you can see some of the patterns and techniques that worked on your favorite water or simply enjoy the photos.

Also look for an upcoming “Fishing Dojo” book expanding on the articles of this blog. A sneak-peak coming soon right here!

So, for now, though our lines will be dry, the symbolic “Gone Fish’in” is hanging.

CIMG1251

CIMG1685

chloe-fish 

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

CIMG2517  Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SenseiJohn.Me

Seasons Greetings – 2013

8 Dec

Merry Christmas

&

Happy Chanukah

2013

merry-x-mas fish

stocking

My best wishes to you and your families for a joyous Holiday Season,

Sensei John

Sensei John

 

The first Christmas without Chloe, who always fished with us (she’s in quite a few of our videos too) R.I.P. Little One

CHLOE XMAS4

October, 2013 – “Fishing”

10 Oct

With the recent Federal Government shut-down dragging on, I thought I would share of few photos from my fishing trips this week in and around Tonto National Forest, the Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake.

me shut down

   saguaro   CIMG4360

   blue point   blue point-2

dry cast

With the shut down in full swing, I optimistically thought I night try to cast a fly the quarter mile from the gate at Phon D. Sutton recreation Area to the bank of the Lower Salt River – needless to say, my fly pattern was “dry” in more ways than one.

The irony, for me, is that I (and many other users) pre-pay an annual fee to enjoy the use of all of these facilities. Can anyone say, “per diem refund”?

Since the Arizona Urban Lake System (a State system) is unaffected by the Federl shut-down, I will be fishing those lakes for what seems to be quite a while.

Until the next submission, I remain, optimistic

Sensei John

Sensei John

Escape To Rim Country

23 Aug

Summer, 2013, Valley of the Sun, Arizona.

My usual procedure is to upload a monthly fishing journal, but as we say in New York, “Fahged-dahbah-dit” (“forget-about-it” for you non-New Yorkers).

For me, temperatures were too hot (110 degrees and above is enough)and fishing results too sparse to routinely fish. For the first time in almost a decade, guess I’m going to have to wait until things cool down a bit to serious fish again.

To get away from the heat, we took a few trips to Rim Country where temperatures were at least twenty degrees cooler. There were a few items of interest to the fisherman, so, in lieu of a fishing report, I’ll present them here. If you find yourself needing to escape the heat of the Valley, but wishing for something of interest to your internal fisherman, you may enjoy the following.

Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery:

CIMG4232

Reminiscent of my childhood when my family would visit the hatchery in Hackettstown, New Jersey and fish the Musconetcong, we visited the Tonto Trout Hatchery and explored the Green Valley Urban Lake in Payson.

I find that no matter how old you may be, visiting the hatchery and feeding the trout calls forth your inner child. It was an enjoyable and educational way to spend a morning.

In addition to the photos below, I also shot some video of the trout feeding and the water effects at Tonto Natural Bridge. You may view the video here:

photos:

CIMG4282   CIMG4287

CIMG4256

Green Valley Urban Lake, Payson, AZ

This was my first time fishing this lake. As boating is not generally permitted on Urban Lakes, it was strange to see people fishing from a boat.

CIMG4289

It is also interesting to note that this urban lake actually consists of three distinct lakes to fish.

payson lake

Fly fishing produced several bluegill and one extremely small largemouth bass. It was; however, very enjoyable to fish in cool temperatures with a pleasant breeze blowing.

Tonto Natural Bridge:

CIMG4128

Anyone interested in spectacular scenery must visit this State Park. While it is true that the casual visitor can observe spectacular views from the various observation points, I highly recommend the hike down to the gorge at the bottom of the natural bridge. It is true that this hike is quite challenging, especially the climb back up to the top, but, for those that are physically capable, it should be a “must-do”.  Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, bring plenty of water and get ready to hike. The water effects, pools and rock chambers will not disappoint. One cannot feel a connection to the natural environment – it is a place that we belong in and belongs with us. Video filmed at the bottom of this gorge can be viewed at the end of the trout hatchery video, the link for same is above.

CIMG4140   CIMG4145

CIMG4155  CIMG4143

I hope that the temperatures will break in the weeks to come and we can get back to fishing. In the meantime, may your lines be tight.

HANKO-JMS-sketch

Sensei John

This months featured product is – –

FFD Logo Thermal Can Cooler

FFD can cooler  use this convenient link to safely and securely purchase the featured product:

http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.505575268

Please feel free to visit our full store store at http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

You can now arrange for either a fly fishing lecture or lesson with Sensei John, please see the “LESSONS & LECTURES” Page tab above.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SenseiJohn.Me

May, 2013 Fishing Journal

7 Jun

May, 2013, Valley of the Sun, the first full month of fishing since my return to the Valley. It felt – – good. If fish caught and released were the sole criteria for determining the quality of a day on the water, then some days were better than others. Thankfully results are not the sole factor in determining whether the overall day was good or not.

fishing - welcome

As I write these monthly reports it always seems that there never was enough of time spent on the water. The reports seem too “short and sweet” – nonetheless, here it is. PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

While most of this month’s fishing was on Canyon Lake and the urban lakes, there was a trip or two to the Lower Salt River. As the summer progresses, fishing will be limited to those locations that are not impeded by river tubing.

salt  salt-2

Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

salt-may-2013

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

The fishing bridge at Boulder Recreation Area has been repaired and is again open for fishing. Most of our fishing this month centered around Boulder Recreation Area in general. Largemouth Bass, small Stripers and Bluegill provided regular activity.

bloulder dock

Fish could be caught on small “swimm’in squirt” tubes, small crank baits and a variety of flies. My usual fly rig included on lare fly for largemouths and a smaller trailing fly for blueill. Often, if a bluegill took the small fly, I would leave the rig in the water as largeouth were often attracted to the commotion caused by the hooked bluegill. In such a case, the larger fly was soemtimes taken by the bass.

bass rig

bass

bluegill with fly

SAGUARO LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Fishing along the shoreline adjacent to the two fishing bridge (and on the bridge themselves) provided action from Bluegill and Largemouth. On one trip, we were joined by a friend who was more than happy to chase down the bluegill we threw back.

heron-saguaro

bass-2

URBAN LAKE FISHING

We were able to visit Veterans Oasis, Water Ranch and Red Mountain during May. Due to work commitments, we missed out nighttime cat fishing at these lakes. As catfish stocking will soon end, we’ll have to wait for the fall stocking for these tasty fish.

CIMG3943

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

This month’s FEATURED PRODUCT – Logo T-shirt

t-shirt

you may purchase this item using this link: http://www.cafepress.com/mf/42689803/fly-fishing-dojo_tshirt?shop=FLYFISHING_DOJO

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

You can now arrange for either a fly fishing lecture or lesson with Sensei John, please see the “LESSONS & LECTURES” Page tab above.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SenseiJohn.Me You may also visit my karate blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

Finally! My 2013 Fishing Season Starts

3 May

April, 2013, Valley Of The Sun,

After five long months of being out-of-State – exiled to the cold wintery east coast, I returned to the Valley Of The Sun the end of last month. After obtaining the necessary fishing licenses and National Park passes, I was ready to fish. To this end, I was able to squeeze in two fast days on the water in April.

My "secret" urban pond

My “secret” urban pond

Now, it’s time for final preparation of equipment and pre-fishing matters. May should begin quality (and quantity) time on the various waters of “The Valley.” Pre-fishing preparation is crucial to a successful and enjoyable day on the water. The import of this preparation increases in proportion to increasing temperatures in the Arizona desert. For a quick review of the the need for pre-fishing preparation as it relates to the martial arts concept of “Futanren”, please use this convenient link:  https://flyfishingdojo.com/2011/01/19/fly-fishing-futanren/

In addition to equipment preparation, it is also necessary to have at least a minimum of physical preparation. You may use the following convenient link to my article on this topic.  link: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2011/11/15/fishing-physical-conditioning/

To facilitate preparation, here’s a quick look at the flows of the Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest for April. Current data may be found using the following link and clicking of the Lower Salt River tab WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com

salt  - april

Summer fishing in the warm Arizona water involves a quest for catfish, pan fish and largemouth bass. As summer progresses and river tubing takes over the Lower Salt River, my fishing tends towards the “big lakes” –  Canyon Lake and to a lesser extent Saguaro Lake. “Quickie” fishing trips are routinely found in the Arizona Urban Lake system. As to summer fishing in the urban lakes, Fish and Game is stocking channel catfish. Here is a stocking schedule for 2013.

STOCKING-2013

Well, for now, there’s a bit more preparation I need to attend to, more fishing to follow,

Sensei John

Sensei John

 Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

Follow FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, please send a friend request on Facebook; see our “Video & Media” Page for more information.

You may also enjoy the following related blogs, my martial arts protocol, philosophy and ideology weblog for non-martial artists at WWW.SenseiJohn.Me  or the Goshin-Do Karate Blog at WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

December, 2012 – Fishing Report

3 Jan

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, December, 2012, we cast out final lures, flick our last flies and release the last fish of the year and look forward to 2013 with the anticipation of spending more time on the water and enveloping ourselves with the peace and solitude of that activity known as “fishing.” The final month of the year proved to be a little more hectic than planned. Though time spent on the water was not “quantity-time”, it was “quality-time.”

With the cooler air and water temperatures and the State’s stocking program, our thoughts are no longer focused on catfish and panfish for the dinner plate.

catfish-veterans

Our thoughts somewhat remain with the largemouth bass that will still strike a lure or fly in the colder temperatures.

CIMG1612

Bass-streamer      DISCOVERY-BASS-9-23-SUMO

Our thoughts are mostly concentrated on the prize fish for us desert dwellers, the rainbow trout.

CIMG1711 CIMG1685

This one passed Chloe's inspection.

This one passed Chloe’s inspection.

VIDEO:

To inspire you to wet a line, let’s revisit one of our favorite videos, the first stocking of rainbow trout at Red Mountain Lake in Mesa. Please click this convenient link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPHyCIdmStY

Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

salt-dec

Sunrise, Veteran's Oasis Lake, Chandler, AZ

Sunrise, Veteran’s Oasis Lake, Chandler, AZ

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

FLY FISHING DOJO – FEATURED PRODUCT – Warm-up after a long cold day or day dream at work with a cup of coffee in our official FFD logo coffee mug

ffd coffee mug

Here is a convenient link to our featured product (please feel free to browse the other items in our store). Link: http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.459912522#

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. This months new product

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SENSEIJOHN.WORDPRESS.COM.

NOVEMBER, 2012: FISHING JOURNAL

7 Dec

With thoughts focusing on the Holiday Season, I wish you all a very Happy Holiday; may you all find peace, love and joy as you open your hearts to the Holidays.

merry-x-mas fish

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, November 2012, at long last, despite higher than average temperatures, the valley began to cool down. This can only mean one thing – rainbow trout fishing is back. Get out of the house and wet a line for some fine specimens. With cooler night time temperatures, I am able to enjoy an evening of kata practice under the stars followed by sitting outdoors, fireside with one of my favorite fishing books; Hemingway On Fishing. Here’s one except that put a smile on my face one fireside night:

“Of course, it could never be considered an equal contest (between man & fish) unless the angler had a hook in his mouth, as well as the fish. But insistence on that might discourage the sporting fisherman entirely.”  Ernest Hemingway from: Lyons, Nick, Hemingway On Fishing, (Nick Lyons Press, New York, NY, 2000) p. 148, originally published as “the Great Blue River” in Holiday magazine, July, 1949.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

River flows continue to decrease, with one drastic drop in flows as evidenced by the flow chart shown below. I do not know what effect such dramatic changes of flows have upon the fish population; however, I speculate that it can not be favorable.

Phon D. Sutton Rec. Area

Phon D. Sutton Rec. Area

Late fall and winter is always my favorite time of year on the river. Whether fishing is “good” or “bad’ I cannot help but feel connected to this environment. It is a reminder that we, humans, despite our egotistical tendency to believe otherwise, are but one small part of that which is so much larger than us.

On one particular day when fishing was slow, I decided to shoot some video footage for my Sanchin DVD. I was able to catch this footage with a gallery of unusual observers and a few critics; you may enjoy this footage filmed amongst a few vultures by clicking the following link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf8dlXsBnoI

CIMG3197

This blog is by no means a political forum. I strive had to “bite my tongue” on various affairs within the political realm; even if same pertains to fishing, or the natural environment.

My tongue has enough scars from such biting, and so, it is time to express my views – like it or not.

On November 15th, I wanted to fish one of my favorite spots in the Water Users Recreation Area. Upon arrival, I noticed a sign, which I do not recall from last year, advising that the area was “Closed For The Season.” On searching the internet, I could not find any mention of this. In my humble opinion, this is absurd. These federal lands belong to each and every one of us. We pay our taxes and then must pay a user-fee in the form of a permit or license to enjoy that which WE own. It is absurd and an insult that we are barred from using that which is not only OURS, but also, PAID FOR,  based upon a bureaucratic decision by some anonymous and innocuous little federal drone.

Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

salt-nov

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

We visited Canyon Lake a few times with mixed results. Most of our fishing was along the various roadside banks. This is because not only is the fishing pier at Boulder Recreation Area still not repaired (and therefore closed), but the back area of Boulder is “Closed For The Season.” Rather than rant, rave and reiterate my feelings on this state of affairs, please refer to my comments above.

URBAN LAKE FISHING

The cooler temperatures mean that Fish and Game has begun to stock rainbow trout on a biweekly basis. These fish are, in a word – magnificent! They are wary opponents, great fighters and provide a good meal. PLEASE remember daily bag limits. These limits adequately provide for sufficient food for your table, and sport for others. Don’t be a hog, respect what we have!

rainbow-veterans

In addition, please note that in one instance, I witnessed a fist fight almost erupt between two fisherman over one’s excessive daily harvest. Apparently one fisherman caught his limit in the morning and returned in the late afternoon to harvest another limit. I know economic times are difficult and the trout are a food source, but let’s not be greedy, leave what’s fair for others, lest we sink into depravity.

As is my preference, I visited and fished Veteran’s Oasis Lake (Chandler), Water Ranch Lake (Gilbert) and Red Mountain Lake (Mesa) with mixed results, save for stocking dates which were fruitful.

Veteran’s Oasis Lake has a “Solar System Walk” composed of various stone markers along the lake containing photos of facts of the planets and celestial bodies.

CIMG3253

On one particularly slow day of fishing, I was able to photograph a UFO in the form of a muddler minnow orbiting the Earth (as indicated by the arrow).

CIMG3254

IN NEED OF CHRISTMAS IDEAS? 

FFD logo stocking link: http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.492888429#

stocking

FFD logo ornament linkhttp://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.459912530#

ornament

Until the next submission, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

You can follow the adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. This months new product 

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog WWW.SenseiJohn.Me

October, 2012 Fishing Journal

7 Nov

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, October, 2012, after three months in New Jersey, it was good to return to Arizona late in October. There was only a little over a week to fish, but fishing was satisfying. As such, this report may be a little less detailed than previous reports, but I hope you will find something of interest.

With little time to wet a line this month, most of our fishing occurred at Canyon Lake. We fished in the Boulder Creek Recreation Area and the shoreline along the one lane bridge. Panfish were plentiful and largemouth bass were accommodating when offered a fly or lure.

            

Because of the timing of our return to Arizona, we were not able to fish the Lower Salt River. Upon checking the internet, the river is returning to winter flows. Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com

Given the havoc of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the country, I thought I would share a few pictures of Sensei Bob’s results fishing various New Jersey rivers and streams prior to the devastation. I’ll see if I can “persuade”Sensei Bob to do a little post-Sandy fishing and advise as to the status of the fisheries.

         

During our stay on the east coast, myself and film crew created a few karate kata videos on the pristine shores of the Atlantic Ocean on Cape Cod, MA. While not of a fishing genre, you may enjoy a video-visit to this pristine location.

A look back – Circa 1988: Fishing the Bass’in America Tournament circuit

You may also enjoy a rather unique video showcasing a weapon the Okinawa fisherman of days gone by used to stave-off marauding Samurai – the fishing oar by clicking this convenient link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cMRW503DbY

Thought this was “reel” funny.

Until the next submission, I remain, hopeful to spend more time on the water next month,

Sensei John

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

You can now arrange for either a fly fishing lecture or lesson with Sensei John, please see the “LESSONS & LECTURES” Page tab above.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at: WWW.SenseiJohn.Me

MAY, 2012 – FISHING JOURNAL

6 Jun

 Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, May, 2012, with triple digit temperatures upon us, mornings no longer have that awakening chill, the temperatures are, as the song goes, “Hot-Hot-Hot” and, if you persevere and have patience, so is the fishing. PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

With the float, kayak and tubing season underway, fishing tended to be in the early morning hours and in locations that lay outside of the boundary of tubing operations, namely Water Users Recreation Area and up river and Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area and down river.

Trout and largemouth bass could be found along the shoreline and in the deeper and slower pools. My “go-to” fly patterns included a # 14 wire caddis nymph tied behind a sparkle shad streamer and a # 14 ju-ju bee nymph tied behind a # 16 orange/black wooly bugger.

             

To see a video of the above bass being caught and a rainbow trout caught on the very next cast, please see the “Featured Video” links bellow. Here is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com.

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Hiking down from the many roadside locations produced some exciting fishing courtesy of the largemouth bass population. Some of the best action using the fly rod was found with a large purple salt water fly with a # 14 wet alexandra fly tied behind it.

  

 On traditional bass tackle, a Bass Pro Shops swimm’in squirt (red flake and clear/black flake) on a 1/16 ounce jig head induced quite a few otherwise lethargic bass to strike.

The various areas within the Boulder Recreation Area produced consistent panfish action, particularly on a # 16 foam ant. While not as thrilling as the largemouth bass, panfish on a fly in triple digit temperatures will always make me smile.

URBAN LAKE FISHING

Biweekly stocking of cat fish was still in effect this month. As such, the majority of my time on the Urban Lakes was spent in search of these tasty whisker-faces. Most of the fishing was done at Veterans Oasis Lake with a few visits to Water Ranch Lake and Red Mountain Lake.

          

A most memorable night fishing for these tasty urban dwellers was on Cinco De Mayo (May 5th). On this night there was an uncommon “Super-Moon” full moon that provided a beautiful sight.

I was very pleased to have not only visited an urban “old friend” but to have also confirmed that this old friend still held some impressive fish. I was very pleased that the population of largemouth bass remained in tact.

         

I was surprised when a nice tug on my fly line produced an unexpected tilapia that hit a # 14 wet alexandria fished behind a large purple salt water fly. A very unexpected treat that was quickly photographed and released.

          

Noting that, in the past, when I wrote about my summer visits to this urban pond, the population of fisherman increased, for now, I’ll keep this treasure hidden and known only to the hand full of regulars.

FEATURED VIDEOS:

1. For a look at fly fishing at Phon Sutton where the first two casts produced a largemouth bass and a rainbow trout, please click the following link to our video: Lower Salt River – 2 casts – 2 fish – LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcbxR6L_n-I

2. For a unique historical look at “Fisherman As Warriors”, please click this convenient link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cMRW503DbY

FEATURED PRODUCT:

This month’s featured FFD Logo Product is the FFD Logo Trailer Hitch Cover; purchase information and link is below.

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information. You can now arrange for either a fly fishing lecture or lesson with Sensei John, please see the “LESSONS & LECTURES” Page tab above.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. 

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SENSEIJOHN.WORDPRESS.COM.

APRIL, 2012 – FISHING JOURNAL

2 May

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, April, 2012, after three months of steady work in New Jersey, it was good to return home. I arrived back in Arizona on April 21st. As soon as the bags were unpacked, it was time to turn my attention to preparing to be on the water. New line needed to be put on the reels, an updated annual pass for Tonto National Forest had to be obtained and other small matters required attention. Finally, with less than a week remaining in the month, it was time to get out on the water. Here’s the results of that final week.

Most of my fishing was at Canyon Lake, specifically the Boulder Recreation Area and the shoreline adjacent to the first one lane bridge. Several large bass were seen. Although they followed several flies and lures, ultimately there were no takers. As the day drew hotter, I switched to a # 16 foam ant pattern. This pattern produced a steady stream of palm-plus sized bluegill. Not trophy fish, but, after three months of no fishing, they most certainly put a smile on my face.

By the time this report is posted online I hope to have been out on the lower salt river. There should be one final stocking of rainbow trout before the heat of the summer (and the inevitable float tubers) settle in. Below is the water flow chart for the Lower Salt River for the month from WWW.Watershedmonitor.Com

I am looking forward to visiting the urban lakes in the near future as bi-weekly stocking of catfish continue through June. Sunset fishing for these fish provides not only a great way to end the day but also a tasty few fish for the dinner table.

Here’s a preview of next month’s fishing report with action from the Lower Salt River on May 1st.

FEATURED VIDEOS:

Improve your fishing enjoyment and productivity with a simple protocol from Karate known as “Sanchin.” Sanchin takes less than two minutes to perform and is a great way to prepare to fish, rejuvenate yourself during difficult fishing times or simply enhance your fishing experience. For a video sample filmed while fishing at Water Ranch Lake, Gilbert, AZ, please click this convenient link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ncZJ0s0HNI For more information on how to learn Sanchin with my convenient one hour DVD, please see endnote # 1 below.

Until the next, more detailed, submission, I remain,

Sensei John

ENDNOTES:

1. NOW AVAILABLE – SANCHIN VIDEO SERIES designed specifically for the NON-MARTIAL ARTIST who desires to learn & unlock the secret treasure of Sanchin. Here is a convenient link a promotional video about the Sanchin DVD filmed on location at various scenic locations throughout Arizona. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

You can find information on how to purchase a Sanchin DVD & Book by clicking the following convenient link:http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.You can now arrange for either a fly fishing lecture or lesson with Sensei John, please see the “LESSONS & LECTURES” Page tab above.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to view my other weblog dedicated to exploring martial arts ideology and concepts as they can be applied to daily life. You may visit the weblog at WWW.SENSEIJOHN.WORDPRESS.COM.

%d bloggers like this: