Tag Archives: Arizona Urban Lakes

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

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 JOURNAL

10 Jan

Before you read the report, get in the mood by watching our video of rainbow trout being stocked at Red Mountain Lake, Mesa, Arizona by clicking this  link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPHyCIdmStY

Stocking rainbow trout, Red Mountain Lake, Mesa, AZ

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, December, 2011, was a busy time here in the low desert. Holiday preparations and (fortunately) work kept me busy and not on the water as much as usual. There were some memorable mornings on the water that gave life to the saying, “Quality not quantity.” The morning of December 10th was a spectacular lunar eclipse that was truly memorable. In addition, several mornings I woke to unbelievable fog that enveloped my fishing experience in an erie aura.

Before I submit this month’s report, I found an interesting quote from Ernest Hemingway which you may wish to, shall we say, “chew on.”

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.” (See Endnote # 1)

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

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

I am always amazed at the way this river changes with its seasonal use and functionality. The summer months see increased demand for the river’s water both for occupational (such as power and irrigation) and recreational use (such as fishing and most notably water float-tubing). After the heat of summer dissipates, flows are severely decreased and the hidden treasures of the river are, I believe, truly reveled. With the decreased flows, river accessibility greatly increased. Equally so, the ability to find and fish otherwise remote hotspots is made easy. Having said that, the decreased river flows can mean that stealth and caution when fishing may be needed.

For a point of comparison, here is a photograph taken in June from a video shoot for my Sanchin For Everyone DVD. (See endnote # 2).

Here is almost the same location this month.

You can see even more dramatic views of the Lower Salt River and listen to John Lennon’s stirring “Stand By Me” by clicking this video link to a promotional video used to promote the Sanchin DVD filmed at the Lower Salt River. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3MFNsl4mWg

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

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Due to other commitments, I spent little, if any time at Canyon Lake. As I type this report, I can only imagine the fishing opportunities that I missed. I look optimistically forward t next month and fishing this “big” lake. My optimism is buoyed by the rumor that improvements at Boulder Recreation Area have been completed and the area is again open.

URBAN LAKE FISHING

VETERAN’S OASIS PARK LAKE, Chandler, AZ

Most of my fishing this month was at this, my favored, Urban Lake. The significance of the Urban Lake system is it’s ready access. Located in every major urban area, the lakes and surrounding parks provide easy and readily accessible access to the beauty of nature and through the stocking program reliable access to fish for the table.

Please see to it that the treasure of the urban lakes is not taken for granted; obey all applicable rules (including respecting areas off limits to fishing), don’t litter (there is nothing as intolerable as fishing debris) and respect the harvest quotas. I too love taking home a catfish or two in the summer months and a trout or two in the winter months. But, respect daily bag limits; there will always be more tomorrow or the next day for every fisherman if limits are respected.

      Trout for Supper    

WATER RANCH LAKE, Gilbert, AZ

Here’s a bit of video footage from Water Ranch Lake that I used to promote my Sanchin Kata To Improve Everyone’s Health Campaign. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ncZJ0s0HNI

For more information of the physical & spiritual health benefits of Sanchin & how to purchase my economically priced 1 hour Sanchin DVD, please visit either my website: http://www.dynamic-meditation.com/references.html or blog WWW.SenseiJohn.Wordpress.Com – the blog also contains numerous articles and videos and is regularly updated.

NEW VIDEOS:

I submit this video under the category of “just-for-the-fun-of-it”. It is a video of a Harley-Davidson Electra-glide motorcycle ride through the cotton fields of my neighborhood used as a promotion for my Sanchin For Everyone DVD. Give the following link a click, and “throw a leg over your bike” and come for a ride. Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbDxDHvlL8

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

Please feel free to shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page or this link,http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo This month’s featured product – THE FFD PUZZLE

FFD Logo Puzzle

ENDNOTES:

1. 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.

2. Here is a link to a FREE Sanchin For Everyone promotional video on You-Tube: 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 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.

NOVEMBER, 2011 – FISHING JOURNAL

14 Dec

 Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, November, 2011,  cooler temperatures, serene environments and the wonder of nature made for a month of enjoyable fishing.

Decreased water flows at Lower Salt River (Blue Point Beach)

Sunrise - Veterans Oasis Lake, Chandler, AZ

With the Holiday season upon us, I extend to you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.As a small gift, here is a video clip I made of the Fly Fishing Dojo Christmas HO Train layout set to Joe Nichols “Old Toy Trains”.

Scene from the Christmas Trains FREE video - link below

I hope you enjoy it. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M__4r1qAavU

Please feel free to visit the FLY FISHING DOJO “SHOP” page for unique Fly Fishing Dojo Logo Christmas themed and fly fishing products.

      

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

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Water Users Recreation Area

Rainbow trout stockings resumed on the Lower Salt River with bountiful results. Thanksgiving Day proved to be a most productive day on the river with catches (and releases) of largemouth bass and rainbow trout.

             

            

Prior to its release, Chloe inspects a small bass

All fish were released except for two rainbows harvested as a tasty alternative to turkey leftovers.

The best fly pattern on that day was a sparkle shad streamer with a # 16 chartreuse/red scrambled egg nymph.

Always aesthetically pleasing, there was one uniquely special day on the Lower Salt River when we were visited by a herd of wild horses.

Experience this special day for yourself; here is a link to a video made on that day. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT491X5vea8

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

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

With falling temperatures, catches of largemouth bass along the various shorelines were replaced with catches of newly stocked rainbow trout.

The Boulder Recreation Area was closed for renovations. As such, most of our fishing was along the shoreline along the first one-lane bridge.

URBAN LAKE FISHING

The beauty of Urban Lake Fishing

Rainbow trout were stocked for the first time this year on November 17th. Stockings will continue every other week; however, the exact dates will not be known prior to the stocking. With biweekly stockings, there are plenty of tasty rainbows for supper.

PLEASE, remember the daily bag limit of four AND you need an Urban Fishing License.

Regular visits to our favorite Urban Lakes, to wit: Veteran’s Oasis Lake, Water Ranch Lake and Red Mountain Lake proved enjoyable and productive.

NEW VIDEOS:

WILD HORSES (At the Lower Salt River, AZ): Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT491X5vea8

CHRISTMAS TRAINS (To “Old Toy Trains” by Joe Nichols): Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M__4r1qAavU

For a very unique look at a historical aspect of fishing, you may wish to view “Fisherman As Warriors” by clicking this convenient link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cMRW503DbY

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.

NOVEMBER, 2010 FLY FISHING JOURNAL

3 Dec

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, November, 2010, this surely is the time of year we desert-dwellers suffer all summer for. Gone are the mornings of flicking flies to skittish bluegill and bass while flicking sweat from your brow. No longer is it necessary to pack almost a gallon of water to survive few hours of fishing. With pre-dawn temperatures now in the low thirties, an extra layer of clothing has replaced a slathering layer of 45+ sunblock. And the fish we offer our feathery flies to? Ah, let’s get to those fish, but first an announcement.

FLY FISHING DOJO NOW HAS VIDEOS.
Please see the “Video & Media” page for videos on “Thanksgiving on The Lower Salt River” and “An Homage To The Arizona Urban Lakes.”

Now, as I sit in the pre-dawn hours, outside in my yard, sipping a steaming cup of coffee, under a starry sky dominated by The Big Dipper and Orion, let me compose and type the words that will tell you about the fish I came to catch & release this past month. Incidentally, to facilitate your sensation of the winter season, we have added a falling snow effect to this weblog – yes, it can “snow” in the cyber-Arizona-desert. Sit back, stay warm and enjoy.

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

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

With drastically decreased water levels, the Lower Salt River is again the province of fisherman. Used and somewhat abused by river tubers, she offers a diminished aspect of herself to those that ply her waters for a more etherial pleasure, a sense of communing with her natural beauty. She is again a mistress, once prostituted, but again restored to her quasi-virginal self.

My joy in fishing the Lower Salt River is the total emersion in a natural environment that is to be found. Though I do fish the more popular areas, I enjoy taking long hikes down her meandering banks in search of prestine waters unknown to others. Many days I hiked as much as I fished.

Hiking, I mean fly fishing, along Coon Bluff.

As such,when I make reference to a location, it is for informational purposes. More often than not, the reference is to the recreation area where the official FLY FISHING DOJO vehicle was parked rather than a specific location fished.

Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area is always a popular location and saw much action. The various offshoots from the main river were very productive early in the month. As water flows decreased many of the productive areas no longer contained water; let alone fish.

As referred to in our Thanksgiving Video, 4 days after this fish was released, its once aquatic home was a dry bed.

The area around Coon Bluff offered a challenge to finding sufficient water for fish. I did find one little guy sulking in only about five inches of water that was more than happy to be “introduced” to a nymph named Bloody Mary.

Once skulking, this little guy meets a nymph named "Bloody Mary."

I also came across an unbelievable sight on November 13th when I was hiking, I mean fly fishing, this stretch of water. I came across a deep pool with ultra clear water. In its depths were, at least, twenty-five large catfish with literally hundreds of fry about five inches long. Surely, a good omen of a healthy river and good cat fishing for the summer of 2011.

The area of Sheep Crossing provided a few memorable days on the river. This particular parking area was closed on the days I was on a the River. To access this area, I parked at the Blue Point Recreation Area and hiked down and across the river.

Largemouth bass were particularly susceptible to # 10 Sparkle Shad Streamer with a # 14 Shrimp as a dropper. The Sheep Crossing Recreation Area is covered in our Thanksgiving Day Video, a link is available on the “Video & Media” Page above.

Good fishing was also had at the Water User’s Recreation Area. This area contains two large pools that hold Largemouth Bass on a consistent basis and a smattering of Rainbow Trout. More often than not one must approach the shoreline carefully as fish are often in the deep water weeds just a few feet from shore. Stealth and caution is the catch phrase for fishing this stretch of river. My fly of preference when casting to these finicky fish is either a # 10 Lite Brite Zonker streamer, # 10 Beadhead Sparkle Olive or Claret Wooly Bugger or a # 10 Sparkle Shad Streamer. All would have a # 14 Bloody Mary as a dropper. Fish did not necessarily have a preference as to the streamer or dropper; they took the Bloody Mary as often as the streamer.

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

The river flow chart looks like a medical monitor that isn't good for the patient.

URBAN LAKE FISHING – GENERAL COMMENTS

I would hazard a guess that, by far, the Urban Lake System is the most popular and consistently utilized resource in the Arizona Fishing System. With the stocking of Colorado farm-raised trout that first occurred the week of November 15th, the Urban System again basks in its popular status. As well as offering the chance to hook a magnificent shimmering mass of rainbow trout, the system recognizes a desire of fisherman to (hopefully) selectively harvest these fish.

According to the AZ Fish & Game 2010 Urban Fishing Program booklet, “(Rainbow) Trout can not reproduce in lakes.” (See Endnote # 1). On December 1st, I happened to chat with an AZ F & G representative and asked about the trout’s inability to reproduce in the Urban lake System. Such inability, WITHIN THE URBAN SYSTEM, stems from the rainbow trout’s inability to tolerate the heat of the summer months, an insufficient quantity of insect forage and predation of any fry by other species, notably the largemouth bass. It was also noted that more and more angler’s seemed to rely on these trout as a food source. This is understandable during such economic times (a result of the recent census was the revelation that Arizona is the second poorest state in the Nation, Mississippi is number one). Notwithstanding an “economical meal”, harvesting these rainbows should still be guided by prudence; harvest what you will immediate consume. There is a daily bag limit of 4 trout in urban lakes, 2 trout in urban ponds for adults and unlicensed juveniles under age fourteen may only keep one-half of the bag limit. (See Endnote # 2).  My personal preference is to harvest one rainbow for my supper and release the rest for others to enjoy.

Of the five rainbow trout caught, one was harvested for supper.

VETERAN’S OASIS PARK LAKE, Chandler, AZ (See Note # 1)

I fish the Urban Lakes almost daily. Of the various urban lakes, this one is my favorite. It not only seems to readily yield the cacophony of fish that dwell in its waters, it offers a very pleasing aesthetic sense of beauty. My favorite area to fish is adjacent to the inflow from the recharge lake; particularly at dusk. The sun sets directly across the lake painting the sky with a palate of colors derived and mixed from deep within the cosmos. While the sky is painted by an unseen hand, a symphony of relaxing sound is played from the water that cascades down the rocks.

The sole interruption of this cosmic display is the sudden, heart-stopping, soul-penetrating splash of water as a rainbow or a largemouth bass breaks the water’s surface after having dined on the feathery entree cast from the fly rod held in my unworthy hand.

My favorite offering at this location usually involves a Bloody Mary Nymph, a Rainbow Warrior Nymph or a Beadhead Rooks Blueberry Nymph, all in size 14 or 16.

WATER RANCH LAKE, Gilbert, AZ (See Note # 1)

This lake also envelopes one with a pleasing natural aesthetic. As the shoreline is smaller than Veteran’s Oasis Lake, I like to cover a lot of ground; often fishing while walking. In this manner I can cover a lot of water. Invariably I settle in either around one of several reed-lined banks or at the point where recharge water enters the lake.

During the month there were regular catches of Bluegill (they revert me back to my childhood days & will always put a smile on my face) and small largemouth bass. Both species patiently biding their time by eating themselves to adult size; waiting for summer when they will once again dominate the lakes.

A small bass on a # 12 Claret Wooly Bugger.

On one memorable day, I was startled out of my fly fishing revery by a large bird of prey (too quick for me to identify) that dive-bombed the middle of the lake and erupted from the water to fly off with a fish in its talons. What a sight!

RED MOUNTAIN LAKE, Mesa, AZ (See Endnote # 1)

I was only able to fish this lake twice in November. The # 10 Lite Brite Zonker with a # 14 Bloody Mary dropper sporadically produced a small sized largemouth bass.

A # 14 Bloody Mary nymph seduced this little guy.

Otherwise fishing, as I experienced it, was slow. These words perhaps do not do this lake justice, as I always enjoyed being at this lake. Perhaps, I simply need to visit it more frequently so as to learn its secrets.

OTHER COMMENTS:

Due to time constraints, I was unable to visit some of the other lakes that were addressed in fishing reports in the past. I regret this in so far as some of these lakes provided a memorable repast to the summer heat. I think that with the cooler temperatures, shorter days and the need to earn my financial keep, I fished lakes that are closer to home during the week and preferred to spend my weekends answering the Syren’s call of my sweetly seductive mistress named the Lower Salt River.

Again, please feel free to view my first two video offering by clicking on the “Video & Media”page tab above. I hope to increase my video, editing and voice-over skills so as to offer more enticing and enjoyable videos. I also hope to be able to synchronize the video camera with some of the larger fish caught; but that is a story for another day.

Until my next submission, I hope you continue to enjoy the articles I post on this weblog. Keep your flies in the water.

Sensei John

JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS – THE UNIQUE, OFFICIAL FLY FISHING DOJO LOGO CHRISTMAS STOCKING – CLICK THE “SHOP” PAGE TAB ABOVE.

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

ENDNOTES:

  1. 2010, 25th Anniversary Urban Fishing Program booklet at page 21.
  2. Id.

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.

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