Tag Archives: Saguaro Lake

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.

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ffd coffee mug

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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

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

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

OCTOBER, 2011 – FLY FISHING JOURNAL

4 Nov

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, October, 2011, a wonderfully enjoyable month of fishing thanks to comfortable temperatures and the start of fall stocking by AZ Fishing and Game. The frequency of days spent on the water was less than preferred due to promotion, personal appearances and seminars related to my Sanchin Kata For Everyone DVD project (additional information is at the end of this article).

Jacket Art for my Sanchin Kata For Everyone DVD

As I enter November which marks the start of the stocking of rainbow trout, I have made a promise to myself to spend more time on the water notwithstanding my Sanchin commitments. PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all fish were safely released after being photographed.

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Once again, the Lower Salt River returned to a natural state after being trod upon all summer by rafters, kayakers, swimmer, and beer swilled inhabitants. Pending trout stocking, fishing for bass was plentiful with bountiful bluegill and occasional carp.

    

With a few parking areas closed for the winter, it is often necessary to hike to your favorite fishing location. I find that the hike adds to the anticipation of the fishing experience and the desire to have a tug at the end of your line.

A welcome rain on the Lower Salt River

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

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Bass and panfishing was exceptional during October. Topwater action was extremely exciting. I was often thrilled with the results experienced by casting a dry deer hair frog amongst the reeds and rocks.

One planning note involves the Boulder Recreation Area. On two occasions, this area was closed for improvements; so, if you plan to fish at this location, there is a possibility you may be disappointed. On the two days the area was closed, I used the closing as an opportunity to scout locations that I had not fished and was pleasantly surprised.

Exploring Canyon Lake

SAGUARO LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Bass and panfish were also plentiful at Saguaro Lake. I did notice; however, that topwater, dry fly action was not as fruitful as at Canyon Lake. Having said that, my usual fly rig of a streamer (sparkle shad or muddler minnow) as a head fly and wet fly or nymph (bloody mary, red serendipity, rainbow warrior0 as a tail fly did not disappoint.

URBAN LAKE FISHING

October fishing at the urban lakes meant one species – catfish. While most of the our fishing took place at Veteran’s Oasis Park (Chandler, AZ), we also fished at Water Ranch Lake (Gilbert, AZ) and Red Mountain Lake (Mesa, AZ).

      

FEATURED VIDEOS:

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

For additional information on my Sanchin DVD, here is a link to a free promotional video on You-Tubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

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 shop unique Fly Fishing Dojo products wear by clicking on the “SHOP” tab at the top of this page. This months new product – FFD LOGO CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

You can obtain theis month’s product by clicking this convenient link: http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.459912530

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.

AUGUST, 2011 – FLY FISHING JOURNAL

9 Sep

Arizona, Valley Of The Sun, August, 2011, a record-breaking month for the State of Arizona. No, the largest fish wasn’t caught. August was the hottest month ever in the history of Arizona; there were 33 days all summer with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Reminds me of a quote by the literary and fishing master, Ernest Hemingway.

No one can work everyday in the hot months without going stale. To break up the pattern of work, we fish . . .  (See Endnote # 1).

For my part I mixed fishing pleasure with the business of filming my Sanchin Kata for non-martial artists DVD. I used various locations in Tonto National Forest, and my favorite fishing locations at the Lower Salt River, Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake, as background for the videos. Here is a link to a free promotional video on You-Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

Well, with cooler months in the near future, let’s proceed with the “hot” fishing report.

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

LOWER SALT RIVER, Tonto National Forest, AZ

I fished several locations on the Lower Salt River that were not readily intruded upon by float tubers. These areas included up river from the Water Users Recreation Area and down river from Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area. Fly fishing produced small to mid-size largemouth bass, mostly on # 12 muddler minnows and a few on # 12 sparkle shad streamer. In both instances, I fished a nymph behind the streamer. The top producer for the month was a # 14 bloody mary nymph and a # 16 red serendipity nymph. There was definitely something about the color red provoking strikes in the bass.

Small bass on a Rebel Pop-R - up river from Water Users Rec Area

In addition, during filming of the DVD, the videographer had caught a few carp drifting a hook baited with corn kernels downstream. Something different to break up shooting video footage in one-hundred degree plus temperatures.

Filming video for the DVD at Phon Sutton. 106 Degrees but the river was cool.

Without a doubt, I am looking forward to being on the Lower Salt in cooler temperatures with decreased water flows and the return of rainbow trout stockings.

Di with another bass taken on a muddler minnow

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

CANYON LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

I fished my preferred locations, including Boulder Recreation Area, roadside locations along Highway 88 and the shoreline around the first one lane bridge with moderate success. Moderately sized panfish were prevalent with respectable catches of largemouth bass.

I even hooked into one catfish that, for whatever reason, known only to the fish itself was induced to strike at a # 12 apache lady wet fly. The whiskered fish eventually ducked under a log and broke my 5X tippet.

SAGUARO LAKE, Tonto National Forest, AZ

Due to the time constraints of shooting video, my only visits to Saguaro Lake were for filming purposes. Many a morning I looked longingly at the shoreline wishing I could flick a fly or two; but, alas, duty and responsibility called, and so, the task of the day was performing Sanchin for the video camera. Now that the DVD is completed and available to the public, my “irresponsible” self can again settle down to the task of fishing at this lake.

Tough fishing? Try the FFD STUNT FISH!

URBAN LAKE FISHING – GENERAL COMMENTS

With the hectic video shooting schedule, I was only able to visit two of my favorite Urban Lakes. I’m anticipating cooler temperatures and the stocking of catfish starting in the middle of September by Arizona Fish and Game.

VETERAN’S OASIS PARK LAKE, Chandler, AZ

I feel I neglected regularly visiting my favorite lake in the Urban Lake system as I only fished it about twice. The best time was early morning when, in addition to bluegill, bass could be caught and released on a fly.

The most productive pattern proved to be a # 16 black serendipity tied in line behind a # 12 apache lady wet fly.

WATER RANCH LAKE, Gilbert, AZ

This lake seems to be recuperating from the harshness of July. Bluegill and small bass could be taken on various nymph and wet fly combinations. This seems to be a good indication of promising fishing to come in the cooler months.

FEATURED VIDEOS:

BLOODY MARY BASS, a nice sized largemouth that decided to sample a bite of a # 14 bloody mary nymph. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COsXhjoKTc

SANCHIN KATA FOR FLY FISHERMAN: Filmed at Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert, AZ, this video was designed for the fly fisherman prior to the release of my Sanchin Kata DVD. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ncZJ0s0HNI

FISHERMAN AS WARRIORS: 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

This months featured FFD logo product is shown below. With cooler temperatures forecasted for the coming months, I thought you may find a need to “heat things up.”

Until the next submission, I remain,

Sensei John

ENDNOTES:

  1. Ernest Hemingway from:Lyons, Nick, Hemingway On Fishing, (Nick Lyons Press, New York, NY, 2000) p. 153, originally published as “As Situation Report” in Look magazine, September 4, 1956.

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. This months new product  FFD LOGO CLASSIC THONG

– only $ 9.99 plus delivery.

Here’s a convenient link: http://www.cafepress.com/flyfishing_dojo.459914580#

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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