09-11-2013, 03:15 AM
Re: Lees Ferry AZ
Marble Canyon Lodge burned last year, unfortunately. However, you can still rent rooms from Cliff Dwellers and Lee's Ferry Lodge. You can also camp if that's your thing.
T Gunn is an excellent resource, especially if you plan to go upriver. If you decide to go upriver, my recommendation is get a guide first, learn a bit about the river, then rent a jet boat later. Going up blind is just asking for trouble (big rocks just under the surface abound).
Chances are, you're going to end up casting an indicator rig; something at least 13 feet long. Buy/tie at least 4 dozen #18 black with silver wire/beadhead zebra midges. Four dozen because you'll lose at least 3 dozen to rocks and fish in a typical weekend. It's not unusual to hook 30 fish but only land 10. These fish know how to use the current. There are other flies that work, but none as consistently.
Practice opening up your loops and due to the speed of the current, practice throwing big mends almost as soon as your flies hit the water. There are places (including the walk-in) where you can run 30 yard drifts, if that's your pleasure. But you'll have to be quick about throwing mends, while not throwing too much extra line so you can reliably set a hook. Avoid orange and pink thingamabobbers; trout will attack those colors. White, black and yellow are better.
If you go upriver, skip the indicator rigs and try streamers on sink tip lines, especially just south of riffles or big eddies. Any color will work, as long as it's olive. Dead drifts will work, but sharp short strips after 5 to 7 second drops are more productive.
There's a lot more tips for the Ferry, but just remember at the end of the day it's just another tailwater. A tailwater that can run over 25,000cfs. Check your water levels constantly, especially in the walk-in. One of the scarier moments in my life was being out on the far edge of the boulder field at the walk-in when the water went from ankle deep to mid-thigh in less than half an hour. That hundred and fifty yards back to safety took nearly an hour, I twisted my ankle, tore my waders, and I freely admit that I prayed nearly the whole time.
All that aside, you can easily find yourself having a 50+ fish day at the Ferry with more than one 20 incher in the mix, but your average will probably be between 12-14 inches. But all of them will fight well above their length.
Just respect the river. It's big, and fast, and it can drop off to more than 30 feet in just a couple steps.
P.S. Oh yeah, and the water is cold. About 44 degrees F. Get some fleece pants.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark
Last edited by rangerrich99; 09-11-2013 at 03:39 AM.