Category Archives: Horse Back Riding

We will talk about Horse Back Riding, Trails, Trail heads and Horse Camps and equipment.

Javelina Hunt – Life and Times of Hutch – New Book!

My New Book is now Available on Amazon.com

Javelina Hunt, The Life and Times of Hutch is the first in a series of Western Short Stories. Kerr Hutchinson makes his home on a cattle ranch near Cave Creek Arizona in the mid-1890’s. Most of his friends call him Hutch. Hutch wanders the Arizona Territory, enjoying his time off the ranch in simple pursuits. Occasionally Hutch finds himself in some sort of trouble, usually of somebody else’s making. The ever resourceful Hutch always comes out on top although not always unscathed. Hutch enjoys his life and his rare opportunity to explore Arizona, but his commitment to freedom my break the heart of young ladies he meets in his travels.

#JavelinaHunt

Javelina Hunt 

Arizona Fishing Report – December 12th, 2014

Arizona Fishing Report December 12th, 2014

Believe it or not, this is great weather for trout fishing. At least it is in mid-elevation and lower SilverCreek1_1.jpgelevation waters where we do our trout stockings.

 

It’s a great time to fish the Tucson area. We received a report from Pena Blanca, where trout are being stocked and the water temperature on Dec. 6 was 53 degrees. But apparently it’s some smaller largemouth bass that are consistently hitting dropshot-rigged plastic worms.

In the Phoenix area, try the one-two punch of the Lower Salt River and Saguaro Lake because they are close to one another, and are being stocked. The Lower Salt was scheduled to be stocked this week and Saguaro is scheduled to be stocked the week of Dec. 15.

Anglers can try fly fishing in all trout-stocked waters such as the Lower Salt. Copper johns, prince nymphs, and egg patterns can work well for sub-surface flies, and for dry fly anglers can try stimulators and elk hair caddis. If you are spin fishing try small Rooster Tails with a gold blade in the slower moving water.

Saguaro has lots of fishing piers, especially in the Key Hole area just up from the marina. PowerBait is effective, but anglers may also want to try nightcrawlers that entice largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and catfish. If you’ve learned how to tie a dropshot rig, try one with a nightcrawler or even mealworm.

Don’t forget the Community Fishing Program lakes are stocked with trout in the winter. There may be times when the community waters are offering some of the best trout fishing in the state. An angler reported to our Mesa Regional office Tuesday, Dec. 9 to weigh the above rainbow trout that weighed 3.46 pounds and measured 19 inches long.

Check the entire winter stocking schedule. 

In the White Mountains, some lakes are thawing out with the recent warmer weather.  Most areas have had no recent reports, but the little info we have indicates that even the higher elevation lakes have some open water at this time. Hot spots are Becker Lake and Silver Creek. Both are catch-and-release with artificial fly and lure with single barbless hooks only.

Not a bad time to get up to these mountains for a white Christmas. Speaking of – if you’re in need of some affordable holiday gift ideas, we’ve got you covered. Read about some of these ideas, including a $5 kids fishing license (great stocking stuffer.)

Read the rest of the report!

 

Arizona Fishing Report – It’s Trout Time

Arizona Fishing Report – It’s Trout Time

Trout time, it is.

Rainbow trout were just stocked into Beaver Creek, Verde River, Deadhorse lakes, Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake, Fain Lake, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Cluff Ranch, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake and Graham County Fairgrounds Pond.

Also, trout were stocked into Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake. Many anglers like to throw big rainbow trout imitation swimbaits for a chance at lunker largemouth bass.Chevelon_Canyon

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods offered the following tips:

Trout fishing around piers and docks on these lakes can be lots of fun for a family fishing day. For bass anglers, it means there are a few weeks of exciting fishing before the water turns too cold for bass to chase these trout. In the meantime, imitation trout swimbaits can catch giant sized bass if conditions are right.

To Read the full Report Click Here.

Hunting and fishing opportunities abound in Arizona despite federal government shutdown

 Hunting and fishing opportunities abound in Arizona despite federal government shutdown

 Many hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists have been wondering how the current federal government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, will impact their upcoming outings.

Despite closures by federal land management agencies of their administrative offices and some controlled access points and facilities, there are numerous opportunities available to Arizonans for outdoor recreation.

Please keep in mind that, with regard to federal lands, official information on closures is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this unofficial update as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.

Hunting
  • Most Forest Service and BLM lands where hunting was previously allowed should still be open to hunting, as long as it is in accordance with Arizona hunting laws. Areas with controlled access points (such as developed recreational sites and campgrounds) may be closed. Be advised that federal wildlife refuges are currently closed, as are national parks under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Certain hunts begin this weekend in Arizona for turkey, quail, tree squirrels, ducks (mountain zone), and juniors-only javelina. Enjoy your hunt.

 Fishing

  • Great angling opportunities exist at these waters:
  • Lake Pleasant. The striper bite at this lake northwest of Phoenix is one of the state’s best right now. This is a great boating lake as well. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is under the jurisdiction of Maricopa County.
     
  • Lake Havasu. This is an ideal time to visit this 19,000-acre impoundment in western Arizona that’s a haven for stripers, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. It’s very popular with boaters as well. Most of the busier launch sites remain open, and Havasu is a community that welcomes and caters to anglers. For more information, visit www.golakehavasu.com and see how to “Play like you mean it.”
     
  • Alamo Lake, a 3,500-acre impoundment northwest of Wickenburg, is particularly excellent for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish.
     
  • Urban Fishing Program waters in Phoenix, Tucson and Payson are excellent for fishing. Fall catfish stockings have resumed at the Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program lakes, and those lakes are being stocked again with channel catfish this week (Sept. 30-Oct. 5). 
     
  • Community ponds in Yuma, West Wetlands Park Pond, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond and the Council Park Pond in Somerton also are sure-fire fishing bets.
     
  • In the Tucson area, Cluff Ranch, Roper Lake, Dankworth Pond and Patagonia Lake all remain open and are viable fishing options.
     
  • Around Cottonwood, anglers can head to the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, as well as to the Verde River.
     
  • The striper bite has picked up in the Colorado River below Davis Dam, in the Big Bend area.
     
  • In the Prescott Area, Fain Lake, Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake and Willow Creek Reservoir are options. It is the department’s understanding that an angler can still walk into Lynx and Mingus lakes from outside the locked gates (water is off and restrooms are locked.)
     
  • Although Forest Service boat ramps are reportedly closed at Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, Saguaro and Bartlett lakes, walk-in access is reportedly open at those lakes and on the Lower Salt River. Also, privately operated marinas and their launch facilities on those lakes are currently open, but some may involve fees. Call ahead to confirm. 
     
  • Boat ramp access to most lakes on Forest Service lands on the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains reportedly remains open at this time, but in the event this changes, walk-in access should still be available. Developed campgrounds and associated infrastructure (restrooms, trash containers) may be closed.
     
  • Mogollon Rim creeks such as Tonto Creek are open, and fishing for trout in the fall can be excellent. Dispersed camping is still available on undeveloped sites. 
     
  • Arizona state parks, such as Lyman Lake State Park near St. Johns, Fool Hollow Lake in Show Low, and Patagonia Lake near Nogales are open for camping and fishing.
     
  • All Arizona Game and Fish Department offices, shooting ranges, fish hatcheries, wildlife areas, and other department facilities and properties will remain open during their normal business hours.

 This is the most current information we have as of the time of this communication. Please use it as a guide, not a definitive listing.

Arizona Fishing Report – July 19, 2013

Arizona Fishing Report – July 11, 2013

Beginning around Sunday, anglers can take advantage of one of the better night bites this summer in statewide lakes. The amount of sunlight we see being cast on the moon has been stretching, and on Monday, the moon will be a full glow. Fill up a Thermos with piping hot coffee and make it a late one. BigLake

Feel like targeting high country trout? The following lakes will have just been stocked: Bear Canyon, Show Low Lake, Willow Springs, and Woods Canyon. Also, native Apache trout have just been dumped into the east and west forks of the Black River, Little Colorado River, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek.

Chasing a bass bite? There’s a decent top-water bite at Bartlett and Roosevelt, where shad schools reportedly are growing. Make sure there’s bait in the area, and don’t stay in a spot too long. If there are fish on your finder and they’re not biting after 10 minutes, move on. There’s too much bait in lakes such as Bartlett to be missing out on a potential bite window.

For catfish, it’s prime time for fishing at night from a shore or boat. Channel catfish are a robust fishing resource, excellent fighters and superb table fare.
Beginning around Sunday, anglers can take advantage of one of the better night bites this summer in statewide lakes. The amount of sunlight we see being cast on the moon has been stretching, and on Monday, the moon will be a full glow. Fill up a Thermos with piping hot coffee and make it a late one.

Feel like targeting high country trout? The following lakes will have just been stocked: Bear Canyon, Show Low Lake, Willow Springs, and Woods Canyon. Also, native Apache trout have just been dumped into the east and west forks of the Black River, Little Colorado River, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek.

Chasing a bass bite? There’s a decent top-water bite at Bartlett and Roosevelt, where shad schools reportedly are growing. Make sure there’s bait in the area, and don’t stay in a spot too long. If there are fish on your finder and they’re not biting after 10 minutes, move on. There’s too much bait in lakes such as Bartlett to be missing out on a potential bite window.

For catfish, it’s prime time for fishing at night from a shore or boat. Channel catfish are a robust fishing resource, excellent fighters and superb table fare.

LP - Catfish

Remember that in pine country, as cumulonimbus clouds form, the barometer drops and flying insects begin to frantically skirt the ground and water. “Match the hatch” – find out what the fish are naturally feeding on, and match the foragers. Spin and fly anglers can use flies such as wooly buggers when fish are feeding actively on insects. With a spin rod, that means using a casting float and running a small leader to a fly.

Last week’s reports from anglers: Fishing on Lynx Lake is poor; Red Mountain Lake in Mesa on Tuesday was good for top-feeding bass following rains. Crawdads were enticing bass and stinkbaits and crawdads were drawing catfish to the hook; Ashurst Lake was slow on Wednesday, one angler reported, in cool, cloudy, light sprinkling morning conditions (5-11 a.m.) – rooster tails, spoons, garlic Power Bait, jigs and flies with small bobbers tied off at about three feet weren’t getting bites.

But as the angler continued: “Tomorrow is another day.”

Be persistent, target all areas of the water column, change spots frequently, and have fun.

By the way, I’m on Twitter. Follow me at @NickFishAZ for fishing reports, up-to-the-second news, tips and more. Any questions likely can’t be answered immediately, but could be answered and featured in the ‘Q&A’ section of this report. Welcome to the future of fishing information.

Good luck on the water! As usual, you can send your fishing reports, photos and questions to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Read the whole report.

 

Do I need a Recreational Permit to Hunt on Arizona State Trust Lands?

details_rabbitI was talking with a friend and he said you have to have an Arizona State Trust Land  Recreation Permit to hunt on State Trust Land.  I was sure he was wrong.  An Arizona Game and Fish Officer told me that the Arizona Hunting/Fishing License was a valid permit to hunt on Arizona State Trust Land, certainly a recreational use.  Of course my friend insisted that I was wrong, and of course, I thought I was right.  So I did some research, here is what I found:

http://www.azland.gov/support/faqs.htm

Q: Why do I need a permit to go on State Trust land for recreation purposes and how do I obtain a recreational permit?

Arizona State Trust lands are not “public lands”, as are Federal lands under the management of the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. Federal “public lands” are managed for the benefit and use of the public, while State Trust lands are managed for the benefit of 13 Trust beneficiaries, which        include the public schools and prisons. The Land Department’s trust management responsibilities include requiring a permit or lease and charging a fee for use of Trust land. Exceptions to this requirement are licensed hunters and fishers, actively pursuing game or fish, in-season, and certain archaeological activities permitted by the Arizona State Museum.

The exception mentioned above is called the Sportsmen’s Exception.  Lets flush out the Sportsmen’s Exception just a little bit.  Arizona Cottontail Rabbits season is year around and they inhabit the entire state and can be taken with a .22 caliber firearm.  If you posses an Arizona Hunting License and at least a .22 caliber firearm, you have the right to be on State Trust Land in the pursuit of the rascally rabbit.

http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/game_cottontail_rabbit.shtml

My friend said well you can’t camp on State Trust Land, I said wait a minute if I am legally on State Trust land in the pursuit of the rascally rabbit and that pursuit carries over multiple days, you say I can’t fall asleep?  That just doesn’t make sense to me.  While the Sportsmen’s Exception does not exclusively say you can camp, it also does not exclude over night hunting trips(camping) on State Trust Land.  I have never been on a big game hunt where we didn’t stay multiple nights maybe we were not good enough hunters.  But, in my defense we usually arrived to the hunting grounds in the afternoon after a long drive.  Well the first thing we do when we get there is to set up camp, but according to my friend we can’t do that.  I am sorry but the hunt is already off to a bad start.

This summer I intend to scout areas for the fall Elk Hunt on horse back, I also expect that scouting trip will be over a couple of days.  So, if asked by anybody I will simply say that I am in pursuit of the rascally rabbit and of course I will have at least a .22 caliber firearm with me.

Based on the Sportsmen’s Exception, I just can’t see a case where a hunter could be denied access to normally accessible State Trust Land.  If hunting were specifically banned in that area I wouldn’t want to be there anyway.

So, if you have a valid Arizona Hunting License then Arizona State Trust Land is available for your use and enjoyment.  I only ask that you be a good steward and clean up after yourself.  Thanks!

 

Cabela’s Christmas Shopping

I had a chance to go into Cabela’s in Glendale Arizona on Sunday, I always get a kick out of going into Cabela’s.  It is like play toys for big boys and girls for that matter.  I was on the hunt for Christmas gifts, I had a young man on my list (just in case he is reading this, other wise a 14 years old boy).  This particular recipient really started fishing this last year and he all ready has the basics.  I am not wealthy by any means so I needed to maintain a tight budget.  I settled on a Rapala Fishing Knife with scabbard and sharpener.  I also was on the look out for some inexpensive throw in gifts. I found a small pocket size utility pliers/knife, they had all of the attachments you might want on a pocket size utility tool and they looked good too, very important features when looking for a cheap gift.  The best feature of all was what I paid for them, list price was $9.99, I would not have pulled the trigger at that price, but they had them on sale for $5.99.  I thought okay I will have a couple of those.  When I got up to the cashier, an attractive blonde lady but I digress, she scanned them and to my delight they came up as $4.99.  Of course I did what any true outdoorsman would do I ran back and grabbed a couple more.

If you are on my Christmas list please don’t read this until after Christmas… Thanks!

Cool Cat!