Saturday, July 19, 2008

Aker Lake- Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona

Las Cruces was about to have " the hottest week of the year." Highs were going to be around 105. So we took off for the high country of eastern Arizona. We camped at KP Cienega, a very nice little campground tucked into a spacious meadow just below the ridgeline at about 9,000 feet. Highs were around 75 for the week. Skies were blue, and there was only the vaguest threat of rain on one afternoon. The streams were very low.The headwater branch of KP Creek was ok,but the upper reaches of Hannagan Creek, Grant Creek and several others were dry or just the merest of trickles. I did do some fishing at a little pond called Aker Lake. It was pretty low and mossy as well,but when the sun went  below the trees, the rainbows came to life and the action was fast. I've only fished for stocked trout maybe once before,but it seemed to me these had a lot of fight in them,contrary to what I had heard.It would have been great to keep a few for dinner but it was catch and release only.They are trying to reestablish a fish population, after draining the pond dry in a firefighting effort last year. It was so easy hooking one rainbow after another that actually got my fill of the fishing pretty quickly. We also did a drive around Escudilla Mountain on good gravel roads. Saw elk and a bear.We did some hiking as well.There were many,many downed trees on the three trails we chose, making even short dayhikes seem like a workout.They would've been really rough to negotiate with a 30-40 pound backpack.

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