Monday, April 12, 2010
Grant Creek- Coronado National Forest, Arizona
I fished in Grant Creek for a couple of hours on the last day of our trip. This was the Grant Creek in the Pinaleno Mountains(Mount Graham) near Safford, not the Grant Creek that is a tributary to the Blue River( I've fished there as well).It's similar to Three Rivers Creek here in New Mexico in that it doesn't so much flow,as fall, from the great heights of a rain and snow capturing mountain. There's been plenty of snow this year,so it was flowing out into the flat desert scrub that surrounds these "sky island" ranges.There was still plenty of snowpack on the upper reaches, so I was fishing down in the junipers, oaks and bare sycamores around 4,500 to 5,000 feet elevation. I caught a couple of trout. One 8 or 9 incher that looked like an Apache/rainbow hybrid, and one heavy 14 or 15 incher that looked mostly like a rainbow. The water was high(inundating the lower few feet of the trees at some pools,)a bit murky, and very cold. Both fish were caught deep,but it would be blast to come back when the water was bit lower and try some dry fly fishing. The stream may be more popular than one would imagine given it's remote location. There's a minimum security prison along it's lower reaches with resident employees who appear to be fishing it from time to time.Plus, except for the last 1/2 mile to 2 miles or so on the rough forest road the approach to the lower stretch of the creek is all on paved roads,if you are coming out from Safford or from I-10.Looking upstream before leaving, at the staircase of waterfalls and deep pools that continued up the mountain, I wished there had been more time to really explore this place. Oh well,I guess there's always next year.