Thursday, November 4, 2010

West Fork Gila River- Gila Wilderness

I fished the West Fork of the Gila River,from the Cliff Dwellings bridge to about three or so miles upstream(just past the small alcove ruin on the south side of the stream).The West Fork may be better further upstream,but in the lower reaches I've had much better luck on the Middle Fork. Much of this section of the West Fork is wide and shallow and appears to be prone to frequent changes of course as evidenced by the many abandoned gravel and cobble channels along both sides of the river. Also, there are many beaver dams now in this section that have formed shallow silty ponds, which are not being frequented by fish of any kind as far as I could see.In the still pools at the bends, there were large suckers. It's always a bit startling to see these fish and think for a second that they're trout. Speaking of startling, I did startle a large bull elk who was relaxing on a sandy bank in the middle of day. I also saw deer, ducks, and javelinas, and of course once I was a couple of miles in, the scenery is spectacular.The numbers for the day: 3 decent sized rainbows, 1 small brown and one chub. Pretty slow I guess,but I was thinking this was going to be about the one that got away after I hooked, but lost what I was sure was a good sized brown on my way back downstream. Happily, within about 5 minutes I caught my best rainbow and began to think maybe the one that got away was a chub after all.

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