Striking Gold in the Desert!

We recently had a chance to go back this year to see my grandparents in Tucson, this time the whole family came along. When we finalized the plans we worked out a way to take another shot at a fish that was high on our hitlist after a trainwreck of a trip after them last year.  This time we spent a day and a half chasing these Gila trout and other desert species.  This is just a quick report as my brother is making a full video with drone footage for his YouTube channel that will have the rest of the trip I'll put on the RF Facebook page when it's done.  We got to our fishing area late Sunday afternoon and started fishing, the area looked bleak and we didn't see any fish, then right before dark my dad yelled he had a fish on, we knew what we were looking for but honestly were surprised to actually see one (so many times we've gone out for a certain species, knowing trips like that are usually the kiss of death as certain species shouldn't be named as it's bad luck LOL)  As soon as it came to the surface we knew what it was!  Our first Gila!

Not long after I hooked a bigger one and it popped off at the bank!  That was it, out of daylight.  We decided to stay in this fishing area and hit it again the next morning at sunrise even though it would put us way behind schedule for the rest of the fish we hoped to catch down south with very limited time again.  The next morning we were back in the area at sunrise and it was a balmy 28 degrees, very cold, but still about 60 degrees warmer then the -32 we'd left at home the day before.  We tried spot after spot and seen zero fish.  We were going to get going back south and my dad had one last spot he wanted to try on the way out, as the sun finally broke over the mountains and even though it was still very cold it worked wonders warming us up!  My brother was watching a pool with his bait sitting in the sunlight and yelled that there was one coming at it, now we could see them clearly with polarized glasses!  Bang! Gila number 2!

He was super excited as he rarely gets to come along on our fishing trips because our work schedules never match up!  Time was running out we needed to get going or skip the suckers down south all together!  One last cast and I seen a quick flash pop up thru the sunlight from under some structure and BANG!  A new lifer, and a rare one at that!  Desert Gold!

None of them were huge, but they don't get huge and I was stoked a lifer is a lifer and was happy just to see some and explore this beautiful area!!  We hit the trail and fished the suckers for awhile, striking out on those, the Salt was a zoo as usual and we were out of time.  We hit the road driving back to Tucson to my granparents to meet up with the rest of the family!  Here's a shot of the crew, check out the bad ass shirt the old man is wearing!  Gotta Represent!!! 8)  I'll let you guys know when the video is done, it should be really awesome!!  I know it's a short report but we all had a great time fishing a fish that shouldn't be named and getting to meet these bad boys in person!!



Species List:


Corey's picture

Congrats on the Gilas! That's a wonderful get.

andy's picture

Big congrats to you guys for making another attempt and finding success!

FishingPals4Life's picture

Thanks guys!! 8)

Peeling Line's picture

Congrats on the lifer.  Did you see any suckers?  

FishingPals4Life's picture

Thank you!  We did see some but the Salt around Mesa was super busy and we didn't have much time.  We hiked into a spot off the beaten path and saw more there but they were deep and stationary, not really interested in anything before we ran out of time.  I bet now they spawning full blown and I heard they raised the water level a couple feet again like last year about the same time.  Still on the hitlist though, I think if we ever get the chance to go back we'll try the Verde away from the crowds, the Salt is insanely busy.

vanner's picture

Neat Fish!