Trip Report by Jon Carver
Circumstances presented an unexpected opportunity to angle the Apache trout, Arizona’s state fish.
Although sophisticated breeding and stocking programs have returned these fish to some of their native range, wildfires, habitat loss, and introduced brown and rainbow trout still threaten their long-term survival in the rivers and streams of the southwest. According to Arizona Game and Fish, because Apache trout have not been subject to hatchery conditions for generations like the rainbow, they retain their natural wariness and instincts. The hatcheries strictly limit human contact to preserve these qualities, so valuable in a sport fish.
I found that the stealth and subtle presentation ability of tenkara was not just effective in the case of the Apache trout, but essentially necessary.
Editors Note: If you’re interested in learning more about Apache trout, they were featured the recent YouTube video series “For Wild’s Sake” from Tight Loops. This perfect mix of documentary and fly fishing action is well worth the watch.
Jon Carver lives in the Southwest.
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