Havasu Springs, near Lake Havasu City, is our Winter Home

It’s kind of an oxymoron, the words Winter and Arizona

Jude and I always say, “We can be anywhere in the summer, but Arizona is where we spend our Winters.” It is funny to call the season winter when you are blessed with a constant everyday repeat of sunshine, mild temperatures, and gentle winds.  When you check the national weather, it is not hard to see how fortunate we are living in on the shores of the blue green waters of Lake Havasu!

While weather draws us to the Arizona/California state line on the Colorado River, it is not the only positive that exists here.  The Sonoran and the Mohave deserts jostle for territory here.  The Mohave is the driest desert and the Sonoran is the wettest.  The Sonoran desert’s trademark of the Saguaro cactus is scattered here due to encroaching dryness of the Mohave. Throw in towering nameless Basalt thousand-foot rock cliffs that rise directly from the lake’s edge, and the jagged Needle Mountains that create a dark saw blade silhouette against violet blue sky. This place is often beyond words with its stunning beauty!

The Friends of Bill Williams River and Havasu NWRs

Punctuating the beauty along the Colorado River are two National Wildlife Refuges: the Bill Williams River and Havasu.  They are a mere 30 miles apart and offer a wild variety of outdoor opportunities including kayaking, bird watching, photography, and fishing.  But almost as important to us is that these NWRs usually have groups of individuals who form together and support the refuges in ways that the refuges cannot do themselves.  These individuals are a source of community for us.  Early on in our travels, we found that just visiting beautiful places was not enough for us.  We needed the company of other like-minded people who exhibited the same appreciation of these places and would do anything to protect them. We gratefully joined the two refuge’s friends group.

So, beauty and community helped us choose the Lake Havasu, but there is something else: the importance of fishing to us choosing any destination.  Our choice for our winter destination is no different!

I don’t often write much about fishing in our Nomad Travels, but it is one of the most important considerations in us choosing both our summer and winter destinations. The reason fishing is not logged as it is difficult to project what fishing is all about in our travel destinations. When you mention fishing to some individuals, they conjure up a vision of someone sitting on a water’s edge in a lounge chair drinking beer while chewing tobacco. It is one of the most misunderstood sports around!

I have fished all my life ever since I was young enough to follow behind my mother.  Usually little boys are taught fishing by their father, but it was my mother who instilled my love for fishing.  As I matured, I developed a solid mastery of fishing that in no way resembled an over-weight person in a lounge chair.  I was always willing to expand that mastery and that led to being around other fisherman whose expertise was easily transferrable. I was the sponge!

Now I am a multi-species fisherman and enjoy the challenges fishing different waters in our travels.  Each destination holds specific variances and discovering those little differences is exciting for me. Along with these variances is that different species have separate angling approaches. Over the years I have learned these approaches and become proficient in their applications. This sets me apart from most other fisherman who often usually concentrate on single species. Between the Stripers, Bass, Red Ear, and the occasional Flathead Catfish present in Lake Havasu, it is not uncommon for me to come in after a day of fishing with a catch bag of these species.

60 Minutes gave us a head’s up

When Jude and I left on our RV journey, we happened to watch an episode on 60 Minutes that featured some alarming information about the fish for sale in supermarkets. It reported that almost 60 percent of all fish sold in those national grocery chains were fillets that were mis-labeled.  This percentage was due to the long supply chains associated with fish suppliers who substituted like-tasting cuts and sold them as the more expensive cuts.  This percentage increased to 80 percent in smaller grocery outlets.

After years of being a catch-and-release fisherman, I turned to Jude and announced, “I know what species I catch!” From that moment on, I moved forward from catch-and-release to a subsistence fisherman! Oh sure, I catch and release sometimes, but that usually means the freezer is already full.

Fish live in beautiful places

Therefore, we choose our summer destinations with the idea that my love of fishing can produce meals of excellent nutrition for us. These are healthy additions to our diet, but also a filter for all Nomad Travel destinations.  Fish live in beautiful places! Lake Havasu is beautiful!  Its crystal- clear waters are a famed fishery for species including Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, and a world class Red Ear population. Warm temperatures, sun-filled days, community and beauty cement our choice for our winter destination.

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