The Holy Grail

Panoramic of the Salt River Canyon looking South from the North side of the Canyon.

Looking down on the Salt River Canyon

Just twenty four hours ago I was standing in this spot.

These pictures are what Sachen-san and I shared from our iPhones from our trip yesterday. We decided to go to the East Central portion of our state, particularly, the White Mountains on the Apache Reservation. We left my house at promptly 4am and drove through the Salt River Canyon and entered the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation.

We talked and listened to music, it was an enjoyable drive.

We made the right turn at White River and continued on through to Hondah and bought our Reservation Permits. The manager there, I have been purchasing permits from for ohh, I don't know, a really long time. We introduced him to Tenkara. He wants to represent Tenkara USA so we made that connection with Daniel.

Driving up on Sunrise Ski Area 8:30a

On the way in

Japanese Fly Coil

Fishing Sebata-san's rod | line | fly

A stream that Zanko took me to called Gold Valley

Around the bend at Gold Valley

Two friends, just like us, rooted deep in the mountain and stream

My net and friend

On the West Fork of the Little Colorado


Apache Trout


Second Meadow

The Holy Grail

We dropped our packs and sat at the Holy Grail. We had already walked about two or three miles at Gold Valley then drove over to the West Fork and had hiked the three miles here. Sitting down, Sachen-san produces lunch. I pulled out my little Wheatley Fly Box with the date 12/25/1998 and the inscription from my Mom and Dad.

"John, this is the Holy Grail, the first place that I caught Brook Trout back in 1995, 20 years ago. My Mom asked me this year, "What do you want for Christmas?" and I told her and next thing I know, I have the box inscribed. Each year I return to this spot and I open the box.

It is a ritual that is a part of my life like breathing.

Looking downstream

Panoramic from the third meadow

I pulled out the bento box that Sachen-san had prepared, onigiri and I had grabbed a couple of Asahi. That lunch was one of my favorites at the Holy Grail in the last twenty years. Thank you my friend, my new old fishing friend.

Standing guard on the way home just above the tunnel at Superior.


  1. This looks like it was an awesome outing! I've always wanted to fish one of those high altitude meadow streams. A tenkara playground!

  2. Thanks Michael. It's interesting how they form, meandering, the bends change from year to year always changing but always the same... Come visit and I'll take you to this one, my favorite.