You don't need a pole to go to the fishing hole in Payson.
The Town Parks and Recreation Department kicked off a new program this week that provides loaner fishing poles to eager anglers.
Last Friday, Doug Thornburg from the Arizona Game and Fish Department dropped off 30 bright shiny fishing poles at the parks and rec office, along with tackle boxes, tackle and information on all the rules and regulations for fishing Rim country waters.
"We've done this program in other locations around the state, and it's really been popular," Thornburg said.
"This program is perfect for families on a budget who want to see if their children are interested in fishing," said Special Events Coordinator Scott Smith. "We also expect to see a lot of grandparents who have visiting grandchildren they don't know what to do with."
Another plus for the loaner program, Thornburg said, is that first-time participants will get a free tackle box filled with bare-bones equipment that's theirs to keep.
Thornburg said he also expects the loaner program to be a hit with schools, scouting programs and church groups.
"This was something we've wanted to establish ever since the lakes were built," Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind said. "This program is just another enhancement to the popularity of our whole fishing program."
Fishing poles and tackle boxes are now available at the parks and recreation office at Green Valley Park, and are lent out on a weekly basis.
"Anglers can take the poles with them for up to one week, and can fish anywhere with them," Smith said.
For more information on the loaner program, call parks and rec at 474-5242, ext. 7.