Coach Transitions To Newspaper Columnist



There is something about the outdoors, a fishable body of water and your favorite rod and reel in your hands that will make for an enjoyable outing. In 1971, that was the lure of Payson over many other areas that brought this young college graduate student-athlete to Payson. For the next 34 years, we have called this community home. A lot has transpired in that time, marriage to my wife Kathy, raising our two boys, Clifford and Christopher, and a complete teaching and coaching career.

What does all of this mean? Well, retirement from coaching and partial retirement from teaching have closed certain chapters in the book of life and new opportunities arise. My enjoyment of the outdoors, whether fishing, hunting, or hiking, is now going to be my subject matter, and not how to get young men to reach their full potential as Longhorn wrestlers.


Woods Canyon Lake, in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, is one of Arizona's top fishing areas. The 52-acre lake is located on the top of the Mogollon Rim 36 miles east of Payson on Highway 260.

I might add that this is a step of faith for a guy who does not always know a noun from a verb. It is a pretty scary adventure. This endeavor was encouraged by my longtime friend and very successful coach, Max Foster.

This weekly fishing and outdoor report will be current and, hopefully, give you some insight into making your outdoor recreational activity enjoyable and, yes, maybe more productive.

If you are a warm-water fisherman, Roosevelt is the place to be. The bass are making lots of us successful fishermen. The fish are healthy and willing to take a top-water bait, and you may know that as a surface plug. The hot top-water bait right now is the Rice Clear Ice or Albino White.

The best times to go out are first light until the sun gets on the water, or late in the day as the sun is setting behind Four Peaks. Other than these prime times, try drop shotting a Robo Worm around any of the points in 10-to-20 feet of water.

Tuesday of this week, Bill Kile of Tonto Basin boated and released a 12-pound behemoth that fell for a Robo Worm in 15 feet of water.

Crappie fishing is sporadic, but will continue to improve as water temperatures cool. Night fishermen are having the best luck under a crappie light using minnows.

The Rim Lakes, those ever-popular summer destinations, are producing good fishing for rainbow trout with the stocked fish of 10-to-12 inches being caught most.

All of the traditional baits are working: power bait, spinners and wet or dry flies, depending on your preference.

It has been a good summer for fishing, whether at Roosevelt cranking for bass, or on the Rim enticing a rainbow trout. There is still plenty of good fishing left, so I encourage you to take time and get out and enjoy God's creation.

Editor's note: This column will appear weekly in the sports section of the Payson Roundup.

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