When we talk about stream fishing for trout in Arizona it is predominantly for hatchery fish that spend a few days in the stream before being caught by the weekend fishermen.
Our Arizona Game and Fish hatchery employees do a tremendous job keeping up with the ever-increasing population and demand for fishing opportunities. Consequently, the most popular waters have the heaviest fishing pressure like Tonto, Christopher and the East Verde when the water is running.
There are a few spots that are off the beaten path where trout last more than a week and these fish will eventually revert to their more wild state.
These trout become increasingly more difficult to catch and add to the true challenge for a fisherman.
Spots like this do exist, but it takes a little homework, map study and the willingness to spend some time hiking before you can experience the truly pristine environment.
These locations are those special spots that you want to last for a lifetime so your children and grandchildren may enjoy the same stream.
To do this, practicing catch and release is a must in these remote waters. It is probably best to use small spinners or flies that can be made barbless with a quick pinch of small pliers.
As I mentioned earlier these trout have become very wild and will hide under a rock or an earthen bank at the slightest shadow.
Catching these wild trout requires a fisherman to crouch, hide and even low crawl to get into position to make the perfect cast.
Usually, you get one good cast per pool before it is necessary to move on up the stream.
To say the least, it is very challenging, but when you catch that rainbow, brookie or German brown it all becomes worth it. The color patterns of a wild trout are something to behold.
This past week I had the chance to slip away for a couple hours to catch wild trout on ultralight spinning gear.
It's special to watch a trout put up a noble fight in crystal clear water. As I released the small fish to fight again another time I was hoping that this little out-of-the-way stream would be as productive and exciting for the next generation.
There is nothing like the thrill of the next pool around the bend for a stream fisherman. This weekend enjoy God's creation.
-- You can catch Dennis Pirch's outdoor column every Friday in the Payson Roundup.