Arizona trout fishermen are receiving a real bonus this summer and our Rim Country lakes are healthier than ever.
The lakes of Willow Springs and Woods Canyon received a combined 10,000 catchable rainbows above the weekly stocking programs already in existence.If you are a trout fisherman, now is the time to visit these popular weekend getaways.Having the luxury of living in Payson may mean you can slip away after work during the week to avoid the crowds.
The summer monsoon rains are now in high gear and that triggers the rainbow trout to become more active in the early morning or late afternoon feeding frenzy.
When fishing these rim jewels, always keep your eye to the sky for those quick to form thunderstorms.Rain gear at this time of year is standard equipment at 7000 feet elevation.
Choosing the right rod will enhance your fishing experience when visiting the rim lakes. six-foot or less light weight spinning rod is all you need to feel the fight of a scrappy rainbow, generally 9 to 14 inches long.
My preference is a 5-foot 6-inch rod, with a size 750 Sedona Shimano spinning reel.A quality line of 4- to 6-pound test is plenty and look for brand names like McCoy, Stren, or Trilene.With this combination, you will not be able to muscle a fish into the net, but you will have the sheer pleasure of fighting a mountain trout.
If you are fishing from a boat, a selection of small size 0 or 1Mepps spinners or Panther Martins will do the trick.Slow troll these baits in the top four feet of water for the best results.Other shiny lures will work well, so you might add to your tackle box a Z-Ray, Kastmaster, or Super Duper.Keep your lure presentation size small at this time of year.
Another method to catch that limit of summer rainbows is to slowly drag a wet fly. The trolling motor on your boat is critical to the right speed that attracts a trout to an insect pattern bait.Try a black woolly bugger, an Arizona peacock lady, or a royal coachman.It is sometimes necessary to place a small splitshot 12 to 18 inches above the fly which might allow the presentation to sink a little deeper below the surface.
Summer trout can also be caught from the shore using worms, corn, marshmallows, or Berkley power bait.Cover a size 12 or 14 hook completely with the bait of your choice.Above the hook have a short leader with a swivel, then use alip sinkern your 4 to 6 pound line.Bring a comfortable chair, kick back, and wait for that hungry trout to make a run with your bait.
By the way, on your next trip to one of our Rim lakes bring a garbage sack and pick up the litter along the shoreline.
Make it a better place because you were there. This weekend, enjoy God's creation, the Mogollon Rim.