The Mogollon Rim has a number of springs that create some popular trout waters for stream fishermen. These waters are refreshing getaways for Valley residents trying to escape the summer heat.
No doubt, you have probably visited Tonto, Christopher, Haigler, and Canyon Creeks. The campgrounds on these streams are usually at capacity by Friday afternoon with anglers who want to catch a trout that has been stocked the previous week by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. With this tremendous fishing pressure, it is often difficult to find a stretch of water with a little privacy and solitude.
Well, if you are seeking that kind of fishing, you might have to spend some time reading a map to locate other possible trout waters that are off the beaten path.
There are other smaller springs nestled under the Rim that have a few wild trout that are naturally reproduced in those streams. These waters often go underground by the time they are close to any road, which gives the appearance of a dry streambed.
After having read the maps it is necessary to put some footsteps on the trails to find that small brook and the elusive wild trout. The fishable water may be only a mile or two, but it can provide some real solitude and pristine scenery.
If you go, use a small ultra-light rod of five-and-half-feet and 4-pound test line on a Shimano Sedona 750 reel. This is a quality combination to perform well in the tight spots created by brush and deadfall along the stream.
The fish will be small, but on the light equipment they will provide a real thrill. A small spinner in size 0, or a fly and a splitshot, will do the trick in the very shallow water. Remember, wild trout hide under submerged rocks as well as roots of trees in the creek bed and quickly hide with motion or even a passing shadow.
To keep these waters pristine, leave nothing but your footprints along the creeks.
By practicing catch and release, these waters can be enjoyed for generations to come. Try not to touch a trout from these waters with dry hands and the best method of release is with a needle-nosed pliers, where the actual body of the fish is never touched.
This weekend read your maps and take a hike in the Arizona outdoors, God's creation.