The local trout streams have been running bank to bank with abundant winter rainfall and high mountain snows.
With only 10 days left in March these waters have started to subside and the clarity of the water is improving markedly, which makes them perfect for early season stream fishing.
There are always a few holdover fish from last year's stockings that are well established in creeks like Haigler, Tonto, Christopher, and yes, even the East Verde.
ell, these rim waters will soon have an additional resource as the Tonto Fish Hatchery begins their stocking programs by the second week of April.
According to John Diehl, supervisor at the hatchery, "All the local waters are in excellent shape and hopefully the stocking programs will continue throughout the summer".That is good news for the local anglers who enjoy a quick getaway to one of these streams after work or on the weekend.
These streams are weekend destinations for thousands of campers that want to enjoy the cool pines and the hope of catching a few trout for a suppern the campfire.
My advice to local anglers is to fish these streams during the week to avoid the crowds and you will get some quality stream fishing.
he early season stockedish will be in the 8- to 10-inch range while the later fish of July and August will be larger because they have stayed in the rearing ponds a bit longer at the Tonto Hatchery.These rainbows will often be 10- to 12-inches long and a bit more of a fight on ultralight spinning gear.
his year there will be an added bonus of 13- to 15-inch trout stocked periodically in all of the local waters with the regular weekly stocking program.Diehl pointed out "These fish were held over from the previous season and grew to trophy trout size in one of the raceways at the hatchery."
These incentive fish will certainly create bragging rights for a few anglers that are fortunate enough to catch one.
Summer heat often calls a halt to the stocking program after the water temperatureises above 68 degrees,hich is determined not healthy for trout.This is the main reason that some streams like the East Verde does not receive summer stockings of rainbow trout.
But with the added moisture this winter, it is possible these streams will stay healthier longer which is good news for local anglers who might slip away for and hour or two of late afternoon stream fishing beneath the Mogollon Rim.
t's time to get those fishing rods off the shelf, restock your supply of small spinners and artificial flies, and head to one of your favorite fishing holes.This weekend enjoy the Mogollon Rim country, God's creation.