Last Friday, more than 200 area elementary school students had the opportunity to try their luck at fishing at Green Valley Lake.
The morning temperatures were cool and the brisk north wind did not dampen the interest of these young novice fishermen, as many of them attempted to catch their first fish on a hook and line.
Hundreds of catchable rainbows had been stocked the previous day, compliments of the Urban Fishing Program sponsored by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Payson Parks and Recreation program.
A very healthy number of bonus fish in the two-pound category were also placed in the local lakes which increased the excitement of the morning fishing lesson.
All the local Game and Fish officers were on hand to distribute rods and reels provided by the fishing education program of the AGFD.
As each new group of elementary students arrived at the park, local volunteers of the Mogollon Sporting Association, Payson Flycasters, The Tackle Box fishing store, and many other avid anglers gave tips and encouragement to the anxious fishermen. It appeared that every child had an adult coach to help them outsmart a wily rainbow.
Watching a child catch a fish and seeing their excitement of reeling in a fighting rainbow was a thrill to every adult who assisted in the morning activity.
Many of the youngsters could not wait to take that rainbow trout home to show Dad and Mom their catch for the day. Hopefully, a new outdoor activity was nurtured in that brief time spent at Green Valley Lake where the entire family can participate in some quality adventures in the Arizona outdoors.
This was a biology field trip that will be remembered for a lifetime! The smiles on the faces of those young students was enough to encourage every volunteer to come back again next year and introduce fishing to the next group of elementary school children.
Worthwhile outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy are a true investment in the next generation. How about a family trip to the Arizona outdoors, God’s creation?