A really good day in Don McFarland’s retirement years is spent leisurely angling for rainbow trout on the scenic shores of Woods Canyon Lake.
Just such a day began to unfold in the early morning hours of July 14 as McFarland walked to his favorite fishing spot located southeast of the store.
Using powerbaits, the Payson angler cast into the cool, clear lake waters hoping to snag a few fish that would eventually be that evening’s dinner for he and his wife, Carol.
Little did he know as the sun rose over the lake that this outing was going to be one of the most productive he has
enjoyed at the lake located east of Payson atop the Mogollon Rim.
In a few short hours he landed six rainbows ranging from 11 to 14 inches in length.
“This was my first trip (to Woods Canyon) this summer,” McFarland said. “I usually try to get up here earlier before it gets too hot, but we’ve had so much going on.”
The angler says he plans any trips he takes for weekdays preferring to avoid the weekend crowds that traditionally descend on the high mountain lake.
With fish in hand on Wednesday afternoon, McFarland retuned to his Payson home primed and ready for a scrumptious fish dinner prepared by his wife.
“I’m not the cook in the family, Carol is,” he said.
Carol said her favorite way to cook the fish, which she did the evening they were caught, is to stuff them with a combination of butter, chopped onion and lemon and then bake for 20-25 minutes.
The trout can also be wrapped in foil and cooked outdoors on the grill.
For Don, the dinner and the angling success earlier in the day has him itching for another trip to the lake, “I’m ready to go right now.”