Summer stream fishing for trout in Arizona could be comparable to a military low crawl training session in the jungles of some far off country.
I know that trout stocking takes place at the more accessible pools which closely parallel or intercept the major streams of the East Verde River, and Tonto or Haigler creeks. These areas are quickly fished out by anglers who have identified the routine of the summer trout stocking program.
Between these popular pools on the major streams is usually a stretch of water that may go unfished by the casual angler. There are a couple of reasons this water may be left alone. The water may appear not to hold fish because it is too shallow or there aren’t any boulders or logs for trout to hide. But, the greater reason may be the growth of vines and trees or other obstacles that keeps an angler from ever getting to the water!
This kind of habitat will hold more fish than expected even if the location is at one of the streams previously mentioned. An angler willing to tackle this kind of an environment will have dividends paid by some surprisingly good trout action.
Going into the brush along the water requires the proper equipment, which means an ultralight rod of five-and-a-half feet or less that is sturdy enough to withstand some unplanned falls.
Very little line is required for the close quarters, so a small-spool open faced micro spinning reel is all one needs.
My arsenal of rods for the local streams includes a Rogue SP561S, Shimano CS56UL, and a Curt Rambo Signature series made by Rim Country Custom Rods of Payson. I know you might be thinking, “Why so many?”, well, I like to fish! The quote of Zane Grey fits my idea of fishing equipment, “If you can count your fishing rods, then you don’t have enough.”
My reel of choice for stream fishing is a Shimano Sedona 750 which is extremely durable and lightweight, perfect for the area waters.
The spool will hold about 40 yards of 4-pound test which will last a full day of fishing in those hard to reach brushy areas.
Casting under the brushline and still getting into the water can be a real challenge. But, the more one practices the better the accuracy and the chances of catching that hard to reach trout greatly increases. If the combination spinning outfit is the right size, more fishable water is at your reach and success on the water will follow.
Don’t forget to wear the right attire. A lightweight long-sleeve shirt and long pants are essential because of all the brush and weeds that will be growing by mid-summer.
Keep in mind, cool areas along the waters edge can be a welcome spot for that Arizona reptile called the rattlesnake. So, always watch where that next step is placed because most of these areas have not been frequented by other anglers.
By the late summer, most streams have had numerous trout stockings and those harder to reach areas that may be choked with brush will have a healthy number of holdover fish.
These spots can be an angler’s gold mine if the right equipment is used. This weekend take a friend fishing and enjoy God’s creation.