Basically, summer is here after the celebration of the Memorial Day weekend by thousands of visitors to the Rim Country.
Each weekend from now until Labor Day will have most campgrounds and trout lakes at near capacity.
Most of the trout lakes and streams along the Rim are within an easy drive of an hour or less from the Payson area. With the long summer days, these fishing destinations are perfect for the after-work crowd who prefer a little elbow room on a mid-week getaway.
Every angler has their favorite lake, but how about considering trying all seven Rim lakes before summer’s end?
Only Blue Ridge Reservoir and Chevelon Canyon may be a little tough to get to after the regular workday, consequently, they could be planned for an early morning weekend trip.
Most of these lakes are regularly stocked with rainbows and there is always a chance of catching the elusive German brown at all of these impoundments.
If stream fishing is more to your liking, then try one of the nine trout waters which flow from the Mogollon Rim southward. Popular waters like the East Verde, Tonto, Canyon and Christopher Creek are actually very peaceful for the Monday to Thursday angling enthusiasts.
In general, there are plenty of trout, plus, the more popular waters are stocked weekly by the Tonto and Canyon Fish Hatchery employees.
While some of the harder to reach destinations have catchable populations of Apache, German brown and even a few brookies for your fly-fishing enjoyment.
If my math is correct, there are at least 16 different trout waters and most of them are within an hour’s driving time from town. Trying each one before summer’s end would be a challenge any recreational angler would accept.
These waters may not be blue ribbon trout habitat comparable to the Colorado Rockies, but they do hold significant numbers of fish and they are within a short driving distance of Payson. Take advantage of the natural resources at your doorstep. Remember, “Leave only footprints and make them litter free because you were there!”
This weekend, enjoy the outdoors, God's creation.