Rim Country anglers will soon join throngs of heat-weary desert dwellers for one final fling of high country lake fishing.
It all occurs at the 10th Annual Payson Christian School Trout Tournament to be held from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 at Willow Springs Lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of Highway 260.
The entry fee is $30 per person. The fee for children under 13 years is $20. Fees include a tournament T-shirt.
Tournament day registration at the lake dock opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Those who pre-register must also check in before beginning to fish.
A one-hour weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. at the dock, which allows participants to catch-and-release if they wish to do so.
Awards and prizes will be given out at a ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. in the lake parking lot.
To find the site, anglers should look for a motor home with the sign “Payson Community Christian School.”
The fall tournament, which has long been hosted by Tracy Purtee, annually marks the end of the fishing season on the high country lakes.
A similar benefit tournament in the spring, also sponsored by Purtee, signals the onset of the summer fishing season.
For the tournament, all entrants must be in possession of an Arizona fishing license and a trout stamp. Arizona Game and Fish laws limit an angler to six trout per day.
The minimum size trout that can be kept is 8 inches. The benefit will take place regardless of weather conditions.
Registration forms are available at paysoncommuitychristianschool.org.
“All monies from this will be used to purchase school equipment,” Purtee said.
He estimates the spring and fall tournaments earn about $2,000 annually for PCCS.
For more information, call (928) 474-8050 or (928) 478-4337.