Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer Rory Aikens is a longtime friend who I first met in the early 1980s while working during the summer months as a rookie sports reporter for the White Mountain Independent in Show Low.
At the Independent, he was the editor of the Pinetop-Lakeside edition.
Once the summer wrapped up and the new school year began, I left the newspaper to return to teaching and as football coach at Show Low High School.
Rory drew the assignment of covering our team, and our friendship continued, although we sometimes disagreed on how the SLHS should be depicted on the sports pages.
I wanted a few more Show Low High football stories and a bit less Snowflake, Blue Ridge, St. Johns and Round Valley. But that’s another story.
Although Rory lives in the Valley and I live in Pine, we have continued to communicate over the years — mostly by e-mail.
He made my day a few years ago by inviting my wife, Kay, and me to go on a fishing trip to Roosevelt Lake with then Arizona Cardinals football coach Dennis Green.
Dang, I keep getting off track — that too is another story.
Rory is an expert fisherman and outdoorsman with an affinity for the Rim Country.
He keeps a watchful eye on the outdoor scene around the Mogollon Rim and recently sent this notice, which he has asked to share with our readers.
“Payson residents and visitors can welcome back the rainbow trout to beautiful Green Valley Park on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 20. Fall is a wonderful time to visit the Rim Country, see the colors and relax and fish along the grassy shorelines of this popular urban fishery just a mile west of Highway 87 on Main Street, says Eric Swanson, Urban Fishing Program Manager.
“More than 750 Colorado-grown rainbow trout will arrive to kick off a trout season that features 11- to 14-inch fish delivered every two weeks.
“The fish stocking program at Green Valley is different from all other Urban Fishing Program waters. Rainbow trout are the only species stocked by the department during an eight-month season that starts in mid-October and continues through early May.
“No other fish species are stocked at Green Valley, however good populations of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish can be found in this productive lake ecosystem.
“Trout can be caught on small spinners and spoons, by fly fishermen using nymphs or wet flies, and by baits such as scented dough baits, worms or salmon eggs.
“Swanson says that to catch more trout, use lighter line in the 2- to 6-pound range, smaller hooks and a minimal amount of weight. Limits on trout are four per day for licensed anglers and two trout for children under age 14.”
Little League hosts board meeting
The Payson Little League governing board is hosting a public meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria.
The purpose is to nominate and elect board members for the 2012 season. All board positions are now open and new members interested in serving are needed.
For Arizona State alumni, the Sun Devil football team’s 41-27 loss to Oregon last week was a heartbreaker.
But the defeat wasn’t the first time a bunch of Ducks have forked the Devils.
In February at Roosevelt Lake, Arizona State’s bass fishing team took a back seat to Oregon, finishing second behind the Ducks at a National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division Tournament.
The OU team of Ross Richards and Reed Frazier took first place in the event, weighing in five bass that tipped the scale at 12 pounds.
ASU’s team of Joseph Jarrell and Kyle Keegan had to settle for the silver medal, boating five bass that weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces.
Jarrell, a material science-engineering student and Tempe Desert Vista High School graduate, entered the tournament as a favorite, but the Oregon team pulled off the upset. Dang Ducks.