Welcome Back the Trout celebration heralds that the winter season is underway

Share or Bookmark:
| More
December 4th, 2008

The sound system sent the acoustic guitar notes reverberating across the placid lake waters as Chuck E. Baby and the Allstars sang the laments to the familiar Brad Paisley song, “I’m Gonna’ Miss Her.”

“I love her, But I love to fish, I spend all day on the water, And hell is all I catch”

The songs added festive notes to the annual “Welcome Back the Trout” festival at Tempe Town Lake on Nov. 25 as Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman stocked the first nets full of lively rainbows, with help from lots of the youngsters attending this exciting fishing event.

The festival has become an annual Arizona holiday tradition signaling that the prime winter trout fishing season is underway. There was also something new this year. The City of Tempe had kayaks on hand for folks to try – for free.

As usual, the good folks at Cabela’s Outfitters came to help out. In addition, the professional anglers from Bass Pro Shop just down the road came out in force to share their fishing secrets with those fishing along the shoreline.

The 3,500 trout stocked in Tempe Town Lake were just the first installment of 24,000 rainbows headed to this unique fishery from now through early March.

But thousands of rainbows for Tempe Town Lake is not the only fish-stocking tale.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has also been busy stocking rainbow trout in Canyon and Saguaro lakes near Phoenix, along with a uniquely Arizona fishery, the Lower Salt River (below Saguaro Lake). This desert river adjacent to the Valley of the Sun is stocked each winter with rainbow trout. There are those in the Valley who fish it prior to going to work in the morning, or in the evening after work.

Two other popular areas are also stocked with rainbows in winter – the Prescott area lakes and the Verde Valley waters. Oak Creek is stocked weekly with rainbow trout and also has a catch-and-release section where crafty anglers can enjoy a battle of wits with stream-wise browns that lurk in the shadows.

Two fun little streams – West Clear Creek and Beaver Creek – are also stocked with trout during the winter season. Those anglers thirsting for a little fishing adventure will enjoy hiking a short ways upstream into secluded canyons along both these creeks. In fact, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep have been transplanted the last several years into the West Clear Creek area.

You also have the choice of four stocking sites along the Verde River between Camp Verde and Cottonwood. In addition, the imminently accessible lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park are stocked with trout during winter.

Other popular winter fisheries are located near Prescott. Goldwater Lake along Senator Highway in the Bradshaw Mountains just above Prescott has been stocked with trout, as has Lynx Lake and Fain Lake.

In southern Arizona, Parker Canyon and Patagonia lakes are stocked with trout in winter.

So just take your pick and get out for winter trout.

Leave a Reply