The Rim Country Fishing Report
September 21 – by James Goughnour

WATER LEVELS
The water level in Roosevelt Lake currently stands at 39% full with the Salt River flowing at 38% of its average rate for this time of year. The Tonto Creek has again stopped flowing. Typically, water is drawn out of the Salt River through the end of October before switching to the Verde River. With the monsoon winding down, many are hopeful that the Roosevelt Lake watershed will receive lots of moisture this winter.

CRAPPIE
Crappie anglers are reporting good crappie conditions. Crappie schools will nearly always be located in or very near to some type of cover. The artificial habitat structures are providing a wonderful source of security and food supply for crappies. A small jig fished vertically at a 25-foot depth is the most successful technique reported.

TROUT
Trout stocking continues for Rim Country lakes and streams but the program will end in a couple of weeks. Bear Canyon Lake and the Tonto Creek were recently stocked with some larger than normal trout in the 12″ to 13″ range.  If you’re looking for some solitude and some great stream trout fishing, Rim Country is the place to be.

HABITAT PROJECT
The AZGFD is planning a Roosevelt Lake habitat building work project for September 28 & 29th at the Amphitheater parking lot near Windy Hill. The work will begin at 7AM each morning and continue until mid-afternoon. These habitat structures are vital the successful recovery of Roosevelt Lake. These events are great fun and an excellent opportunity to practice conservation. To sign up, contact Bryant Dickens at bdickens@azgfd.gov. Mr. Dickens reported that that more volunteers who attend, the more habitat will be built and deployed. It’s not too late for your conservation group, fishing club, etc. to sign up.

COMMUNITY FISHING PROGRAM
There is excitement among Rim Country anglers about the AZGFD Community Fishing Program which includes Payson’s Green Valley Lakes. The first stocking of trout will be during the second week of October. According to Joann Hill, the Community Fishing Specialist with AZGFD, about 600 trout will be stocked into all three of the Green Valley Lakes assuming there are no ph water issues. The water is tested prior to each stocking to ensure fish are being stocked into a healthy fishery. Fishing one of the Community Fishing lakes is included in a general fishing license, so no special stamp or tag is needed. Green Valley offers a wonderful fishing experience for the entire family. About the only thing needed to catch a trout at Green Valley Park is light fishing line, 4-6 pound test, a small hook either single or treble hook size 14 and a jar of Powerbait. If you don’t plan to consume the fish you catch, simply flatten the barb on the hook using a pair of pliers. When the fish is near the shoreline, but not out of the water, slide you hand down the line and hold the eye of hook. As you turn the hook, the fish will be released. If you are a novice, there are several experienced trout anglers at Green Valley on any given day, just ask and one of them will be glad to help.

CONGRATULATIONS
A huge congratulations to a local Payson archery hunter, Kelly Bowman. Kelly harvested a 5 x 6 bull elk on September 19th while hunting in Unit 22 North during the early archery hunt. The bull was called in by Kelly’s brother-in-law, Barry Bowman. Ron Bowman, Dan Rohda and Brian Bowman assisted in guiding the hunt. Great job “Team Bowman.”

Rim Country Custom Rods

James Goughnour

James Goughnour is available for speaking seminars and/or demonstrations related to building or repairing custom fishing rods. Rim Country Custom Rods sells rod building equipment and supplies, contact us for your rod building needs.  Contact RCCR

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