So you’re learning how to fish for trout in Arizona. Or, maybe, you’re already a serious tamer of trout, finally looking for a challenge.
We got you.
Here’s a Challenge: complete our new Arizona Trout Challenge Program. In doing so, you’ll explore some remote waters, perhaps catch new trout species, all with a chance to prove your trout tussling expertise.
Any angler completing the Challenge will receive a certificate featuring the species caught along with dates and locations. The first group of anglers to complete the Challenge will receive Trout Challenge “schwag” that could include a sweatshirt, hat and/or water bottle.
There’s no deadline to complete the challenge.
And trout privileges are included in all General Fishing licenses. Purchase licenses online – when you do so consistently (annually), you actually lead wildlife conservation efforts.
OK, there are two ways to complete the Challenge:
1) Wild Trout Challenge
Catch all five species of wild trout in Arizona. See the list of qualified water bodies. This challenge focuses on waters with the following naturally-reproducing species (and you’ll need to get a photo and record the location for each):
They are easily caught fishing nymphs, wet or dry flies, and they will also take small spoons and spinners. The same techniques used to catch rainbow trout work very well on Gila trout.
Apache trout can be caught by a variety of methods, including wet or dry flies, and small lures, in either lakes or streams. But artificial flies produce the best results.
This highly esteemed trout may be caught on the same tackle and baits as rainbow trout, but are often more difficult to catch. They are territorial and secretive. The best time to catch large adult brown trout is in fall during spawning and during dawn and dusk periods. They are more active at cooler water temperatures.
They are easy to catch, especially in the early spring or late fall when cold water temperatures keep the fish very active. They are also easily caught near rocky and gravel shorelines during fall spawning runs. They are caught on wet flies, small spinning lures and worms.
Effective baits are worms, salmon eggs, PowerBait, corn, cheese, marshmallows, artificial lures and flies. The number one key to successful trout fishing, is to use light line (2 to 6 pound) and small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers.
2) Arizona Trout Challenge
More waters qualify for this challenge than for the Wild Trout Challenge. See the list. Catch six of the eight total species of trout in Arizona comprised of any of the species above and the following unique species:
The same techniques used to catch rainbow trout work well for cutthroats. They may be caught on a variety of flies and artificial lures but a live nightcrawler is hard to beat. Use light line and small hooks.
Tiger trout, scheduled to be introduced into select Mogollon Rim/White Mountain waters this spring, eat smaller fish, so use small imitation lures and baits such as crankbaits (Rapalas), spinners or dead minnows.
Fly anglers can throw wooly buggers, worms and small bait fish imitations.
Grayling are caught on both wet and dry flies. A Royal Coachman, small midge or a black or brown woolly worm often works.
For complete rules and details on the challenge, including qualifying waters and the application form you’ll download to complete the challenges, visit www.azgfd.gov/troutchallenge.
For other questions regarding the program, please contact Mike Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up to the Challenge?