The Arizona Wild Trout Challenge- Day 1, Gila Trout

I first heard of the Arizona Game and Fish Wild Trout Challenge while volunteering on a native-trout stocking expedition. We stocked a creek that had been destroyed by wild fires and had not been inhabited by fish for 15 years. The goal of AZGF is to introduce the native Gila trout to this creek until they get to a self-sustaining level, which would allow for a catch-and-release fishery.

During the stocking trip, I had the opportunity to meet Mike Anderson, the Native Trout Coordinator for AZGF. Mike was wearing a Trout Challenge sweatshirt, which aroused some curiosity on my part, so naturally I started asking questions. The challenge sounded like fun and a great way to get into some creeks we have not yet explored. The only thing I thought would make the the challenge a little more interesting would be doing it in five days. That would mean we would have to fish a different stream each day in different locations through Arizona and catch at least one species of trout. My wife was immediately on board to do the challenge, so I started doing research on locations, time of year, and the species we needed to catch.