Every time we went into the town of Sedona from our camp site north on 89A, we were intrigued by the Rainbow Trout Farm, wondering exactly what it offered. The trout farm is a fun time for the whole family, as long as you’ve at least held a fishing pole in your hand at some point in your life.
The entrance fee into the Rainbow Trout Farm is $1.00 per person. This will provide you with a fishing pole, net, and bait to catch as many trout as you want. Their policy is catch and keep. There is no catch and release allowed. No official fishing license is required, so anyone can attend. There is no limit to the number of fish you can catch, but you pay per pound of trout, averaging about $10 per fish.
For 50 cents per fish, they will clean the fish for you (this is de-gutting only; they leave the head, skin, and tail on the fish), which is the standard way to prepare trout. From there, you can pay and go home and cook your trout as you wish, or if you’d like, they have BBQs available to cook your fish and enjoy a picnic there. We opted to have a picnic at the Trout Farm. For $1.00 per fish, they provide you with a kit to be able to grill the fish, including foil, a plate, silverware, lemon, butter, pepper, salt, and garlic, as well as instructions on how to cook it. We brought in a cooler with some side dishes and beverages to add to our trout dinner.
The farm is open from 9 to 5 every day (call for current hours). The BBQs turn off at 3:30, so if you want to grill there, be sure to go over the lunch hour.
The Rainbow Trout Farm experience was one that was a little bit out of our element. Although we both grew up fishing, we had no idea what to expect going into it. The trout are smart little suckers, and they take your bait several times before finally hooking one, in an instant, almost too fast to grab a net or think about what to do next. I would recommend working together. One person fishes while the other holds the net at all times. Hooking a fish happens too quickly to maneuver the very tall bamboo fishing pole and grab your own net at the same time.
Of course, Curt was a champ at taking the fish off the line. The last fish we caught decided he would swallow the hook and be especially restless, but Curt managed to win the wrestling match and the poor fish was on the grill 20 minutes later.
We would recommend this experience to anyone heading to Sedona. It was a great way to have a fresh picnic lunch, and for us, something a little different than normal. Although, now that we’ve eaten fresh fish, we both have a hankering for fresh Crappie right out of the lake that Dad will be frying up later this summer. Can’t wait!
More adventures tomorrow…