Love Where You Live | Day Trip to Tonto Creek

Aug 16, 2013

Two weeks ago, we took a day trip north as part of Bruce Wayne's 30th birthday celebration. Our destination- the Tonto Creek area, where we planned to stop by the Rancho Tonto Catch-a-Trout fishing pond and the state fish hatchery.

The drive up was beautiful. I'm a midwest girl and living in Arizona is not my top choice, other than the whole "13 years from retirement" thing. But every time we drive out of the Phoenix valley, I am reminded that Arizona is full of beauty, just like anywhere else. What it boils down to is that I am not cut out to live in the big city. The farther we got from the hustle and bustle of the Phoenix valley, the happier I became. And the lower the temperature got... which may have been why I was so much happier?

Our first stop was Rancho Tonto Catch-a-Trout. Bruce and his dad have been promising the girls a fishing trip for who knows how long. It was decided that for the girls first fishing trip, we needed some guarantees. Bruce and his dad needed the guarantee that the girls would in fact catch something. I needed the guarantee that whatever we caught would be edible, sizewise. It is really important to me that my wee ones understand where their food comes from, and what better way to help them learn than catching and eating fish. Rancho Tonto offered both guarantees.

The girls had a blast fishing. We caught 6 good sized rainbow trout, which all the wee ones could not get enough of. Sunshine kept wanting to hold them, Beebs wasn't interested in holding them, but she sure got a kick out of us holding them and Man Cub... well, the picture explains it all. He was absolutely intrigued by the shiny, slippery fish that kept flopping out of our hands. My fish managed to get quite tangled up, and ended up, ahem, bleeding all over the place. (Those with weak stomachs may not want to continue.) Bruce insisted on taking a picture of me holding my dripping fish. I think he assumed I would refuse, but I did not want my girls to feed off of me being grossed out, so I grabbed the fish, blood and all, put a grin on my face and we took pictures. Bruce later commented that this is his favourite picture from the trip, and he'd like to put it on his desk at work. I just shook my head.

After fishing, we ate a picnic lunch on the Rancho Tonto property. It was the perfect day for it... plenty of clouds and a nice breeze. Bruce showed the girls how to find the ripe blackberries in the wild patch that was growing along the creek and thanks to Beebs, we had all the wild blackberries we could stomach. Man Cub crawled around with a big grin on his face, so happy to be outside and have some freedom. I think we were all grinning from ear to ear. It is just so rare to spend an entire Saturday outdoors in August. It was divine.

Eventually, we packed up our lunch and headed to the state fish hatchery. The girls loved seeing the various stages of the rainbow trout life. We got to see itty bitty fish, all the way up to huge fish that would have made a very tasty dinner. Ü It was especially fun feeding the fish, as they would practically jump out of the water as soon as the first drop of fish food hit the surface.

We ended our afternoon with a dip in the Tonto Creek. Sunshine and Man Cub were all over this part of the trip. They both love the water, no matter how frigidly cold it is! Beebs preferred chasing butterflies on the shore of the creek. I snapped some pictures. We all found something we enjoyed. Ü

The next day, we got together with Bruce's dad for a birthday dinner featuring fresh caught rainbow trout as the main dish. I was slightly worried that the girls would decide they were grossed out by the fish, especially since we grilled them with head and tail intact, but both Sunshine and Beebs thought it was the coolest thing ever to be eating fish that they had caught.

The entire weekend was so much fun. I think it is safe to say that we all fell in love with the Tonto Creek area of Arizona and we will definitely be making more trips up that way in the future.


  1. You guys are so awesome. I have no idea where this place is, but it sure look like somewhere we would have enjoyed!

    1. It's up near Payson. So beautiful!


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