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Mountain lakes now accessible:
MOGOLLON RIM – The deep snow drifts across backcountry mountain roads have melted and now Arizona’s picturesque trout lakes in the national forests are not only accessible, most have filled and spilled as well, creating premium fishing conditions not seen in more than a decade.
“This is shaping up to be one of our best trout fishing seasons since the El Nino winter of ‘96,” said Kirk Young, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s fisheries chief. “Take advantage of this fishing bonanza while it is available. Who knows when we’ll see water like this again.”
Young added that this is definitely the time of year to catch the larger hold-over trout, possibly even a state record. “With some patches of snow still on the ground, especially in the mixed-conifer and spruce habitats, it’s a great time for a mountain fishing adventure.”
The lakes in the Flagstaff and Williams areas have been open for some time. All of them have been stocked. In fact, Lower Lake Mary near Flagstaff was a huge elk meadow last fall and now not only has plenty of water, it was stocked weeks ago with 28,000 rainbows. Anglers are already reporting limits of trout and fun.
The Mogollon Rim lakes and streams are now open and accessible. All the lakes and streams on the national forests in the White Mountains are open and accessible.
Along the Mogollon Rim, anglers at Woods Canyon, Willow Springs and Bear Canyon have reported catching lots of larger hold-over rainbows. Anglers at Big Lake in the White Mountains have been routinely catching larger rainbows and some big cutthroat as well.
“All the lakes are looking good, so just pick your favorite mountain lake and go. Unplug the electronic I/V’s –– the game boxes, play stations and iPods — load up family and friends, and experience the Arizona outdoors at its best. Don’t miss out,” Young advises.