North Central Region

Share or Bookmark:
| More
February 28th, 2008
North Central Region

Note: Most higher elevation lakes are ice covered. There is lots of snow pack. Most lakes should fill and spill.

WILLIAMS LAKES:
KAIBAB LAKE — Campground area is closed. Main parking lot and boat launch open for day use only.

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed.

CITY RESERVOIR — No reports.

DOGTOWN LAKE — No reports.

JD DAM — No reports.

RUSSEL TANK – No reports.

SANTA FE — No reports.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No report from anglers. Campground is closed.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:
LOWER LAKE MARY — This lake now has some water again. Plus, Upper Lake Mary is all the way up to the spillway, even before the runoff season. This lake should catch some decent water this year and will most likely be stocked.

UPPER LAKE MARY — Lake is full, but iced over. No reports.

ASHURST LAKE — No reports.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – No reports.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports.

MARSHALL LAKE — No reports.

OAK CREEK — Has not been stocked recently. Could be some decent fishing if you find the right spot.

LONG LAKE — No reports.

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — No reports.

BEAVER CREEK — No recent reports.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — No reports.

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

MINGUS LAKE –Trout were stocked last on the week of Oct 15. Try bright-colored Power Bait like chartreuse, salmon eggs, or various spinners. The gate is closed until the spring, but you can walk in and fish.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline. Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Trout were stocked last week (Feb. 18) and are scheduled to be stocked with another 3,600 rainbow trout next week, the week of March. 3. Fishing should be very good. Try using small spinners, worms, or Power Bait.
Some anglers have reported catching limits, while others have not done as well.

Catfish were stocked the week of Sept. 24, for Verde River Days festivities. Several largemouth bass, including a 10-plus pounder have been caught this summer in the middle lagoon. In-line spinners, plastic grubs, and small crankbaits have been the ticket. The bluegill fishing has been good using a salmon egg or small worm on a small bait hook below a bobber. The bluegills are plentiful in both the middle and lower lagoons, so between trout and catfish stockings try your luck with the bluegill.

Some anglers have reported catching limits, while others have not done as well.

Angler reports:
Where:
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
When:
02/18/08
Caught:
rainbow trout
Technique:
rainbow and green Power Baits
Comments:
Limited out again. Large trout in the lagoon and a great time for the whole family! My oldest girl (4years) got her first trout today and was thrilled! Come out and check out the fishing! The parking fee is well worth it.
Name:
Steven


Where:
Dead Horse State Park
When:
02/09/08
Caught:
one trout
Technique:
Tried fly fishing, real worms, corn, salmon eggs, 5 types of Power Bait, plastic worms, all types of lures, jigs.
Comments:
Fished with two adults and five kids all day on the 9 and 10th of Feb. and caught one trout the kids were disappointed. Some fished from a boat in lower pond and caught zero.
Name:
Mike Kofmehl

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Stocked last week (Feb. 18) with rainbow trout and the water temperature was 48 degrees. The river flows had increased significantly recently but have diminished considerably. Trout were stocked at all five sites and are scheduled to be stocked again next week, the week of March 3. Stocking sites are at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, the bridge that leads to the Dead Horse State Park, at Dead Horse State Parks access point called the Jacks, at the White Bridge in Camp Verde, and at Bignotti Beach. The department stocks trout in these waters from November through March, when the water temperature can support a trout fishery. Cold winter water temperatures keep the other game fish fairly inactive until about mid-March.

Tuzigoot Bridge (leading to Tuzigoot National Monument) has decent rainbow trout fishing early and late in the day. Most fishermen concentrate near the bridge, but the pools and currents downstream within 300 yards of the bridge hold lots of trout and do not see much fishing pressure. Small spoons such as Z-rays, Mepps and Panther Martin spinners, and Power Bait all work well.

Fly-fishermen seem to prefer fishing the Verde River between Riverfront Park and Dead Horse Ranch State Park in the town of Cottonwood. The trout aren’t too fussy about the type of fly/lure or presentation. The best success here has been first thing in the morning until about 10 a.m.

Bignotti Beach (between Cottonwood and Camp Verde, near Thousand Trails RV Park) has had decent fishing as well. Anglers tossing in-line spinners, small spoons, or fly-fishing with dark, gold-bead nymphs are doing best during mid-day, while fly-fishermen floating a variety of dry flies are having good success early and late in the day.

The White Bridge in Camp Verde (Highway 260 bridge over the Verde River) is an under-utilized trout fishery. A U.S. Forest Service picnic area above the river provides convenient parking and a short walk to the Verde River. Try fishing the riffles and pools upstream of the bridge. Mepps in-line spinners, small KastMaster spoons, and bright-colored Power Bait (fished on a treble hook above a sliding egg-sinker) have been the most productive offerings.

LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of Feb. 11. The lake was frozen over, but the fish were still stocked. Some 7-inch brook trout are scheduled to be stocked this week (Feb 25). Look for the fishing to be fair to good following the stocking and the ice melting.

Game and Fish Biologists installed PVC fish structures on Jan. 3. These structures should protect small fishes from predation.

Brook trout were stocked in September. The brooks were in the 5-inch range, but hopefully they will be catchable size for the fishing in the spring. Game and Fish stocked catfish the week of June 4. There were 200 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. Game and Fish biologists surveyed Lynx in May and found that the brook trout stocked in September 2006 were still present.

FAIN LAKE —Fain lake was stocked with rainbow trout on Feb. 11 and is scheduled to be stocked with 1,325 rainbows and another 300-500 brook trout this week (Feb. 25). The fishing should be very good following the stocking. Use spinners or bright colored power bait. Shore fishing area may be limited as sediment deposits have resulted from the rains.

Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation held the annual Gold Fever Days at Fain Lake in mid October, were nearly all of the kids that participated in the fishing clinic caught fish. Five-inch brook trout were stocked in Sept. 24 and rainbows were stocked Oct. 12 & 15. Rainbows are scheduled to be stocked again the week of Dec 3. Catfish were stocked on June 4. There were 150 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught. Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber. Small spinners may work as well.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of Feb. 11. Look for the fishing to pick up almost immediately following the stocking. Try using spinners, jigs, worms or rainbow Power Bait. Bluegills are scheduled to be stocked this week (Feb 25). Rainbow trout are scheduled to be stocked again the week of March 17.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater during the middle of May last year and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish and bass was low, the quality was exceptional. One 16-pound catfish was sampled and released. The bass averaged about 3.5 pounds. On March 29, 2007, there were 400 pounds of bluegill stocked. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught. Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber. Small spinners may work as well. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Stocked on Feb. 8 with rainbow trout and the water temperature was 48 degrees. The river flows that had increased significantly earlier this month have now diminished considerably. Trout were stocked at all five sites and are scheduled to be stocked again this week, the week of Feb. 18. Stocking sites are at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, the bridge that leads to the Dead Horse State Park, at Dead Horse State Parks access point called the Jacks, at the White Bridge in Camp Verde, and at Bignotti Beach. The department stocks trout in these waters from November through March, when the water temperature can support a trout fishery. Cold winter water temperatures keep the other game fish fairly inactive until about mid-March.

Tuzigoot Bridge (leading to Tuzigoot National Monument) has decent rainbow trout fishing early and late in the day. Most fishermen concentrate near the bridge, but the pools and currents downstream within 300 yards of the bridge hold lots of trout and do not see much fishing pressure. Small spoons such as Z-rays, Mepps and Panther Martin spinners, and Power Bait all work well.

Fly-fishermen seem to prefer fishing the Verde River between Riverfront Park and Dead Horse Ranch State Park in the town of Cottonwood. The trout aren’t too fussy about the type of fly/lure or presentation. The best success here has been first thing in the morning until about 10 a.m.

Bignotti Beach (between Cottonwood and Camp Verde, near Thousand Trails RV Park) has had decent fishing as well. Anglers tossing in-line spinners, small spoons, or fly-fishing with dark, gold-bead nymphs are doing best during mid-day, while fly-fishermen floating a variety of dry flies are having good success early and late in the day.

The White Bridge in Camp Verde (Highway 260 bridge over the Verde River) is an under-utilized trout fishery. A U.S. Forest Service picnic area above the river provides convenient parking and a short walk to the Verde River. Try fishing the riffles and pools upstream of the bridge. Mepps in-line spinners, small KastMaster spoons, and bright-colored Power Bait (fished on a treble hook above a sliding egg-sinker) have been the most productive offerings.

LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were stocked last week, the week of Feb. 11. The lake was frozen over, but the fish were still stocked. Look for the fishing to be fair to good following the stocking and the ice melting.

Game and Fish Biologists installed PVC fish structures on Jan. 3. These structures should protect small fishes from predation.

Brook trout were stocked in September. The brooks were in the 5-inch range, but hopefully they will be catchable size for the fishing in the spring. Game and Fish stocked catfish the week of June 4. There were 200 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. Game and Fish biologists surveyed Lynx in May and found that the brook trout stocked in September 2006 were still present.

FAIN LAKE —Fain lake was stocked with rainbow trout on Feb. 11. The fishing should be good following the stocking. Use spinners or bright colored Power Bait. Shore fishing area may be limited as sediment deposits have resulted from the rains.

Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation held the annual Gold Fever Days at Fain Lake in mid October, were nearly all of the kids that participated in the fishing clinic caught fish. Five-inch brook trout were stocked in Sept. 24 and rainbows were stocked Oct. 12 & 15. Rainbows are scheduled to be stocked again the week of Dec 3. Catfish were stocked on June 4. There were 150 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught. Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber. Small spinners may work as well.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of Feb. 11. Look for the fishing to pick up almost immediately following the stocking. Try using spinners, jigs, worms or rainbow Power Bait.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater during the middle of May last year and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish and bass was low, the quality was exceptional. One 16-pound catfish was sampled and released. The bass averaged about 3.5 pounds. On March 29, 2007, there were 400 pounds of bluegill stocked. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught. Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber. Small spinners may work as well. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

2 Responses to “North Central Region”

  1. My name is Eric Cyr we have spoken via email before. You even used my son and I in one of your reports. I am going up north this weekend for my first anniversary and was wondering if you know how the fishing is on the Verde river above Payson? Or if there is any decent fishing up on or near the Payson-Heber-Showlow area? I know the lakes up there are unaccessable via motor vehicle but you have the inside scoop! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks a million,

    Eric

  2. Eric;

    The Verde River has been stocked with trout, so you can expect to find some decent trout fishing there – see this week’s fishing report at http://www.azgfd.gov for more details. We have also stocked the Dead Horse Ranch lagoons (Cottonwood area). They are a ball to fish, especially for kids (there are even swings etc. there). Take along night crawlers and meal worms. You might even catch a big bass. One of my favorite places to fish in the Verde Valley is Beaver Creek. Take the Oak Creek/Sedona turnoff from I-17, then simply turn right (east) instead of left, then go until you cross a picturesque bridge over a stream (about five miles). Fish beneath the bridge.

    If you don’t catch fish there (we haven’t stocked since the ball and won’t stock there for another week or so), back track about 200 feet past the ranger station and you will see a turnoff to a parking lot. Park there, and walk the trail about a quarter mile or so. It will lead you to one of our best fishing experiences in a nice canyon with lots of deep pools that will have trout and smallmouth bass. Once you fish there, you could end up making it an anniversary trip every year – it’s absolutely delightful: Especially for kids. It is an adventure.

    If you are headed past Payson, I would try the streams, such as Christopher Creek, Tonto Creek, Haigler or Canyon Creek just below the Mogollon Rim. They will likely be running a little high, we haven’t stocked them since the fall, but it could get pretty exciting if you hook into some of the holdover trout. Canyon Creek also has brown trout. The waterfall along Tonto Creek (go toward our hatchery) should be spectacular right now. There are cabins to stay at in around community of Christopher Creek that are honeymoon perfect.

    Further afield in the Show Low area, you can catch some beautiful, gold-colored native Apache trout (catch-and-release only) along Silver Creek (near out hatchery there out past the Show Low airport). It is artificial-lure and fly-only with barbless hooks only from Oct. 1 through March 31. The upper section is open to fishing. Stream banks are snow packed. Waders will help tremendously. Try small lures such as Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster tail, and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, peacock ladies, Prince nymphs, zug bugs, shrimp patterns, and small beadhead nymphs. Try dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge and caddis fly patterns. Silver Creek is a spring creek that does not get ice covered during the winter months. The creek is not clear, but slightly murky, due to runoff from Brown Creek.

    If you want some fishing in gorgeous scenery, try the Little Colorado River through the Greer Valley. You might have to wear boots and walk though deep snow, and you might not catch many fish in the frigid waters, but I can guarantee it will be an experience you will long remember.

    So get out and catch some memories for your anniversary. Wherever you go, let me know how you do. Good luck.

    Rory

Leave a Reply