North Central Region

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March 25th, 2008
North Central Region

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

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.

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.



MARSHALL LAKE — No reports.

OAK CREEK — Has not been stocked recently, however, there could be some decent fishing if you find the right spot.

LONG LAKE — No reports.


BEAVER CREEK — No recent reports.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — No reports.


MINGUS LAKE – 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 – 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.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were stocked the week of March 3. The river flows had increased significantly recently but have diminished considerably. While the flows have diminished they are still considerably higher than normal, making fishing a little more difficult.

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 and are scheduled to be stocked again this week, the week of March 10. Some 7-inch brook trout were stocked the week of Feb 25. Look for the fishing to be fair to good following the stocking and the ice melting.

FAIN LAKE —Fain lake was stocked with both rainbow trout on March 10. 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.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of March 17. Look for the fishing to pick up almost immediately following the stocking. Try using spinners, jigs, worms or rainbow Power Bait.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

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