North Central Region

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November 26th, 2008

Note:  Northern Pike have been illegally stocked in Francis Short.  If you catch a Northern Pike at Francis Short Pond please REMOVE IT FROM THE POND.

KAIBAB LAKE — Campground area is closed.

CATARACT LAKE — Campgrounds are closed. Must walk in to fish

CITY RESERVOIR —   No report.

DOGTOWN LAKE —. Campground area is Closed.

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK -  No report.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campgrounds are closed.  Must walk in to fish.
Where:white horse lake
Technique:meal worms with a bobber
caught and released our limit. Kids enjoyed the bike ride in and want to return soon.
Name:Sonny Smith

LOWER LAKE MARY — A fish kill has occurred.  There may not be any fish left.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full.

ASHURST LAKE —  The lake is full, the road is open.  .

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Stocked last week.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road was still open last weekend..

MARSHALL LAKE —  Road was still open last weekend. No Fish.

OAK CREEK — Stocked this week with 1,350 rainbows, plus some incentive-sized trout. The water temperatures ranged from 50 to 56 F, which is in the optimum range for trout. Fishing should be pretty good. This may be the tail end of the brown trout spawn.

LONG LAKE — Lake is open.  Water level is good.  Lake has been stocked.

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lakes are open. No report.

BEAVER CREEK —  No report. Has been stocked this season.

WEST CLEAR CREEK —   No report.  Has been stocked this season.


BLUE RIDGE —  Road was still open last weekend.

KNOLL LAKE — No report.

Verde Valley

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Fishing in general has been fair to good.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week (Nov. 24).  Trout were stocked last week (Nov.17).  3,033 rainbow trout were split between the lower and middle lagoons. Look for the fishing to be good following the stocking.  Try using Power Bait or small spinners.  Catfish were last stocked on Sept. 17 in both the middle and lower lagoons.

Try using small plastic jigs, plastic worms, or small spinnerbaits near deeper cover for bass.  The catfish bite has been good in the evening.   Some angler’s are having limited success in the day.
Bluegills are very abundant, but most are small.  This is a great opportunity to teach kids how to fish.  Try using a No. 12 hook with a small piece of worm under a bobber and you should have success.  While the crappie numbers are up a little, most are small.  Look for the crappie fishing to be good late this year or next year.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Stockings are scheduled for this week.  Rainbow Trout were stocked two weeks ago.  There were 2,400 rainbows stocked into our four sites:  Tuzigoot Bridge, just down from the Dead Horse Bridge or “Jacks”, Bignotti Beach or the Thousand Trails site, and the bridge out of Camp Verde.

Channel catfish action has been fair in the Verde Valley. Most success on catfish is by using night crawlers and chicken liver after dusk.  Look for the bass to be biting early morning and in the evening.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked on Nov. 4; 1,000 rainbow trout went in without a hitch. Anglers targeting trout were successful. Trout fishing is best immediately following the stocking.  Power Bait is usually the hot ticket.  The next stockings are scheduled for the week of Dec. 1.

Catfish and sunfish were stocked the week of June 23.  Anglers are still having some limited success catching some of those catfish, but it is fairly slow.  Try using night crawlers for the catfish. The sunfish will bite on meal worms or small worms.  Panther Martins are working well for the sunfish.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.

GOLDWATER LAKE —Trout were stocked on Nov. 11;  1,350 plus incentive sized trout were put in around the boat launch.  So some 1-2 pounders could be waiting for you at Goldwater. You may want to try using KastMasters.  If that does not work, try worms or Power Bait. You can either inflate your night crawler or you can use marshmallows.  Some days the fishing seems to be better than other days as well.

Catfish and bass were stocked the week of Sept. 15.  Trout seem to be biting pretty good, as well as some of the catfish and bass.  Night crawlers are the ticket for the catfish, the trick is to float the night crawler off the bottom a little so the crayfish don’t get it.

Game and Fish biologists weighed a 22-pound channel catfish that was caught at Goldwater in March.  On July 11, a 26-pound catfish was caught on a hotdog and an 11-pound catfish was caught since then.  While the number of catfish is low, the quality is exceptional.  Bluegills were stocked Feb 25.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on Sept. 16  and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish was low, the quality was exceptional. One 19lbs and a 14lbs catfish was sampled and released. No bass were sampled this year. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

Granite Basin – Bluegill and bass are plentiful in this lake.  The aquatic vegetation has not been bad this year making fishing this lake easier than normal. Try floating a worm on a bobber to catch the bluegills.  This may result in some bass being caught as well.  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were stocked Nov. 4.  Sub-catchable brook trout were stocked on September 24th.  The trout fishing picked up a little following the last stocking.  Salmon colored Power Bait was working for some.  Trout were seen cruising near the surface and jumping, so you may want to fish under a bobber or with spinners near the surface.  Most anglers are having success on worms.  Some anglers were having luck in about 18-feet of water near the spillway at the dam using night crawlers.  Some of the brook trout that were stocked in February are still showing up.  Try using chartreuse Power Bait on the bottom for these pretty little fish.  Catfish were stocked June 9 and again on June 25.  Try using night crawlers or hot dogs for the catfish.

Game and Fish Biologists installed PVC fish structures on Jan. 3.  These structures should protect small fishes from predation.  Some 7-inch brook trout were in February and 5-inchers in September. 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.

MINGUS LAKE – Mingus was stocked the week of Oct. 20.  This was the last scheduled stocking until spring.  Fishing has been good following the stocking.  The best bait has been orange or pink Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker. Fishermen using night crawlers grass hoppers and flies have also reported doing well.

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 at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON – NO NEW REPORTS: Bass, Bluegill and catfish are common in this lake. One angler reported seeing several 5lb catfish recently.  Another angler reported catching 3-8 nice bass per evening on green or chartreuse “wooly buggers.”  As the water begins to cool this will slow, so get them while you can.  Crappies are found in low numbers. Bullheads are easily caught using a small piece of worm.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson on September 17th, 2008  and found the bass,  sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappie are also doing well.  Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or two. If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – NO NEW REPORTS: Bass, bluegill, and bullhead are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are on the small side, but the bullhead are thick.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

6 Responses to “North Central Region”

  1. can some one give me some information on fly fishing in the Sedona area. I have been told Oak Creek is good but has a lot of fishing pressure. I would also like to try my hand at some bass fishing on the fly

    thank you

  2. Daniel;

    Oak Creek offers lots of trout fishing opportunities in one of the more picturesque canyons on Earth. Although some stretches can be congested at times, especially on weekends, most anglers never walk more than 100 feet or so up or down creek from road access points, so you can leave the crowds behind if you walk some. Also, I have fished some of the more popular sections at first light and had them all to myself, well, almost. My youngest boy is usually at my side.

    Most of the creek is put-and-take trout fishing, but the section from Junipine Crossing and Call-of-the-Canyon (upper end of the canyon) spanning the confluence of Oak Creek and the West Fork of Oak Creek is catch-and-release only with artificial fly and lure only, single barbless hooks. Whew- try saying that without taking a breath.

    But I also enjoy fishing places like the Slide Rock area. Once again, walk past the stretches that attract all the people and you will typically find some solitude along quick runs falling into deep pools lined with pink sandstone.

    You might also try Beaver Creek for trout if you really want solitude. Once again, just walk upstream a ways into the picturesque canyon. To reach Beaver Creek, take the I-17 offramp for Sedona, and simply turn right instead of left at the bottom of the ramp. It’s only a handful of miles to this remarkable riparian area lined with giant sycamores and cottonwoods. Beaver Creek also has smallmouth bass.

    For bass, you might try the lower end of Oak Creek near our Page Springs Hatchery in the Cornville area. You might even hook into a smallmouth bass or two. Two other good places to target trout and bass are Canyon and Saguaro lakes. We stock trout during winter at these two warmwater fisheries, giving anglers an opportunity to fish for trout and bass at the same time.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Hi Daniel,
    I fish Oak Creek a couple of times a year and usually have good success. The canyon is always crowded in the summer, but if you can fish during the week it will be much more quiet. I fished last year over the week of Forth Of July and had a great trip. The key was finding the quiet spots where loud kids were out of earshot. The tourists usually seek out large pools to swim in which obviously scares the heck out of any trout there. You may be better off searching for the shallower runs and pocket water and avoiding the large pools. In the summertime, I always wet wade the creek. Getting around some of the areas is pretty tough, so having the ability to use the water will help you a lot. Since the creek is so small with tight cover, I find it also helps to use the area over the water to assist with back casts. Be prepared to lose some flys on Oak Creek. The fishing is very tedious here, but you will be rewarded. One note about wading…be quiet and go slow! The fish here are very spooky. As careful as I am, I almost always see fish darting away from me if I splash or kick a rock. Do the best you can. I usually have good luck with Adams patterns and small parachute hoppers. Also, nyphming has taken more fish for me here than any other approach. Good luck & have fun!

  4. Hello.
    I am a foreigner. I will do FlyFhising with OakCreek at the beginning of February.

    It might be very cold in those days. Is it good to prepare what kind of fly to
    catch trout?

  5. Hi Foreigner;

    Here is the universal answer fall our streams; try wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, shrimp patterns, midge patterns, and small bead head nymphs. Also try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge and caddis fly patterns.

    Keep in mind that in the upper reaches of Oak Creek (above Junipine Resort and Crossing), it is a blue ribbon fishery featuring browns and rainbows, but is catch-and-release only. Farther down you’ll find lots of youngsters and others fishing for trout using bait in popular put-and-take sections of stream, such as near the famous Slide Rock Area (where my youngest caught a 15-inch rainbow last winter).

    What you use in February will likely depend a lot on snow melt and flows as well. But as you get lower in the Canyon, things are subject to some change as you drop in elevation and habitat types. By the time Oak Creek passes our Page Springs Hatchery near Cornville, you are looking at trout and bass fishing gambits along the same stretch of slow-flowing stream where otters are likely to hang play alongside rafts of ducks and geese.

    So, bring your whole fishing arsenal if nothing else, plan to match the hatch and the habitat.


  6. Thank you very much. Rory.

    I will be able to prepare some flies. I manage to have gotten a lot of information from you, and I want to fish. I will report on the appearance of fishing.

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