Northeastern Arizona (White Mountains)

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December 11th, 2007

NORTHEASTERN ARIZONA (White Mountains)
The winter season is in progress for the White Mountains. State Highway 261 is open to Big Lake and Crescent Lake. State Highway 273 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest is undergoing reconstruction and realignment and the following closures are in effect. State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to Winn Campground is closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete. The southern part of State Highway 273 from Crescent Lake to Winn Campground is now open each week beginning Thursdays at 6PM through Mondays at 6 AM.

Note: This is winter. Check road and weather conditions before going, especially to the higher elevation lakes.

BECKER LAKE —Fishing is fair to good. The boat ramp is accessible. Anglers have been catching 10-13 inch rainbow trout with an occasional fish over 15 inches. Recent netting surveys on October 15, produced rainbow trout over 15 inches. Trout ranged in size from 10.25 inches to 19.1 inches, averaging 14.4 inches in length. Try lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, and Z-rays, flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, Hares ear nymphs, dragonfly imitations, midge imitations, and brown Montana stone nymphs. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly with barbless hooks only, with a two trout bag and possession limit. No bait fishing is allowed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

BIG LAKE — Fishing is fair to good for 10-14 inch trout. Try worms, meal worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Z-rays, KastMasters, Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and brown Montana stone nymphs. Boat anglers may want to try trolling worms on lures, flies or behind cowbells. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp gas motors.

ACCESS: State Highway 261 is open from Eager. State Highway 273 will be closed throughout the year for road construction. State Highway 273 from Crescent Lake to Winn Campground is now open each week from Thursdays at 6PM through Mondays at 6AM. The boat ramps are low, but still usable.

CARNERO LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake is weedy. Recent netting surveys on October 17 produced lots of 12-14 inch trout. Trout ranged in size from 11.3 inches to 15.7 inches, averaging 13.5 inches. Try small spinners, jigs and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and small brown, black or green nymphs. Carnero is open to artificial lure and fly only with barbless hooks and a two-trout limit. No bait fishing is allowed. This lake doesn’t have a boat ramp, so most float tubers launch at the fence line. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair for bullheads and sunfish, fair for bass, and poor for trout. Try fishing off the bottom with worms. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures (spinners, Z-rays, and spoons, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rapalas), and flies (wooly worms or wooly buggers, zug bugs, prince nymphs, and peacock ladies). The northeast boat ramps are usable but the middle boat ramp is steep and has soft sand. There is also an old concrete dam structure across from the middle boat ramp so use caution when motoring on the lake. There are no motor restrictions on the lake when using larger watercraft. Clear Creek Reservoir has largemouth bass, sunfish, black bullheads, and channel catfish.

CONCHO LAKE— Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is low and weedy. The boat ramp is very low. Small boats, canoes, or float tubes are recommended. Try worms, meal worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, spoons, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and hares ear nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

CRESCENT LAKE — Fishing is fair. Recent netting surveys on October 17 resulted in fair numbers of good sized rainbow trout. Trout ranged in size from 14.6 inches to 19 inches, averaging 16.5 inches. No brook trout were caught. The lake is down about 8 feet. The boat ramps are low but accessible except the north boat ramp, which is very low and muddy. The south boat ramp is open 7 days a week. The Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms and wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, brown Montana stone nymphs.

ACCESS: Highway 261 is open from Eager. Highway 273 will be closed for the year for road construction. State Highway 273 from Crescent Lake to Winn Campground is now open beginning Thursdays at 6PM through Mondays at 6AM. The lake is open to 10 hp motors. The store is closed.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is down about 1 foot. All boat ramps are accessible. Anglers have been catching smallmouth and largemouth bass and crappies at the dam. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Mister Twister worms (chartreuse green, brown or gray with silver specks) on ¼-ounce lead head jigs, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms and wooly buggers and semi-seal leeches. Boat anglers may want to try trolling lures or flies with an attached worm. Fish near structure such as rocks, trees, weed beds, and fishing piers. Fool Hollow State Park has excellent camping facilities. Anglers wishing to fish the lake for free must use the southwest side boat ramp and parking area. A fee is charged for use of the other facilities including the east side boat ramp. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is poor to fair. All reservoirs are very low, but slowing filling. Bunch and tunnel Reservoir boat ramps are usable but low. River Reservoir’s boat ramp is not usable. Please use caution when launching a boat. Canoes or float tubes are recommended. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs are open to electric trolling motors only. River Reservoir is open to 10 hp. gas motors.

HULSEY LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as small spinners and spoons, and flies such as woolly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. The lake is a short hike (moderately steep) in fishery.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair to good. State Highway 273 from Crescent Lake to Winn Campground is now open from Thursdays at 6PM through Mondays at 6AM. The lake may be ice-covered, if not try small lures such as Super Dupers, Mepps, Panther Martins, and Rooster Tails spinners and flies such as Peacock ladies, woolly worms, Hares ear nymphs, Prince nymphs, Zug bugs, Pheasant tail nymphs, and other small brown, black or green nymphs. Lee Valley Lake is open to lure and fly only, 2 trout limit, minimum size 12 inches. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

Access: State Highway 273 from Sunrise Lake to Winn Campground is closed for the year for road construction.

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is nearly full. The boat ramp is accessible. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, small spoons, Z-rays, or flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and other small nymphs in brown, green or black. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to10 hp gas motors. The store is open and boat rentals are available.

LYMAN LAKE —Fishing is fair. The left boat ramp is accessible. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on hot dogs, chicken livers, and prepared baits. Largemouth bass are being caught on lures. Try worms, meal worms, catfish prepared baits, and lures such as crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapala’s. The Lyman Lake Recreation Area is managed by Lyman Lake State Park and camping is available. There are also some new cabins for rent. There is a fish consumption advisory here. Consult the fishing regulations or contact the Arizona Game and Fish Regional office in Pinetop for more information. The lake has no motor restrictions.

NELSON RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair. The bag limit for rainbow and brown trout is unlimited at Nelson Reservoir from Sept. 1 through March 31, Statewide fishing gear restrictions still apply. The lake is down about 2.0 feet. The boat ramp at the dam is recommended. The upper boat ramp is usable but weedy. The middle boat ramp and road is closed. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners and Z-rays, flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and other small brown, green, or black nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to10 hp gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is weedy and down about 6 feet. There is a new boat dock at Rainbow Lake. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, semi-seal leeches, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and brown Montana stone nymphs. We are encouraging anglers to keep all northern pike that are caught. Northern pike are not desirable in Rainbow Lake because they eat stocked rainbow trout and small bass and we want them removed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to10 hp. gas motors.

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair to good. The reservoir is down about 8 feet. The boat ramp is now usable due to gravel placement from the concrete boat ramp to the water’s edge. The water is slightly murky. Boat and shore anglers are catching trout, bass and sunfish on lures, flies, and worms. One northern pike was caught during spring gill net surveys. Please report anybody that is moving fish from one location to another. It is illegal to stock any fish in public or private waters without a proper stocking permit. This illegal activity spoils angling opportunities for most other anglers. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, brown Montana stone nymphs, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. The lake is open to electric motors only. Recent gill net surveys produced lots of largemouth bass, averaging 10 inches, trout averaging 11.4 inches, and a few channel catfish, averaging 4.1 pounds, and sunfish.

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is down about 7-8 feet. The boat ramp is usable. Try worms, salmon eggs, mealworms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, ¼-ounce lead head jigs (chartreuse green, and brown, or gray with silver specks), Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and semi seal leeches for trout. Shore anglers have been catching trout and walleyes on Rapala’s and night crawlers. Walleyes, trout, and smallmouth bass are being caught by anglers trolling Rapalas and casting jigs with an attached night crawler along rocky shoreline areas early in the morning and in the evening. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. The store is closed. Boat rentals are available at request from the Park Ranger, in the campground.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is good. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is now open to catch and release fishing, artificial lure and fly only and barbless hooks only from October 1 through March 31. The upper section (big fence boundary) is open to fishing. Try small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin spinners. Fish upstream or downstream. Fly-fishing anglers may want to try peacock ladies, beadhead black or green wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, bead head nymphs, mayfly and caddis fly nymph imitations, and shrimp patterns. Fish your flies upstream and dead drift them downstream or cast your fly downstream and retrieve the fly slowly upstream. Try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge imitations, and caddis fly patterns in sizes #16 or #18 or # 20. Night crawlers, Power Bait, and mealworms work well. The stream was stocked the first week in October.

WOODLAND LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The boat ramp is usable but weedy. The lake is down about 6 feet. The lake is weedy. The water is slightly murky. Try worms, salmon eggs, meal worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, small spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and other small nymphs. One Angler has been catching largemouth bass off the fishing pier on rubber worms. Woodland Lake is a city park with picnic tables, Veranda’s, restrooms, volleyball and softball courts, hiking trails, boat ramp, and a fishing pier. The lake is open to electric motors only.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:
WEST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – Ice conditions may be present due to cold nights. Try worms, meal worms, and salmon eggs, lures such as small spinners and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and small black, brown or green nymphs.

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – Ice conditions may be present due to cold nights. Try worms, meal worms, and salmon eggs, lures such as small spinners and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and small black, brown or green nymphs.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Not accessible. Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – Ice conditions may be present due to cold nights. Try worms, meal worms, and salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and small black, brown or green nymphs.

One Response to “Northeastern Arizona (White Mountains)”

  1. Is there a chart in print of all Arizona lakes that DO NOT have gasoline motor restrictions?

    ‘Appriciate your response.

    larry

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