White Mountain Lakes

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May 27th, 2009


Note: All forest roads are open. State Highway 273 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest is now open from Sunrise to Big Lake. State Highway 261 has been opened by ADOT and vehicles can now reach Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

BECKER LAKE— Fishing is fair. The lake is nearly full.  Becker is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a 2 trout bag limit. Try lures such as Super Dupers, spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster Tails), rainbow colored Z-Rays, and small spoons such as KastMasters.

Try flies such as Peacock ladies, wooly worms and wooly buggers in brown, black or gray, semi-seal leeches, Prince Nymphs, Zug bugs, Pheasant tails, Hares ears, small scuds, and midges. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. There is a fishing pier located on the northwest shoreline of the lake.

BIG LAKE — Fishing is good for rainbow trout but is fair to good for cutthroats and just fair for brook trout.
Some anglers are catching limits, others are catching-and-releasing impressive numbers of trout while using float tubes, kayaks or boats.
There are Apache trout in Big Lake, but no recent reports of anglers catching them. Rainbow trout should either be staging for the spawn, or exhibiting spawning behavior.
Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail, Panther Martin), Super Dupers, Z-Rays, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and nymphs in black, brown, or green.

The lake is ice-free and has come up approximately two feet from last fall, but still two feet below spill.  from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to Crescent Lake is also open.
The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors. The store is open and has boats for rent.

Bring along your binoculars – anglers report seeing lots of wildlife right now. Wild turkey are in the rut, so you might even hear gobbling or see bearded gobblers sparing right now. It’s a great time to be in the woods.

Angler reports:

Rory;

Big Lake is hot!  Four Sedona Fishing & Poker Club members, 3 days, over 100 trout caught and released on Rapalas in Perch and silver / black colors.  Big fish caught at River Reservoir (Greer), a 6-pound German Brown on a perch Rapala.
Wildlife active and everywhere, be aware. I’m really a turkey nut, so my favorite part was being woken up each morning by the beautiful spring sound of gobbling toms.  We do this several times a year; troll / cast in kayaks, and loving it.

Mark Simmons

Colten Smithson: My dad and brother went to Big Lake and caught around 30 fish using KastMasters.
Parker Smithson: My dad, brother and I fished Big Lake using Salmon eggs off the bottom and caught two 14-inch cutthroats and a 14-inch Rainbow.

Where: big lake
When: 04/21/09
Caught: limit of trout for wife and I
Technique: trolling the small Rebel crawdads with orange bellies and green backs
Comments: caught three 16″ German browns & 2 16″ rainbows
Name:merkel, john

CARNERO LAKE — Fishing is good. Forest Roads 118 and 117A are open. Trout have survived through the winter, based on winter limnological surveys and netting surveys. Rainbow trout are 14-15 inches.  Carnero is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a 2 trout bag and possession limit.

Try small lures such as Super Dupers, Z-Rays, and spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin and Rooster Tail), and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, scud patterns, prince nymphs, zug bugs, hares ear nymphs, and peacock ladies. Also try small nymphs in black, brown, green or gray colors. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair. Try fishing with a bobber, split shot and worms near rocky shoreline areas for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.

Try worms, Power Bait, Salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), Z-Rays, crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, Yeager buggers, and peacock ladies. There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir. Recent netting revealed lots of carp, a few small sunfish, catfish, and bass.

CONCHO LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout. The boat ramp is usable for small boats or float tubes.

The boat ramp is usable for small boats or float tubes. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, and small nymphs. Concho is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

CRESCENT LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville is open to vehicles.  Highway 273 from Sunrise to Crescent is also open.  The lake is ice-free and the lake level has come up significantly from last fall; it is now two feet below full. The lake has been liberally stocked with catchable size rainbow and brook trout. Anglers have been catching brook trout.  Recent netting revealed 15-inch brook trout and no rainbow trout.  The store is closed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake has been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout. The lake level is full and all boat ramps are usable. Anglers have been catching trout, channel catfish, and walleyes on lures and night crawlers.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, spoons, rubber lead head jigs, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, and semi-seal leeches. Try fishing off rocky areas and around fishing piers. Black crappies tend to congregate around the fishing piers during April and May. Try small crappie jigs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is fair to good. The Greer lakes are full.  Roads are open to the lakes. All reservoirs will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs.

Bunch Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only, Tunnel Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only, and River Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

Note: Hoyer Campground near Greer, AZ, a very popular site on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will be closed for renovations the next couple of months.  Construction activities are underway and the site could reopen by the first of July.

HULSEY LAKE — Fishing is good.  Forest roads to the lake are open.  The lake is full.  Anglers are catching trout on yellow Power Bait, night crawlers, small spinners, and flies.
Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster Tail), small spoons such as Super Dupers, KastMasters, and Z-Rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and wooly worms. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Accessible. Fishing is fair to good. The lake has been liberally stocked with catchable size Apache trout.

The Forest road to Lee Valley Lake is open.  State Highways 261 and 273 are open.

Try lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster tail, and Panther Martin), small spoons such as Super Dupers and Z-Rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, hares ear, scud patterns, and wooly worms.

Lee Valley Lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, a two- trout bag and possession limit, and a 12 inch minimum length limit on all fish. No bait fishing is allowed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is fair. As water temperatures rise, fishing at first and last light for the best success, or try fishing at night.
Anglers have been catching a trout on night crawlers and Power Bait. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps spinners, small spoons like KastMasters and Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, Zug bugs, Prince Nymphs, and brown Montana stones.

Angler report:

David Hartman: We caught 30 fish before noon at Luna Lake.  No record breakers but about half of the fish we caught were in the 15″-16″ range – always fun on an ultralight rod.  Mostly rainbows with a few cutthroats.  We were trolling with Panther Martin spinners and KastMasters.  The fish were very active and hungry.  Almost all of the fish we caught hit very hard and most were jumping a foot or two out of the water.  They put on a really good show.
LYMAN LAKE — Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on worms, hot dogs, and stink baits and bass on worms and lures during warm weather days. Try worms, Power Bait, catfish stink baits, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), crankbaits, and Rapalas.

Try fishing lures along rocky areas for bass and walleye. The Lyman Lake recreation area is managed by Lyman Lake State Park and camping is available. There are also cabins for rent. There is fish consumption advisory here, so check with the State Parks Office at the lake for details. Also contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Region 1 Office at (928) 367-4281. There are no motor restrictions on Lyman Lake. The store is open.

NELSON RESERVOIR — The lake is full and has stopped spilling and Nelson will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout. Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is full.  Fishing bag limits have changed back to the statewide bag and possession limit of six trout from April 1 through Aug. 31. The boat ramps at the eastern part of the lake and at the dam are usable. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, Mepps), small spoons such as KastMasters and Super Dupers, jigs, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. Nelson Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout last week and will be stocked again the week of May 11. The lake is ice-free, and nearly full. The boat ramp is usable. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps) spoons (Super Dupers, Daredevils), and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. Rainbow Lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

On May 18-19, Rainbow Lake was treated by a consultant working for private landowners with an EPA approved herbicide to control weeds. There are no restrictions for swimming, fishing or consuming fish caught by anglers. Do not drink the lake water for 21 days and do not use treated water for irrigation of agricultural or ornamental plants for 21 days. For more information call Ernie Modzelewski at 602-550-6009 or Jim Peterson at 480-773-5500.
SCOTTS RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout. Anglers have been catching trout on corn and Power Bait. The lake is full and spilling.

Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, Prince nymphs, and Zug bugs. Scott Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only.

Where: Creek that empties into Scotts Reservoir
When: 04/30/09
Caught: 6 Sunfish 1 Rainbow 1 Largemouth Bass
Technique: Night Crawler pieces and red and white rubber jig.
Comments: I fished from 6:30 a.m. until noon. I am smoking them today to have fish tacos tomorrow. I lost quite a bit of equipment since there are rocks, branches etc. Worth it though!
Name: Dodie Hall

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake is full. The lake will be stocked this week  with catchable size rainbow trout. The boat ramp is usable.  Anglers have been catching rainbow trout on worms. A few bass are being caught on lures.

Anglers have been catching rainbow trout on worms. A few bass are being caught on lures. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, rubber lead head jigs, Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, prince nymphs, peacock ladies and brown Montana Stones. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors. The store is open.

WOODLAND LAKE — Fishing is god. The lake was stocked recently with rainbow trout. Fishing is should be fair to good. New regulations went into effect at Woodland Lake on Jan. 1, reducing the daily bag and possession limit to four trout. The The lake is full and the boat ramp is usable.
Anglers are doing well on night crawlers fished off the bottom near the dam, from the fishing pier, and on the north shoreline.  Boat anglers are also doing well in the south cove, which is difficult to fish from the shore.
Try worms. Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, Prince Nymphs, and Zug bugs. Woodland Lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:
Streams are ice-free, clear and have moderate flows. All Forest roads are open.

WEST FORK BLACK RIVER — Fishing is fair to good.   All Forest roads are open to the Black River.  The stream is clear and has moderate flows. This picturesque stream will be stocked weekly with native Apache trout from now through the end of summer.

Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, small spinners such as Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martins, small spoons (KastMaster, Z-rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs. The stocking season is scheduled to begin in early May.

EAST FORK BLACK RIVER — Fishing is fair to good.  All Forest roads are open to the Black River.  The stream is clear and has moderate flows. The stream will be stocked this week with catchable size Apache trout.

Try drifting worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs through pools or casting small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, Rooster Tail), small spoons (KastMaster, Z-Rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs. The stocking season will begin in early May.

SHEEP’S CROSSING — Highway 273 is open to Sheeps Crossing. Fishing is fair to good. Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster tail, and Panther Martin), and flies such as wooly worms, and small nymphs.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GREER — Fishing is poor to fair. The stream is clear and flows are moderate.  Try drifting worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs or casting small lures or flies through deep pools Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, Rooster Tail), small spoons (KastMaster, Z-Rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs.  The stocking season will begin in early May.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is fair. Silver Creek is stocked weekly through the summer months with catchable size Apache and rainbow trout. The creek is clear.  The creek is clear.  Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to bait, lures or flies, with a bag and possession limit of six trout from April 1 through Sept. 30. The upper section is closed to fishing.

Try small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martin spinners. Fly-fishers may want to try wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, shrimp patterns, midge patterns, and small bead head nymphs. Also try fishing night crawlers off the bottom of pools or along undercut banks or vegetation.

SOUTHERN WATERS
TUCSON URBAN — The May 25-30 catfish stocking will be the sixth delivery of cats to Urban Fishing Program lakes this spring season.  Catfish will continue to be stocked at rates of 40-60 fish per acre every other week through June.

Fishing is good to excellent for channel catfish.  Top baits for catfish continue to be worms, shrimp, and dough/stink baits fished off the bottom.  Cats have been biting best mid morning and in the evenings.

Bluegill and sunfish are biting well along the shorelines for anglers using worms and mealworms.  Bass up to six pounds are biting during the pre-summer period, however shallow water fish are wary. Try small plastics presented with split shot or drop shot rigs in the evenings and early morning.

A 20-inch lunker bass was recently caught and released at Kennedy Lake in Tucson.  The estimated 4.5 pounder fell for a 10 inch Gulp worm.

RIGGS FLAT — The lake is now open and anglers are catching limits of rainbows.  The lake has been stocked.

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success.  A new fishing pier has been installed which should provide a large increase in access for shore anglers.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE —  No recent reports of success. For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

DANKWORTH POND — No recent reports of success. Due to the lack of open water and poor angler access the Department has decided not to stock this lake until conditions can be improved.  For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – The road has been graded recently and is in much better condition.  Anglers continue to have the best success when fishing the early hours around sunrise.

KEARNY LAKES — Conditions at this lake have taken a turn for the worse and golden algae has caused a fish kill.  The Department and the town of Kearny continue to work on the problem.

ARIVACA — The fishing continues to pick up with some anglers catching as many as 25 bass in an afternoon of fishing. Reports are that the topwater bite is strong.

Recent surveys show lots of bass fry present in the lake.  Anglers wanting to catch larger than average bluegill and Redear should give this lake a try.

Some repair work has been completed n the ramp but it is still in rough shape.  Plans to totally rebuild the ramp are underway with construction slated to start later this year following the summer rainy season.  Anglers are asked to please be aware of your wake so as not to disrupt other anglers fishing from other boats and the shore.  Remember that all bass must be immediately released back to the water.

PENA BLANCA – Pena Blanca Lake remains closed. We have installed artificial habitat in the exposed lake bottom, which should help this lake on the road to recovery once the sediment removal project has been completed so it can refill.

PATAGONIA —  Warmwater species are really beginning to pick up with anglers reporting that bass are being caught on plastic worms and spinnerbaits.  Some of the larger bass being caught are coming while flipping the cattails.

PARKER CANYON — The store at Parker Canyon remains closed.  Anglers needing a license will need to purchase that prior to arriving at the lake.  The fishing remains fair with most angler success coming in the early morning just after sunrise.  Anglers are reporting that worms and Power Bait are working the best currently but trout fishing continues to slow as the weather warms.  Opportunities for warm water species are picking up.

ROSE CANYON LAKE —  The road is open and the lake has been stocked.  Anglers continue to have success with flies on the surface.  For the bait anglers corn and worms remain the best option.

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