White Mountains

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February 28th, 2008
White Mountains

Note: Streams are flowing high. Many lakes are spilling, are very turbid, and are ice-covered to ice-free. Higher elevation lakes are still ice-covered. Lower elevation lake conditions can change from day to day and have unsafe ice. Forest roads are closed. State Highway 261 is closed to Big Lake and Crescent Lake, as well as most interior Forest roads. 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 Crescent Lake is closed to all traffic, including snowmobiles, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete. Snowmobilers should use Forest Road 249 from Williams Valley to Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

BECKER LAKE —Fishing is fair to good. The lake is ice-free and water temperatures have been in the low 4’s. The boat ramp is accessible. Try small lures such as spinners, Super dupers, and Z-rays. Fly-fishers are catching 15- to 17-inch rainbow trout. Try small nymphs such as scuds, pheasant tails, zug bugs, prince nymphs, wooly worms, dragon fly nymphs, peacock ladies, and brown Montana stone nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.

BIG LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Highway 261 is closed from Eager.

ACCESS: State Highway 273 from the Forest Service-Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and is also closed to snowmobiles. Snowmobilers should use Forest road 249 from Williams Valley to Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

CARNERO LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Forest Road’s 117 and 117A are snow packed and not accessible to vehicles. Access to the lake is by snowmobiles only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free and full. The east side boat ramp is accessible and the best ramp to use. The north boat ramp (steep hill) may have soft sand and would be difficult to launch a boat. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, Z-rays, crankbaits, and Rapalas, flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. There is no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir.

CONCHO LAKE—Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free, low, and weedy. The boat ramp is low but usable for small boats. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, and Super dupers, and flies such as woolly worms or woolly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp gas motors.

CRESCENT LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Highway 261 is closed from Eager. Highway 273 from Forest Service-Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and is also closed to snowmobiles. Snowmobilers should use Forest road 249 from Williams Valley to Crescent Lake and Big Lake.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The water is turbid due to recent runoff into the lake. The boat ramps are accessible. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, crank baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as woolly worms or woolly buggers and peacock ladies. Fish around structure such as rocks, tree stumps, and fishing piers. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors

GREER LAKES — All Greer lakes are ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Ice fisherman at Bunch Reservoir have been catching rainbow trout on jigs with attached salmon eggs out from the boat ramp. Bunch Reservoir is full, River Reservoir is almost full but approximately 2.5 feet below spill, and Tunnel Reservoir is still about 9 feet low.

HULSEY LAKE — Forest roads are snow packed and access is by snowmobile only. The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-covered. Access to the lake is closed.

Access: State Highway 273 from Sunrise Lake to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and Highway 261 from Eager is closed. Both roads are closed to snowmobiles.

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is poor. The lake is 95-percent ice-covered with a few open water areas. The lake is full and spilling. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice.

LYMAN LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free. The lake level has been coming up with recent runoff into the lake and is 18.6 feet below spill. Try worms, Power Bait, catfish stink baits, and lures such as spinners, crankbaits, and Rapalas.

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, so check with the State Parks Office at the lake for details. Also contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Region 1 Office in Pinetop at 928-367-4281. There are no motor restrictions on Lyman Lake.

NELSON RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair. The two boat ramps are accessible except for the east boat ramp and road. The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The water is very turbid due to recent runoff into the lake. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, super Dupers, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The boat ramp is accessible. The lake is full, spilling, and ice-free. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as Z-rays, spinners, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — The lake is full, spilling, and 100-percent ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

SHOW LOW LAKE — The lake is down about 6 feet. The lake is ice-covered with some open water areas. Unsafe ice conditions.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is fair. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to catch and release fishing, artificial lure and fly only and barbless hooks only from October 1 through March 31. The upper section is open to fishing. Stream banks are snow packed. 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.

WOODLAND LAKE — The lake is full, spilling and 95-percent ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

WEST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The stream is flowing high. Forest roads are snow packed and Highway 261 and 273 are closed.

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The stream is flowing high. Forest roads are snow packed and Highway 261and 273 are closed.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Not accessible. Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction and an area closure is still in effect around Sheeps Crossing, including snowmobiles.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – The stream is flowing high.

4 Responses to “White Mountains”

  1. What is the best time of year to fish the lakes in and around Greer Az. Taking family there for vacation this year and really want to time it right to give the kids the best chance at catching some decent fish. Thanks for any advice/

  2. Scotty;

    One of the best times to visit Greer is early to late spring (before the summer crowds) to fish the Little Colorado River for native Apache trout or at the reservoirs for rainbow trout. As for timing, it depends on Mother Nature. If there is an early ice-out, earlier is better. If we have a late spring ice out, then late spring is better; at least for catching. Greer is spectacular any time in spring. I would expect that late May to early June might be the best this year – we have experienced a tremendous snowpack for a change. Greer Days are normally in early June.

    By the way, I even like fishing Greer in winter when deep snow lines the stream, and only the fast-running stretches aren’t covered in ice. Catching isn’t always great, but the experience is phenomenal. And you often have the creek to yourself.

    If you really want a ball (any time of year), get some cane poles (there are two piece and 3-piece ones available at some of the sporting goods stores, or via catalog orders), and make the length of line long enough to just reach the ground if your youngsters hold the pole up high (they need to land the fish). Typically, that is the length of the pole plus the height of the kid (or thereabouts). Get some night crawlers or meal worms, (and later, any available insects such as grasshoppers), and stream fishing becomes super fun yet easy – no casting and reeling to worry about, just plunking the bait out into the water and hauling in the wiggling trout.

    Rory

  3. How often do you update your info? I have guests that are here to fish and asked me to check the fishing report. I noticed the last update was Feb 28th.

    Lynette Sullivan
    Manager
    Alpine Cabins Retreat
    http://alpinecabinsretreat.com

  4. Lynette;

    The fishing report is updated weekly. We typically try to update it by mid-week, but holidays can sometimes make that a challenge. Typically when people say they are getting an old report it is because they have bookmarked an old report and are going back to it, rather than going to our main Web page at http://www.azgfd.gov and clicking on the most recent report. By the way, you can also sign up online and have the report delivered to your computer via e-mail every week.

    Rory

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