White Mountains

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May 28th, 2008
White Mountains

NOTE: State Highway 261 is open to Big Lake and Crescent Lake, as well as most main Forest roads, including the road to Reservation Lake on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

State Highway 273 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest is undergoing reconstruction and realignment and the following closures are in effect from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to Crescent Lake, which is closed to all traffic, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete.

BECKER LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake is almost full and the boat ramp is accessible. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a two-trout limit. Try small lures such as Super Dupers, spinners, and Z-rays. Fly-Fishers have been catching 10- to 18-inch rainbow trout. Try small nymphs such as zebra midges, scuds, pheasant tails, zug bugs, prince nymphs, wooly worms and wooly buggers, dragon fly patterns, peacock ladies, and brown Montana stone nymphs. Fish deep and slow.
The water temperature on May 4 was 63 degrees and the pH was 8.8. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.

BIG LAKE – This is a trout fishing hot spot from rainbow trout to big cuts, with some nice action for brook trout as well.
Main access roads are open, including Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville. State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to Crescent Lake is closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will remain closed until the road construction project is completed. Fishing is good. The lake is up about 3 feet from last year, but still 3.4 feet below spill. All boat ramps accessible, however, Railroad cove may still be fairly shallow for launching larger boats.
Anglers have been catching rainbow and brook trout on worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs. Also try lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as Peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and Yeager buggers, Prince nymphs, and Zug bugs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

Where:Big Lake
When:05/21/08
Caught:3 cutthroats, 4 rainbows
Technique:KastMaster, Z-ray
Comments:Caught from shore
Name:Doug


Where: Big Lake
When:05/17/08
Caught: Trout (Rainbow)
Technique: Trolling with cowbells and using both orange and green powerbait on a fly!
Comments: The fishing was absolutely fantastic! We caught and released 30 trout in a six hour period (from 7am – 1pm). The wind was strong which was the only thing that dampened the day. If we didn’t have a prior commitment, we would have fished longer and probably would have reached the 50-trout level! Great lake – someone caught a 3.5 pound rainbow that morning as well trolling with a Panther Martin lure! Worms were also working well too! We could see shore fisherman pulling up lots of fish as well. Definitely the best time to hit the high country lakes!
Name: Bryan Baker

Where: Big Lake, East and West Forks of the Black River
When:05/18/08
Caught Big Lake Rainbow trout, East and West Fork – Brown and Apache trout
Technique: For Big Lake use yellow Power Bait. All fish caught at Big Lake were rainbow holdovers from the 10″ to 13″ range. The West Fork of the Black River did not seem to have been stocked as of yet (probably due to the higher water flows). I did catch several brown trout including a 3 1/2 lb. 19″ brown! The East Fork of the Black River had been stocked recently and I did catch several Apache trout and two brown trout.
Comments: Caught a 19″ 3 1/2 lb. Brown Trout in the West Fork of the Black River!
Name: Matt Myrick

Where: Big Lake
When:05/03/08
Caught:Rainbow and Brook trout
Technique: Worms sliding sinker 20-40 feet from shore
Comments:4 of us caught 9 in 2 hours before the wind blew us out
Name:Dan Stewart

Where:Big Lake
When:05/03/08
Caught:4 trout
Technique: any kind of power bait
Comments: The boaters need to use more edict They seem to not care about other fishermen on the bank. Fishing not to fair to the kids fishing on the banks!
Name: M. L.

CARNERO LAKE -. No trout were caught in two nets set over night. There is a chance a few trout may have survived; however, these will be rare if any at all. Has been stocked.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is full and spilling. The lake will be stocked as soon as the lake stops spilling. 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, and flies such as woolly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is about 2 feet low but the boat ramp is accessible. The lake has been stocked with two loads of catchable size rainbow trout in early April. Spring surveys have also revealed carryover rainbow trout ranging from 12-16 inches, with an average length of 13 inches. These carryover trout are smaller than usual, likely due to illegally stocked carp that are now established in the lake and impacting benthic invertebrates. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, and Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. The water is clear and the water temperature was 58 degrees.

CRESCENT LAKE – Carnero Lake experienced a winter kill, however the lake was re-stocked with 4000 subcatchable size rainbow trout in the last week of April and with 5000 catchable rainbow trout in the first week of May.

Highway 261 to Big and Crescent Lakes is open. Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation is still closed due to continuing road construction.
The lake has come up about 1.5 feet from last year, but is still about 2 feet low. The only boat ramp accessible is the south boat ramp because of construction on roads leading to the dam area and the other two ramps.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, Yeager buggers, and small nymphs like prince and zug bugs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. The water temperature last week was 49 degrees and the lake has come up about 1.5 feet from last year. The only boat ramp accessible is the south boat ramp.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is full and all boat ramps are usable for larger boats. The water clarity is turbid. The lake was stocked last week with 2,025 catchable size rainbow trout. Stocked last week. Bass anglers have been catching smallmouth and largemouth bass on lures. Shore anglers are catching rainbow trout on worms and Power Bait in the southwest area of the lake.

Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers. 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. Recent surveys revealed good numbers of walleyes (average size, 23 inches), a few large northern pike (average size, 30 inches), a couple of big smallmouth bass (4.5 pounders), some largemouth bass (average size, 17 inches), trout (average size, 10 inches), and small black crappies and sunfish. The water temperature last week was 58 degrees.

GREER LAKES Fishing is fair to good. River, Tunnel and Bunch reservoirs are all full, and all boat ramps are accessible. All three reservoirs will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout. Boat anglers at River Reservoir have been catching some nice sized brown trout on Rapalas. Anglers are catching rainbow trout on worms at Bunch, Tunnel, and River Reservoir.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and small nymphs. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoir are open to electric trolling motors only. River Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake was stocked with 1,823 catchable size rainbow trout last week. The lake is full. Hulsey Lake is a short hike in fishery. Try worms Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. The water is clear. The water temperature last week was 53 degrees.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR – The roads to Lee Valley Lake are still closed. Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation is still closed due to continuing road construction and is closed just north of the junction of Highway 273 and Highway 261. Lee Valley Lake probably has some ice cover, although it should be considered unsafe.

LUNA LAKE – - Fishing is fair to good. The lake is full and the boat ramp is accessible. The lake was stocked with nearly 4,000 catchable size rainbow trout in late April. Anglers have been catching some nice sized trout at the dam.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors. The water temperature last week was 50 degrees.

Where: Luna
When: 05/04/08
Caught: Rainbow
Technique: Worm casting and retreiving behind a bobber
Comments: Caught 5 lb rainbow
Name: Dan Stewart

Where: luna lake
When: 04/25/08
Caught:19 inch rainbow
Technique: Z-ray with a fly on a 20-inch leader. It took the fly
Comments: Fishing was slow, but that one fish made the trip. The bald eagles flying over the water for an easy meal was quite a sight.
Name: brett

LYMAN LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake level has come up quite a bit, catching a lot of water with snowmelt runoff, and is only 8 feet below spill. The water is turbid. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on worms and stink baits.

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 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.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake is full, not spilling and was stocked with many catchable size rainbow trout in mid-May. Both boat ramps are accessible.

Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Z-rays, 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. The water temperature last week was 50 degrees.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good. Rainbow Lake was stocked with over 5000 catchable size rainbow trout in mid-May. The lake is full and the boat ramp is accessible.
Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as Z-rays, spinners, crank baits, 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. The water is clear. The water temperature last week was 59 degrees.

Where: Rainbow lake
When:05/03/08
Caught: Pike-trout
Technique: trolling crankbaits and jerkbaits you just have to deal with the weeds
Comments: What a day took two kids 8 yr old and 16 yr old fishing and we got the pike and the rainbows fighting the wind we still managed 8 pike and 7 trout. 1 rainbow went 3 lbs and 1 pike hit 4 lbs the rest all were around stocker size for trout and pike average was 2 lbs..
Name: roger may

SCOTTS RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good. The water temperature on May 4 was 58 degrees and the pH was 7.9. The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout in mid April. Anglers have been catching trout, bass, and channel catfish on worms. The lake is full, spilling and the boat ramp is accessible.

Where: Scotts res
When:04/16/08
Caught: Catfish
Technique: Night crawler, dead shad
Comments: lost a real nice big cat at shore really sucked will hit it again this week
Name: roger may

Try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs, lures such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, spinners, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and prince nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. Recent surveys revealed good numbers of rainbow trout (average size, 11 inches), fair number of largemouth bass (average size, 12 inches), and some nice sized channel catfish (average size, 25 inches). The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. The water is clear. The water temperature last week was 56 degrees.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. The lake is down quite a bit to accommodate bridge construction over Show Low Creek downstream in Show Low, but the boat ramp is still accessible.
Try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, rubber lead head jigs, 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. Recent surveys revealed good numbers of large walleyes (average size, 23 inches), including two 12-pounders, good numbers of rainbow trout (average size 14 inches), largemouth bass (average size 14 inches), and small black crappie. The water is slightly turbid. The water temperature last week was 52 degrees.

Where: Show low lake
When:05/10/08
Caught: trout an walleye
Technique: trolling Rapalas and spinnners
Comments: caught 2 nice trout at 2 lbs each really nice trout and 2 walleye about 1 lb each only fished couple hours this evening but was worth it for the size of those trout ..saw one man on shore he had a few stocker size said he was using power bait
Name:roger may

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked with catchable size in mid April. The lake is full and spilling. Try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, and small spoons, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and Hares ears nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. Recent surveys revealed nice sized largemouth bass (average size, 14 inches), and 1 channel catfish (21 inches). The water is clear. The water temperature last week was 59 degrees.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:
West Fork Black River – West Fork Black River – Fishing is good. The West Fork was stocked at the campground with catchable size Apache trout last week and will be stocked again this week. Wild brown trout are also present in the lower portion of the river. In the campground area, Try worms, salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners, and flies such as Peacock ladies, woolly worms, small nymphs like Hares ear, Pheasant tails, Zug bugs, Prince nymphs, and caddis imitations. The upper portion of the river, upstream of the confluence with Hayground Creek and including the Forest Road 116 crossing, is open to artificial lures and flies only, with catch and release regulations. Water temperatures were 54 degrees on May 1.

East Fork Black River – Fishing is good. The East Fork was stocked with catchable size Apache trout last week and will be stocked again this week. Wild brown trout are also present throughout the river.

Try worms, salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners, and flies such as Peacock ladies, woolly worms, small nymphs like hares ear, Pheasant tails, Zug bugs, Prince nymphs, and caddis imitations. Water temperatures were 60 degrees on May 1.
Sheep’s Crossing – Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction and an area closure is still in effect around Sheeps Crossing.

Little Colorado River Greer – Fishing is good. The LCR in Greer was stocked with catchable size Apache trout last week and will be stocked again this week. Try worms, salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners, and flies such as Peacock ladies, woolly worms, small nymphs like hares ear, Pheasant tails, Zug bugs, Prince nymphs, and caddis imitations. Water temperatures were 47 to 48 degrees on May 1.
Silver Creek – Fishing is good. The stream and will be stocked this week with catchable size Apache trout. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is now open to bait fishing and statewide fishing regulations are in effect until 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. Try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge and caddis fly patterns. Bait fishermen should try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs.

2 Responses to “White Mountains”

  1. My husband and I have been catching nice sized rainbows at Luna and Hulsey, mostly on power bait and worms. My son caught a 16 inch rainbow last weekend at Luna on orange power bait.
    We noticed a lot of dead fish in Hulsey last week, what is this caused by? Does this have to do with the recent stocking?

    Lynette Sullivan
    Manager
    Alpine Cabins Retreat

  2. Lynette – The fish die-off at Hulsey was like a combination of factors including snow, runoff, increased nutrients, lowered oxygen and increased pH that resulted in stocked fish going belly up. I suspect the lake is back to normal. It’s one of my favorite places to fish in Arizona. In fact, I was married in a meadow just up a ways from Hulsey and we will probably fish there again for our anniversary.

    Rory

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