White Mountains

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July 24th, 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 good. The lake is down about four feet but the boat ramp is accessible. Fish off the bottom along weed beds and retrieve your fly slowly.  Sometimes an ant hatch occurs at Becker so try a black ant pattern in size 18-20.
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 lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.
BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair to good with the best bite at first and last light or while rain clouds are building up. Anglers have been catching rainbow and brook trout on worms, Power Bait (yellow) and salmon eggs. Boat anglers are doing well using cowbells with an attached worm, lure or fly.

The store is open and there are boat rentals here. The launch ramps are in the water, but Railroad Cove may still be fairly shallow for launching larger boats.

By the way, Big Lake is not stocked during spring and summer – it is stocked in the fall with a couple hundred thousand fingerling trout. The trout you catch here are close to being wild. On any given day, Big Lake can be the best trout lake in the state. There is a store and boat rentals available and some of the prettiest scenery in Arizona.

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.

Angler report:

Where: Big Lake
When: 07/14/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Trolling Cow Bells with worm.
Comments: Caught three total, son caught one then before he could even let out his line BAM another. Rainy off and on all day although, bite was still good. We saw a Osprey swoop down and pull out a nice rainbow, what an awesome sight that was. Good Times
Name: Joe

Where: Big Lake
When: 07/18/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Trolling cow bells with fly and power bait (orange and green)- also trolled with lures and worms all with success!
Comments: An absolutely amazing day at Big Lake. My brother and I caught and released 57 trout on Friday the 18th in a full day of fishing, and then the next day we caught and released 27 fish in a half day. The best fishing we have ever had at Big Lake. There were times that both my brother and I both caught a fish at the same time and couldn’t believe how fast we were catching them. They were not down very deep the first day, but the second day they were a little deeper. Lake was calm for the better part of both days – was almost glass looking on Saturday AM before the storms rolled in. It was a great two day retreat from the summer heat in Phoenix and awesome two days of fishing. We absolutely love this lake and it is the best lake in Arizona by far for trout fishing.
Name: Bryan Baker

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good, but the lake is very weedy. Try fishing the open water areas. As the summer progresses, the weeds will be a problem for anglers.
The lake is open to lure and flies only, barbless hooks, and a two-trout bag limit. Try small lures such as spinners and spoons (Super Dupers and Z-rays), and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, small nymphs such as hares ear, pheasant tails, prince nymphs, zug bugs, damsel fly and dragon fly nymph patterns, and midge patterns. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout in mid-May.  Fishing for warm water fish such as bass, sunfish and catfish should also be picking up. The east side boat ramp is accessible and the only ramp to use. The old boat ramp is blocked off and no longer usable.
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 boat ramp is accessible. The lake was stocked catchable size rainbow trout in early April and another load in the first week of May. 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.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Crescent Lake experienced a winter kill; however the lake has been restocked with over 14,000 catchable size brook trout in the last week of April and first week of May.  Crescent was also stocked with almost 5000 catchable rainbow trout in mid-May.  .

Highway 261 to Big and Crescent Lakes is open. Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation is open to Forest road 87 but is closed beyond the 273/87 junction to Crescent Lake 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, due to continuing road construction.
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 only boat ramp accessible is the south boat ramp.

Angler report:

Where: Crescent
When: 07/13/08
Caught: Nothing
Technique: Fly fishing from tube.
Comments: Algae bloom has started.
Name: Andy Jury

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake should have been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout last week. The lake is down about 1-1.5feet and the boat ramps are accessible. The water clarity is slightly turbid. Fool Hollow Lake has been stocked with sub catchable and catchable (1.5-2 pound) channel catfish.

For kids, try fishing one of the fishing piers for bluegills. Use a small piece of night crawler on a small hook and small to no weight straight down 1-3 feet under the fishing pier.  Kids have been catching bluegill and crappie using this technique all times of day.
Anglers have been catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, plus walleyes on lures (crankbaits, plastic jigs with attached worms, and Rapalas) at the dam and along the east arm of the lake. Try fishing around structures such as rocks, trees, stumps, and fishing piers.
Shore anglers are catching rainbow trout on worms and Power Bait (chartreuse green and pumpkin colors) in the southwest area of the lake. Channel catfish are being caught on worms and stink baits. Bluegills and black crappies have been caught around the fishing piers on worms and small flies.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is fair to good.  All three reservoirs have been stocked with rainbow trout. All reservoirs are very low.  All boat ramps are still accessible except at River Reservoir – do not try to launch there.

Anglers are catching rainbow trout on worms and Power Bait (green and yellow) 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 fair. Try worms fished deep under a bobber or on the bottom. Hulsey Lake is open to electric trolling motors only, but small boats would have to be carried down the short hiking trail to the lake. During the hot summer months, try fishing early in the morning and late in the evening.
Try worms fished deep under a bobber or on the bottom.  Hulsey Lake is open to electric trolling motors only, but small boats would have to be carried down the short hiking trail to the lake.

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. The lake is down about 1 foot and the boat ramp is accessible. Anglers have been catching some nice sized trout at the dam on worms, lures, and flies. Boat anglers have been catching trout on Panther Martin spinners and yellow Crickhopper lures. There is an algae bloom present in the lake.
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.

LYMAN LAKE – Fishing is fair for catfish. The water is turbid.  Anglers have been catching channel catfish on worms and stink baits and largemouth bass on lures.

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 fair. The lake is down about 1 foot and the main boat ramp by the dam is accessible. The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout in May.  Use the boat ramp near the dam, as the ramp at the upper end of the lake will put boaters into thick weeds.  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, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors. During the hot summer months, try fishing early in the morning and late in the evening. There is an algae bloom present in the lake.

Angler report:

Where: Nelson Reservoir
When: 07/14/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Small brown wolly bugger spinner with a ultra lite reel.
Comments: Had fun catching these rainbow on an ultra lite reel. Fished from boat and from rocks on north end of reservoir. One nice fellow fisherman gave me four rainbows he caught on worm under a bobber, Thanks again. Took away eight fish between me and my son. Good times.
Name: Joe

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. Sub catchable and catchable (1.5-2 pound) channel catfish were stocked in early June. The lake is down about 1.5 feet and the boat ramp is accessible. As summer progresses, weeds will become a problem.

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.

Anglers are catching bullheads on night crawlers from the fishing pier.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. Two weeks ago the water was clear and the water temperature was 74 degrees.

SCOTTS RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake is nearly full and the boat ramp is accessible. Anglers have been catching trout, bass, and channel catfish on worms. The lake is nearly full and the boat ramp is accessible.
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.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. This lake should have been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout last week. The lake is about 18 feet to accommodate bridge construction over Show Low Creek, but the boat ramp is still accessible. Show Low Lake has been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout and sub catchable size channel catfish.
Boat anglers have been catching trout and walleyes trolling cowbells with and attached worms, lures, and flies. 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.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The lake is full and the boat ramp is accessible. Weeds are present along the shoreline. 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.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

West Fork Black River: Fishing is good. The West Fork was stocked at the campground with catchable size Apache trout last 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, wooly 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.
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.
Sheep’s Crossing: Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction and an area closure is still in effect around Sheep Crossing, 24 hours and 7 days a week.

Little Colorado River Greer: Fishing is good. The LCR in Greer was stocked with catchable size Apache trout last 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.

Silver Creek: Fishing is fair to good. The stream could be turbid from recent rains. It is stocked weekly 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.

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