White Mountains

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October 23rd, 2008

ACCESS 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 down about four feet but the boat ramp is accessible.

There is a new fishing pier with a handicap walkway located at the northwestern part of the lake.

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 off the bottom along weed beds and retrieve your fly slowly.  The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. This lake is artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and with a two-trout limit.

BIG LAKE – This is a high country fishing hot spot. Fishing is good for rainbows, cutthroats, and brookies. You might even catch a native Apache trout. There is a slight algae bloom in the lake. Lake water levels are up about 2 feet. Highway 261 is open from Eager/Springerville.

Where: Big lake
When: 09/21/08
Caught:Rainbow trout
Technique: Slow troll with a spinner hook with night crawlers.
Comments: Averaging 30-50 fish a day with only a few keepers. I did pick up 5 fish in the South Cove area that were over 18 inches and lost one that was well over 22.
Name: Mike

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. Also try lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), Z-rays, Super Dupers, spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, semi-seal leeches, and Yeager buggers, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.

The launch ramps are in the water, but Railroad Cove may still be fairly shallow for launching larger boats.

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.

Where: Big Lake
When:09/12/08
Caught:12 Rainbow Trout
Technique: Bottom fishing worm.
Comments: Started about 8 in the morning caught 5 nice keepers and threw back 7. Left about 11 when it started raining.
Name: Randy Holstad

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is weedy. The weeds along the shoreline are very thick. Pontoon boats, kayaks, small boats or canoes than can skim over weeds work best. Anglers using float tubes are having difficulty getting out to open water.

Try fishing open water areas. As summer progresses, weeds will become 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 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 very poor. The lake is extremely low and weedy. There is practically no water at the boat ramp. 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. This shallow lake can cool down rapidly and turn on at any time. Recent netting produced 16-inch rainbows and 14-15 inch brook trout.

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 because of construction on roads leading to the dam area and the other two ramps.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The boat ramps are accessible. Anglers have been catching a few smallmouth, largemouth bass, and walleyes on lures (crank baits, jigs with attached worms, and Rapalas) at the dam and along the east arm of the lake.

Trout fishing has been slow. Try worms and Power Bait (chartreuse green and pumpkin colors) in the southwest area of the lake.

Channel catfish are being caught on worms, hot dogs, and stink baits.

Bluegills and black crappies are being caught around the fishing piers on worms and small flies.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is fair.  There is an algae bloom on these lakes Tunnel is still very low, while Bunch and River reservoirs are up about 2-3 feet. Do not attempt to launch a trailered boat at Bunch and River Reservoir because of the concrete lip pad at the end of the concrete boat ramp.

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 poor. 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.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. The boat ramp is accessible.  Boat and shore anglers have been catching a few trout on Panther Martin spinners, yellow Crick hopper lures, Power Bait and worms. A 6 pound rainbow trout was caught at the end of June by the dam.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Z-Rays, Super Dupers, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, Yeager buggers, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors

LYMAN LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on hot dogs, worms and stink baits. A few largemouth bass have been caught on lures around rocky and weedy shorelines. Try fishing along rocky shorelines for walleyes, especially early in the morning and late in the evening. Try Rapala’s and Jigs with chartreuse or oil colored Mister Twister rubber worms. Try worms, Power Bait, catfish stink baits, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), crank baits, 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. Fishing bag limits are now unlimited for rainbow and brown trout from September 1 through March 31. The main boat ramp by the dam is accessible.   Use the boat ramp near the dam, as the ramp at the upper end of the lake will put boaters into thick weeds.  The weed harvester removed weeds in July and September but there are still lots of weeds present in the lake

Try Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Super Dupers, Z-rays, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. The boat ramp is accessible. Thick weeds in some areas have been causing problems for boaters.
Improvements to the parking area at the boat ramp are scheduled this summer and will require a short closure (2-3 days) during the construction.  Signs and notices will be posted when the construction dates are set.
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.

SCOTTS RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with catchable size rainbow trout. The lake is full and the boat ramp is accessible. Anglers have been catching trout, bass, and channel catfish on worms.

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. The lake is about 18.4 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 to good.  The lake will be stocked this week with catchable rainbow trout. The lake is nearly full and the boat ramp is accessible. The weed harvester removed some weeds in September but weeds are still present along the shoreline areas of the lake.

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.
Angler Report

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

West Fork Black River: Fishing is fair to good. Apache trout stockings have ceased for the season, but it is still possible to catch them here. 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 fair to good. Stockings have ceased for the season, but it is still possible to catch some of these native trout here.

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 fair. Apache trout stockings have ceased for the season, but it is still possible to catch an Apache or a brown trout. 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 good for recently stocked Apache trout in the catch-and-release, barbless hook area of the creek near the hatchery.  This spring-fed creek is fishable all winter long.

Nice sized Apache and rainbow trout have been stocked. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is now open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and catch-and-release only.

The upper section is open to fishing.  The catch and release season is from Oct. 1 through March 31. 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

Where: Silver Creek
When:10/03/08
Caught: Apache and Rainbow trout
Technique: Streamer flies and size 20 emergers
Comments: My husband and I caught four of the large Apaches and one huge rainbow between us. We have understood that G&F at Silver Creek would prefer you do not take these beautiful fish out of the water because of the stress to the fish and ultimate mortality rate if you miss handle or drop them, so we never pick them up, yet I see pictures of these fish on your Website with anglers holding them up for photo ops. What is the deal? To us, these fish are a precious commodity and a gift for any angler to have the privilege of catching and should be treated as such! That being said we believe G&F at Silver Creek are doing a fantastic job with this hatchery.

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