White Mountains

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December 10th, 2008

Note: Winter conditions prevail, so please check road conditions before going. As of this writing, all lakes are accessible, but that can change rapidly if the area experiences snowfall. Many lakes have ice around the rim, some are iced over. Check individual reports. Keep in mind that freezing cold nights could change things rapidly.

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 and the lake is ice-free The boat ramp is accessible. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a two-trout limit.
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 – Fishing is good. The lake level is 4 feet below the spillway.  There is a thin layer of ice around the edges of the lake. Unsafe ice conditions. The store is closed for the winter.

Anglers have been catching trout on worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs. An angler caught a 6.6-pound rainbow trout on worms.  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, Yeager buggers, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.  Boat anglers are catching trout using cowbells with an attached worm, lure or fly. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good. The weeds along the shoreline are very thick. It is ice-covered around the edges of the lake. 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 – The lake is ice covered. Try to fin open areas with no weeds and fish along the weed beds.

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 poor to fair. Ice is forming along the edges of the lake. The boat ramps are accessible.

Anglers have been catching a few smallmouth, largemouth bass, and walleyes on lures (crank baits, rubber jigs with attached worms, and Rapalas) at the dam and along the east arm of the lake. Trout fishing has been poor. 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 and tree structure on worms and small flies.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is fair. The lakes are likely developing ice around the edges. Anglers launching boats at Bunch and River Reservoirs should be aware of the concrete lip below the waters edge. Both irrigation canals have water flowing into Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs.  All reservoirs have come up a little since the summer months. Anglers are catching some rainbow trout on worms and Power Bait at Bunch and River reservoirs. Fly fishers have been catching rainbows and brown trout on woolly buggers at Tunnel Reservoir. 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, zug bugs 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 and the lake is ice covered.

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 lake level is about 24 inches below the spillway. The lake is ice-free. The boat ramp is accessible. Boat and shore anglers have been catching a few trout on Panther Martin spinners, yellow Crickhopper lures, Power Bait and worms. 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. The store is closed for the winter.

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 Rapalas 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 poor to 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 lake is full. The boat ramp is accessible. Thick weeds in some areas have been causing problems for boaters.

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. 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. The lake is about 15-20 feet low but the boat ramp is still accessible.  There is a new fishing pier located west of the boat ramp and another across the lake by the dam. Boat anglers have been catching trout and walleyes trolling cowbells with an attached worm, lure, or fly. Try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), rubber (chartreuse green and oil colored) lead head jigs, crank baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, black, brown or green semi-seal leeches, peacock ladies, and beadhead nymphs. Troll the above mentioned lures early in the morning and late in the evening along rocky shoreline areas for walleyes. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

Where:Show Low Lake
When:11/01/08
Caught:Rainbow Trout
Technique: Trawling along the bottom at boat ramp. Used night crawlers
Comments: Trout were every where. Schools of 50-70
Name: Michael

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor.  The lake is full and spilling and the boat ramp is accessible. 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:
Note: Ice is forming on some headwater streams since nighttime temperatures are cold. Lower elevation streams have some ice-cover but have been opening up late morning on warm weather days.

West Fork Black River: Fishing is fair to good. Ice is present on the upper section of the stream. The stocking season has ended and no trout are being stocked.  Wild brown trout are 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. Ice may be present on the stream. The stocking season has ended and no trout are being stocked.  Wild brown trout are present throughout the river. 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.

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 to good. The stream has some ice, along the shoreline areas during morning hours, but may open up on warm weather days. The stocking season has ended and no trout are being stocked. Some anglers have been catching trout on worms. 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.

Silver Creek: Fishing is fair. Silver creek does not ice over during the winter because it is a spring creek with a more constant water temperature.  Nice sized Apache and rainbow trout were stocked in October at Silver Creek. 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 woolly worms, woolly 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.

One Response to “White Mountains”

  1. When is the road to Lee Valley Reservoir scheduled to reopen?

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