White Mountains

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January 20th, 2009

Note: Most high mountain lakes as well as streams are ice covered. Ice should be considered unsafe at this time of year.  State Highway 261 is closed to Big Lake and Crescent Lake.  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 is open only to Forest Road 87, but is closed south of the junction of Forest roads 273/87 to Crescent Lake, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete.  Most interior Forest Roads are closed or inaccessible to vehicles.

BECKER LAKE: Fishing is fair.  The lake is likely ice-covered, but may melt off a little on warmer afternoons.  Unsafe ice conditions. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks only, and a 2 trout limit. Try small lures such as Super Dupers, spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Kast Masters (gold or silver), and Z- Rays.  Try small nymphs such as Zebra midges, scuds, Pheasant tails, Hares ear, Zug bugs, Prince nymphs, woolly worms and woolly buggers, brown and gray semi-seal leeches. 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 10 hp. gas motors. There is a new fishing pier with a handicap walkway located at the northwestern part of the lake

BIG LAKE: The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.  State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville is closed.  State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to the junction of Forest roads 273/87 is open but is closed beyond the junction of Forest road 273/87to Crescent Lake 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will remain closed until the road construction project is completed. The store is closed for the winter.

CARNERO LAKE: The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.  The lake is inaccessible by vehicle due to heavy snow.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR: Fishing for warm water fish such as bass, sunfish and catfish is poor to fair. Try fishing with a bobber, split shot and worms near rocky shoreline areas for sunfish and bass.  The old boat ramp has been re-opened. The new boat ramp near the dam is blocked off because of very low water levels and thick weeds near this ramp. Try worms, Power Bait, Salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Z-Rays, crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapala’s, and flies such as woolly worms or woolly buggers, Yeager buggers, and peacock ladies. There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir. The gate on the north side of the lake is usually closed during the winter months, while the road on the south side of the lake is open.

CONCHO LAKE: Fishing is very poor. The lake is extremely low and weedy, and there is practically no water at the boat ramp. If you choose to fish at Concho Lake, target the small areas of open water between the weeds off the dam. The rest of the lake is not fishable.

CRESCENT LAKE: The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions. State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville to Crescent-Big Lakes is closed. State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation is open to Forest road 87 but is closed beyond the Forest road 273/87 junction to Crescent Lake 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, due to continuing road construction.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE: The lake may be ice covered on colder days, but may melt off a little on warmer afternoons.  Unsafe ice conditions.

GREER LAKES: The Greer lakes are ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

HULSEY LAKE: The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR: The roads to Lee Valley Lake are closed.  The lake is ice-covered. State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville to Crescent-Big Lakes is closed. Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Forest road 87 is open but is closed beyond the Forest road 273/87 junction road to Crescent Lake 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, due to continuing road construction.

LUNA LAKE: The lake is ice-covered.  Unsafe ice conditions.  The store is closed for the winter.

LYMAN LAKE: Fishing is poor to fair. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on hot dogs, worms and stink baits. A few largemouth bass and walleyes are being caught on lures around rocky shorelines. 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 Rapala’s. 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. The store is closed for the winter.

NELSON RESERVOIR: Fishing is poor to fair. The lake may be ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions. 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.  Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Super Dupers, Z-Rays, and Rapala’s, and flies such as woolly worms or woolly 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: The lake is ice-covered.  Unsafe ice conditions.

SCOTTS RESERVOIR: The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

SHOW LOW LAKE: The lake may be ice-covered on colder days, but may melt off a little on warmer afternoons.  Unsafe ice conditions.

WOODLAND LAKE: The lake is ice-covered.  Unsafe ice conditions.

White Mountain Streams:
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.  Most interior Forest Roads are closed or inaccessible to vehicles.

WEST FORK BLACK RIVER: Forest roads are closed to the Black River.  Ice is present on the stream. The stocking season has ended and no trout are being stocked.

EAST FORK BLACK RIVER: Forest roads are closed to the Black River.  Ice is present on the stream. The stocking season has ended and no trout are being stocked.

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: 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.

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.

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