White Mountains

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April 22nd, 2009

Note: Some Forest roads still have snow drifts and are inaccessible to vehicles. State Highway 261 has been opened by ADOT and vehicles can now reach Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

State Highway 273 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest is still undergoing reconstruction and re-alignment and the following closure is still in effect. State Highway 273 from the forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary is closed to Crescent Lake, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Highway 273 is scheduled to be opened this year, but there will be flagmen to route vehicles through the construction until paving is completed.

BECKER LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is nearly full.  Becker is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a 2 trout bag limit. Try lures such as Super Dupers, spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster tails), rainbow colored Z-Rays, and small spoons such as KastMasters. Try flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers in brown, black or gray, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, zug bugs, pheasant tails, hares ears, small scuds, and midges.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. There is a fishing pier located on the northwest shoreline of the lake.

BIG LAKE — State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville is now open to vehicles. The store is open and has boats for rent.  Although there are no reports from anglers, the early-spring fishing should be pretty good. This large, deep lake has rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout and native Apache trout. This lake gets the most angling pressure – and with good reason.

The lake is ice-free and has come up approximately two feet from last fall, but still two feet below spill.  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. No reports from anglers.

CARNERO LAKE – The lake is ice-free and accessible from Forest Road 118 and 117A.

Forest Road 117A still had a large snow drift when coming from Forest Road 117 when last checked.

Trout are expected to have survived through the winter, based on winter limnological surveys. Fish population surveys are scheduled for this week and will confirm winter survival or winter kill, so stay tuned.

Carnero is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a two-trout bag and possession limit. Try small lures such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, and spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin and Rooster tail), and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, scud patterns, prince nymphs, zug bugs, hares ear nymphs, and peacock ladies. Also try small nymphs in black, brown, green or gray colors. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — The lake has not yet been stocked and fishing is poor. Try fishing with a bobber, split shot and worms near rocky shoreline areas for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.

Try worms, Power Bait, Salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), Z-rays, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, Yeager buggers, and peacock ladies. There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir. Recent netting revealed lots of carp, a few small sunfish, catfish, and bass.

CONCHO LAKE –The lake was stocked in early April with catchable rainbow trout and fishing is fair. The boat ramp is usable for small boats or float tubes. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, and small nymphs. Concho is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

CRESCENT LAKE – State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville is now open to vehicles.

The lake is ice-free and the lake level has come up significantly from last fall.  Reports are coming in from anglers catching small brook trout.

Fish population surveys scheduled for this week will determine the winter survival of the rainbow trout. Winter limnological surveys indicated that a partial kill was possible due to low oxygen in some portions of the lake while it was ice-over.

Crescent will be stocked after the fish population surveys.  State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is still closed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The store is closed.  .

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — The lake was stocked last week and fishing is good. The lake level is full and all boat ramps are usable. Anglers have been catching a few smallmouth bass and trout on lures and night crawlers.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, spoons, rubber lead head jigs, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers. Try fishing off rocky areas and around fishing piers. Black crappies tend to congregate around the fishing piers in March, April, and May. Try small crappie jigs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.
Where: Fools Hollow Lake
When: 03/14/09
Caught: Smallmouth Bass
Technique: casting rapalas
Comments: Caught a 5.5 lb 21 inch
Name: Steven Smiyhson

GREER LAKES — Fishing is good. The Greer lakes are ice-free, full, and spilling.  Roads are open to the lakes. All three lakes have been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout, and Bunch is scheduled to be stocked again this week.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs.

Bunch Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only, Tunnel Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only, and River Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only, and and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

HULSEY LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair, but will improve when the lake is stocked.  Forest Roads to the lake are open and clear.  The lake is ice-free, full and slightly spilling. Forest road 86 to the lake is open and accessible.

Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster tail), small spoons such as Super Dupers, KastMasters, and Z-rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and wooly worms. The water temperature two weeks ago was 48 degrees.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Not accessible. The roads to Lee Valley Lake are closed to vehicles but open to snowmobiles.  The lake is ice-covered. State Highway 261 from Eager/Springerville to Crescent-Big Lakes is closed to vehicles but open to snowmobiles. Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, due to continuing road construction, but is open to snowmobiles

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake is ice-free, full and slightly spilling.  Anglers have been catching a trout on night crawlers by the dam.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps spinners, small spoons like KastMasters and Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, zug bugs, prince nymphs, and brown Montana stones. The store is open. There are no motor restrictions on Lyman Lake. The store is closed for the winter.

LYMAN LAKE — Fishing is poor. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on worms, hot dogs, and stink baits and bass on worms and lures during warm weather days.

Try worms, Power Bait, catfish stink baits, and lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), crankbaits, and Rapalas. Try fishing lures along rocky areas for bass and walleye.

The Lyman Lake recreation area is managed by Lyman Lake State Park and camping is available. There are also 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 open.     .
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 is ice-free, full and spilling.  Nelson will not be stocked until the lake has stopped spilling.  Fishing bag limits have changed back to the statewide bag and possession limit of 6 trout from April 1 through August 31. The boat ramps at the eastern part of the lake and at the dam are usable. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, Mepps), small spoons such as KastMasters and Super Dupers, jigs, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. Nelson Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout last week. The lake is ice-free, and nearly full. The boat ramp is usable.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps) spoons (Super Dupers, Daredevils), and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

Recent netting revealed northern pike ranging from 7 to 28 inches, largemouth bass ranging from 8 to 19 inches, bluegill ranging from 3 to 12 inches, channel catfish ranging from 4 to 19 inches, and black bullheads ranging from 4 to 11 inches. The water temperature has been 50 degrees

SCOTTS RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked in early April with catchable size rainbow trout. The lake is ice-free, full and spilling.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. Recent netting revealed lots of carry-over rainbow trout ranging from 11 to 14 inches, largemouth bass ranging from 11 to 19 inches, channel catfish ranging from 12 to 26 inches, and a few small bluegills. The water temperature last week was 56 degrees.

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is fair to good. The lake is full and ice-free and is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout this week.

The north fishing pier is still inaccessible from the shoreline because the road to the dam is closed. The fishing pier to the west of the boat ramp has been moved into shore, but getting to it is difficult because of heavy brush and rocks. The boat ramp is usable.

Anglers have been catching 12-14 inch rainbow trout on flies. A few bass are being caught on lures. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, lead head jigs, Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, prince nymphs, peacock ladies and brown Montana Stones.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors. The store is closed. Recent netting revealed rainbow trout ranging from 10 to 15 inches, walleyes ranging from 12 to 29 inches, one 15 inch largemouth bass, one 15 inch smallmouth bass, and channel catfish ranging from 11 to 27 inches. The water temperature two weeks ago was 54 degrees.

WOODLAND LAKE — Fishing is excellent. New regulations went into effect at Woodland Lake on Jan. 1, reducing the daily bag and possession limit to four trout.

The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout in the week of April 6-10. The lake is full and the boat ramp is usable. Anglers are doing well on night crawlers fished off the bottom near the dam, from the fishing pier, and on the north shoreline.  Boat anglers are also doing well in the south cove, which is difficult to fish from the shore.

Try worms. Power Bait, spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, peacock ladies, Prince Nymphs, and Zug bugs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Streams are ice-free, slightly murky, and have high flows due to spring snowmelt. Most interior Forest Roads are open, but some higher elevation roads may still have snow drifts.

West Fork Black River: The lower West Fork of the Black River can be accessed by Forest Road 249 from Alpine to Forest Road 276 to Forest Road 25.  Some forest roads may still have snowdrifts.

Expect high flows due to snowmelt runoff, even higher than flows in the East Fork because the headwaters drain off Mt. Baldy which still has a fair amount of snow. The stocking season is scheduled to begin in early May.

East Fork Black River: Forest Road 249 can access The East Fork of the Black River from Alpine to Forest Road 276. Forest Road 26 is also open to Forest Road 24 to Buffalo Crossing.  Some forest roads may still have snowdrifts.

Fishing is poor. The stocking season will begin in early May. Stream flows are moderately high due to spring snowmelt. Try drifting worms through pools or casting small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, Rooster Tail), small spoons (KastMaster, Z-rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs.

Sheep’s Crossing: Not accessible. Highway 273 is still closed due to road construction but is expected to open this year. There are high flows due to snowmelt.

Little Colorado River Greer: Fishing is poor to fair. Stream flows are moderately high due to spring snowmelt, with flows currently ranging from 20 cfs in the morning to almost 30 cfs in the afternoon. Try drifting worms or casting the above mentioned small lures or flies through deep pools.  The stocking season will begin in early May

Silver Creek: The creek is clear.  Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to bait, lures or flies, with a bag and possession limit of six trout from April 1 through Sept. 30.

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. Also try fishing night crawlers off the bottom of pools or along undercut banks or vegetation.

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