White Mountains Fishing Report

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October 14th, 2009

Note: Contact the US Forest Service in Springerville for up to date information on forest conditions at (928) 333-4372.

BECKER LAKE— Fishing is fair to good.  The boat ramp is accessible. Becker is open to artificial lures and flies only, barbless hooks, and a 2-trout bag and possession limit.   Try lures such as Super Dupers, spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster Tails), rainbow colored Z-rays, and KastMasters. Try flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms and wooly buggers in brown, black or gray, brown colored nymphs, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, zug bugs, pheasant tails, hares ears, small scuds, and zebra 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, which provides good access for shore fishermen. Most of the lake is difficult to fish from the shore.  This lake has easy boat and little shore fishing access opportunities.

BIG LAKE — Fishing is good, with rainbows and cutthroats being caught, although windy conditions this past weekend made it challenging to fish at times. Boat ramps are accessible. Anglers are catching  rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout.  Some nice sized, (up to 6 pound), rainbow trout have been caught near the store. During the mornings and evenings, elk are routinely bugling.

Try worms, Power bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail, Panther Martin), Super Dupers, Z-rays, KastMasters, Crickhoppers (yellow and orange), and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, Yeager buggers, semi-seal leeches, peacock ladies, and nymphs in black, brown, or green. Boat anglers are catching trout using cowbells with an attached lure, fly or worm. Shore anglers should try  yellow or green Power Bait and night crawlers.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp. gas motors.  The store is open and has boats for rent.  This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access. There are three boat docks at the lake, one at South Cove, one at the Big Lake ramp, and one at Railroad Cove.

CARNERO LAKE — Fishing is good. Carnero is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks only, and a 2-trout bag and possession limit.  Try small lures such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, KastMasters, and spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails), 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. Fly-Fishers have been catching trout on the surface with caddis fly patterns.  Only electric trolling motors are allowed.  The lake is very weedy especially around the shoreline areas and is best fished with a small boat, float tube or kayak.  Try fishing open water areas of the lake.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair for warm water fish species such as bullheads, channel catfish, and sunfish and poor for trout.  Both boat ramps on the Northwest side are accessible, however it is extremely difficult to access most of the lake from the ramp by the dam because of the shallow water and sand bars.  The dirt ramp at mid-lake is not an official ramp and is used at your own risk.
Try fishing with a bobber, split shot and worms near rocky shoreline areas for sunfish and bass.  Also try fishing off the bottom with worms, hot dogs, and stink baits for bullheads and channel catfish.  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, semi-seal leeches, and peacock ladies.

There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir.  This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access.  Launching a trailered boat is currently very difficult.

CONCHO LAKE — There are currently no fishing opportunities. The lake is extremely low and very weedy.   There is only 2-3 inches of water in some areas of the lake. The lake is mostly dry.  There is private property (closed to the public) on the northwest side of the lake.

CRESCENT LAKE — Fishing is fair. Fishing generally improves during the fall as water temperatures cool down.  All boat ramps are accessible; however, the west and south boat ramps are deeper than the ramp on the north end of the lake.

Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as small Z-rays, Super Dupers, KastMasters, and spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster Tail), and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, Yeager bugger, leech patterns, peacock ladies, Warden Worrys, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.  Also try small nymphs in brown, black or green.

Crescent is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp. gas motors.  The store is closed for the season. This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access.  There is a fishing pier and boat dock located at the south end of the lake, and a boat dock located at the west side boat ramp.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fool Hollow Lake State Park is open and fishing is fair.  All boat ramps are accessible.  Bluegills and black crappies are probably moving into deeper water due to cooler water temperatures.  Some nice sized bass are being caught on lures and night crawlers.  Catfish and walleyes are being caught on night crawlers at night. Also, try hot dogs and stink bait for catfish. Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster Tail), spoons (Super Dupers, Z-rays, and KastMasters), rubber lead head jigs, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, Yeager bugger, and semi-seal leeches.  Try fishing around rocky areas, tree stumps and fishing piers for black crappies, bluegills, bass, and walleyes. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp gas motors.  This lake has easy boating and shore fishing access.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is poor to fair. All three Greer Reservoirs have been drawn down significantly during the summer irrigation season.  It is now the fill season and the lakes will begin to fill slowly, and continue to fill during the winter months.  No boats can be launched at Bunch and River Reservoirs because water levels are very low and the concrete curb at the end of the two boat ramps are out of water.  Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, KastMasters, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs in black, brown or green colors.

Bunch Reservoir and Tunnel Reservoir are open to electric trolling motors only, and River Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp. gas motors.  These lakes have easy small boat, float tube, and Kayak fishing access, as well as shore access.

HULSEY LAKE — Fishing is poor.   Dissolved oxygen levels are good. Fishing could improve in the fall.  The lake is nearly full.  Weeds, (cattails), are present around shoreline areas.  Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster Tail), and small spoons such as Super Dupers, KastMasters, and Z-rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and woolly worms.  The lake is open to electric trolling motors only, but there is no boat ramp.  Hulsey has easy shore fishing access.  There is a short hiking trail to the lake.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair.  Fishing should improve as cooler water temperatures prevail. The lake is down about 4-5 feet. Try lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin), small spoons such as Super Dupers, KastMasters, and Z-rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, hares ear, scud patterns, wooly worms, and small nymphs in black, brown, green or gray colors.  Lee Valley Lake is open to artificial lures and flies only, with a 2-trout bag and possession limit.  There is a 12-inch minimum length limit on all fish. No bait fishing is allowed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.  There is easy boat and shore fishing access.

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. There is a blue green algae bloom on the lake, and the pH is still a little high, which is stressful to trout.  Try fishing in the morning when pH levels are lowest.  Some anglers have been catching trout on yellow Power Bait and night crawlers. A 19-inch and 20 inch rainbow trout were caught during late September on night crawlers.  Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, lures such as Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps spinners, small spoons like KastMasters, Z-rays, and Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, zug bugs, prince nymphs, and black, brown or green colored nymphs.  The store is open sometimes. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp. gas motors.  This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access. There is a fishing pier near the west side boat ramp.

LYMAN LAKE — Lyman Lake State Park is open and fishing is good. Anglers have been catching channel catfish on worms, hot dogs, and stink baits.  Largemouth bass are being caught on lures and night crawlers.  Sunfish are being caught on worms. 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 a 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.

NELSON RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair. The boat ramps at the dam and southern end are accessible. There is unlimited harvest of rainbow and brown trout at Nelson Reservoir from Sept. 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010.  Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), small spoons such as KastMasters, Z-rays, and Super Dupers, jigs, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. Also try nymphs in black, brown or green colors.  Nelson Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp gas motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — The public parking lot and boat ramp at Rainbow Lake is scheduled to be closed for repair and repaving beginning Monday October 12.  The public access improvement will take up to 4  weeks to complete, and the entrance to the parking lot will be closed during that period. Fishing is poor for trout and fair for warm water species.  Bullheads are being caught off the fishing pier.  The lake is down about 4 feet and weedy, resulting in very high pH levels (9.73).  The weed harvester has cut weeds at the lake.  The boat ramp is accessible for small boats.  Large boats may have difficulty in launching.  Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps) spoons (Super Dupers, Z-rays, Daredevils), and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies.  Rainbow Lake is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp gas motors.

SCOTTS RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair. Try worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, and KastMasters, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.  Try fishing with worms, hot dogs, and stink baits for catfish.  A 17-pound channel catfish was caught in early September.  Scott Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors only. There is easy boat and shore fishing access.  The water level is about 7 feet low, so use caution when launching a boat. The boat ramp is accessible.

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is fair for bass and poor for trout.  The boat ramp is accessible.  The fishing piers have been straightened out and are accessible.  There is also a boat dock by the boat ramp.  The boat dock at the boat ramp is only for boat anglers, no fishing or swimming is allowed.  A few bass are being caught on lures.  Try trolling Rapalas early in the morning and late in the evening for walleyes.  An experienced angler also did well catching small walleye during the day by trolling and casting a silver spinner rig baited with a night crawler.  Try worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, KastMasters, rubber lead head jigs, Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, peacock ladies and black, brown or green colored nymphs.  Also try fishing worms, hot dogs, and stink baits for channel catfish.  The lake is open to electric trolling motors and up to 10 hp gas motors.  The store is closed.  This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access.

WOODLAND LAKE — Fishing is poor.  New regulations went into effect at Woodland Lake on Jan. 1, reducing the daily bag and possession limit to four trout.  The lake is low and very weedy.  The boat ramp is weedy but usable for small boats, float tubes, and kayaks.  The weed harvester cut weeds around the fishing pier and in front of the dam several weeks ago. PH levels are still very high (9.70).  Try worms. Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster Tail, and Mepps), spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, and KastMasters, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs.  Woodland Lake is open to electric trolling motors only. This lake has easy boat and shore fishing access.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

WEST FORK BLACK RIVER — Fishing is fair to good for small brown trout above the campground.  The stream is at base flows. The trout stocking season has ended but there is a good population of resident brown trout in the lower and middle reaches of the West Fork.  Try drifting worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs through pools, (bait legal in lower reaches only), or casting small spinners such as Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martins, small spoons (KastMasters, Z-rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs in black, brown, and green colors.  Also try small (size 16) dry flies such as parachute adams, black royal humpies, and caddis fly patterns.

EAST FORK BLACK RIVER — Fishing is fair to good.  A 21-inch brown trout was caught near Diamond Rock on worms in early September.  There are still some nice sized (11- to 12-inch) Apache trout being caught in the pools.  The stream is at base flows.  The trout stocking season has ended but there is a good population of resident brown trout in the stream.  Try drifting worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs through pools or casting small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, Rooster Tail), small spoons (KastMasters, Z-rays, and Super Dupers), Rapalas and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and small weighted nymphs in black, brown or green colors.  Try small (size 16) dry flies such as parachute Adams, black royal humpies, and caddis fly patterns.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER SHEEP CROSSING — Fishing is poor to fair.  The stream is at base flows.  The trout stocking season has ended.  Try drifting worms, corn, salmon eggs, and Power Bait through pools or casting small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin), spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, and KastMasters, and flies such as wooly worms, and small nymphs in black, brown or green colors. Try the following dry flies; parachute adams, humpies, and caddis fly patterns.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GREER — Fishing is poor to fair. The stream is at base flows.   The trout stocking season has ended.  Try drifting worms, Power Bait, corn, and salmon eggs through pools or casting small lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin), spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-rays, and KastMasters, and flies such as wooly worms, and small nymphs in black, brown or green colors. Try the following dry flies; parachute adams, humpies, and caddis fly patterns.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is good to excellent. Silver creek on Arizona Game and Fish property is currently open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks only, and catch and release fishing from Oct 1 through March 30.  The upper section is open to fishing.   Large Apache and rainbow trout have been stocked for the catch-and-release fishing season.  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 the following dry flies; parachute adams, humpies, and caddis fly patterns.

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