Editor’s Note: During the hot Valley summertime, many anglers head out to cooler climes; at our early summer press time, these were some reports we received from Arizona Game & Fish about many of the favorite destinations.
Recommended Waters To Fish
Fishing is excellent at Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake in the Rim area, Woodland Lake, Show Low Creek, and Patterson Ponds in Pinetop and St. Johns, and Carnero Lake, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, and Little Colorado River in Greer.
Summaries follow for lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and streams.
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
*All roads should be open. Questions about road, campgrounds, fire restrictions, and fires should be directed towards the Forest Service.
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. This lake was stocked in mid-May with rainbow trout. Anglers are catching trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Smoke may be in the area due to fires in the area.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Last stocked in mid-May. The lake is full and has a new boat ramp. Accessible on Forest Road 86. Try PowerBait for rainbow trout.
CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout. The spring survey showed few rainbow trout, but some large brown trout. Catchable rainbow trout were stocked in early May, which should have improved fishing. Chevelon Lake is a hike in lake.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. Tiger trout were stocked in late April, rainbow trout are stocked every week. Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers. Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. Store and boat rentals are open! Tiger Trout were stocked in late April, rainbow trout are stocked every week. The biggest reported Tiger Trout so far has been 14 inches. Green sunfish are easily caught on worms. Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers. Try powerbait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.
PINETOP/SHOW LOW/ST. JOHNS LAKES
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout! These fish will be stocked this week! The lake is full for the first time in several years. Fishing pier and platforms are accessible! Bass and large catfish are also being caught.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout! Stocking is done here for the year, but fishing is still good! Lake is full and the weeds are not bad yet. If the trout are not biting, try a nightcrawler on the bottom for bullheads. The White Mountain Bass Fishing club recently adopted the lake and cleaned up trash along the public shoreline. Please don’t leave your trash around, and feel free to help out and pick up trash you see!
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good for stocked rainbow trout! The lake will be stocked this week.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout! These fish will be stocked this week! The lake is nearly full. New facility improvements, including a new fish cleaning station, stairs from the upper parking lot down to the boat launch, and ADA boat trailer parking, are now open! The new restroom is currently closed for repair.
WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish were stocked two weeks with rainbow trout from our local hatcheries and an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado! The fishing dock is now accessible. Worms, PowerBait and salmon eggs work well for trout.
PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is excellent for catfish! Channel catfish will be stocked this week! A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here. The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply. We are hosting a fishing clinic here June 10. Come out and enjoy!
WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait. No trout may be kept. Large rainbow trout are being caught nymph fishing under a strike indicator at 8-10 feet. Tiger trout are also being caught. Fishing is on and off however. The Becker Lake hosts are back, be sure to ask them what is biting and welcome them back! To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler. See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details!
BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair. Try cow bells, PowerBait, or worms fished off the bottom for rainbows, or fly fishing for cutthroats. There has been an active surface bite just before dark. Railroad Cove and South Cove are okay places to launch boats, South Cove is probably better than Railroad.
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish surveys show large healthy 20 inch rainbows and 15+ tigers. There was an unconfirmed report of an 18-inch tiger trout caught this week. Weeds are low and the water level is high! To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler. See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details! Fish are biting on black wooly buggers and nymphs. Try gold lures.
CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass. Trout were stocked last month in the narrow near the county facilities (just downstream of the bridge).
CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair. Trout were last stocked in April.
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. pH levels are starting to rise and the fishing is starting to slow a little. Spring surveys showed good holdover numbers on brook trout and carryover rainbow trout (16in). The lake was also heavily stocked with more brook trout and rainbow trout. Fishing pier and boat docks are accessible!
GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is good at all three lakes. All three lakes will be stocked this week. Tunnel was also stocked recently with an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado! Boats are launchable at Tunnel and Bunch, but not River. We expect Tunnel and Bunch to recede soon as well.
HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is good for holdover and stocked rainbow trout. Fish were last stocked last month. Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait. Great place to get out of the wind!
LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor. Few fish remain here and will not be stocked this year.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Rainbow trout of all sizes are being caught, including some large rainbows and cutthroats. Fishing is not fast, but large rainbow trout are consistently being caught on worms.
LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or nightcrawlers for carp and catfish.
NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. A few holdover rainbow trout are being caught on PowerBait. The lake will not be stocked until it stops spilling. This should be within the next 2 weeks or so. Check back next week!
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is excellent! Rainbow trout will be stocked this week. Fishing is fair for wild brown trout.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is excellent for stocked rainbow trout!
SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Rainbow trout will be stocked this week. The road over the dam is open, but please do not park on the dam.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Rainbow trout were stocked this week. Current regulations are catch-and-keep with bait and 6 trout daily limit apply. The upper section is closed to fishing.
SHEEPS CROSSING/WEST FORK LCR – Fishing is poor and this stream will not be stocked this year.
Updated June 6, Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)