If you're looking to get out of the heat and get some great fishing in at the same time, then Willow Springs is the spot. Anglers have been reporting good action for both trout and bass since the forest has been reopened. Extra trout stockings and light fishing pressure has turned the lake into one of the best fishing holes around.
Trolling or casting micro-sized crankbaits have been very productive patterns. Also, try Berkley Power Bait fished on the bottom. Early morning and late evening have been the most active periods, but some anglers have had success all day long.
To go fishing with Clifford, call (928) 468-5545, or you can e-mail any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apache: Fishing is good. Westy Worms and 7" Power Worms have been producing fish on points and steep banks. Many anglers are also have success with jigs during the daytime.
Bartlett: Fishing is excellent. Westy Worms and Yamamoto jigs are catching fish out of rock cover. There has also been great early morning topwater and crankbait action. Fish in the 1 1/2 pound range seem to be the most active.
Canyon: Fishing is fair. Jigs and worms have been working for bass along steep walls. Some anglers have also had success with crankbaits in the morning hours.
Pleasant: Fishing is fair. 10" Power Worms and Westy Worms are your best bet for bass. Stripers and white bass have been biting on topwaters and spoons. Watch for shad boils for the best action.
Roosevelt: Fishing is excellent. The fishing action has really heated back up this week. Westy Worms and Power Worms are producing bass in 10-25 feet. Crankbaits and topwaters are a good bet when you find the fish busting shad. Crappie fishing is also excellent.
Saguaro: Fishing is good. Yellow bass have been providing lots of action. Try fishing small spoons and tailspinners. Westy Worms and Power Worms have been working for bass on bluffs and points. Several bass and walleye in the eight-pound range were caught this week.
Cliff's Tip of the Week
This week's tip is courtesy of Kathleen from Heber, often referred to by folks in that area as the trout fishing guru of the Rim lakes. She recommends Berkley Power Bait for anyone headed to Willow Springs. All colors will work, but the serious angler need look no further than Lemon Twist Power Bait. She's tried all the flavors and even the "hatchery formula," but as far as Kathleen is concerned, Lemon Twist has no peer.
Other fishing hot spots
Chevelon Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair to good. Anglers should try small lures such as Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners, and Rapalas. Small flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies should work. Trout between 10-14 inches may not be possessed.
Bear Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair to good. Anglers should try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small lures and flies.
Black Canyon Lake: Closed: it is in the Chediski Fire area.
Willow Springs Lake: Has been stocked with catchable sized rainbow trout. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs. Lures such as Z-Rays and Panther Martin spinners and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers are also effective. Fish early in the morning and late in the evening, or try just before and after a thunderstorm (don't be on the water during a thunderstorm).
Woods Canyon Lake: Has been stocked with catchable sized rainbow trout. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs. Lures such as Z-Rays and Panther Martin spinners and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers are also effective. Fish early in the morning and late in the evening, or try just before and after a thunderstorm (don't be on the water during a thunderstorm).
Green Valley Lake: This lake is part of the urban fishing program and requires an urban fishing license. The lake contains rainbow trout, bluegills, and catfish. Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms are effective. Try lures such as Crappie jigs, small Rapalas, crankbaits, and small spoons.
Chevelon Creek: Anglers should try bait (worms, Power Bait or salmon eggs), small lures and flies in the deeper pools of the creek.
Canyon Creek: Is in the Chediski Fire closure area, so is not accessible. There has been a trout kill due to ash from the fire.
Northern Arizona waters
Note: Perkins Tank has been drained to remove the green sunfish.
Kaibab Lake: Trout fishing is slow. Catfishing is good. A 17-pound catfish was caught recently. One angler reported catching some nice crappie. Campground and lake are open.
Cataract Lake: Campground and lake are open.
Lower Lake Mary: Lake is dry.
Upper Lake Mary: No report.
Ashurst Lake: Stocked last week. Fishing should be good. Try worms, corn or Power Bait.
Kinnikinick Lake: Stocked last week. Fishing should be very good. Try worms, corn or Power Bait.
Oak Creek: Good for rainbows. Fair for browns.
Lone Lake: Trout fishing is good. Catfishing is excellent. Try chicken liver or worms.
Soldiers and Soldiers Annex: No report.
Beaver Creek: No report.
West Clear Creek: No report.
Stoneman Lake: The lake is dry.
Blue Ridge: Trout fishing is excellent. Power Bait in any color is popular.
Knoll Lake: Fishing is excellent. Try corn, Power Bait or worms. Launching a boat is difficult from a boat trailer. The ramp is approximately 30 feet out of the water.
Verde River: Both the Tonto and Prescott National Forests have lifted the closures on their respective lands. This is good news for fishing the Verde River. River flows on the upper Verde are still very low despite some monsoon storms last. Monsoons typically muddy up local areas of the river so it may pay to scout an area out before fishing. Typically fishing is slow when the water is muddy. Catfishing is the exception. You may actually experience better catfishing when a river is up. The Deadhorse State Park in Cottonwood is open. Some folks have been having limited success catching channel catfish at the lagoon in Deadhorse. The Upper Verde River Wildlife Area (you may know it as Burnt Ranch) has been re-opened to public access. Please continue to use extreme caution as restrictions are still in place on open fires and smoking.
Lynx Lake: Lynx Lake has been re-opened. Lake levels are still very low. Trout stocking is still suspended due to high water temperatures. Water quality will continue to be evaluated.
Fain Lake: Fishing remains slow at Fain. Trout stocking is still suspended. We're looking at its water quality to see if stocking can resume.