Bass, Trout, Crappie -- Rim Country Has It All


From the Mogollon Rim down to Roosevelt Lake, Rim country offers some good fishing for local and visiting anglers.

Local angling pro, licensed guide and Payson Roundup columnist Clifford Pirch says fall can be a great time for fishing.


Fishing guide Clifford Pirch can direct you to all of the best fishing spots in Rim country.

Roosevelt Area

Roosevelt Lake, one of Pirch's favorites, offers good crappie and bass fishing in the fall.

"The upper couple of feet of water start to cool off at night," he said. "That starts to bring some of the fish that have been deep all summer long into the shallows."

Pirch offers his recommendations on what to use for crappie and bass.

"You can catch crappie on chartreuse grubs or minnows," he said.

Crankbaits, which are designed to dive to various depths, are a lure that Pirch finds successful during the fall.

"In the fall, the bass fishing gets really good," Pirch said. "They'll be biting on top waters and crankbaits, shad or crawdad-colored cranks work well."

Apache Lake, right below Roosevelt, past the dam, is another good lake to fish, Pirch said.

"There's bass, yellow bass, and catfish," Pirch said.

To fish for channel catfish, Pirch said anglers can use just about anything -- shrimp, minnows and waterdogs.

"The flathead catfish are mostly live bait eaters," he said. "They like shad, bluegill and live waterdogs."

Rim Lakes

If you prefer trout fishing, lakes on the Mogollon Rim provide some great fishing.

"Some of the good spots are Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake -- good for rainbow trout," Pirch said. "Little spinners work well and flies such as the woolly bugger."

Chevelon Lake requires a hike, but in the fall months, can be well worth it.

"It's a hike, but there is great fishing, especially toward November, before the ice forms," he said. "It can be excellent for German Brown trout."

For Chevelon, Pirch recommends woolly worm flies, spinners and rapala crankbaits.


Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek and the East Verde River are Pirch's recommendations for creek anglers.

"For creek fishing, I recommend little spinners, flies and bait," he said. "I like the Panther Martin spinner or a Don's Dragonfly."

Pirch's column, "Fish and Tips," and up-to-date fishing reports are published in each Friday's edition of the Roundup.

To go fishing with Pirch, call (928) 978-3518 or e-mail him at

Urban Fishing

A good place to take the children is Green Valley Lake, located right off Main Street in Payson.

According to Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind, Green Valley Lake will get a delivery of 700 pounds of rainbow trout every two weeks, starting in mid-October.

"Some near-record fish have been caught out of Green Valley Lake," Schwind said. Pictures of some of the fish can be seen in the Parks and Recreation office next to the lake.

Schwind said the trout like pink powerbait.

Anglers have been known to catch a random, illegally dumped bass in the lake as well.

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