Weekly Fishing Report

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MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

Chevelon Lake: Fishing is fair to good, but picks up considerably right before monsoon storms. Anglers have been catching rainbow trout on spinners. Try lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin and Rooster Tail), and spoons such as Super Dupers, KastMasters and Z-Rays, and flies such as peacock ladies, woolly worms and woolly buggers, and semi-seal leeches.

This is a steep-sided canyon lake that is not shore-angler friendly and is best fished from a float tube, canoe or kayak. This is hike-in lake with a steep, challenging trail.

The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only. Trout between 10 to 14 inches may not be possessed. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

Bear Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair to good. There is a short, but steep, hike into this lake. The lake was stocked in June with catchable-sized rainbow trout. There are also larger holdover trout in this deep canyon lake. Try worms, Power Bait, corn and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), Super Dupers, Z-Rays and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, woolly worms, woolly buggers, and small nymphs in black, brown or green.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

Black Canyon Lake: Fishing is poor to fair. The lake was stocked in May with catchable-sized rainbow trout. The Arizona Game and Fish Department can’t stock this lake during the summer months because of high water temperatures and pHs. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, Super Dupers, and spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, peacock ladies and small nymphs.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

Blue Ridge Reservoir: An angler reports that the smoke from a fire in the general vicinity has created visibility problems at this lake. Also, he said there are hordes of hungry and aggressive green sunfish.

There is a heavy algae bloom.

Has been stocked. Fishing is fair. It may be possible to catch some nice holdovers here at times, but the lake is not very shore-angler friendly. This lake is best fished from a small boat, kayak, canoe or float tube.

Knoll Lake: This lake is full. Fishing is fair to good, and can be excellent in the hours before thunderstorms hit. But if there is lightning, be sure to get away from the water.

This spring-fed lake may be a little more difficult to get to (20-plus dirt road miles), but a dusty excursion along the FS 300 Road (Rim Road) can be a treat in itself for those who enjoy spectacular vistas along steep escarpments.

Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, Super Dupers, and spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, peacock ladies and small nymphs.

Willow Springs Lake: Fishing is fair to good for trout, fair for bass, and poor for crappie. Has been stocked recently.

Trout fishing has generally been good for boat anglers who fish early morning, and fair for shore anglers. Fishing can slow considerably during the heat of the day, unless monsoon thunderstorms visit the area.

Bass fishing should be best in the afternoons.

The best trout bite has been at first and last light, or when storm clouds start piling up.

Willow Springs also has plenty smallmouth and largemouth bass. There are no limits on the bass. There are even some crappies here. Fish the stickups using 4-inch worms or lizards. Drop-shotted Robo worms can sometimes produce a bonanza of bass, trout and crappie.

Anglers are catching trout on worms. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, and peacock ladies.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors.

Angler report:

I took my nephew Derek to Willow Springs Lake again. I wanted to show him how the technique would change from two months ago. We had a good day, but we really had to work for the fish. We boated 24 trout (mostly catch-and-release) and one smallie. It was a blue bird day and the water temperature was 72, so the trout were running a little deeper. We were slow trolling small Rebel crankbaits (medium to dark colors) weighted down with a split shot a couple of feet up from the lure to get it down to the fish. We did have some very nice quality fish between 12 inches and 14 inches. Some days you just have to work at it a little harder to find the right color and the right depth. Take a teenager fishing up on the Rim, give them a break from the computer, they will love it!

Thanks again Arizona Game and Fish, Kevin Thompson

Woods Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair to good. Stocked weekly with rainbow trout. There are some bass in this lake. Woods Canyon is also a great place to load up on delectable crayfish.

There are nesting bald eagles here, so please do not discard fishing line. In fact, please pick up any line discarded by sloppy anglers.

Updated information — There is a small area (well signed) on the southwestern (not east as was first reported) end of the lake that is closed due to nesting bald eagles. Please respect the closure — it should not interfere with your fishing.

This also means that the nesting eagles are aggressively foraging for fish at Woods Canyon and at nearby Willow Springs, so take along your binoculars, it’s a treat. You might even see an exciting wildlife drama unfold when a bald eagle tries to take a fish away from an osprey.

Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin and Rooster Tail), small spoons such as Super Dupers, Z-Rays and KastMasters, and flies such as peacock ladies, woolly worms, small nymphs in black, brown or green.

Trolling Super dupers or Cowbells has proven very effective lately, as has trolling woolly buggers.

Also, before leaving home try catching some cicadas or grasshoppers for bait. If you can get some live cicadas to use, you might load up on trout.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES

Upper Lake Mary: The lake is full. Anglers have reported that folks are catching black crappie, yellow perch and northern pike on soft plastic jigs and spoons. This lake also has some nice largemouth bass as well. There are no boat motor restrictions here.

Ashurst Lake: The lake is full. Fishing was fair on worms or Power Bait fished below a bobber. Stocked last week.

Francis Short Pond: Anglers were catching catfish using hot dogs for bait. The best time was in the evening.

Kinnikinick Lake: Road is open. A 2-pound brown trout was caught on a worm recently. This spring-fed lake can be a decent summer producer even when other lakes are experiencing the doldrums.

Oak Creek: Fishing is good for rainbows in places. It is also fair to good for brown trout in the catch-and-release section located between Junipine Crossing and Call-of-the-Canyon Crossing (well signed). Fly anglers are catching fish on cicada patterns.

Don’t forget that in Oak Creek there is unlimited harvest allowed for warm-water fish, such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and flathead catfish, but you can expect to find these fish in the lower sections of the Oak Creek, especially between Sedona and Cornville.

Long Lake: Lake is open. Water level is good. Has been stocked. We sampled the Long complex two weeks ago week. Trout up to about 6 pounds were caught and released during our surveys.

WHITE MOUNTAINS

Note: Contact the U.S. Forest Service in Springerville for up-to-date information on forest conditions. State Highway 273 that accesses Big Lake and Crescent Lake is open.

Becker Lake: Fishing is fair. The lake is nearly full. Becker is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a two-trout bag limit. Try lures such as Super Dupers, spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster Tail), rainbow-colored Z-Rays, and small spoons such as KastMasters.

Try flies such as peacock ladies, woolly worms and woolly buggers in brown, black or gray, semi-seal leeches, prince nymphs, zug bugs, pheasant tails, hare’s 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: Fish have gone deep, but will be up in the shallows when clouds are building and the barometer is dropping.

This is the granddaddy of the high mountain lakes, but it also receives the most use. But with good reason. Fishing is fair to good. The fish have finally moved deep, which generally means the best fishing will be from a boat, but trout can be found near the surface at first and last light, or when thunderstorms visit the area.

Shore anglers are catching trout on worms and Power Bait. Boat anglers are catching trout using lures, flies and cowbells with an attached worm.

Also try lures such as spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), Super Dupers, Z-Rays and Rapalas, and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, peacock ladies, and nymphs in black, brown or green.

The lake has come up approximately two feet from last fall, but still two feet below spill.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp gas motors. The store is open and has boats for rent.

Carnero Lake: Fishing is good. The lake is very weedy around the shoreline areas. This lake is best fished with a small boat or float tube. 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 woolly worms, woolly buggers, scud patterns, prince nymphs, zug bugs, hare’s 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: Fishing is fair to good for warm-water species. 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, crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as woolly worms or woolly 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: Fishing is poor. The lake is very weedy. The lake was stocked in May. 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, woolly worms, and small nymphs. Concho is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp gas motors.

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