Weekly Fishing Report

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Pete Aleshire/Roundup

Floating Free: A bass fisherman uses a float tube to paddle about among the drowned trees and brush at the Tonto Creek inlet to Roosevelt Lake. With the lake at record levels, the submerged brush and trees are providing nutrients and cover for bass likely making Roosevelt one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country for the next several years.

The following report on fishing conditions at Rim Country lakes and streams is based on information compiled by Rory Aikins and published on the Arizona Game and Fish Department Web site for this week.

CHEVELON LAKE: Fishing is fair. The lake is full. All access roads are open. Steep hike requires a climb.

Artificial flies and lures only — best fished from a float tube. 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, wooly worms and wooly buggers, and semi-seal leeches.

BEAR CANYON LAKE: Fishing is fair to good. The lake is full. The lake has been stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout. All roads are open to the lake. Plenty of large, holdover trout.

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, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and small nymphs in black, brown or green.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. .

BLACK CANYON LAKE: Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked last week. All roads are open to the lake.

Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, Super Dupers and spinners (Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin), and flies such as wooly worms, wooly 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: Road is open. Full and overflowing. Fishing is fair. It may be possible to catch some nice holdovers here, 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 and accessible and has been stocked. Knoll is often good for early-season holdover trout, but don’t expect great numbers.

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 wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies and small nymphs.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE: Fishing is good, with many anglers catching limits, especially those fishing from boats. 

The lake is full. The lake was stocked last week with 2,734 rainbow trout, but also has plenty of larger holdover trout, plus smallmouth and largemouth bass. There are even some crappies here.

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 wooly worms, wooly buggers and peacock ladies.

WOODS CANYON LAKE: Fishing is good, with lots of anglers catching limits. This lake was stocked last week and is scheduled to be stocked again this coming week.

Fishing is good for the stockers, with some larger holdover trout still being caught at times.

Note: Small area at east end of the lake closed to protect nesting bald eagles. Take binoculars for a chance to see the parents foraging at Woods Canyon and nearby Willow Springs.

For the fish, 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, wooly worms, small nymphs in black, brown or green.

The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

ROOSEVELT LAKE: Lake elevation remains at 2,150 feet (99-percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is at 17 cfs while inflow from the Salt River has slowed to 421 cfs.

The Tonto National Forest has instituted fire restrictions, and so has the Arizona Game and Fish Department in its wildlife areas (3-Bar and Roosevelt) as a result of a dry spring and higher fire dangers.

Some anglers have been fishing a good topwater bite at first light, others have found the morning bite to be slow. Try poppers, stick baits and soft plastic jerkbaits.

Have a second pole rigged with a flutter-down bait such as a Senko if you get hit but no hook up. A good technique to use at any time can be targeting individual pieces of submerged vegetation using flutter-down baits like Senkos and curly-tail grubs.

Or try working 4-inch lizards and curly-tail worms. There is certainly a lot of submerged cover that can be worked right now. Crappie fishing should be best at night (there is a new moon on Sunday). Flathead catfish anglers are out in force, with some hauling in big monsters.

The action is also pretty good for bluegills and yellow bass. Try using meal worms under bobbers in the backs of coves, or along those rocky secondary points inside the coves.

Channel catfish and carp are abundant — you can probably load up with lots of bottom feeders along any piece of shoreline, and you don’t need a boat.

APACHE: Lake elevation is still 1,911 feet (97-percent full).

Fishing continues to pick up at Apache. One avid angler caught 30 fish in one day of fishing. He caught largemouth bass, sunfish and yellow bass. The largemouth bass are on beds right now and the best fishing is close to shore near overhanging vegetation.

Another tidbit is the fishing seems to be better toward the Horse Mesa Dam as opposed to the other direction. Fish were biting on crankbait, a chartreuse spinner and purple plastic worms rigged on a drop shot. People are also catching 6- to 9-pound catfish near the marina using worms.

SALT RIVER: Salt River into Roosevelt is 421 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 387 cfs. They are releasing 375 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

One angler caught a 47.9-pound flathead catfish in the Upper Salt River close to Roosevelt Lake two weeks ago. A live sunfish caught at that location was used as bait. 

CREEKS: All creeks along the Mogollon Rim are fishing pretty well. Early mornings and evenings are best. Nymphs are working well, as are drifting simi seals. Blue-winged olives are getting popular (size 18). In mid day, try a hopper dropper rig with a No. 16 bead head nymph under it. Dry flies — pay attention to the hatch and match.

Christopher Creek, Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek and the East Verde have all been stocked this spring. Spin anglers should try night crawlers, meal worms, Power Bait, corn, salmon eggs, small spinners and grasshoppers.

Canyon Creek was stocked recently.

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