New reports: Recommended Waters to Fish
Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake are good for stocked trout in the Rim lakes area. Fool Hollow Lake is good for bass and sunfish. Show Low Lake is fair for walleye at night or early morning and good for trout. Nelson Reservoir is good for green sunfish and stocked rainbow trout. Fishing at LCR in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek are also good to excellent.
Aug. 15 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods: “Rim Country trout fishing continues to offer excellent opportunities for skilled and novice anglers. Stocked rainbow trout will mostly stay within a few hundred yards of the stocking area. So keeping this in mind, a good pair of polarized sunglasses will permit anglers to sight these trout in pools along a stream. Then it’s just a matter of making an accurate cast using PowerBait, a small fly or even a worm to land a perfectly sized trout. In addition to pools, look for overhangs or areas where the stream narrows that will hold trout. Also logs, boulders and ledges are prime trout locations.”
Mogollon Rim Lakes
• BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is to fair for stocked rainbow trout. Trout were stocked weeks ago.
• BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbow trout. The lake level is very low at 12.8 feet below full, and the boat ramp is gated off for safety reasons, making it very difficult to launch a boat. The pH is also very high (9.7).
• CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good to fair for holdover rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The access to Chevelon Lake is difficult, requiring a long steep hike or ATV ride down to the dam area. New fishing regulations on Chevelon Creek upstream of the lake and downstream of the lake (to Chevelon Crossing) now match the lake regulations, which is artificial fly and lure only with a two trout daily bag limit.
• WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers have been catching trout on worms and PowerBait (green and garlic). The lake was stocked last week and again this week with rainbow trout.
• WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers have been catching trout with PowerBait and worms 10-12 feet below the surface. The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout and again this week.
In-Town Lakes (Pinetop/Show Low)
• FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked trout. Fish were stocked last week. Fish for trout in deeper water, but not below the thermocline where there is little oxygen, which has been 12-15 feet below the surface in previous years. Fishing for bass and catfish is fair. Try fishing for green sunfish right under the piers or shoreline with a piece of a worm! The lake level is low so use caution when launching a boat.
• RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing for bullheads, channel catfish, and bass and northern pike is good to fair, but poor for trout. Some 12-13-inch rainbow trout were stocked several times in April, but high pH levels (10.1) had prevented summer stockings. Weeds are still thick but starting to die down; however, there is an algae bloom, making water clarity poor. White amur (grass carp) have been stocked into the lake to control nuisance aquatic weeds. Please release these fish to do their job of eating aquatic weeds.
• SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for rainbow trout. Fishing for channel catfish is good.
• SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good to fair. Fish were stocked this week. Fish for trout in deeper water (surface temperatures are warm). Don’t fish for trout below the thermocline since there is little dissolved oxygen in very deep water. The thermocline is approximately 15-20 feet below the surface this year. An 18-inch rainbow trout was caught last week by the inlet; however, it was the only fish the angler caught all day. The store is open, and boat rentals and campground sites are available.
• WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor. A very strong algae bloom has developed and the pH is very high (9.5). Woodland was last stocked with rainbow trout about two months ago, which was the lake’s last stocking for the year. Try fishing in early morning for trout or try for catfish or bass.
White Mountain Lakes
• BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good to fair especially when cloudy or early morning and evening. The fishing pier is closed for safety reasons. Fly anglers have been catching large rainbows (18-22 inches) in both deep and top water. Try indicators with shammy worms (dog bone), large egg patterns, San Juan worms, or zebra midges or a full-sink line with bright leaches or wooly buggers and work them particularly slowly. Use dry flies such as brown beatle pattern or small hoppers. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No trout may be kept.
• BIG LAKE – Fishing is poor for boat and shore anglers. Trout are in deep water. Try PowerBait. The store is open and boat/kayak rentals are available.
• CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair, if you can get out on the lake. The lake level is very low and launching a boat or tube will be difficult. Bring your waders and try wading! Fishing from shore may be even more difficult. Work on the dam to fix a broken outlet pipe is complete, keeping in water. Water levels are rising slowly and there has been no sign of a summer kill as of yet, so fish have grown even larger than what was found in our spring survey (24 inches)! One angler caught two fish measuring more than 24 inches during the later morning hours. He was wading.
• CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for stocked rainbow trout. Fishing is fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.
• CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. Anglers may catch trout on garlic and green PowerBait.
• CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is poor. Spring fish surveys found some large rainbow trout survived winter. Lots of weeds. pH levels are very high (9.93) and prevented spring and summer stocking.
• GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbows at all three lakes, which were stocked in June. Lake levels are low. Boat launch is extremely difficult except in River.
• HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding on Escudilla Mountain and has not been stocked since the fire in 2011. Lake dredging is underway.
• LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor for stocked Apache trout and holdover Arctic grayling. Water quality has plummeted with an algae bloom and high pH (9.6). The water level is somewhat low and launching a boat with a trailer may be difficult. Float tubes and pontoons should not be a problem.
• LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake has some large holdover trout, plus it was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout in the spring. Weeds are thick along some shorelines. There was a significant algae bloom and pH levels are high (9.7).
• LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass and catfish. Fishing is good for carp; use corn.
• NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked heavily in early summer. Anglers should fish the upper end of the lake where the water is clearer. There is a strong algae bloom. Fishing is good for sunfish, particularly during the day and evening hours. Use worms for sunfish.
White Mountain Streams
• EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is good to fair. The East Fork was stocked with rainbow trout last week and again this week. There are also wild brown trout present in the stream. The water may be high due to monsoonal rains.
• WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is good to fair. Apache trout were stocked last week and again this week at the Forest Road 68 crossing. The lower reaches contain some wild brown trout. The water may be high due to monsoonal rains.
• LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is good to excellent. The stream was stocked with rainbow trout last week and again this week. There are also wild brown trout in the stream. With increased turbidity due to monsoon storms, fishing is picking up.
• SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is excellent for Apache trout. Sheeps Crossing was stocked with Apache trout last week and again this week. There are also wild Apache trout present in the stream. With increased turbidity due to monsoon storms, fishing is picking up.
• SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor. Little water was flowing in the creek from Show Low Lake. Flow has increased since water is now being released, however oxygen levels are very low and the creek was not stocked this week as scheduled and may not be stocked the rest of the year. Stay tuned.
• SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. Silver Creek will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. The general fishing season started at Silver Creek runs through Sept. 30. Bait fishing and a six-trout daily bag limit are allowed at this time; however, the upper section is closed until Oct. 1. Water may be high due to flash flooding.