Arizona Game and Fish Department updated Sept. 28

White Mountains and Rim Lakes

Recommended Waters to Fish

Show Low Creek is good for trout.  Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake are good for stocked trout in the Rim Lakes area.  Fool Hollow Lake is fair for bass and sunfish. Show Low Lake is good for walleye at night or early morning.  Big Lake fishing is picking up for trout!  River Reservoir in Greer was stocked last week and should have good fishing!  Fishing at LCR in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek are also good.

Mogollon Rim Lakes

• BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbow trout.  The campground and the west side of the lake are under a closure order from forest service due to forest thinning activities.

• BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbow trout. The access road into Black Canyon Lake closed at its junction with Forest Road 86 throughout the construction period, which is anticipated to conclude by March 1, 2016. This project includes rehabilitation of the parking lot, improvements to day use facilities for boaters, and installation of a new boat ramp that will allow visitors to launch when lake levels are low.

• CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is 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 2 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 with rainbow trout.

• WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good for shore and boat anglers. Anglers have been catching trout with Power Bait and worms 10 to 12 feet below the surface. The lake was stocked this and last week with rainbow trout.

In-Town Lakes (Pinetop/ Show Low)

• FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked trout. 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 in rocky shoreline with a piece of a worm!  Also try chicken livers fished at night for catfish.  The lake level is low so use caution when launching a boat.

• RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing for bullheads, channel catfish, bass and northern pike is good to fair, but poor for trout.  Anglers have been catching northern pike off the dam. 12-13” rainbow trout were stocked several times in April, but high pH levels (10.1) prevented summer stockings. Weeds are thick in some areas, but some boats are out on the water. White amur (grass carp) have been stocked to control nuisance aquatic weeds. Please release grass carp to do their job of eating aquatic weeds. Bow fishing for grass carp is illegal on this lake.  

• SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for rainbow trout. Fishing for channel catfish is fair.

• SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. 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. Walleye fishing is good. 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 high (9.0). Woodland was last stocked with rainbow trout in May, 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 deep water. Try indicators with shammy worms (dog bone), large egg patterns, San Juan worms, or zebra midges or a full sink line with bright leeches or wooly buggers and work them extra slow.  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 good to fair for boat and shore anglers. Fishing is picking back up.  Anglers are catching brook trout, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout from shore and boats using various lures, worms, and PowerBait. The algae bloom has started the break up. The store is open and boat/kayak rentals are available.

• CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair. Fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler weather. The lake level is very low, but has come up since the summer. The lake is very weedy. Launching a boat or tube will be difficult; try wading. • CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for stocked rainbow trout. Fishing is fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.

• CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor.

• CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is poor. Spring fish surveys found some large rainbow trout survived winter. Lots of weeds. pH levels are high (8.86) and prevented spring and summer stocking. Fishing may start to pick up with decreasing pH and temperatures.  

• GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbows Tunnel and Bunch. Fishing is good to fair at River Reservoir. It was stocked last week with rainbow trout! Lake levels are low. Boat launch is extremely difficult in all lakes.

• 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 just about complete and the lake is filling up. We plan to stock this lake spring 2016!

• LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked Apache trout and holdover Arctic grayling. Water quality is increasing with decreasing temperature. Fish are rising in the evening. The water level has come up but is still 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 to poor. 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 (9.3) but decreasing. The lake has recently ‘turned-over.’ This means that the water is no longer stratified and is mostly all one temperature from top to bottom so fish may be spread throughout. Try fishing near the west end of the lake where there is higher dissolved oxygen.

• LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass and catfish.  Fishing is good for carp and catfish, use corn or night crawlers.

• 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.  The daily bag limits for rainbow trout at Nelson Reservoir are currently unlimited (through March 31, 2016).

White Mountain Streams

• EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is good to fair.  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. The lower reaches contain some wild brown trout. The water may be high due to monsoon rains.   

• LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is good. There are also wild brown trout in the stream.

• SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is good for Apache trout.

• SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is good. We were able to stock last week!  

• SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. The general fishing season starts at Silver Creek April 1, 2016. Bait fishing and a 6 trout daily bag limit are allowed at this time, however, the upper section is now open. Water may be high due to flash flooding.  

(22) comments


Went fishing on Hawley Lake this past weekend (9-23 thru 9/25) I caught my limit of 10 fish - 5 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday. 3 of them were nice German Brown trout that I caught on Sunday morning near the dam. They were hitting spinners and KastMasters early in the morning. (Right when the sun was coming up.

Tight Lines!!!


Seems like these fishing reports are the same as a few months ago. What do they do copy and paste from week to week???


Can anyone tell me which lake has an easy access so I can take my 2 grandchildren ice fishing. I would like them to have this experience. Which month would be the best. Thank You.

The Shadow Fisherman

As a reason on temperature and access Silver Creek Fly fishing with grey leech and white egg droppers works well with indicator.


So presently silver creek is the only hope for anglers in the area. I just hope the other areas to get soon available and temperatures rise a bit.

Pest control bed bugs


Have any of you guys fished at showlow lake recently? f you have tell me if it was good and if you caught fish

lee menges

Time to go fishing. Get the boat out and pole and bate ready to go.

Sunfish Master

When does the Summer Sunfish Derby end? Do Largemouth Bass count?


Fishing is NOT GOOD at Silver Creek as this report would lead you to believe. I have been there 3 times this summer with the most recent being this past Friday. Supposedly there are over 500 fish being stocked each week. I am not a bad fisherman and could not get a bite on my fly rod so I got the spinning rod out and tried powerbait. Nothing. I talked to 3 other people there who could not get a bite. If there are 500+ fish stocked per week given the low fishing pressure there would certainly be some carryovers from week to week plus the new ones. Where are the fish????


We have learned since living in the White Mountains over 35 years that when July comes around and the Monsoons hits there is no fishing to be done as the fish do not bite because the water get to hot so they go down deep and hide and eat on what fisherman lose.

lee menges

Wow, I can't believe that the above postings have been here so long, first one is dated June 7, 2011, last one dated July 31, 2013. Someone needs to clean this page up so it only has current postings


I agree with lee menges about the postings, who writes this report? Also why don't they address the Silver Creek Hatchery issue that was reported? So far not a word from the Az. Game & Fish Dept. defending their actions. That hatchery belongs to the people of Az.

sterling cling

Where has the fishing been good lately?


Back packed from Buffalo Crossing down to Beaver Creek fishing periodically all the way. Camped at Beaver creek and fished a full day. Never caught a Trout or saw a Trout. The River did have plenty of Crawfish and the Fathead Minnows were tearing up the Flies - lol (Man what has happen to the Black - it’s depressing). Hit Becker lake in the morning and evening - Fish were out in the Middle and we saw one caught by a Boater. Nelsons was great for the Kids for stockers using power bait but we had no luck with the flies. Store at Reservation Lake is closed on Mondays (FYI)[sad]


This "report" sucks. You guys just keep recycling the same vague reports. When is the last time it was actually updated. My guess is may of 2011. Thanks for the effort.


Updated September 2nd....with the same info that was there the last 2 years worth of updates....great work guys.[sad]


Went to Big Lake 12/8/14. No one was catching anything. I would give it a poor report.

Whiplash Willy

How did I wind up in the archives ? Boy it sure is dark down here.


Wes is not here giving the weather report for the best time to catch fish? I'm shocked....

Whiplash Willy

Did Wes ever tell you about his great grandfather being swallowed by a whale ?

Shadow Fisherman

Silver Creek Notes :Miss Information :The post as of June 2016 is inaccurate ,Upper section in closed April 2016

"Fishing is good. The general fishing season starts at Silver Creek April 1, 2016. Bait fishing and a 6 trout daily bag limit are allowed at this time,
" however, the upper section is now open " (Thissection is NOT correct , as Upper Pool section is Closed below hatchery and Fenced off ). Water may be high due to flash flooding.

Earl T

Hi! Is this comment section still open and active? I don't see anything after 2016.
I would like to do some ice fishing, but can't find any information on ice conditions in the high country. I'm not picky - Greer, Sunrise area, Flagstaff, Williams, Willow Springs, etc. Haven't been ice fishing since 1992, would like to get out this year if there is safe ice available. Thanks!

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