Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Statewide Arizona Fishing Report for Aug. 5

Rory’s fishing tips:

Sorry the report is a little late this week, I was dealing with
family medical matters.

It’s time to get into a thunder bumper frame of mind.

Afternoon rain showers in the high country can be the key to
catching fish right now, whether trout in the higher mountain lakes
or bass in places like Fool Hollow and Willow Springs lakes that
have multiple fish species.

You might even tie into some huge northern pike, such as the one
pictured on the right from Upper Lake Mary.

As those cumulonimbus clouds start billowing up toward the high
heavens above the pine country, the barometer will start dropping,
flying insects will become very active and hold just off the ground
and water. More importantly, fish can become increasingly active
and feed aggressively at the top of the water column.

This opens up a superb window of opportunity for anglers to
catch actively feeding fish. But if there is lightening, you don’t
want to have a high carbon fishing rod in your hand — they make
excellent lightening rods. In fact, I have an old Hank Parker
fiberglass fishing rod for such occasions.

Fly anglers have a term called “match the hatch,” which simply
means to identify what the fish are feeding upon and then mimicking
those forage items. If the fishing are actively feeding on insects,
even if you are a spin angler, you can still use flies such as
woolly buggers. Simply get something like a casting float
(typically fills with water) and run a small leader (you can even
use fly line) with a fly connected.

Or you can also employ another technique — using reaction
baits. When trout, bass, pike and walleye are actively feeding, a
little bit of what I call “flash and dash” can often work well,
such as inline spinners. Try Mepps spinners, Rooster Tails and the
like. Also try casting spoons, such as Z-rays (made in Arizona) or

Sometimes for the larger fish, especially trout, try using
Rapalas in silver, gold or rainbow trout colored. These crankbaits
can sometimes be the ticket for larger trout, as well as bass and
walleye as well.

Mix it up. Experiment. Have fun.

Don’t forget about the “cool water” fish such as walleye and
northern pike. I have received some really good reports lately of
anglers catching big walleye and some nice pike at Upper Lake Mary
in Flagstaff.

In fact, spiced throughout this report are a few pictures from
one of our most ardent fishing report providers, Garrett Dauphars
of Flagstaff, who got caught in a thundershower on Upper Lake Mary
in Flagstaff and had a scary moment or two before getting his boat
off the water. I shared his report below.

In the lower elevation lakes, building T-storms and a dropping
barometer can also create an exciting window of fishing opportunity
for my favorite type of angling – topwater.

Largemouth bass or even striped bass can start feeding
aggressively on threadfin shad at or near the water’s surface as
T-storms roll across the desert. You’ll want to use lures that
mimic wounded shad, such as poppers, stick baits and buzz baits.
Spoons can also work – quite often the really big bass hang around
the bottom to gobble up pieces of shad following surface feeding

Position your boat to cast past the surface melee, then work the
lure back through it. My favorite is the Zara Puppy or Zara Spook
and doing what’s called “walking the dog,” which is making the lure
go back-and-forth in a zigzag pattern like a wounded shad
flittering across the surface.

However, a lot of anglers, myself included, can find themselves in
a ticklish situation – the surface feeding can keep getting better
and better, often reaching a crescendo right as the T-storm crashes
across the lake. Next thing you know, winds are whipping up the
waves, lightning is flashing all around you, and you are being
pelted by wind-whipped rain or even hail.

Don’t wait too long. But just in case, be sure to have rain gear.
Head protection from rain and hail can be essential. I always carry
space blankets.

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to make it to the boat ramp. If
not, at least make it to shore in cove or a place where waves are
not crashing up against the land mass and find whatever shelter is
available. Carry a long length of line so you can tie up your

Right now there is a beautiful waxing crescent moon and the
Perseids meteor showers are underway. The full moon is Aug. 13,
which coincides with the expected Perseids crescendo. The full moon
can inhibit seeing some of the smaller meteors. Your best viewing
time for this year’s summer night show is probably right now.

So have fun, but be careful, and catch a pocketful of memories.
Maybe I’ll see you out there.

Angler report:

So…Troy was coming up early to do some fishing on Lake
Mary…..I met him at 6:45 a.m. with my boat, and we launched and
headed down to the far end of the lake, about 35 minute run or
so….the south end of the lake is like an open bay, and is very
shallow due to the dry conditions….

We fished, Troy hooked into 5, I got 3 total, including a 30-inch
Northern for myself…….nice.

We kept an eye on the storm brewing about 5 miles away, and when we
saw it produce lightening, we decided time to get back toward the
ramp, so if all heck broke loose, we’d be close to
home…..mmmmmmm….we waited too long.

Literally in minutes, it was on us, thru the narrows we could
barely see 200yrd in the driving rain, and lightening was getting
very close….and we are in a lake, in a metal boat…great.

Got safely to the dock, with about 2 inches of water in the boat,
still raining heavy, both soaked to the bone…..ah….actually, it
was fun, and the rain in the forests along the shore as we headed
back to the dock was serene, despite the teaming storm around

Less than 4 hours after we launched, we were back on the
dock….but what a great 4 hours!

Enjoy the pics!

Garrett Dauphars


Hatchery News

Trout stocking for the week of 8/1/2011 from Page Springs

– Region 1: Woods Canyon Lake (4,677) 75*F pH 7.5

– Region 2: Oak Creek (2,112) 58-70 *F, Ashurst Lake (2904) 64*F pH

– Region 5: Rose Canyon Lake (1,980) 74*F pH 8.0

Next week tentative stocking schedule:

Region 1: Woods Canyon Lake (4,374)

Region 2: Dogtown Lake (3,168),

Oak Creek (1,980)

Region 3: Goldwater Lake (1,188)


Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to “Been Fishing?” at

URBAN — Kiwanis continues to be the best urban lake to fish for
bass and Evelyn Hallman Pond is the place to catch sunfish
according to one productive angler who resides in the east

With catfish stockings on hold over the summer months, fishing
becomes more challenging requiring anglers to be adaptable, patient
and persistent. The “dumb” stockers are pretty much gone now, but
plenty of wily catfish still lurk the depths of the lakes.

The many catfish, bass and bluegill remaining in the lakes have
been around for awhile and have seen a lot of the same baits,
presented in the same way. Successful summer anglers have learned
to change it up and experiment with new baits, new bait
combinations and new presentations.

Try combining a piece of shrimp with a worm, or dip a hot dog in
stink bait. Do a web search for “secret catfish baits” and discover
an amazing selection of concoctions sure to increase your fishing

This is the time to make some rigging changes and try out some
of the fluorocarbon fishing lines in lighter test weights to make
your line practically invisible; or try fishing without weights and
let your bait flutter to the bottom. For more bites, fish with 4-6
pound test line and keep your weights to a minimum. Keep trying new
things, keep at it and have fun learning more about fishing this

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bass fishing is slow during the day. Fish can be
caught before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. at times. Try crankbaits and
plastic worms around the ledges and docks. Minnows under a slip
bobber will work as well. A good mixed bag of yellows, catfish and
sunfish can also be caught this way. Yellow bass and bluegill are
plentiful in the 5- to 7-inch range and will bite mealworms or
night crawlers. Channel catfish averaging 1 to 2 pounds will bite
stink baits, hotdogs and shrimp.

Where: river bottom just east of Tempe Town Lake

When: 07/17/11

Caught: largemouth bass

Technique: spinnerbait & drop shot.

Name: j. chavez

LAKE PLEASANT – Lake elevation 1,665 ft (61-percent full). This
remains a fishing hot spot for both largemouth bass and striped
bass, especially at night.

A couple morning anglers kept 32 stripers. Fishing was pretty good
around sunrise then quickly faded as the sun climbed higher in the
sky. The best lures were gunfish and white Rapalas. The better
fishing spots were by the buoys in the Aqua Fria and later in the
day by the 1702 sign outside the Aqua Fria. The mouths the northern
coves were productive as well. They also caught one largemouth on a
Skinny Dipper.

Another angler also enjoyed the morning bite using topwater,
jerkbaits and cranks. Spoons were also working for him as well.
Largemouth bass were real active at the surface.

Two nighttime striper fishermen kept about 65 stripers and 2
channel cats. Another 30 stripers and 3 cats were on the small side
so they were released. The largest striper was 22 inches long.
Nighttime fishermen usually use anchovies although the bait choice
was not mentioned.

One angler started at 5am and stayed a couple hours. He threw
topwater Rico’s in the mouths of the northern coves and out towards
the main lake. He caught twelve stripers and most were pretty small
around 1 to 1.5 pounds. He caught 5 largemouth bass with the
largest about 3 pounds.

Angler report:

We fished from dark till 2am on lake pleasant and this 8- or
9-pound largemouth was only the beginning of our Texas-rigged
adventure! Great fishing !

Cody Campbell

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,132 feet (78 percent full).
Tonto Creek runoff is 12 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at
153 cfs.

Two anglers fished all night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. One fisherman
caught 5 nice bass over 16 inches with a couple in the 3-pound
range. He also caught two 6 to 8 pound channel cats. The other
angler caught a four pound largemouth bass. They broke quite a few
lines in the process.

Although the best fishing will likely be at night, there could
well be a nice topwater bite at first and last light, or even
sometimes during the daytime hours. Quite often, this bite will
continue getting better throughout August.

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,911 ft (97 percent full). This lake
has been a delightful surprise for anglers this summer, with some
fishermen doing well on decent sized largemouth bass, and sometimes
even walleye.

A couple anglers again had a blast fishing for smallies. The fish
were hanging over rocks and ledges right next to drop-offs. The
smallies were susceptible to little 3/16-ounce jigs with hula grubs
as well as shad looking cranks and dark jerkbaits. They caught 34
smallies, 16 largemouth bass and one 4-pound walleye. The largest
smallie was just over 3 pounds. All the fish they caught were over
2 pounds. The largest largemouth was just over 4 pounds.

Another angler fished near the canyon walls where the fish were
tucked in little cuts and breaks in the wall. They caught mostly
largemouth on tubes (brown, watermelon and chartreuse) and 4-inch
brown and orange Slurpie ringworms. Ringworms are a relatively new
scented worm available out there. They caught over 20 largemouth

Angler Report: Apache Lake, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (both days)

July 1st – 15 Largemouth

July 8th – 21 Largemouth

Bass averaged 2 pounds each. Biggest was a three pounder. All
caught west of the marina on the north side in 10′ water. Any worm
(live or plastic) worked regardless of rigging. Texas Rig, Carolina
Rig, Split-shot, etc. I just let sit on the bottom and the fish
would come pick up the bait. I was using 4-6 lb test with a small
Kahle hook. This is at the same location I fished regularly between
1989 – 1998 and would always catch smallmouth. Now, no smallies. 🙁

Tim Rafferty

CANYON – Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent

An angling duo caught three yellow bass and quite a few sunfish
and largemouth bass but no details on what they used. If you post
to Arizona Game and Fish “Been Fishing” please give a little bit of
detail. Keep some details close to your chest but some crumbs would
be greatly appreciated.

This deep lake is the land of the lunkers, but it is not
necessarily easy to fish. Nor should you expect high catch rates.
In fact, even veteran bass anglers can get skunked here.

However, channel catfish and bluegill are plentiful here. Try stink
baits for the cats and meal worms for the gills.

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,524 feet at 92 percent full.

Anglers are still pulling in a healthy mix of sporttish,
including largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and channel

An angler fished in the evening up river from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
There was a slight breeze and the water temp was about 80 degrees.
He employed Texas-rigged worms and jigs. He caught two over 16
inches and unfortunately lost another two about the same

Another angler caught one largemouth on Texas-rigged worms and the
rest fell for the drop shot technique. The largest was almost 3

This is also a good time to fish for channel catfish at night using
stink baits.

Note – If you happen to reel in a lunker, there is a certified
scale at the marina to get an official weight and still release
your catch. Two witnesses are needed for the weight to be

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,759 ft, which is 51 percent full.
Reservoir release is 150 cfs. This is a fishing hot spot right

An angler pulled an all-nighter. He caught a couple largemouth
bass on cranks before dark then the bite was quite slow till
midnight. He used Texas-rigged worms and jigs. The fish didn’t seem
too finicky as far as the color presented. At first light cranks
seduced 7 to 8 largemouth bass. In all he caught 25 to 30 fish with
11 of them big enough to keep. The largest was 2.5 to 3 pounds.

Two fishermen caught 3 flatheads. One was 8 pounds, then 11
pounds and a whopper at 40 pounds.

A couple anglers fished the main lake and caught a few small
largemouth bass on jigs and a few fell for spinner baits.

A nighttime fisherman braved the wind and found some largemouth
in some protected areas using drop-shot. The largest was over 3
pounds. Jigs worked well around the main lake points after 11pm. He
caught a total of 13 bass. Four were small.

Another angler fished in the southern portion of the lake at night
and morning with 7″ Aaron’s magic Roboworms on drop-shot. Texas
rigged worms worked well in the morning. Dark colored jigs and
redish craws on DS worked the best. Most the fish were 15 feet and

A float tube angler fished the Rattlesnake area and caught 11
largemouth bass. Topwater worked real well until about 7 am then
jigs and worms did okay.

While there is good fishing possible at night, there is also a
first light and last light topwater bite along the points, islands,
reefs and rock stringers. Poppers can be effective at times. Stick
baits, such as Zara Puppies, can also work well.


HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1,951 feet 0 percent full. They
are releasing water at 110 cfs.


Just wanted to share my last fishing trip to the Verde River below
Horseshoe Dam. We arrived around 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 18th. It
was a last minute trip , so all we had for bait was worms and
chicken liver. We didn’t have time to get water dogs.

Around 11 p.m. I tossed a large piece of chicken liver just
below rapids in the “channel.” Instantly, my pole nearly bent in
half and I hooked a channel cat. This fish was jumping clear out of
the water like a trout or bass. Little did I know it one of the
largest channel’s I had ever caught in this area. When I finally
landed it, I instantly weighed it and it came in at a healthy 4
pounds even. (check out the attached picture)

In total, we caught at least 20 fish. All channels except one
largemouth bass and two flatheads. This is the third weekend
fishing the Verde river below Horseshoe Dam with excellent fishing.
I would like to say exactly where we are catching them, but I don’t
want to spoil it for us…….we catch and release. I will say that
the most of the excellent areas to fish are at least one mile below
the dam. A canoe or small boat is a must! Good Luck!!

Scott- Phoenix

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 117 cubic feet per
second. Release from Bartlett Lake is 150 cfs.

Angler Report:


Decided to go to the Verde instead of the Lower Salt yesterday. Had
a fairly productive day. Caught 5 Smallmouth Bass and 2 Roundtail
Chub. Two of the Bass and one of the Chub were caught on a #4
Panther Martin spinner; the rest were caught on a nymph wet fly. If
you can deal with the heat and the sun the fish are still biting
pretty good on the Verde.

Happy Fishing!

Tom Leeper

Liberty Mutual Group

SALT RIVER (above Roosevelt) – Salt River into Roosevelt is 153
cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 186 cfs. They are releasing 1375 cfs
out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro..

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Releases are 1,375 cfs
out of Stewart Mountain Dam. Fishing is very slow. Try inline
spinners, Power Bait or drifting night crawlers. Also try
fly-fishing can be with nymphs and Wooly Buggers.

We have mixed angler reports: some aren’t catching many fish,
others are catching limits. Some bass can be found in the portion
above the Verde confluence. Fish early or late to avoid the barrage
of inner tubes.

Largemouth bass and other warmwater fish can be caught in the
deeper holes.


Haigler Creek – Haigler Creek is stocked weekly with rainbow
trout near the campgrounds. These fish can be easily taken using
bait, spinners and a variety of flies. The upper hike in section
(from Fisherman’s Point) has good numbers of wild rainbows and some
large wild browns. Try attractor patterns and small beadhead nymphs
like hares ear, copper john and prince nymphs.

Canyon Creek – The upstream portion of Canyon Creek (above OW
Bridge) is stocked weekly with rainbow trout and you can keep four
trout of any size. Bait, spinners and flies are very effective for
the rainbows. The lower section below OW Bridge contains primarily
wild brown trout and is catch-and-release only using artificial
flies and lures. Please obey these regulations.

This time of year terrestrials can provide some good action. Try
using a grasshopper or cicada pattern and dropping a small beadhead
nymph off of it. Don’t be afraid to fish for the larger browns
after dark. Try using wolly buggers, muddler minnows or even a
floating mouse pattern. Fishing can be slow but you might be
rewarded with a large brown trout.

Tonto Creek – Upper Tonto Creek (above Hwy 260) is stocked
weekly with rainbow trout. Try the usual stuff. There are good
numbers of wild rainbow and brown trout downstream of Bear Flat.
The hiking is strenuous and you should be prepared to swim if you
plan to fish very far below Bear Flat.

Although there is a mercury consumption advisory for Tonto Creek,
it does not affect the portion of the creek where people trout
fish, nor is there any issue with eating trout caught there.

Angler Report: Went up to Tonto Creek yesterday and had to fish the
small stretch of water between the Hwy 260 and Kohls Ranch due to
the forest closure on the North side of the 260. Not too happy
about the closure because I brought my grand-father along and it
would have been nice for him to use the new handicap access at the
picnic area. So we found a way for him to get down to the creek and
fish. Water was a little cloudy from the recent monsoon rains but
the flow was good. We were using worms and within a few minutes my
grand-father and I each caught a baby rainbow in the 3-4 inch
range. We released them back into the creek for next year. We moved
to another pool up stream and saw a decent rainbow rise and feed
off an insect. We starting fishing for him and my grand-father
hooked him 2 times but was never able to land him. We were catching
a lot of crawdads. I was finally able to catch that Rainbow. He
ended up at 13 inches. Final count for the day was 3 Rainbows (2
were released) and 43 crawfish.

Tom Leeper

Christopher Creek – Stocked weekly with rainbow trout. The section
of stream near the See Canyon trail head contains a nice mix of
stocked rainbow trout and wild browns. This is a really nice
section of stream to fish. Try your typical trout arsenal.



Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to “Been Fishing?” at

LAKE POWELL – By: Wayne Gustaveson, Aug. 3, 2011

Lake Elevation: 3660. Water Temperature 80-85 F

Powell is a lake divided into two separate fisheries.

From Rainbow Bridge Canyon to Hite stripers are boiling at many
locations throughout the day.

But from Rainbow Bridge downlake the surface is quiet and
fishing is challenging.

Striper boils only happen when shad are plentiful. Our recent
trawl sampling showed record numbers of shad from the San Juan to

High runoff spread nutrients throughout the upper lake resulting
in increased plankton production. When shad were spawned, abundant
little plankters allowed shad to find easy meals close at hand and
survive in high numbers. Shad grew quickly to a size attractive to
all predators including stripers and bass. Stripers responded by
herding up shad schools and trapping them against the surface where
they can feed most effectively.

Recent boils have been concentrated in the main channel from Cedar
Canyon to Warm Springs (Buoy 117), and Halls Creek. Most of the
action has been in the main channel but don’t be surprised to find
boils in the backs of canyons. Stripers are not hard to catch on
surface lures and Kastmaster spoons if the lure lands near the
front of the rapidly moving fish and is then worked back through
the boil. But a lure that lands on the south side of a north bound
boil will be ignored.

In the southern lake boils are nonexistent. The absence of surface
feeding is a mystery. Shad numbers found in trawl samples were high
just as seen in the north. The difference was shad size. Most shad
were still small in the Wahweap sample. We are not sure if the size
disparity means there is less plankton for southern shad to eat or
if growth will catch up with the northern shad in the near future.
My guess is that there are plenty of shad from Rainbow to Wahweap
and the lower lake is only days away from erupting. The most likely
explanation is that small shad can be eaten at depth by individual
stripers. That means the striper school does not have to drive shad
to the top. Stripers just eat shad in place and move on to the next
customer. As shad size increases stripers will have to work
together to feed effectively and boils will happen.

On a recent trip on a calm evening from West Canyon to Wahweap
numerous shad schools were seen dimpling the surface. Open water
shad were abundant and in a jovial mood without any predators
harassing them. That peaceful mood will soon be shattered when
stripers find the schools. But for now trolling and bait fishing is
worth a try while waiting for fish to boil.

Bass fishing is good in the early morning and evening particularly
around open water reefs where smallmouth like to hang out.
Largemouth are in the flooded green bushes in the backs of canyons
and coves.

Unfortunately the lake is huge at this water level and choices
are many. The right cove may have a school of largemouth making the
trip a fantastic event while many other similar coves provide a
meager catch.

The key now is lake stabilization. Fish will find a spot to
their liking and set up a new home range similar to the one they
had when the lake was 50 feet lower. They will remain at the new
home and be found predictably from now into the fall. Fishing
success will now improve each day and last well into September and

LEES FERRY — by Lees Ferry Anglers, by: Terry Gunn, Friday,
July 29, 2011

The Cicadas have mostly stopped singing and some fish will still
eat a dry fly although sporadically.

This was not a banner cicada year; every year is different and
the hatch was not very strong this year.

The most important recent news is the warming river water. The
river began to warm in early June and the river water temperature
has been steadily increasing on a weekly basis. The normal river
temperature is a chilly 48-degrees, the current river temperature
is between 55 and 57 degrees. Current projections call for it to
max out at between 59 and 61 degrees which is almost wet wading

This is not the first time that we have experienced warming
water; the last episode was in 2005 when our water temps increase
into the mid 60’s, but that was due to extremely low reservoir
conditions in Lake Powell.

The current warming trend is due to the extreme high flows entering
the lake and the mixing effect of these flows on the thermocline in
the lake. The extreme high releases from the dam also helps to mix
the water up. I think that this is all good for the fish and the
aquatic food base as 48 degree water is a bit colder than trout
prefer. The fish are all in gorgeous condition and growing rapidly.
Every customer is commenting on how the fish are the strongest that
they have ever encountered.

The heavy nymph fishing continues to be productive and consistent.
I’m using a very long leader (14-feet from the indicator to the AAA
split shot), with a San Juan worm and a size #14 ginger scud. We
have been drifting the riffles and runs that we would usually wade.
This style of fishing is especially productive and consistent in
the higher water.

The trout continue to eat midges in certain areas of the river and
your best bet is to fish a double midge rig on a long leader with a
split shot. Assorted zebra midges are the ticket and the larger
sizes work best. I have been surprised at the intensity of the
midge hatches in the higher water, I usually associate prolific
midge hatches to lower flow releases but that has not been the

Streamer fishing has also been very productive most days. I have
been using a 25-feet heavy sink-tip and a bead head or cone head
olive woolly bugger. There have been days when it is almost a fish
every cast!

The current water flow from Glen Canyon Dam is 25,000-cfs, 24 hours
a day.

Lake Powell has peaked for the year and is about 39-ft from
being full. This is the highest that the lake has been in more than
a decade.

The high flows bode well for the river and fishing; every
“fishing boom” period at Lees Ferry has been preceded by extended
high water flows exactly like the one we are seeing right now; it
is all about nutrient transfer, food production, oxygenation, and
movement of food.

Expect high flows to continue for several months and if there is
a good snow pack next year expect to see them again. This is all
about filling lake Mead which is still at critically low levels
despite the high flows. Current flow projections are calling for a
reduction in water releases for September and October to 14,000
cfs; the fishing should really be on fire with these lower flows so
plan to be here.

Walk in:

Report by: Scott Sargent

The walk-in area has been receiving great reviews the last couple
of days.

I have been trying dries, mostly cicadas and anything else easily
visible on the water with a dropper in the early mornings and late
evenings to much success, but I have been mostly nymphing. Zebra
and Laser midges have been very productive. Surprisingly, Glo-Bugs
have been very effective as well.

Midges, Glo-Bugs, San Juan Worms, and dries under the right
circumstances have all been working well in the Walk-In. Streamers,
like woolly buggers in olive have also been a little different
setup for me, but has been seen to be productive.

As for location, the entire walk-in, anywhere, has been fishing
well. Remember that techniques vary depending on the location. Vary
your split shot and flies to receive the most optimum

Come to our Fly Shop if you need any flies, or local knowledge and
know-how of the river. We’re located 9 miles past the Navajo Bridge
in route to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Spin Fishing:

Spin fishing is good! It’s all about bouncing glo bugs off the

You can also try fishing with gold KastMasters or black and gold
Panther Martins. I have heard many success stories with these two

Also definitely don’t forget about the marabou jig, this one has
been working great and has been very reliable. Try the olive and

If you have some news you would like to report about fishing lees
ferry, the walk-in section or up river please e-mail your report
to: Attn. Lees Ferry Fishing Report. We would
be happy to have your input, and pass it along.

For details on Lake Powell conditions and snow-pack, go here:

For a real time graphic view of water releases and ramp rates go

The AZ Game and Fish Department has detected whirling disease in a
very small percentage of Lees Ferry trout that were collected for a
random sampling. More recent samplings have turned up no sign of
the disease, which may mean that it was a “one time” exposure,
where the disease was not established or that the disease is
present but at a very low prevalence. Anglers should still use
caution in cleaning their equipment both before and after they have
fished here or in other waters. For more information visit:

LAKE MEAD – LAKE MEAD – The current water level is 1107 feet
above msl. Lake levels have moved up about a foot in each of the
past three weeks. Stripers and catfish are biting but overall the
fishing is slow. There seems to be an abundance of shad currently
which may be the reason for the lack of bite. Cut anchovies are
still the bait of choice. Check the moon phases before you go -next
new moon is Sunday, August 28th. Dark nights work best when fishing
under light. Fishing for strippers in 50 plus feet of water will
normally find the larger fish. If you can locate the shad, the
stripers are not far behind. Trolling usually works best in areas
were shad are found and best done in the early mornings and

Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level
has gone up. There are currently four lanes.

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in
Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is
critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain
and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you
can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer,
removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty
spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s
web pages at or visit

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level is around 643 feet above msl. The
black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly.

Trolling with anchovies in 30-50 feet has been producing some
stripers, while catfish are on the bottom. While the number of
stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish
caught has increased. A local fisherman that fishes at Katherine’s
Landing fishing pier often said the strippers bite is down, but did
catch the biggest stripper he had ever caught there. He catches
catfish often in the 2-8 lb. range. Best time to fish is at night
for cats and he likes fishing for largemouth and smallmouth in the
early morning with blue, black and purple and black grubs and

Submersible lights fished during an effective way to catch
stripers. This weekend there is a quarter moon, so it will still be
a viable fishing method. The full moon is Aug. 13.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada
Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park
Service and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to
install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, and
Arrowhead. Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet
structures, tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. The
largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing
the new structures. Additional habitat will be added at several
locations over the next two years. These structures are fish

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the
main launch ramp at Katherine’s Landing. If you fish Mohave and are
having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share
your successes with others.

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in
Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is
critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain
and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you
can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer,
removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty
spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s
web pages at or visit


WILLOW BEACH – Willow beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000
13-inch rainbow trout.

Rainbow, orange and yellow Power Baits and Power Worms are being
used to catch most for trout. Jakes, Panther Martin and Rooster
Tails are also usually effective.

Fishing is usually best near the fishing pier after the Friday

Scott from Chino Valley had a great time recently catching lots
of rainbows fishing from the shore near the fishing pier using
ultra light gear with 2-pound line and a silver spinner with a #2

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in
Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is
critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain
and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you
can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer,
removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty
spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to
see. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me
at so I can share your successes with others.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish
Department’s web pages at or visit

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout were last stocked the week
of March 8. This was the last stocking at Davis Camp until October
of 2011. Trout continue to bite in the casino area.

Rick B. provided some beautiful pictures (see below) of a trout
he caught about one mile upriver from the Avi. He was fishing for
strippers with anchovies when he hooked what thought was a small
stripper until the fish saw the boat and ripped off 50 yards of
line and the fight was on. It took him almost 15 minutes to land
the 6½-pound rainbow trout.

In addition to the stockers multiple anglers have been reporting
catching trout in the 20- to 22-inch range on night crawlers.

Although the striper bite at Topock Gorge has been absent, the
bluegill action has been first-rate. Meal worms, bits and pieces of
night crawlers as well as plastics are all producing. Smallmouth
bass weighing between 1- and 5-pounds continue to be taken, but no
largemouth bass have been reported. There are also plenty of large

Rainbow trout are stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service
monthly during the winter. The fish are normally stocked in two
locations; Davis Camp and near The Riverside. Trout fishing at the
stocking sites is great immediately following the stockings, then
the fish move out and you need to find them.

Rainbow trout are located throughout the river below Davis dam, but
anglers typically report catching trout on the Arizona side across
from the Riverside, off the shore of Davis Camp and in the big bend
area. This year we have received multiple reports of larger
holdover trout being caught. Remember to fish for trout, you need a
trout stamp on Class A and Lifetime fishing licenses.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can
check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions before you go. If you fish the
river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

TOPOCK MARSH – Night crawlers have been tempting catfish at
Catfish Paradise. Midday this is the place to be. Bass can be hit
and miss.

You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish
Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of
area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh,
contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in
Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is
critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain
and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you
can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer,
removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty
spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s
web pages at or visit

Capt. Doyle’s Fishing Report from Topock Gorge and Topock

The bite in the Topock Gorge alternates between excellent and
nonexistent. One week it’s bluegill a plenty and the next it’s
nothing. With the back bays strangled by weeds, it seems the hunt
for sunfish will have to continue in the fall when the fish can
once again see the bait that’s being dangled in front of them.

Smallmouth bass action has been hot and cold. On a good day
limits are likely. The bass are weighing between 1- and 3-pounds
and are being taken on night crawlers and plastics. On a bad day,
biting fish are few and far between. There’s plenty of fish in the
river; they can be seen. They just won’t take the bait. When they
do strike you gotta know how to set the hook, or all is lost.

On the bright side, you might catch a turtle!

Anthony Marez and his wife, Donna, from Ponder, Texas weren’t
able to boat any fish, but they somehow managed to land a 14-pound
soft shell turtle! It didn’t act like any fish I know. I thought to
myself, “What is this?” Because It kept rising and then going deep
and wouldn’t run with the bait, I decided it must be a cat-surprise
surprise. Getting it into the net was a monumental task, but
staying out of range of its snapping mouth which was attached to a
foot long neck was nearly impossible. And then there was those four
fast moving clawed feet. Picture op-I was sure you’d like to see a
picture! I put it down on the deck. However, this turtle was a
dangerously fast reptile! I was able to get it turned over on its
back and take its picture, but the underside of a turtle is not the
most pleasing of things to gaze upon. It looks rather like a flat,
hairless extra terrestrial. Needless to say, I won’t be putting its
picture on my web site. It was released before it could harm




Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to “Been Fishing?” at

LAKE HAVASU — Lake Havasu Fishing Report, Lake Level

Striper bite continues fair with a few morning shad boils from
the entrance to the river south to Black Rock; be sure to use
smaller lures no longer than 4 or 5 inches as shad are averaging
around 4 inches long. LC Pointer minnows or Super Spooks are good
choices now. Cut bait fishing anchovies or sardines are producing
smaller limits than using artificial lures.

Evening/night fishing for bigger channel and flathead catfish
has been excellent. Use live sunfish or bluegills from 2.5 to 4
inches long rigged on a Carolina rig with 3/4- to 1-ounce sinkers
with 12 to 15 pound test with a 24- to 36-inch leader.

Redear fishing with crappie tubes and night crawlers around
submerged grass beds producing some quality redears over 2

Smallmouth bass bite excellent using cinnamon colored jigs or
hula grubs hopped down rocky ledges and gravel reefs.

This Report was provided by: John Galbraith of, Lake Havasu City

PARKER STRIP — This is a good time to float the current near
the dam and work curly-tails jigs or small topwater lures for
smallmouth and largemouth bass.

The smallmouth bass fishing is best just below Parker Dam.

Catfishing should be picking up. We’ve got mostly channels and some
flatheads on the strip. They’ll be getting more active as the days
get hotter with the best action at night. Channel cats should be
hitting on night crawlers or frozen anchovies. Good local areas
include, Patria Flats day use, La Paz County Park near the lagoon,
upper end of Barefoot Alley, and even take off point at the south
end of Havasu right by Parker Dam. Flatheads will be hitting on
live bait, bluegill work well but many of the locals like goldfish

And as an FYI, the Parker stretch is generally drawn down to its
lowest on Thursdays, which could affect boating, so be careful out

ALAMO LAKE — Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State

Well folks, in a nutshell there’s not allot going on out here this
week. Right now I have more wild burrows wandering around in the
park than I do visitors. There’s still a good topwater bite going
first thing in the morning. Once again buzzbaits and frogs are the
way to go.

No reports on crappie fishing.

Cat fishing is still excellent. Anglers are using night crawlers
with no weight, and drift fishing. They are limiting out with 25
cats apiece all in the 2-pound range.

The evening bass bite is still good. The bass are holding in
about 20 feet of water. I have been pulling a bass or two off of
every point. I’m still throwing my plastics. I did try throwing a
crankbait the other night. After about three casts I hooked myself
in the finger and it went right back in the box.

The lake level is at 113ish with releases of 50 cfs. The main
ramp is still in operation and should get us throughout the summer.
I’m starting to see stuff pop up that I have not seen since
2003-04. It makes me cringe to think about having to use the big
portable ramp. If we do not get any rains this winter then that
might become a reality next year. The only good thing about the
lake dropping right now is that it makes it easier to fix the
Cholla Ramp. The contract was awarded and construction is supposed
to start first week of Sept and be completed by the end of Sept. If
your planning on coming out remember bug spray; the biting flies
are out in full force. The park is fixing to go live with
reservations at the end of the month. I’ll have more on that when I
figure out how it works. Well that’s all I got for now.


COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) — Fishing for smallmouth bass
over two pounds in size is expected to be good to excellent. In
addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound-plus

The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing,
especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream.
The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive,
dinner-plate sized redear sunfish of two pounds or larger.

Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this
section of the Colorado River. Below the dam, striper fishing
should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies. Largemouth bass
are abundant, especially in the downstream portions of the Parker
Strip. Channel and flathead catfish fishing will be fair to good in
this section of the Colorado River as the weather warms up.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment is clean
before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga
mussels to other water by accident.

CAMP) — This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the
channel) up river from the I-10 Bridge and largemouth bass (in the
backwaters) throughout the entire area.

Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this
section of the Colorado River. Most of the flathead catfish will be
in the 2- to 5-pound size range with an occasional fish over 40
pounds. Flathead catfish surveys last May yielded a handful of fish
between 15 and 50 pounds in this section of the river, although the
majority of fish were much smaller.

Generally, when fishing for catfish, the hotter the weather, the
better the fishing. Lively bait is the key to successful flathead
fishing. Using the largest bait fish you can come by will increase
the odds of catching a larger flathead.

This section of the Colorado River, all the way down to Yuma, is
where the invasive vegetative species known as Giant Salvinia is
located. Quagga mussels are also found here. If using a boat, make
sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before
leaving the area.

This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote and can
only be accessed by boat from either end. Fishing is expected to be
good to excellent for flathead catfish with sizes over 40 pounds.
The best time will be late spring and on into the summer (the
hotter the better). Backwaters are somewhat limited in this stretch
of the river, but the few that are there will be good for
largemouth bass and other sunfish (bluegill, redear and
occasionally black crappie). Channel catfish are also very numerous
in this section of the river. Smaller numbers of smallmouth bass
and striped bass also occur.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga
mussels, are found in this stretch of the river. If using a boat,
make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean
before leaving the area.

This area is expected to be good to excellent for largemouth bass,
channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Bass and channel catfish in
excess of 5 pounds are present along with flathead catfish as large
as 40 pounds not uncommon, occasionally much larger. There is
definitely a state record or two lurking in these waters. Only very
heavy fishing tackle will suffice for the really large fish.
Bluegills, redear sunfish and black crappie are also present in the
various backwaters. Occasional striped bass will be caught in the
channels connecting backwaters and the main river channel.
Smallmouth bass seem to be on the increase in the lower river above
Imperial Dam. They generally prefer swifter water and rockier
substrate than largemouth bass, and certainly aren’t as numerous,
but they are very aggressive and very scrappy fighters and well
worth seeking out.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga
mussels, are found in this stretch of the river. If using a boat,
make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean
before leaving the area.

will be good for largemouth bass and flathead catfish. Bass in
excess of 5 pounds are common and flathead catfish over 20 pounds
are a good bet. In this area, accessibility to the river is
dependent on the amount of water being released. Usually shallow
draft boats are a must. The lower end has had some dredging work
done and a larger boat may be able to get on the river in that
area. Be aware that some sections of the river are within Quechan
tribal boundaries, and a tribal permit is required to fish there.
Boundaries are not well marked, so doing some research prior to
fishing this section may prevent hassles while you are out

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga
mussels, are found in this stretch of the river. If using a boat,
make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean
before leaving the area.

With the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the
lower end of this stretch, we recommend exercising extreme caution,
avoiding nighttime use, or even staying away from the area
altogether (Pilot Knob to Morelos Dam).

MITTRY LAKE — Mittry Lake is located just above Laguna Dam, and
supports a good population of largemouth bass and channel catfish,
and even some good-sized flathead catfish. There are shoreline
fishing opportunities at this lake in the form of about a dozen
rock jetties, but you’ll probably have the best success in a small
boat. Mittry Lake can be frustrating, as the bite seems to be real
variable, but the fish are there. It is just a question of getting
them to respond to your presentation. The water tends to be very
murky most of the year, except for the upper end of Teal Alley
where the lake inflow comes in, so play to the fish’s sense of
hearing and smell, rather than sight. There are also crappie and
sunfish to be caught, although they tend to average relatively
small in size. Mittry Lake is well-known locally for the quality
largemouth bass it produces, and fishing during the spring spawn
will increase your chances of success.

YUMA AREA PONDS — The Department has stepped up efforts to
encourage the recruitment of new anglers, and retention of existing
ones. To this end, the Department has increased stocking efforts in
a few ponds in the Yuma area that are easily accessed without a
boat, within a short distance of the urban center. Those ponds are
the Yuma West Wetlands pond, located in the City Park, and Redondo
and Fortuna ponds, located about 10 miles northeast of Yuma. Access
to Redondo Pond was recently improved with the addition of an ADA
compliant fishing pier, and thick cattail growth was removed at
Fortuna Pond this summer, improving shoreline access by many orders
of magnitude. All of these waters received multiple stockings of
rainbow trout in the winter months; Redondo Pond will be stocked
with channel catfish during the spring, and the Yuma West Wetlands
pond will receive channel catfish and bluegills. We may be able to
stock Fortuna Pond with channel catfish in the future, pending the
outcome of the statewide sport-fish stocking consultation with the
USFWS that is hopefully nearing completion. Depending on available
funding, we hope to continue regular stockings into all three of
these shoreline-accessible waters, and perhaps add additional
waters to our stocking schedule. These ponds provide an ideal place
to take the family. All three waters now are provided with restroom
and trash facilities. Special regulations on fish limits are in
effect for these waters, so be sure to consult the Regulations
before you take fish.

REGIONAL HOT SPOTS — Alamo Lake will continue to be a hot spot
for plentiful largemouth bass and channel catfish, although
trophy-sized fish will be uncommon. Lake Havasu is probably
currently the premier lake in our Region (and perhaps the State)
for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and redear sunfish. Numbers
caught will likely be lower, but the quality of the fish much
higher. The Parker Strip should remain excellent for smallmouth
bass and redear sunfish, and the Colorado River below Walter’s Camp
down to Imperial Dam the best bet for large and plentiful flathead
catfish. Our spring surveys indicate that there is a very
impressive population of flathead catfish in the lower Imperial
Division between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam. Expect many
in the 5-10 pounds size class, but we know of at least one state
record lurking in those waters. Backwaters in the Imperial Division
above Imperial Dam will continue to yield impressive largemouth
bass, up to and exceeding 10 pounds.

If you need any additional information or assistance, don’t
hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office at (928) 342-0091, and
we will be happy to give you whatever information we have. A very
good resource for local fishing information in the Yuma area is the
website and forum at


Note: Due to increased precipitation, as of 12 July the Sitgreaves,
Kaibab, Coconino and Prescott National Forests have lifted all fire
restrictions. Fire restrictions continue in portions of the Apache,
Tonto and Coronado National Forests. All fire restrictions have
also been lifted for the Grand Canyon. During this time of
increased precipitation, debris flows are a concern in areas of
recent fire activity. For more fire information go to:


KAIBAB LAKE – Campground is closed. Fishing wasn’t as good this
weekend as last because of the active monsoon pattern. Some nice
crappie and bluegill were being caught on flies. Trout were also
being caught on bait. Scheduled to be stocked this week. Stocked
last week

CATARACT LAKE – Campground is open.

CITY RESERVOIR – No new report

DOGTOWN LAKE – Campground is open. Scheduled to be stocked this

JD DAM – Had an angler report that he did well on wooly

RUSSELL TANK – The lake is to shallow to stock.

SANTA FE – No Report.

WHITEHORSE LAKE – Campground is open.



UPPER LAKE MARY – Fishing was slow over the weekend except in
the area of the Narrows.

Angler Report:

Nice evening, rained most of the day….after dinner, rains
subsided, temps in mid-60’s, and I headed over to the lake for an
hour and a half of casting…

Got two pike in the first 30 min….one hammer handle, one a bit
bigger….inline spinner #3 size (I was figuring maybe perch off
the dock, not pike, as the bite has been slow!)

Nice to enjoy the evening/sunset and hook a couple…. (see picture
on the left).

Garrett Dauphars


Where: Lake Mary

When: 07/23/11

Caught: Pike, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, walleye, yellow
bass, green sunfish

Technique: small jigs, spinner bait in 2 feet of water rocky areas-
very skinny water was the key for all species. Slow to no boat
movement, bait just off the bottom.

Comments: Saturday was our best day weather and fishing, 3 of us
boated 66 fish, southeast of the narrows, biggest pike 5 pounds,
lots of crappie and yellow perch in very shallow water.

Name: Jim Lindquist

Last week, I took my friend Drew Nosbisch out fishing for the first
time in his life up at Upper Lake Mary and this was the first fish
he ever caught in his life – a 6 lb, 30-inch Northern Pike! He
still hasn’t stopped smiling and bragging about it!

James Chance

ASHURST LAKE – Stocked. Fishing slowed with the active monsoon
pattern this weekend. Trout were being caught on worms under a
bobber or yellow powerbait on the bottom.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Fishing was good on corn dropped straight
down by the dam.

KINNIKINICK LAKE – Some brown trout are being caught, especially
on rainy afternoons.

MARSHALL LAKE – No report. Aquatic weeds are a problem and limit
the amount of open water.

LONG LAKE – Some anglers have reported catching nice sized
northern pike, but others report being skunked.




Note: Fire restrictions have been lifted in the Coconino National

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked for free fishing
day on June 4th. The catfish bite should remain good following the
stocking. They bite best in the early morning hours and the

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The last trout stocking
was the week of March 7th. The catfish and bass should be active.
Always check your regulations before fishing this area with live
bait. Game and Fish Commission Rule requires anglers to only use
live bait that has been caught in the river. No transporting of
live baitfish or crayfish is allowed.

BEAVER CREEK – No report.


OAK CREEK – Scheduled to be stocked this week. Fishing will
likely range from fair to good for rainbows, depending on the
stretch you fish, and poor to fair for brown trout, with the best
brown fishing located in the upper end of the canyon in the signed
catch-and-release area.

FOSSIL CREEK — Is now closed to fishing. This unique
catch-and-release, artificial lure with barbless hook only fishing
for roundtail chub fishery came to an end April 30. This fishery
will open again on the first Saturday of October.


FAIN LAKE -Fain Lake is open. It was last stocked with 500 trout,
the week of June 27. Game and Fish will be stocking bass, catfish,
and bluegill as soon as it receives clearances.

GOLDWATER LAKE – Trout were stocked in mid July. Power Bait is
probably your best bet, although spinners and flies can do well
also. With the monsoons hitting, fishing patterns may change
frequently. One day fishing may be great, and the next it may be

Game and Fish has been trying to boost the some of the warm water
species in Goldwater. Bass and catfish have been stocked three
times over the last four years. The bass are being stocked to give
a boost to a dwindling population in the lake and to reduce the
excessive number of crayfish. Please practice catch and release
with the bass, while the population gets re-established.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on Sept. 15, 2009 and
found bass and catfish populations to be much improved over last
year. The number of green sunfish was greatly reduced. The bass had
a successful spawn last year. If you fish Goldwater and are having
luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your
successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Both largemouth bass and bluegill should be

Ryan fished with his fly rod and was catching bluegill “like
crazy” with the largest bluegill he caught “in forever.”

If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE -The bass and bluegill should be active. Catfish can be
caught in the late evening and early morning. Trout stockings will
resume in the fall.

Cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dog are your best bet for
catfish. Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching
anything try moving to a new spot. There are some good spots on the
north end of the lake that don’t get fished as heavily as the south
end does.

MINGUS LAKE -Trout were stocked last the week of June 20. Few trout
are being taken but the yellow bullhead catfish are active. For
trout the best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait,
fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker. Fishing
can be really good at times, because angler use is lower than other
lakes in the area. This lake is more remote than the other Prescott
area lakes and not very big.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years
ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth
rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like
bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our
Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700. Illegal stockings
cost YOU money!

WATSON – Watson Lake was stocked with 8,250 Rainbow on March 30.
More than 13,000 rainbow trout have been stocked since January into
Watson Lake. Prior to the January stocking Game and Fish had not
stocked trout here since 1962. Anglers are still having success
catching trout. One angler reported catching four trout in four
hours. Fish ranged in size from 12 to 14 inches. Power Bait seems
to be the bait of choice.

Other anglers have reported having good luck fishing for catfish in
the evening by the boat launch. Catfish can usually be caught on
anchovy, night crawler, hot dog, chicken liver, beef liver, or
various stink baits.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson last fall and found the
bass, sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful. Crappies were also
doing well. Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or
two. If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Willow has a great population of bass.
The vegetation makes fishing this lake a challenge in the

If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.


Recommended waters to fish:

Big Lake and Crescent Lake are open, currently only accessible via
Hwy 273, and should be great fishing. Highway 261 is still closed
to repair guardrails damaged by the Wallow Fire.

Nelson Reservoir is also open and fishing is excellent.

Sheep’s Crossing and Silver Creek are the only streams being
stocked weekly.

Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake continue to be the
best producing lakes on the Rim; however,

Bear Canyon Lake will also be good.

Scheduled Fish Stockings

Week of 7-25-2011 through 7-29-2011

West Fork Little Colorado River at Sheep’s Crossing – 600 Apache

Silver Creek – 1,600 Apache trout

Willow Springs Lake – 3,038 rainbow trout

Woods Canyon Lake – 3,162 rainbow trout

Week of 8-1-2011 through 8-5-2011

Silver Creek – 1,500 Apache trout

West Fork Little Colorado River at Sheep’s Crossing – 600 Apache

Willow Springs Lake – 3,038 rainbow trout

Woods Canyon Lake – 4,677 rainbow trout


Note: The Forest closure on the Sitgreaves National Forest was
lifted entirely. All Rim Lakes in this forest are accessible.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Access to the lake
is open along all routes, including Forest Roads 300 and 89. The
lake was last stocked 3 weeks ago with rainbow trout.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing for stocked trout is fair to good. Some
bass are also being caught. Access to the lake is open along all
routes, including Forest Roads 300 and 86. The lake level is very
low, approximately 8 feet down, and launching a boat may be very

BLUE RIDGE (CC Cragin) — No recent reports. This deep canyon lake
is often challenged in summer due by algae blooms.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good. This lake is a hike-in fishery.
The steep sides of this lake make it difficult for shore anglers go
gain access. This lake is best fished from a float tube, canoe or
kayak, but you have to carry them in, and more importantly, pack
them back out the steep trail, all of which makes this a superb
place to escape the crowds.

The lake is open to lures and flies only and trout 10-14 inches
may not be possessed. The daily and possession limit is 6

KNOLL LAKE — The last several angler reports have been very
positive, with fishermen not just catching stocked trout but some
larger hold-over rainbows as well. This lake is a little more
remote and not as susceptible to summer crowds.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked
this week with 3,038 rainbow trout. Trolling with lures, flies, or
bait with cowbells have been successful. This lake also has
largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie — there are no limits
on these warmwater fish here. Please catch and keep all you

This is also a great lake to catch crayfish. A little piece of
bacon, hot dog or other small piece of meat can work wonders to
catch a bucket full of delectable crayfish. Remember, it is not
legal to transport crayfish alive away from where you catch them. A
secret is to simply put crayfish on ice in your ice chest and they
will quickly succumb.

Crayfish are not native to Arizona, so catching and eating them
helps the environment.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be
heavily stocked this week with 4,677 rainbow trout. Trolling with
lures, flies, or bait with cowbells have been successful. The store
is open and boat rentals are available.

This lake is also full of easy-to-catch crayfish. Don’t transport
them alive — it’s the law.

Note: A bald eagle closure area is now in effect on a portion of
the lake and shoreline on the west side of the lake. Shoreline
anglers will need to hike up and around the closure to get to the
very upper west portions of the lake, while boaters will just need
to avoid the shoreline at the closure. Buoys and signs are in place
to mark the closure area.


Note: Portions of the Apache National Forest are open to public
access, however some areas are still closed for safety reasons due
to the Wallow Fire and associated hazard trees and flooding.

Highway 273 is open to Big Lake, Crescent Lake, and Lee Valley
Lake. Hwy 261 is still closed. The Greer lakes, Nelson Reservoir,
and Luna Lake are open.

Day use only is allowed on Crescent, Lee Valley, Luna, Nelson, and
the Greer lakes.

Carnero Lake and Sheep’s Crossing (upstream of bridge), are open.
Sheep’s Crossing has been stocked with rainbow trout. The forest
north of Highway 260 is open. Highways 273, 260, 373, 60, 180 and
191 are open.

The remainder of the Apache National Forest is closed to public

Hulsey Lake is the only lake not open to public access.

Streams that are NOT accessible due to the Forest closure

East Fork Black River

West Fork Black River

Little Colorado River upstream of Greer

West Fork Little Colorado River downstream of Sheep’s Crossing

Black River

BECKER LAKE – Becker Lake is open. Water temperatures are high,
so fish very early in the morning for best success. Anglers are
reporting rainbow trout to 22 inches. Becker is catch-and-release
only, with artificial lures and flies only with single hook.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The following portions
of the Forest around the lake are now open (accessible by Hwy 273
only): Anglers are often catching limits of trout in an hour or
two, especially at first light.

Big Lake boat ramps and parking areas, visitor’s center, store and
marina, South Cove boat ramp and parking area, Railroad Cove boat
ramp and parking area, and Big Lake campgrounds.

The store is open and boat rentals are available.

Anglers are catching trout in 10-15 feet of water. Boat anglers are
catching trout on spinners, Z-rays, KastMasters, and Crickhoppers.
Trolling lures, flies, or bait behind cowbells or Ford Fenders is
also productive. Shore anglers need to fish off deep rocky

Most of the area around Big Lake was not burned and that portion
that was burned is mostly grassland, which does not produce much
ash. This and the extremely small watershed around the lake mean
that Big Lake will not be affected by ash runoff from the fire.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is accessible,
but the water level is low. The lake is open to artificial lures
and flies only, barbless hooks, and a 2 trout bag and possession
limit. The boat launching area is very low and very weedy. Float
tubers and kayakers are putting in about 50-100 yards to the north
of the boat ramp area.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. Water levels are extremely low
and the lake is covered with weeds.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake is open
to day use only and accessible by Hwy 273 only. Anglers should fish
off deep rocky shoreline areas.

Most of the area around Crescent Lake was unknot burned and that
portion that was burned is mostly grassland, which does not produce
much ash. This and the extremely small watershed around the lake
mean that Crescent Lake will not be affected by ash runoff from the
fire. The store is closed.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake has been
stocked with rainbow trout. Camping is available at this State
Recreation Area. Anglers have been catching trout, smallmouth bass,
walleyes, crappies, and sunfish.

GREER LAKES – The Greer Lakes are open to day use only. All
three lakes are very low due to heavy irrigation use in early
summer. Launching boats is difficult.

The boat ramps at River and Bunch reservoir are not usable.
Tunnel reservoir is very low and only small boats or float tubes
can be used.

Fishing is poor at River Reservoir due to ash and debris runoff
from the Little Colorado River, fair at Bunch, and poor to fair at

Benny Creek Campgrounds is open.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – The lake is open to day use only, accessible
by Hwy 273 only. Fishing is fair for Apache trout and Arctic
grayling. The lake is very low (5.5 feet down) and launching a boat
will be difficult. Use only small boats or float tubes. Lee Valley
Lake is open to artificial lures and flies only, with a 2 trout
limit. Winn Campground near the lake is also open.

Lee Valley Lake is outside of the fire perimeter and will not be
affected by ash runoff.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER – Fishing is fair. The stream
flooded last week and was not able to be stocked. Conditions this
week will be investigated and the stream may or may not be stocked,
depending upon the conditions. The Government Spring area at the
end of the Greer road is still closed due to a Forest Closure.

LUNA LAKE – The lake is open. Fishing is poor due to a strong
algae bloom and associated conditions. The lake had experienced a
small fish kill due to low oxygen levels, but oxygen levels are
improving. The lake level is low (~4 feet down). The Luna Lake
Campground is open.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is good for
bass and catfish. Camping is available. Don’t forget, there are no
boat motor restrictions here. This can make a nice bass-boat
getaway in the high country; bring along your water skiing gear.
There are also some nice hikes to see petroglyphs.

NELSON RESERVOIR -The lake is open for day use only. Fishing is
good to excellent. Large carryover trout are still present from
last year, along with many catchable size rainbows stocked before
the closure. Nelson Reservoir may receive ash runoff from the burn
area during monsoon rains; however, it has not impacted the lake at
this point.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. Bullheads are being
caught on worms off the fishing pier. The weeds are fairly

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The lake level is low; use
caution when launching boats. Scott Reservoir has been stocked with
rainbow trout.

SHEEP’S CROSSING – Fishing is good. The stream was stocked above
the bridge last week with 600 Apache trout and will be stocked
again this week. The stream is open upstream from the bridge to the
headwaters of Mount Baldy. The Forest and the West Fork of the
Little Colorado River downstream from the Sheep’s Crossing Bridge
is closed.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Show Low Lake was
stocked recently with rainbow trout. In fact, this lake received
extra trout stockings during the fires and forest closures in early
summer. The store and campground are open, and boat rentals are

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. The pH level has
increased dramatically and the fishing has slowed because of the
water conditions. Fish in early morning or in the evening to avoid
the warmest conditions in the middle of the day. Largemouth bass
are being caught on lures early in the morning and late in the


Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!
Fishing reports can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fish Program
Manager by email at These reports will then be
complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

We are now a better part of the way through the summer and anglers
should be looking to focus their time on the water during the
coolest parts of the day. Early mornings and late evenings are
going to be the best times to catch fish and avoid sun burns!

Trout stocking for the summer months is underway but will begin to
wind down as September approaches. You can view the schedule here:
2011 Summer Stocking Schedule

Fishing reports can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fish Program
Manager by email at These reports will then be
complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

URBAN WATERS — Fishing is fair for anglers using worms, stink
baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers,
rig up a slip bobber and fish 8-12 feet deep. Catfish are biting
irregularly throughout the day, but are more active when the sun
goes down.

Bluegill fishing is fair to good for anglers using worms and
mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass is fair with the best baits finesse
plastics fished in the early morning hours.

RIGGS FLAT – No recent reports of success. Water quality remains

CLUFF RANCH -No recent reports of success. The pond is full and
there are no issues with boat launching. For lake information call
(928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE – For lake information and status of the park call (928)

DANKWORTH POND – Remains closed to fishing during renovation.

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR -No recent report of success

ARIVACA – Open to anglers but water levels remain low. Use caution
when launching your boat and pay attention for submerged trees and
rocks that are near the surface due to low water levels. Boaters
using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake
problems for others boaters.

I got to the lake at 0430 and was fishing by 0500. It is still 5 to
6 feet down but clarity was good. I only landed 3 fish biggest at
3lb. I missed and or lost 14 fish. Probably a dozen boats on the
lake. I visited with another angler about 0800 and he had caught 18
biggest one weighing 5lb.

PENA BLANCA – Remains closed due to fire damage.

PATAGONIA – The level remains extremely low and boaters should use
caution due to increased number of hazards. Some anglers are
reporting that bass are beginning to chase shad and are reporting
success fishing the boils in the late evening. No other recent
reports of success.

PARKER CANYON – Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date
information on lake levels and fishing activity at or by phone at (520) 455-5847.

Went to parker Canyon Tues July, 26. I kept 34 bluegills and
released around 15. Bite was light and bigger fish were deeper. I
caught my fish on meal worms fished without a bobber and a very
small splitshot from a float tube. Weather was awesome, especially
to someone tuffing out the summer in Mesa, AZ.

ROSE CANYON LAKE -Although the lake is open we have received no
reports of success. The lake is scheduled to be stocked this


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