Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Sunday is Father’s Day, hardly a better day for some fishing with dad. These memories created around clear, blue mountain lakes remain lifetime gems.

Don’t miss one.

Here’s where to go, or things to consider before heading out:

White Mountains and Mogollon Rim lakes

Fishing is good to excellent for trout at Carnero Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Show Low Creek, and Silver Creek.

Fishing is good at Bear Canyon Lake and Nelson Reservoir. Large (13-inch length) rainbow trout are being stocked this year into Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, and Show Low Lake, and Willow Springs Lake will be stocked this week with moderately large (11-inch length) rainbow trout.

Fishing is also good at most of the stocked streams, including East Fork Black River, LCR in Greer, and Sheeps Crossing. Fishing is good for stocked bluegill at Woodland Lake and Fool Hollow Lake, and for stocked channel catfish at Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, and Scott Reservoir.

See all these locations on our Fish&Boat Arizona map.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said the Rim lakes and streams continue to produce some great fishing trips. Stocked trout are plentiful — see the summer stocking schedule.

PowerBait, salmon eggs, Super Dupers, Z-Rays, crankbaits and dry flies were all reported successful this past week, he said.

Flagstaff/Williams area

At Lower Lake Mary, fishing slowed over the weekend for anglers using bait, but fly anglers continue to catch large numbers of fish in the early mornings and the evenings.

Ashurst Lake’s water level has dropped to the point that launching boats is not allowed. In addition, the water quality has deteriorated to the point that trout stocking is no longer possible. There are still large numbers of trout in the lake so fishing should be OK. There’s always monster pike.

We have a new northern pike, statewide fish-of-the-year keeper from Ashurst, pictured above. Fishing for trout with PowerBait on Saturday, June 7, Lester R. of Glendale pulled in the 43.5-inch bruiser. Congrats, Lester!

Stocking in the upper reaches of Oak Creek have been canceled as a result of the Slide Fire. Stocking locations from Sedona downstream are still being stocked.

Lake Powell and Lees Ferry

Wayne Gustaveson wrote in his latest fishing report on www.wayneswords.com that “Lake Powell is still coming up and will break the 3600 MSL barrier today, but stripers are the big news now. Striper slurping boils are seen lake wide.” See the full Wayne Gustaveson June 11 report at http://www.wayneswords.com.

At Lees Ferry, we read in the Lees Ferry Anglers June 5 fishing report that for fly fishing up river, “summer weather and the corresponding higher water flows have arrived right on schedule. It took a few days – really maybe 72 hours – for fish to settle into their high water mode, but once they did it was business as usual.”

Fire restrictions

See a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.


(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)

An anonymous report from Knoll Lake, June 5 and 6: A Rapala countdown was fished around 6-10 feet of depth.

Fishing was good with 1/16-ounce and 1/8-ounce spinners throughout the lake but it seemed more active on the east side of the island. Berkley PowerBait “turbo dough” in the blue-neon color was excellent on a Carolina rig, but using this rig required frequent re-baiting the hook, as mudbugs would steal the bait in a matter of minutes.

Other colors of PowerBait were also successful (neon orange, peach, rainbow), but none were as good as the turbo blue-neon. I have had success in the past catching some decent hold-overs using a No. 3 Rapala Countdown in a rainbow trout color/pattern.

I fished with that for about thirty minutes and while I had moderate success, no hold-overs took the bait. Overall, I think everything that we caught was a young stocked fish and was released.

Cheyenne from Flagstaff landed this 2-pound, 19-inch rainbow trout at Ashurst Lake Saturday, June 7, fishing with PowerBait on the bottom!

A pair of anglers who fished on Thursday and Friday, repspectively, sent in the following success stories from Riggs Flat Lake near Safford:

  • Kevin Q: Fishing was excellent this past week. Both my son (above) and I got our limit within two hours. All rainbow in the 11-13-inch range on PowerBait floated about 18 inches off the bottom. The pH must still be off as there is a ton of growth in the water just off shore. But there are several spots by the dam where the drop off is significant and you can get your line in without snags.
  • Daniel W.: The fishing at Riggs Flat Lake is outstanding. Brightly colored PowerBait like lime green or hot pink. We were catching about 10-15 an hour even in midday.

    (Riggs Flat Lake is located on the top of the Pinaleño Mountains, 40 miles southwest of Safford.
    Directions: From Safford, drive south 8 miles on US 191 to AZ 366. Turn right (southwest) onto 366 and drive 29 miles to the Columbine Work Center. Continue along Forest Roads 803 and 287 about 5 miles to the campground. The last 12 miles of this road are narrow and winding.

    See more information on Riggs Flat Lake from the Coronado National Forest website.)


What’s YOUR fish story? In the 10th segment of Fish Stories, truck driver Roman Rodriguez fishes from Silverbell Lake and talks about he chooses fishing over massages, hunting over vacations. And it’s all about truckin’ and fishin’.

Enjoy the latest segment of Fish Stories from the AZGFD YouTube site!

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to bfishing@azgfd.gov, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

Stay tuned for future additions of “Fish Stories,” which will frequently appear here in print, online or on television.

See the full report.

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