Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


The catch-and-keep season at Silver Creek is underway. What’s possible?

Well, our Sport Fishing Education Coordinator Marci Alderman caught this 8.05-pound, 26 5/8-inch rainbow trout at Silver Creek on a nightcrawler and 8-pound monofilament test line.

Below is a picture from Wednesday’s Silver Creek stocking.

Beginning April 1 until Oct. 1, anglers can fish Silver Creek outside the Silver Creek Hatchery for the beginning of the catch-and-keep trout fishery. Bait also is allowed until the end of September.

Anglers should arrive before sunrise for a chance at catching the native Apache trout. Bait fishing and a six trout daily bag limit (including Apache) are allowed at this time, however, the upper section is closed until Oct. 1.

“The creek has received habitat improvements, and for two miles of fishable waters the creek meanders through the meadows,” Game and Fish hatchery manager Scott Gurtin said. “It’s just a pristine location at the gate of the White Mountains.”

For the beginning of “bait season,” worms fished in deeper holes are the best bait, but PowerBait and assorted flies work as well. Apache trout can be caught by a variety of methods, including throwing wet or dry flies and small lures such as spinners.

Silver Creek Hatchery is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north off 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for 1 mile where you can park at the Silver Creek Hatchery.

We have plenty of new reports throughout, including a fresh spread of Tucson-area updates, so browse for your favorite fishin’ hole and send us your reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Just above there, at Lake Havasu, the early season top-water bite is on. Shad are spawning and stripers can be caught in shallow water. See more of this report from Friday in the full report.

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Here’s one hot spot: The smallmouth bass bite is hot right on the Parker Strip section of the Colorado River. Anglers last weekend had success on nightcrawlers and assorted soft baits. Water temperatures are still cool, in the low to mid 60s.

Worms were also working well for the large hybrid redears known to occupy this stretch of river.

A final update: Forest Road 751 was opened Friday, April 3, allowing public access to C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir, including the boat launch ramp. In order to allow full public access over the spring and summer season, the ongoing boating access project being implemented by the Arizona Game and Fish Department will be on hold until approximately late August.

Don’t forget to see the new summer trout stocking schedule.

And be sure to grab a license onlineyour purchase helps conserve wildlife!

(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Bartlett Lake

Hi, Nick,

Karrie: Thank you for an amazing fishing report every week! I thought I would share with you my recent catch.

Pictures are attached. I caught this 14.7-pound beauty from shore at Bartlett Flats. I used a 1.5-pound (12-inch) live carp as bait. Ironically, I reeled him in at 5:30 p.m. I’m heading back out this weekend to try and catch another one!
Thanks again!

Have an unbelievable day!

Oak Creek
Alan L.: In Sedona for a few days for a short vacation coming from the Los Angeles area since my son is on spring break. … Had a little time before or family hike at West Fork so we stopped by grasshopper near Sedona to fish around 7 a.m. Had my son (Hurley L.) daughter and wife. Only had an hour to fish at the most. Saw a local fly fishing guide loading up as we arrived so I thought it was a good sign.

Did a little homework before coming to Arizona for regulations etc. I ended up with a small rainbow, my son this 22-23-inch brown. You be the judge.

Both of us were using mini jigs, custom made colors. First time here and I’m glad I purchased a year license. Hope to give you future reports. Both trout were caught, pictured and released.

Parker Canyon Lake
Jack W.: I was fishing for trout at Parker Canyon the other day, but got distracted when my fish-finder located fish in about ten feet of water near some cattails and submerged brush. I picked up my fly rod, put on a guide’s choice hare’s ear and promptly tied into several nice chunky bluegill. No top-water action, but that should be coming soon and last for a couple of weeks if past years are any indication.

Lower Salt River
Todd B.: It was one of the saddest days for me in the outdoors today, Saturday the 4th of April. The day started out at Blue Point Bridge, and I had a fun time for a few hours, but no fish to take home.

I then went west to Phon D Sutton to try my luck. The Salt was low, but the Verde was blown out. A good sign for the coming summer crops. What saddens me to the point of becoming sick to my stomach was the number of people there, and the amount of litter scattered everywhere. Nobody seemed to be cleaning up after themselves.

The beach was full of plastic water bottles (countless), foam plates, and tons of beer cans. It was a plain disgusting site. I do not know if I can return to that once beautiful, and clean, park that I had grown to love dearly. I have no other words to describe my experience there. How dreadful of what was an awesome first have of a day, to have this as the ending memory.

P.S. Even the horses there seemed sad as they moved about through the litter to get to the river.

What happened there, Arizona? We messed up big time.

Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.

Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.


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