Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Have a White Mountains adventure like Esli V. did last week at Chevelon Canyon Lake, catching this monster brown trout on a big streamer.
Have a White Mountains adventure like Esli V. did last week at Chevelon Canyon Lake, catching this monster brown trout on a big streamer.

Let’s lead off with this angler report from Chevelon Canyon Lake. Just  a beauty brown trout. Esli V. hooked into this brown (above) using a big streamer. Time to go.

OK, monsoons rains brought a brief chill to water temperatures and kicked bugs and worms and nutrients into many fisheries. For nighttime anglers, a waning, last-quarter moon means submersible lights will be increasingly effective at drawing the plankton/bait fish/sport-fish chain. Nights will get darker, stars should appear brighter, and we’re just days from the Sept. 1 start of the early dove season.

Who else needs a cast-and-blast outing?

Dogtown Reservoir south of Williams is a spot to mark. It has recently been stocked with trout, and with water levels having risen (many fork-shaped sticks used to hold shoreline poles are underwater), trout are coming from deep water to the surface and hitting an assortment of flies – small woolly buggers, simi-seal leeches, and gold-beaded hare’s ear nymphs, for example. Apparently, the fish are hitting best with cloud cover and/or during water-rippling gusts.

Making Labor Day weekend plans? A few other suggestions:

Dogtown Lake south of Williams is an Arizona trout angling paradise.
Dogtown Lake south of Williams is an Arizona trout angling paradise.
  • Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes. Both of these Mogollon Rim lakes are exceptional producers and always worth a visit — crowds or not. Get there early to get a camping spot.
  • Canyon Creek. It’s just down the road from Woods and Willow Springs lakes. It’s being stocked with rainbow trout. To get there, take the Young road off Highway 260 and keep a watch for the sign for the turn (left). It’s easy to miss.
  • Kinnickinick Lake. It’s been stocked with tons of trout. Escape the summer crowds. During summer, it is best fished from a float tube, canoe or kayak.
  • Lake Powell in northern Arizona.  On any given day Powell might just provide some of the best freshwater fishing in North America. With 1,700 miles of shoreline, you might not even see another angler. See Wayne Gustaveson’s tips in the full report.

Channel catfish will return to Community Fishing Program waters in late September. Stay tuned.

Need some summertime bass fishing tips? See the Fish AZ blog article below.

And thank you for your annual fishing license purchases – they go back into fish stocking and management and help conserve all species of wildlife (we receive NO state tax dollars). Grab a license online and conserve wildlife for future generations.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, Aug. 17 — Show Low Creek.; Tuesday, Aug. 16 — Dogtown Reservoir.; Monday, Aug. 15 — Kinnikinick Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, City Reservoir, Silver Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Canyon Creek, Kinnikinick Lake.

Channel catfish

Thursday, Aug. 18 — Dead Horse Lake, Lynx Lake.

Read more.

Angler Reports

(Send fishing reports and photos to

VerdeBassUpper Verde River
Got this largemouth with a spider jig out of the river near Tuzigoot. It was between storms so the river was moderately clear at the time.




MikeAtSaguaro8-19-16Saguaro Lake
Ben L.: Went out Friday, Aug. 19.  The early morning largemouth bite was actually quite good using Rapalas at about 5 inches in 15-20-foot depth waters.  A LOT of weeds to steer clear of though.  Later in the morning, Michael Kramarczyk of Maricopa landed this one in a cove using a Rebel jointed minnow.

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.


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