Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Meanwhile in Arizona … we’re still fishing. And we’re off to a great start this year with this heavy precipitation — hope the wet stuff keeps falling.  Let’s get right into the winter highlights:

  • Hot spots this week will be the “core” Community Fishing Program waters where we just stocked some monster rainbow trout. See the schedule of what’s been stocked.
  • The 2017-18 fishing regulations are available online and as booklets at AZGFD offices as well as license dealers.
  • The Yellow Cliffs boat launch is once again open at Bartlett Lake. As of Thursday there was 17 feet of water depth at the launch.
  • Rainbow trout from the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery have been stocked into Colorado River waters downstream of Las Vegas after a 3-year hiatus. Read more from our Fish AZ blog.


Catch of the Week

Send your Angler Reports to –one will be featured as Catch of the Week

Photo credit: Lazy Trout Motel and Cabins
Photo credit: Lazy Trout Motel and Cabins

This young man caught this 4-pound brown trout Jan. 9 out of Tunnel Reservoir. This time of year, bunny leeches, simi seal leeches and woolly buggers work well in all of the Greer lakes when there is open water. We consider all ice unsafe.

See all the Angler Reports


High country updates: Greer, Becker lakes

Cinda Howard of Fly Fish Arizona … and Beyond (  had this Thursday, Jan. 12 report from the Greer lakes and Becker Lake:

Currently the Greer Lakes are ice-free and they are finally full again. On Jan. 9, there was a young man who caught a 21″, 4 lb brown out of Tunnel (pictured above). This time of year, bunny leeches, simi seal leeches and woolly buggers work well in all of the Greer Lakes. For bait, try worms.

A nice Becker Lake rainbow trout caught recently from a pier.

Becker Lake is also ice-free and has been fishing very well. I have done well fishing from the pier but if you have a boat, casting to the banks has been very productive. Fish seem to be sitting really close to the bank. My best flies are bunny leeches in white, black and tan.

Public fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday, Jan. 14 — City of Maricopa Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. — noon, Copper Sky Lake (45345 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Maricopa).

The lake will be stocked prior to the event with 420 pounds of trout.


View the full schedule

Nets and waders: Working for you

This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.

In December, another 80 Juniper trees were sunk in Dogtown Lake as part of the Dogtown Fish Habitat Project.  Since the project started in 2014, more than an acre of fish habitat made of Juniper trees has been added to the 80-year-old reservoir.  This project is a cooperative effort between the AZGFD, Kaibab National Forest, Northern Arizona Flycasters and Trout Unlimited.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 12 — Colorado River (Willow Beach). Read more. Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 12 — All Community waters scheduled to be stocked with trout this week (marked with a “T” on the schedule) were stocked with larger-than-average trout. Thursday, Jan. 5 — Dankworth Ponds, Roper Lake, Cluff Reservoir # 3. Wednesday, Jan. 4 — Parker Canyon Lake.

See the full schedule.


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