Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Great time for chasing the all-American catfish — especially during the cooler nights. Just see our Catch of the Week below — Arizona truly is a flathead catfish destination.

Other than that, as desert temperatures consistently crack 100 degrees, visit the mountain regions before the summer heat raises lake temperatures and trout activity patterns slow down. Summer has officially started, yet great spring-like fishing remains – for now.

See our summer trout stocking schedule. From May through June, we’ll have stocked an extra quarter-million fish statewide. Grab a license online, 24/7, and go.

Due to evacuation of the Tonto Creek Hatchery earlier this month during the Highline Fire, Willow Springs Lake on the Mogollon Rim was stocked extra-heavy with 7,080 catchable rainbow trout and a similar number of tiger trout. Also, nearby Woods Canyon Lake was stocked this week with 7,800 catchable rainbow trout as well as tiger trout.

At Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff, this was the windy scene Wednesday with anglers having success with PowerBait and spinners:

There are many scenic, family-friendly streams in Rim country that are consistently stocked, such as Tonto Creek, Canyon Creek and the East Verde River. In the White Mountains, try the East Fork of the Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer, Show Low Creek or Silver Creek – all are fishing excellent.

In the Flagstaff region, possible hot spots to try are Ashurst, Kaibab and Dogtown lakes.


Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Kent Taylor hauled in — and released — this 62.56-pound flathead catfish Saturday at Martinez Lake on a live bluegill. Full story.

See previous Angler Reports

Notable fire closures

  • Due to the Gentry Fire, access to Black Canyon Lake is closed until further notice.
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake is closed due to the Frye Fire.

Remember: clean, drain, dry

All it takes is a few minutes to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and keep our waters clean and beautiful for ourselves and future generations.

Remember to:

  • Clean boats, waders, equipment and gear by removing mud, plants, attached animals such as snails or quagga mussels. Freeze waders overnight eliminate fish pathogens and other hitchhikers.
  • Drain all residual water from engines and motors, ballast tanks, live wells and bait wells. Pull your bilge plug and leave out during transport. Store in a location where you will remember before launch, e.g. next to boat keys in glove box!
  • Dry out all equipment that comes in contact with water, such as life jackets, ropes, buoys, tubes, etc.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, June 23 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek.

Thursday, June 22 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Cataract Lake.

Monday, June 19 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Mingus Lake, Fain Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Canyon Creek.

Saturday, June 17 — Canyon, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake.

Public fishing events

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

July 7-8 — Women’s Only Fly Fishing Clinic, instruction Friday evening at the Pinetop Regional Office, Saturday morning at Silver Creek outside Show Low (pre-registration required).

See the full schedule.


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