Category Archives: Flagstaff/Williams

Filling and spilling: Flagstaff area lakes highest in years

A recent influx of snow and subsequent run-off is giving many Flagstaff area lakes a refill.

During the past two years, water levels at Kaibab Lake near Williams had been far too low to stock fish. Thanks to recent heavy rains, the lake is full and spilling.

Kaibab Lake near Williams can finally be stocked with fish after two years of extremely low water levels. Photo courtesy Kaibab National Forest.

All lakes in the Flagstaff region are ice free.

We will not be stocking all lakes, and the ones that will be stocked will not get fish until after March 1.

Some other updates from this region:

  • Dogtown Lake, near Kaibab on the south side of I-40, should be full. Anglers who can get into Dogtown might catch some of the holdover rainbows and browns since spring fishing can be pretty good. The lake has probably picked up 10 to 11 feet of depth since December and so the fishing might be a little slow, but the trout should be feeding.

    Ashurst Lake is full
  • Ashurst Lake is full.  The road to Ashurst Lake remains closed and  is very muddy and there are some heavy snow drifts.
  • Upper Lake Mary is about 1 foot from spilling (up 6 inches since Tuesday) and Lower Lake Mary is about 1/3 to 1/2 full.  If more moisture comes this weekend, Upper Lake Mary will probably spill into Lower Lake Mary — and so it might fill this year.
  • Frances Short Pond will be stocked with the normal weekly stockings starting in March. Anglers should be able to catch fish at Frances Short right now since they were catching them before it iced over (and since it was full at that time, the fish-to-water ratio is the same.)  For all of the other lakes, until we can stock the fishing will probably be somewhat poor.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Top-3 high-country bass fishing holes for summer

This Arizona fishing adventure is simple: keep cool, catch bass.

Although you might not hammer the bass like you might in some of our desert dandies, there are some pristine lakes at more than 6,000 feet of elevation where bassin’ is an option.

Here, then,  are the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s top-3 summertime high country bass fishing spots (click on the name of the water for Google map directions):

1. Fool Hollow Lake. Elevation: 6,255 feet

Fools Hollow-052
Smallmouth and largemouth bass can be caught, and this 150-acre lake near Show Low once produced the catch-and-release state record for smallmouth bass (21 inches).

2. Show Low Lake. Elevation: 6,540 feet

Show Low offers smallmouth and largemouth bass options. Try fishing nightcrawlers in rocks along the dam.

3. Dogtown Reservoir. Elevation: 7,070 feet

AZGFD is developing this fishery near Williams to have a sustainable bass population, and so there are special regulations at this lake: two bass at a minimum size of 13 inches.

Honorable mentions

Rainbow Lake, Cataract Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Black River (on the reservation), Kaibab Lake, Whitehorse Lake. See a Fish & Boat map for directions to all.

So get that license online (conserve all species of wildlife while doing so) and get out for some high country bass action.

Managing bass fishing opportunities

Managing for bass fishing opportunities has to mesh with that area’s management goals. Please remember to not transport any live fish from one water to another.

See more information on fishing in Arizona.

Flagstaff/Williams fishing: hit Dogtown before dog days of summer

Joshua Rose on Saturday caught this 23 ¾-inch, 4.3-pound brown trout out of Dogtown.
Joshua Rose on Saturday caught this 23 ¾-inch, 4.3-pound brown trout out of Dogtown.

No question: Dogtown Reservoir south of Williams is one of Arizona’s trout fishing hot spots. A shred of evidence: Joshua Rose on Saturday caught this gorgeous 23 ¾-inch, 4.3-pound brown trout out of Dogtown.

Rose caught the fish on corn PowerBait.

This 50-acre lake in the Kaibab National Forest is being stocked consistently and is one of the best bets for a high country Arizona trout fishing adventure. Some experienced anglers are catching plump winter holdovers.

Effective baits have been PowerBait, small spinners, and wet flies such as bead-headed prince nymphs and zug bugs. Make sure the spinners are small — no heavier than 1/8 of an ounce. Some anglers are having success slow-trolling spinners.

A couple weeks ago, 10-year-old Matthew R. duped this 3-pound brown that measured 19.5 inches:

BrownTroutDogtown_1 (1)


See our fishing basics page if you need some starter tips.


AZGFD habitat enhancements at Dogtown


Shoreline fishing options are abundant at Dogtown Lake
Shoreline fishing options are abundant at Dogtown Lake


AZGFD has been working with  Northern Arizona Flycasters and the Kaibab National Forest to improve Dogtown fishing habitat. During the past two years, around 300 juniper trees have been sunk to serve as protective habitat. Also, juvenile bass and bluegill have been stocked.

(There are special regulations at Dogtown: the limit is six trout, two bass at a minimum size of 13 inches, and a limit of four channel catfish).

Fishing offers adventure, family fun, and fresh food at an unmatched value.

Where to trout fish in Flagstaff/Williams area


Stocking trucks from Page Springs Hatchery have been loading up trout into Flagstaff/Williams regional waters the past few weeks .

Here is AZGFD Region 2 Aquatic Wildlife Program Manager Scott Rogers’ top 5 spots to fish near Flagstaff and Williams (all are being stocked with trout):

Ashurst Lake fishing adventures can mean fat holdover trout
Ashurst Lake fishing adventures can mean fat holdover trout.
  1. Dogtown Lake
  2. Ashurst Lake
  3. Cataract Lake
  4. Frances Short Pond
  5. City Reservoir

A high chance of rain is predicted for Flagstaff and Williams Friday and Sunday (trout sometimes bite great just before a storm), and these waters should be great options throughout April.

Grab your gear and your fishing license and get ready for a pine-scented weekend!