Now is the time to get the tackle box ready, grab the fishing rods, and explore northern Arizona for some spring fishing.
Typically by late May or early June, as temperatures warm up and lake levels drop, water quality diminishes and conditions will be unsuitable for stocking fish.
Bass, pike, catfish, and crappie fishing are the best during the summer — but now is the ideal time for trout fishing. Get up there while you can.
Stocking trucks from Page Springs Hatchery have been loading up trout into Flagstaff/Williams regional waters the past few weeks.
Top 5 spots to fish near Flagstaff and Williams
(All are being stocked with trout):
- Upper and Lower Mary lakes. A state record channel catfish was caught from Upper Lake Mary, and trout fishing can be good at Lower Lake Mary. Upper Lake Mary is full. Lower lake Mary is half full and has more water in it than has been seen in 7 years. See more information from Coconino County on fees and hours of operation at Lower Mary.
- Ashurst Lake. Ashurst is full and the road is open. The water in the lake is relatively clear so try fishing with lures for the fresh stockers. With the low water level of the lake prior to the spring runoff many fish may not have survived the winter.
- Frances Short Pond. Anglers have been catching fish using flies and lures. Some have also been caught using corn and worms. A recent load of trout included some trout measuring more than 14 inches.
- Kaibab Lake. The lake is full and spilling for the first time in years. When muddy, try small silver or gold lures for trout.
- Dogtown Reservoir. This 50-acre lake in the Kaibab National Forest can be one of the best bets for a high country Arizona trout fishing adventure. Some experienced anglers can catch plump winter holdovers. Effective baits are 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 can have success slow-trolling spinners. (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). Electric-only motors are allowed.
Grab your gear and your fishing license and get ready for a pine-scented weekend!