Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
Time to head to the land of bugling elk, rusty leaves and feisty trout.
Some true fall weather is ahead and anglers can consider fishing the high country as much as possible until winter conditions prevail. Already, night/morning air temperatures in places such as Flagstaff and Pinetop/Lakeside have hit the 30s.
Next week, a cold front (remnants from Hurricane Rosa) is predicted to move through the state, bringing highs in the 80s to the desert regions with some good chances of rainfall. An ensuing influx of nutrients and small dip in water temperatures should boost fishing opportunities for multiple species from trout to largemouth bass. Water temperatures at many desert impoundments have been in the high-70s to low-80s.
Some other tips:
- At Ashurst Lake southeast of Flagstaff, mayflies have emerged and trout are chasing them on the surface. Lots of brown trout have been stocked into Kinnikinick Lake, also southeast of Flagstaff.
- Tiger trout have been stocked this week into Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes on the Mogollon Rim.
- Some anglers have reported better fishing at Big Lake with 60-degree water temperatures and spawning cutthroat trout. The Big Lake Store reported many trout are holding in 10-15 feet of water with worms and PowerBait being good bait options. Other anglers have had luck fishing flies about 1 foot beneath the surface during early mornings.
- As a reminder, we’ve posted our Fall Fishing Forecast and it includes all major waters statewide. We predict fall fishing hot spots will include Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest, Alamo Lake in Western Arizona, Ashurst Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Frances Short Pond in the Flagstaff/Williams region, Goldwater Lake in Prescott, and in the White Mountain region, the Little Colorado River at Sheeps Crossing, Show Low Creek Meadows, Silver Creek. See the forecast.
- Speaking of Silver Creek, on Monday, Oct. 1 the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed (no trout may be kept), and is artificial flies and lures only with single barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations. For questions about the upper section, call the Silver Creek Fish Hatchery at 928-537-7513.
This week’s stockings
(Water temps in parentheses, if available)
Rainbow trout: Woods Canyon Lake (70 degrees), Willow Springs Lake (66), Tonto Creek, Canyon Creek.
Tiger trout: Willow Springs Lake (66), Woods Canyon Lake (70).
Brown trout: Kinnikinick Lake.
Channel catfish: Tempe Town Lake, Benders Pond, Fain Lake, Yavapai Lakes, Patterson Ponds, Fortuna Lake, PAAC Pond, Redondo Lake, West Wetlands Pond, Council Avenue Pond.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Kevin M. recently caught this 2.5-pound crappie at Roosevelt Lake.
Family Fishing Events
Note: At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.
Saturday: Verde River Days, 8 a.m.-noon; Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd. Cottonwood.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has coordinated with Arizona State Parks to bring you free fishing during Verde River Days! Bring your family out to enjoy free fishing and instruction from AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program and volunteers. While the Verde River Days festivities will go from 9 a.m-3 p.m., the family fishing will occur from 8 a.m-noon only. For more information, please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240 or go to: http://www.verderiverday.com/
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 grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.
Save time, buy online
Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go “Fish AZ”.