Trout fishing on the Rim lakes was called “over the top” excellent this past week, according to James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods.
Lots of anglers reported great Memorial Day weekend trips, he said. PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs were reported successful. At Willow Springs Lake on Tuesday, we heard that rainbows, smallmouth bass, and crappie were hitting streamers, inline spinners, and crawfish crankbaits. Small spinnerbaits such as a Mepps, Super Duper, and Panther Martins are working.
CREEKS BELOW THE MOGOLLON RIM – Previously, James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said spring trout fishing on the rim lakes and streams has been one of the best a lot of trout anglers can recall. Several good reports were received from Haigler Creek and the East Verde this past week.
The most successful trout anglers will be stealthy. Sneak up on the pools and don't spook the stream-wise trout (or not-so-wise stockers). Stay hidden and cast your offering into the riffles above the pool and let the current carry your bait to the trout waiting in concealed ambush.
PowerBait is a great choice for these stockers. Also try free-drifting a couple salmon eggs on a small hook (No. 10-12).
WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES
Recommended waters to fish
Fishing is good to excellent for trout at Carnero Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, and Silver Creek, and good at Bear Canyon Lake, Clear Creek Reservoir, Nelson Reservoir, and Rainbow Lake. Large (13-inch length) rainbow trout are being stocked this year into Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, and Show Low Lake. Fishing is also good at most of the stocked streams, including East Fork Black River, LCR in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Show Low Creek. Fishing is good for stocked bluegill at Woodland Lake and Fool Hollow Lake, and for stocked channel catfish at Show Low Lake, Rainbow Lake, and Scott Reservoir.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,276 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching trout on PowerBait.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 3,062 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching trout on green PowerBait. The Woods Canyon Lake store is open and boat rentals are available. The fire that occurred near the lake is 100-percent contained and poses no threat to campers and anglers.
Trout stocking schedule
Week of June 2-6
Bear Canyon Lake - 1,755 rainbow trout
Bunch Reservoir - 1,170 rainbow trout
Fools Hollow Lake - 400 13” rainbow trout
River Reservoir - 1,950 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake - 850 13” rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 2,550 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Creek - 3,062 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River - 1,000 Apache trout
West Fork Black River - 50 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer - 500 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 500 Apache trout
Silver Creek - 625 Apache trout
ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,101 feet, 47-percent full.
May 31 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:
Good morning Rim Country anglers,
The water level in Roosevelt Lake remained steady this past week.
The Tonto Creek has stopped flowing this week while the Salt River is at 30 percent of its normal rate for this time of year. The water temperature is increasing and shallow water is now beginning to reach 80 degrees during the afternoon.
The water clarity degraded this week in some areas of the lake due to the algae growth. In some areas of the lake, the water has a green tint, so baits that are a green or a bullfrog color were reported better than white color baits traditionally used in clear water conditions.
Bass fishing was called fair this past week by local experienced anglers. The bass are moving into a summer pattern and lots of anglers are wondering where all the fish they caught the past couple of months have gone.
This transition to deeper water and slower activity is typical for this time of year. Now the top water bite we’ve been talking about the past few weeks remained strong this past week very early in the morning.
A Rio Rico top water bait was reported successful by several anglers from first light until mid morning. Zara spooks, Reaction Innovation Vixen and shallow-running jerk baits such as Lucky Craft Pointers were catching good numbers.
As the sun gets higher, bass will seek deeper water and cover or structure to protect them. Try a weightless Senko, dropshot, Texas-rig or Carolina rig in 15-25 ft water. These presentations will need to be slower than the past few months.
The crappie fishing reports improved this past week. The nighttime bite is still reported better than during the daylight, but crappie schools can be found during the daylight in 25-30 feet of water and always in the brush.
Trolling with a John Deere or black, blue and Chartreuse color 2-inch grub tail was reported successful. For the nighttime crappie anglers, lights will be effective this coming week as we move away from the new moon.
Trout fishing on the Rim Lakes was called “over the top” excellent this past week.
Lots of anglers reported great Memorial Day weekend trips. PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs were reported successful.
Small spinner baits such as a Mepps, Super Duper, and Panther Martins are working well on an ultra-light rod. Fly anglers are having success Crick Hoppers, which is a cricket imitation bait in the early morning and late evening. And don’t forget Green Valley Lake here in Payson. Several nice rainbow trout were reportedly taken last week.
Two weeks from today is when the AZGFD Commissioners will be holding their public meeting in Payson. The dates are June 13-14 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.
To see the complete agenda you can go to AZGFD.com and click on the "commission" tab. Many interesting topics will be addressed including the latest update on the gizzard shad issue at Roosevelt Lake. The public is encouraged to attend so I'm looking forward to meeting many of you there.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.