My Favorite Arizona Fishing Waters


favorite arizona fishing


My favorite Arizona fishing waters are all around the South of Flagstaff area.

This area offers a variety of fishing waters. Small lakes and larger lakes, creeks with convenient follow-the-road access, and hike-in creeks They include:

  • Ashurst Lake
  • Coconino Reservoir
  • Kinnikinick Lake
  • Upper Lake Mary
  • Lower Lake Mary
  • Oak Creek
  • West Fork (of Oak Creek)
  • Beaver Creek
  • West Clear Creek

My favorite Arizona fishing waters? I have several favorites, depending on who's with me and how much time we have to fish... and the time of year.

Lower Lake Mary can offer good fishing for stocked rainbow trout... when it has water in it... and it is full right now!.

It sometimes goes dry in low moisture years. It lies right along Lake Mary Road and is accessible by kids and to some extent, handicapped fisher-folks.favorite arizona fishing

Upper Lake Mary also lies alongside Lake Mary Road, just south of the lower lake. This lake also has good accessibility from the road.

This lake holds a great variety of game fish, including species normally thought of as warm water fish.

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Large mouth bass, yellow bass, crappie, sunfish, and channel cats share these waters with northern and walleye pike, as well as trout. Upper Lake Mary is a long narrow body of water. This coupled with the types of fish in the lake making fishing from a boat more desirable.

Coconino Reservoir is a small stocked trout lake south of Ashurst Lake on Anderson Mesa. You get there by a rough dirt road after going through the campgrounds at Ashurst.

Kinnikinick Lake is a trout lake accessible by a gravel road that can get rough. That means fewer people and fishing pressure. It's worth a visit now and again.

My favorite Arizona fishing waters just has to include Oak Creek.favorite arizona fishing The beauty and off-season tranquility just add to the experience of fishing Oak Creek... and when the lakes above are ice-covered in winter, this is the place to be.

Oak Creek runs alongside highway 89A through Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona. This area requires a Red Rock Pass use permit.

Oak Creek offers stocked rainbow trout and is very accessible.

This is where I taught my kids to fish. They used gold egg hooks with a little dough bait made from dog chow. We would be on the creek at daylight. By the time the sunlight hits the water, the fishing action slows down.

The West Fork of Oak Creek is a walk-in stream offering several miles of wild brown trout fishing. It's a great place to get a fly or hopper wet. Get in there at first light to beat the day hikers.

Beaver Creek is at a lower elevation and is more comfortable to fish in cooler weather. Hike up into the canyon for a little solitude.

West Clear Creek is most often accessed from its lower end near the town of Camp Verde. Accessing the upper section can be challenging... and the middle section a real challenge.

My favorite family fishing lake is Ashurst. It offers all that South of Flagstaff fishing is about. All parts of the shoreline are very accessible, but somewhat rocky in several stretches.

The view of the peaks is grand, the hosted campground is clean and (usually) quiet. The shade trees and cool breezes are plentiful.flagstaff fishing

I usually fish Ashurst from shore. I pre-rig three rods... two spinning rods and a fly rod. I carry them all to the water and usually use them all.

I rig the fly rod with two streamer flies, a colorful streamer with a little yellow in it on the end of the line and a less colorful brownish streamer on a 6 inch dropper about two feet ahead of the other fly.

I rig one spinning rod with a small KastMaster spoon for mid-depth fishing.

The other rod is rigged for bait fishing... a small weight on the end of the line, with two small, snelled gold egg hooks about one and three feet up the line. I use Berkley Power Bait in chartreuse, red, pink, or rainbow colors.

All these favorite arizona fishing waters items are available at Bass Pro Shops.

As with most trout waters, the action improves in early spring and late fall, even though the weather can get pretty raw. I've not tried the ice fishing here, but others do it.

I've had good luck fishing Ashurst. That may have something to do with my liking for this lake.

My favorite Arizona fishing waters are open to you. Please give them a try real soon.


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