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 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 a 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 (pictured above), 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

Rainbow trout: 

Woods Canyon Lake (70-degree water temperature)

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


Redondo Lake

West Wetlands Pond

Council Avenue Pond