Fishing Report

White Mountain Lakes

What you need to know

At a glance

The White Mountain Apache Reservation is now open to non-members. Many of the res lakes have not been fished hard this summer have been fishing well. Most fish are being taken on midges and chironomids. There have been reports of dry fly action at some lakes so be sure to include foam hoppers, ants as well as cicadas in your fly box!

Tip: Try different color small chironomids. For muddy lakes, callibaetis patterns should work well.

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  • Midges
  • Chironomids
  • Callibaetis
  • Scuds
  • Foam hoppers
  • Small Ant & Beetle Patterns
  • Cicadas
Water Levels
  • Rather low
  • Very warm
  • Try: Big Lake 
  • Highs: 40’s
  • Lows: 20’s
  • Rain: very likely
  • Prepare for bigger fish:
  • Rod: 9ft 5wt
  • 10ft 4x leader
  • Air lock indicators

Mother Nature’s Mood

What to expect

Expect temperatures in the mid-low 40’s during the day and dropping into the low 20’s at night. Rain is likely during this time of the year, so pack accordingly and expect to get wet!

man casting fly
Leave your pack at home and opt for a handy lanyard instead.
10 ft 4x leader and air lock indicators for your indicator rigs.
A 9ft 5wt is plenty of rod for these lakes. The Taylor Anomaly Z is a great option.

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  • Midges and Chironomids. A typical zebra midge with a tungsten bead in black and red or black and silver have been working the best. Snow cones and other basic chironomid patterns in olives and grays have been working as well. And remember, it is never a bad idea to have a few red annelids handy.
  • Foam is the name of the game! Be sure to pick up some Project Hoppers before your next trip out to the White Mountain Lakes. The Chubby Chernobyl is a great fly to utilize on these lakes. There have been reports of fish taking cicada patterns as well. 
  • As fish in the white mountain lakes get big, be sure to pick up 10 ft 4x leader and air lock indicators for your indicator rigs. A 9ft 5wt is plenty of rod for these lakes but a 6wt will cast better in the wind. The Taylor Anomaly Z is a great option. 

Check the levels and temps before you go!

  • The lakes are rather warm right now. Get on the water early when the temps are lower.
  • Levels are generally low with some lakes, such as Sunrise, A1 and Hawley Lake, just to name a few, being lower than others. 
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White Mountain Lakes


With the weather staying cold and ice starting to form on the high elevation lakes fishing is getting more and more difficult


– We are not responsible for your friends becoming jealous and even angry of your improved catch rate and general ability to ‘out perform’ them on the water.

Is fishing good