Winter, as you know, is the "slow" season up in the White Mountains/Rim country. Winter in the mountains often conjures up images of red cheeks, frozen fingers and toes, the crunch of cold snow beneath your boots, and clouds of vapor from breathing the frigid air. How about the image of setting a hook in a large trout?
Yes, winter fishing in the White Mountains is actually a sport! There are lakes in the White Mountains that in most years remain open and accessible to all. Where can you go when the rest of your family wants to ski, but you want to get away from it all and bring home dinner?
Some of the better winter fishing lakes are in the Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low areas. Fool Hollow Lake, just a salmon egg's throw from Show Low, usually has open water year round, and also has a small fishing dock. Show Low Lake, between Show Low and Pinetop, has public access as well. You may be able to hook trout, bass, and walleye at either lake.
Concho Lake, on Hwy. 61 between Show Low and St. Johns, could bring an angler luck in the winter. Trout, bass, and bluegill are the main species.
Becker Lake, just northwest of Springerville, may present the angler with large trout. Remember, only artificial lures and flies can be used during the winter months, and the lakes may at times have a thin ice cover; however, watch the weather reports -- a mild spell could leave these waters open and ready for fishing. Winter fishing in the high country can be an enjoyable experience for those anglers who like peace and solitude.
Written by & published with the permission of: Sue Trachy, Information & Education Program Manager. Arizona Game & Fish Department, Region 1, Pinetop, HC 66, Box 57201, Pinetop, AZ 85935, (928) 367-4281