Q&AZ: What is the best lake on the Mogollon Rim for fishing?

By Ron Dungan
Published: Monday, June 26, 2023 - 5:17pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2023 - 7:47am

Willow Springs Lake
Ron Dungan/KJZZ
Willow Springs Lake offer easy access from the Valley.

As temperatures climb, Valley residents head north to the Mogollon Rim to cool off and hike. But which lake offers the best fishing? A listener asked through our Q&AZ reporting project.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks a number of high country waters with fish, but Ryan Follmuth of the Arizona Game and Fish Department said there is no one answer to which lake is best.

A few can be hard to reach, but Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes offer easy access from the Valley, and the department keeps them stocked well into the summer.

Woods Canyon offers boat rentals and a store. Both lakes offer a chance at tiger trout, a hybrid of brown trout and brook trout.

"They have the best water quality, they really allow anglers to have a good shot at catching fish year-round, which we can’t always say for some of our low-elevation lakes or places that have water quality issues," Follmuth said.

He says Bear Canyon Lake can be less busy and offers anglers a chance to catch Arctic grayling.

"You know if you’re just looking to go out and catch a stocked trout, it’s going to be Woods Canyon and Willow Springs both," he said.

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