Fishing Season: May-November

Big Lake - AZ

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Phoenix 's Tip of the Week

Lots of luck with the usual folks setting sink lines up with leeches and buggers. Most afternoons in the coves we have been finding a tiny callibaetis bite. We are catching fish but not in huge numbers. If you get lucky and wait out these storms, the dry fly bite has been awesome with some cloud cover

Directions open in app

Map of Big Lake

5-Day Outlook as of 10/1/23

If you take the float tube, take an indicator and set a balanced leech a foot above the depth! Intermediate AND and sinking line would be recommended if fishing a little deeper, black woolly buggers and olive woolly buggers. Some Callibaetis hatches in the late afternoon! Wade fishing has been decent in the coves stripping buggers with some people having luck with some awesome afternoon hatches!

Techniques & Tips as of 10/1/23

There are 2 ways most anglers fish Big Lake: nymphs under an indicator, and stripping leeches on an intermediate or full sinking line.

Local Species Available May-November

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    Rainbow Trout

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    Brook Trout

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    Cutthroat Trout

Orvis Phoenix 's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Woolly Bugger black,olive,white 4-12
Schroeder's Hi-Vis Hopper olive 12-14
Living Damsel olive 12
Hot Head Damsel olive 14
Chironimids (Ice Cream Cone) black, red 14-20
Balanced Leeches Black,olive 8-12
Hot Head Damsel Tan 12-16
Hot Head Damsel Olive 10
Callibaetis Ext Body Natural 16-20

Woolly Bugger

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Orvis Phoenix 's Recommended Gear

Description: About Big Lake

Big Lake has been a hot spot for good sized Cutthroat Trout. It can be a busy lake in the summertime with ample campgrounds and is stocked with Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout throughout the season. This lake is typically accessible May through November with access becoming limited to impossible in the winter months. This area can be a great base camp to explore the many waters of the White Mountains in Arizona and Blue Range Primitive area of New Mexico.

Nearest Airport:

Show Low

Best Time to Fish:

Morning to Afternoon

Best Stretch:

Railroad Cove and South Cove

Best Access:

Any of the cove campgrounds!