Fishing Season: May-November

Big Lake - AZ

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Temperature 72°



Water Temp:


Orvis Phoenix 's Tip of the Week

Water is warming up so we are finding most fish deeper. Early morning is the best chance to find fish up shallow with the water temp dropping at night.

Directions open in app

Map of Big Lake

5-Day Outlook as of 7/5/24

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 7/5/24

There are 2 ways most anglers fish Big Lake: nymphs under an indicator, and stripping leeches on an intermediate or full sinking line. If your looking to catch cutthroat, the most popular area is railRoad Cove, but we tend to find them anywhere near a drop off or the points of the coves.

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
Bead Head Brassie™ N/A 16-20
Living Damsel olive 12
Bead Body Scud olive 14
Chironimids (Ice Cream Cone) black, red 14-20
Balanced Leeches Black,olive 8-12
TH Zebra Midge black, red 16-20
Zug Bug Black 10-16
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! Including the boat ramp.