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Fishing Woods Canyon Lake

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By Rick Seaman

Woods Canyon Lake, AZ

Popular Fish Species Woods Canyon Lake, AZ

Anglers can try their luck at catching rainbow trout, brown trout and bluegill. According to the US Forrest Service, "Woods Canyon Lake is stocked regularly with catchable rainbow trout. A few, large brown trout remain in the lake from stockings years ago." Whether you're casting from the shoreline or fishing from a boat, Woods Canyon Lake provides an opportunity for a successful fishing trip.

Woods Canyon Lake Popular Fish - Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

This year, fishing for rainbow trout in Woods Canyon Lake continues to be excellent, due to a great stocking program by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Catching rainbow trout here often involves using worms, salmon eggs, prepared baits, small spinners, spoons, and crankbaits in vibrant colors to mimic their preferred prey. Additionally, floating or sinking flies, such as nymphs, streamers, or dry flies, are popular choices for fly anglers targeting rainbow trout. Trolling with lures or flies behind a boat, casting near shoreline structures, or still fishing with bait can all yield success. Adjusting lure size, color, and retrieve speed can enhance chances of enticing these colorful and spirited fish.

Woods Canyon Lake Popular Fish - Bluegill


Fishing for bluegill is fun for anglers of all ages, and a time-honored tradition at Woods Canyon Lake. Everyone enjoys catching a bunch of fat bluegill. This year, much like recent years, the bluegill population is healthy and always looking for something to eat. Bluegill fishing is as basic as fishing gets. Any pole, reasonably small line and small hooks baited with anything edible, creates the ideal setup. Cut pieces of live worms is a top producer here. Add a bobber and you can set the depth you prefer the bait to position. Bluegill hang around brush, rocks, vegetation or any cover available.

Woods Canyon Lake Popular Fish - Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Fishing for brown trout in Woods Canyon Lake is now limited to fishing for large browns left over from prior years stockings. These hearty fighters migrate around the lake in search of baitfish and comfortable water temperatures, preferably in the 50 to 62 degree range. In spring brown trout, along with the baitfish, move to the shallows which warms first. As the days get warmer in summer they move deeper, again following schools of bait. As Fall and Winter arrive, browns tend to stay in deeper water. When these trout move deep, it is typically in the 20- to 45-foot range. Nightcrawlers are always a good bait for brown trout. In-line spinners, bait-colored crankbaits, jerkbaits and small spoons are also options. Experiment with depth and retrieve speed.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout and bluegill at Woods Canyon Lake in Arizona.

Located in northeastern Arizona on the Mogollon Rim, Woods Canyon Lake is 52-acre lake in cool pine country. It's an easy 2 1/2-hour drive from the Greater Phoenix area. From Phoenix, take highway 87 to Payson, east on AZ 260 to the Rim Road (Forest Road 300) west, then north to the lake.

Woods Canyon Lake, nestled along the Mogollon Rim region of Arizona, is a scenic destination that offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Fishing is a popular pastime at Woods Canyon Lake, as it is home to a variety of fish species.

Trout fishing at Woods Canyon Lake in Arizona is a delight for anglers seeking a serene and picturesque fishing experience. The lake's pristine waters and breathtaking mountain scenery create an idyllic backdrop for catching various trout species. Woods Canyon Lake is known for its rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout populations, providing ample opportunities for anglers to reel in these prized fish. Whether you prefer fly fishing with nymphs or dry flies, using spinners or spoons, or even bait fishing with worms or PowerBait, Woods Canyon Lake offers a tranquil setting to cast your line and test your angling skills. The thrill of hooking a vibrant trout, combined with the peacefulness of the surrounding forest and the panoramic views of the mountains, makes trout fishing at Woods Canyon Lake a memorable and rewarding experience for all who visit.

Primary fish species residing in Woods Canyon Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Rainbow trout Brown trout Bluegill

Fishing Boats For Rent In Arizona


Woods Canyon Lake has rainbow trout stocked by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, as well as some brown trout. The lake also contains bluegill, but the primary fishing activity revolves around trout fishing. For the kids, bluegill can be a blast - they are aggressive and will feed on tiny pieces of worm on a small trout hook. Maintained campgrounds, a general store and spectacular views make this a fisherman's paradise and a great place to take the family camping in Arizona.

Woods Canyon Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NO
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to fishing, Woods Canyon Lake is also a haven for boating enthusiasts. With its calm and clear waters, the lake is ideal for various water activities. Visitors can bring their own boats or rent one from the marina and enjoy leisurely cruises, kayaking, or paddleboarding. The tranquil ambiance of the lake, surrounded by towering pine trees and breathtaking mountain views, makes boating at Woods Canyon Lake a memorable experience.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Woods Canyon Lake Store and Marina
Rentals: Kayaks, canoes and electric trolling motor fishing boats
928 279-8919


Woods Canyon Lake Store and Marina
Forest road 105
Forest Lakes Estates, AZ 85931
928 279-8919

Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Woods Canyon Lake Store and Marina
Forest road 105
Forest Lakes Estates, AZ 85931
Offers a three-lane, concrete launch ramp with limited, paved parking.
928 279-8919

Fishing Guides On Woods Canyon Lake

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Woods Canyon Lake Fishing Video
Fishing License

Click here for a Arizona Fishing License.

For those who wish to extend their stay and immerse themselves in nature, Woods Canyon Lake offers camping facilities. Several campgrounds are available nearby, providing options for both tent and RV camping. Camping at Woods Canyon Lake allows visitors to fully enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and immerse themselves in the peacefulness of the forest. Campers can engage in activities such as hiking the nearby trails, wildlife spotting, or simply relaxing by the campfire while gazing at the star-filled night sky.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Spillway Campground - 928 535-9859

Aspen Campground - 928 333-4301

Crook Campground - 928 535-9233

Mogollon Campground - 928 333-6280

Woods Canyon Lake AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Woods Canyon Lake
Store and Marina At Woods Canyon Lake
Forest road 105, Woods Canyon Road
US Highway 260, Mile Marker 282, FR 300
Forest Lakes Estates, AZ 85931
928 279-8919


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Woods Canyon Lake in Arizona.

Information about camping and fishing lakes in AZ.

Woods Canyon in Arizona offers great camping plus trout and bluegill fishing for anglers of all ages.

Fishing Woods Canyon Lake, AZ.