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PaysonLazerLiner 08-03-2018 01:42 PM

Rim Stream Update
Thought I might post an update on Rim streams if anyone is interested. About 2 weeks ago I fished Canyon, Upper Haigler and Upper Christopher. A couple of days ago I hiked the short canyon on the E. Verde above Water Wheel up to Second Crossing. Yesterday I fished Horton. In spite of the monsoons, all the creeks are quite low. Canyon, Upper Haigler, and Horton are all low and clear, making stealthy approaches and at least decent presentations super important or youíll just spook any fish there before it ever sees your bug. Upper Christopher and Upper Tonto are both a little colored but not bad. However, below the confluence of these two, above Bear Flat, it looks like chocolate milk so any WILD fish caught below the confluence will be very stressed due to the difficulty of finding sufficient food in such colored water. When I saw the E. Verde it almost made me sick. The entire creek bed is all but dried up. Apparently SRP continued to pump water all the way thru January (instead of stopping in October) so the Town of Payson could pressure test the lines for the new water system being installed, utilizing Blue Ridge water. That, coupled with almost no rain or snow this past winter has left Blue Ridge at 20% capacity and the decision was made to save that remaining water in the reservoir, so we donít have the normal summer flows being pumped in the E. Verde drainage. I get the reasoning but it is still a very depressing sight. Please keep in mind that any fish caught in any of these low water conditions is probably stressed and more fragile that normal, so please be gentile to any of our sweet darlins that you intend to release.
I do think that G&F have resumed stocking so you may want to check with them about that.
I hope that helps some of you a little.
Tight lines.

Charlie 08-03-2018 11:22 PM

To your Point ... I really let SRP have it ... They Ran the CC Cragin Res ... from 100% down below 25% when they did not have to ... they went way past filling there requirements.... and I guess one of the things that bothers me the most as someone that is not in the business of 'Selling water' , it was common knowledge that we were going into a La' Nino last winter.... it was known even during the summer months.... And they still ran it low.... even though there is undisputable evidence suggesting La' Nino means a Dry winter for AZ.....

I am so pissed off at SRP right now.... They ruined the Fishing this Sumer for the East Verde.... They kill a good number of holdovers ..... and they did not deliver any water to Payson as promised this year after they spend Millions of dollars on the New pipeline.... A##holes... Sorry I don't think they can claim ignorance on this one.....

creekhiker 08-06-2018 05:26 AM

We drove over the E. Verde on the way to the park. Didn't stop to fish but didn't see much water at the crossings. I had no idea what they did with CC! Do they have the lake closed? Probably can't even reach the water level.

Water was super low in W. Park.

david vaughn 08-06-2018 06:47 AM

CC Cragin had some major dam construction over the past year or so, which caused SRP to lower the lake level significantly.

I drove up to take a peak at the lake level on Friday, Aug 3. The ramp is open to walk in access only, with the gate being locked.

One can easily launch a canoe, kayak or tube without difficulty, other than walking it down to the end of the boat ramp, which is still in the water.

The lake level is pretty low, with the western arm dried up just south of the boat ramp around the first bend.

I spoke with a couple who have been told there are no fish in the lake, and another who mentioned a friend was catching some holdovers south of the boat ramp one or two weeks ago. No indication of size or numbers, as it was second hand information.

I'm thinking with the extremely low water levels and virtually no inflow, this lake will be best left alone until it receives a significant amount of rain/snow in the next couple of years. However, I recall Roosevelt also being severely low several decades ago, however in the space of one week, the floodgates were all open to the max as it filled at an unbelievable rate.

Regardless, I think I'll leave CC Cragin alone for awhile, hitting up the many other lakes available to us...

BunsbertMontcroffEsq 08-07-2018 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by creekhiker (Post 172377)
Water was super low in W. Park.

this is really disheartening. the upper east verde is one of my favorite places for wild rainbows. they're tiny of course, and the fishing is always technical, but that is a special place.

i am crossing my fingers for those little trout to hold out through the summer.

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