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Old 07-26-2018, 12:39 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Scheduling Fishing Trips (weather)

From my short time in Arizona, it seems the high country, from Flagstaff to the White Mountains, receives more rain and severe thunder storms during the monsoon than the valley. Is this accurate or is it the luck of the draw, each year.

By watching TV weather, these areas are pounded on a regular basis. That was my experience last June in the White Mountains.

I don't want to plan a camping/fishing trip where I'm driving three or four hours only to be completely rained out.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:04 PM
jchar85719 jchar85719 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tucson
Posts: 26
I love camping in the high country in July and August. I have not done much around Flagstaff, but have camped in and around the rim and the white mountains for close to 40 years. Yes, it does rain up there at this time of year. Typical deal is that you get afternoon thundershowers. Usually, but not always, clears up in the evening. If you are planning on fishing out on a lake, get out early as there is a good chance you could a nasty thundershower in the afternoon. I got caught on Big Lake in the middle of big thunderstorm a few years back and it was pretty hairy. Stream are a different story. I like it when it rains. Seems to help the fishing as long as it doesn't go overboard.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:56 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Just about the way if figured it is. Last year, my first year exploring Arizona lakes, I did a trip to southeast of Flagstaff in the Spring, which was a total waste of time, then a monsoon trip to the White Mountains in June and then a return trip to the Whites Mountains in October. For my June trip, I became totally discouraged with the weather, I came home and didn't wet a line except for Lee Valley. It rained so hard at Crescent, birds hunkered under the eaves of out houses.

I don't want to not fish/camp for such a long period between Spring and Fall so I will take a chance in the next few weeks and go somewhere.

If I'm driving long distances, I like staying over for at least two nights and for me, the Rim is a long distance drive. I'm retired, or is that retarded, well anyway, I'm under no particular schedule. Every day is Saturday.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:49 AM
david vaughn's Avatar
david vaughn david vaughn is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Payson
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During the summer monsoon months, I'll piddle about the Rim and/or Whites for a day at a time, knowing that the thunderstorms will be impacting the area. As already stated, late in the afternoon most of the severe weather is over with and the fishing picks up dramatically. I'm more of a still water fisher with a float tube, and often paddle over to a nearby rock ledge for shelter. For the really nasty stuff (lightning) I'll go back and wait it out in the truck or other safe shelter easily and quickly accessed.

The best time in my opinion other than ice out, will be the two months following Labor Day, up to and including Christmas.

The crowds have virtually thinned out with school back in session, summer vacations put away and the hunting season just getting started. The lakes are nearly empty and devoid of the boating regalia,not to mention the shouts from families on the shoreline.

October is a splendid month to be on the water, all the way through the new year. The latest I've been on the water is Dec 18 at Willow Springs, pushing skinny sheet ice away from me. Really good fishing at this time of year!

Like yourself, I also suffer from the retirement syndrome.

Nothing like having the forest, lake, stream or campground pretty much to yourself once Labor Day is over and done with. It's almost pristine having the area to oneself.
- David

"Mistakes do not define you...mistakes refine you"
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:27 AM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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I guess I'm still on Colorado high country seasons. The high country lakes I fished in Colorado are either frozen or inaccessible by early October so when you say you fish until Christmas, I'm amazed.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:12 AM
lakelady lakelady is offline
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: White Mountains
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The Rim lakes are also at lower elevation than the lakes in the White Mountains, so they tend to stay ice free for longer in the winter. Willow Springs is only at about 7500ft whereas Big Lake is up at 9000ft. Lee Valley is the highest reservoir in AZ at 9500ft.

Anyway, monsoons are also generally fairly localized. If you watch some radar maps of afternoon storms, they don't rain everywhere. It can be raining at my house, and not raining three miles down the road. You can get lucky and not get rained on at all in the afternoon, or happen to get the 30min downpour.
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