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Christmas Tree Lake

I know it has been over a month since wrote a blog post and I apologize for not keeping things current. I spent about 25 days on the water in May so time got away from me. I was also having a tough time coming up with something to write about. That changed when I went to Christmas Tree Lake with Steve and some friends of ours, Phil and Nancy. Christma Tree Lake

Christmas Tree Lake is on the White Mountain Apache Reservation and requires a special permit. The lake was built in 1965 at the  junctions of Sun and Moon Creek. In 1965, the White Mountain Apache Reservation was chosen to provide the Christmas tree for the White House under President Lyndon B. Johnson. This is how the lake got it’s name.

This is a very unique fishery as it is the home of trophy Apache trout. Apache trout are only located in the White Mountains of Arizona and at this time, there is no other place to consistently catch them over 14 inches. We caught and landed several over 17 inches and almost all of them came by sight fishing to fish that were eating on the surface.

We do this trip from a drift boat. Being able to stand up gives us an edge on seeing these cruising, rising fish. This is often the difference between catching and not catching at this particular lake.

Steve with an Apache Trout

Steve with an Apache Trout

There is a very short window for sight fishing these trophy fish. It is happening now and should continue through the month of June. We have some open dates and the price is $375 for one angler and $400 for two. You will also need a special $30 permit and the Reservation only allows 20 people per day to fish this lake. It will be an early start, meaning that we will meet at 6:00 am (or earlier if you are game).

Call us at 480-217-5089 or email cinda@flyfisharizona.com to get your dates reserved.

Phil with an Apache Trout

Phil with an Apache Trout




About Cinda Howard

Cinda Howard has been an Arizona fly fishing guide for several years. She’s spent her whole life fishing and picked up a fly rod in 1996. She worked for the Orvis Company as a Fly Fishing Manager for eight years before branching off and starting her own business in 2012. Cinda spends a considerable amount of time instructing people on the sport of fly fishing. Cinda has been featured in several fly fishing articles and books (“Fly Fisher’s Guide to Arizona” by Will Jordan, “Arizona’s Official Fishing Guide” by Arizona Highways and Arizona Game and Fish Department) as an expert on fly fishing Arizona. She is extremely passionate not only about fly fishing but also about teaching others. She hosts trips all across the world and has taken customers fly fishing in Alaska, Belize, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and The Bahamas. Cinda loves to fish for trout, steelhead, pike, carp, bonefish, tarpon and anything else that will eat a fly. She is a past President of Desert Fly Casters and is a Zane Grey Trout Unlimited board member.

2 Responses to "Christmas Tree Lake"

  • Andy Hill
    January 2, 2017 - 5:58 am Reply

    Hi there – I am a British angler looking for some trout fishing in USA next Christmas. Are your waters open and is the fishing good? best regards

    • Cinda Howard
      January 5, 2017 - 4:59 pm Reply


      Around Christmas, we can fish Silver Creek and/ or Becker Lake. Both are trophy rainbow trout fisheries. It is possible other streams will be fishable as well but it will be weather dependent.

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