Of all Arizona's trout waters, this is my absolute favorite! I'll always fondly remember when I was young and my parents would drag me to its 260 surface acres of water in the early spring, when snow was still underneath the trees. If you visit the lake in April or early May, things can be pretty white, although it was at those frigid times when limits seemed easiest.
Near the lake is a campground, a general store and a small chapel that was once occupied almost every Sunday in summer. Boats are limited to electric trolling motors. If you get your craft on the water, try trolling with cowbells, and in the middle of the summer get down deep.
One of the best things about Hawley Lake is its accessible shoreline-nearly 10 miles. The lake is surrounded by thick stands of pines although you can drive to within 100 yards of the water at each corner because of the number of cabin access roads.
Try salmon eggs, power-style trout bait or kernels of corn with a marshmallow to add buoyancy. The small finger of water between Earl Park Lake and Hawley Lake has been my favorite for years. If you prefer the action of lures, try slow rolling a red-and-yellow Z-Ray. For some reason, almost no other colors produce the same results for me here, so be sure to bring a generous supply since snags are just about as populous as the fish.
If you prefer trolling, start near the thick weed beds. The best results usually come from using cowbells, and the action is almost always deep.
If you're adventurous and own a truck, consider taking the back dirt road into Whiteriver. This drive is through one of the state's most pristine areas and the road is usually in pretty good shape. Look for wild strawberries in the summer. -G.J Sagi, from the essential travel handbook Fishing Arizona