The Best Fly Fishing in ... Arizona? Posted by Timothy on 8/20/2014 to Fishing Reports
Yes, while The Grand Canyon State has been part of the Union for more than 100 years now, there are still some people who think of us as just a vast desert with a single large city (Phoenix) serving as an oasis in the distance.
But if you have spent any mount of time in Arizona, you realize that while it is dry, there is plenty of wet. Arizona is the only state to have all seven known ecosystems in its boundaries - from desert to tundra to even permafrost at the very highest elevation in the San Francisco Peaks (more than 14,000 feet). Yes, there are mountains ... and actual pine trees!
Amidst all this variety in terrain are lots of watering holes, big and small, which have several trout species swimming. What we'll list here are some of the finest trout fishing spots in the state, so you can start planning your next new-of-state fishing expedition. And as we have been to the state before, we can tell you - you would be pleasantly surprised by the scenery and fishing in a "desert" state.
Oak Creek - Rainbow and wild brown trout. This is the area just outside Sedona, known for bright red sandstone rock formations. This is actually not just one of the best trout spots in Arizona, but in the entire Southwest - plenty of places to challenge fishermen of all skill levels. Water runs cold most of the year, and the fishing s quality during the same time.
Upper Black River - Located in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, and has a West and East Fork. The East Fork is quite crowded unless you go in the early spring or late fall; the West Fork is only accessible by a dirt Forest Service road. Both have very good trout fishing with Apache, rainbow and brown trout. The West Fork is a rare catch-and-release area, so be forewarned.
Chevelon Canyon Lake - Only the adventuresome can get here, located in the Sitgreaves National Forest, but it's worth the trip due to perhaps the best brown trout fishing in the whole state. The lake is only 200 acres, but it has six miles of shoreline! It is at about 6,400-foot elevation and you hike down to it - steeply we may add.
Lower Salt River - Yes, even America's fourth-largest city has a quality fishing hole nearby. The Lower Salt River is only about 40 minutes from downtown Phoenix and despite being near very hot desert, the water is cold and clear most of the year because it comes from the bottom of Saguaro Lake. Here you will find bluegill, bass and stocked rainbow trout but also lots of suckers.
Lower Black River - Yes, the Black River is a quality spot, and it's very long between the upper and lower sections. This lower section is at a lower elevation among cottonwood and scrub brush, but it is good for wading and is plentiful with bass and rainbow and brown trout. Most access to the river is by rough dirt roads, but if you'r willing to take a beating it will be worth it.
Pure Michigan is the slogan for this northern state, which is known for its freshwater sports of all kinds, and trout fishing is no exception. The most famous trout streams in the state are the Manistee and Au Sable Rivers, but according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, there are some 35 “best trout streams” to fish statewide.
The beat generation’s Richard Brautigan surrealistic prose-poem entitled “Trout Fishing in America” is considered a small masterpiece of American literature filled with zany characters, continual adventures to small towns and places, to forests and rivers –many of which are actually named: Trout Fishing in America. So we are provided with a bit of a game with that name, of which any person, place or thing can be named.