Arizona Trout Fishing

When most people think of fly fishing destinations, Arizona does not usually come to mind. In fact, Arizona has amazing trout fishing. It is also home to some trout types that most people don’t even know exist—for example, the Gila trout and Apache trout. These are native fish of this wonderful state and are not found anywhere besides the Southwest US.

Fishing is an incredible sport and pastime.  Whether you are fishing along the coasts or have made fishing in the countless streams, rivers, and lakes of the United States your thing, there are many options when it comes to where to fish.  With that in mind, let’s take a moment to consider fishing in a state known more for its deserts and big sky than fishing waterways.  Arizona, with thousands of miles of plains, grasslands, and deserts has countless places to fish.  In particular, Arizona trout fishing is a popular pastime.  Let’s take a moment to talk further about Arizona trout fishing and where you can go in the state to fish.

The Local Fish

Native to the American South West, the Gila and Apache Trout are popular fishes to go after in the state of Arizona.  Recently down listed from endangered, the Gila Trout many people have had great fishing trips trying to catch these allusive trout.  Considered a beautiful fish, the Gila Trout is historically found in the Verde and the Agua Fria drainages in Arizona.  Known for their yellow body and black spots, the average trout is about 11.8 inches (nearly a foot long!) with a maximum total length of nearly two feet.  The Apache Trout are similar in size.  What separates the Apache Trout from the Gila Trout is spots behind and in front of the pupil.  Gila Trout on the other hand are known for having a great number more dark spots on the upper half of their body.  Both love aquatic insects and feed on them almost exclusively, making fly fishing for them one of the most effective methods. Learn more about fly fishing at That website will help you if you are a beginner to flyfishing or looking for some pointers.

AZ Weather Makes for Year Round Fishing

The beauty of living and fishing in AZ is the year round ability to fish every day of the year in great weather. Sure, it might get a little chilly in the winter, but it could be worse. Try fishing in February in Idaho or Wyoming.

Some Favorite AZ Trout Fishing Areas

Locations for fishing in Arizona are typically broken into seven parts, including the White Mountains to the central east, the North Central Region, the Mogollon Rim in the center of the state, the Colorado River Northwest, the Central Arizona region, the Southeast Arizona region, and the southwest Arizona region.

If you are looking for Apache Trout, then best head for the White Mountains.  The West Fork of the Black River is one of the few places in the state that you can find populations of the Apache Trout.  With numbers bolstered by the state’s first hatchery system, you are sure to have many opportunities to fish for the Apache Trout along the river.

If you are looking for the Gila Trout, then best head over to the Colorado River Southwest, the Central, and the White Mountain Regions of Arizona.  They are native to the Gila River and thrive in particular around the drainage’s in Arizona.

If you are looking for any kind of Arizona Trout Fishing, then you will have luck in almost every part of the state.  The one place where it may be more of a challenge is Southwestern Arizona.  Beyond that, expect many larger waterways to have trout stocked and supplies plentiful enough to make fishing a worthwhile endeavor.  Best of luck as you take the next step in Arizona trout fishing!

Arizona also has some great rivers that you have never heard of. One of my personal favorites is Tonto creek, which holds rainbow, brook and brown trout. Another really good river is Canyon creek, probably some of the best trout fishing in the state. Canyon creek holds rainbow and brown trout and is artificial lures and flies only. This great river is located near the town of Young, and is worth a look if you are ever in the area.