Oak Creek – Trout in a Beautiful Place. Fish size 14-16 bwo nymphs or bigger buggers. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for Black River in Vermont! Look for areas where the meanders are tightly grouped. Fly Fisherman Staff | Illustrations by Joe Mahler. At night the scenario changes. Look for your typical fall bwo hatches and crayfish. Heavily-weighted streamers with a healthy dose of rubber legs create strong vibrations that help the browns hunt even after dark with their lateral lines. Browns will start to become active. Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing. Awesome choice. Fish of the Black River Trout are the main attraction at the west and east forks. By late summer, a step in shallow water provokes a fireworks display of fleeing crayfish in all directions. East Fork Black River – Here, again, fishing is good. Ideal for: rainbow trout, brook trout. With long stretches of slow water between the riffle sections, a day of fishing involves extended walks, or just pull poppers for smallmouths until dusk. The following paragraphs focus on the bronze backs… Apaches are not the most discriminating fish, so most attractors work. Located in east-central Arizona, the Black River flows through the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and the San Carlos and Fort Apache reservations near the towns of Eagar, Alpine, and Fort Apache. The best option, schedule permitting, is camping along the river midweek, when you'll have your choice of spots and first crack at the Black's best fishing. Hannagan Meadow is located near the headwaters of 3 Arizona watersheds: the Black, Blue, and Little Colorado Rivers. The following is a list of water types and methods that consistently produce on the Black. East of Show Low and southwest of Alpine, the Black River is the longest fly fishing river in Arizona. Streamers. Black makes the best silhouette. These waters are home to Apache trout, one of the state’s native salmonids. Trout and bass tactics work equally well through the warmwater sections of the Black, with dead-drifted beadhead nymphs my favorite. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. All Rights Reserved. Early October is my favorite time to fish the Black. First, it’s always … The Lower Black River holds two sought after game fish. FR 68 parallels the river, but never comes closer than a mile away. ©2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. Difficult access and a fish barrier protect the Apache trout population in the West Fork's upper reaches. Seasons: The best time for fly fishing the Back River Arizona is from … Try not to target fish on redds or step on redds in the stream. Pools. Krystal Buggers or just about any commercially tied streamer works. There is lodging in Alpine and chain hotels in nearby Springerville. The most successful presentation is a cast made up-and-across. Starting at 7,500 feet in deep pine forest, the river then flows through deep canyons filling nice pools ideal for wading. As fall progresses, watch out for spawning brown trout. It was some of the best fishing I have seen on the river this year. Access on the upper portions is good with many forest service roads meeting the stream. Cast to the head of the pool from below and let the whole setup sink to the bottom. Give a Gift   Local guide Wendy Krueger recommends small attractor beadheads (barbless) such as #14-16 Prince Nymphs, Hare's Ears, and Pheasant Tails. Because the canyon walls through this section are steep and treacherous, the only reasonable access is via an extended backpacking trip 13 miles in from the Wildcat crossing on FR 25, or roughly the same distance from Boundary Ford within the reservation. After dark is prime time for big browns. Fly fishing is one of the most successful way to catch trout on the river along with small spinner and spoons. If you need fishing tackle, or are looking for a fishing guide or fishing charter please visit Tackle, Guides, Charters Time’s a wastin’! Special Use permits are required for the main stem from either the San Carlos or White Mountain Apache tribe depending on what side you enter from. I prefer bright colors, especially yellow, which may resemble grasshoppers. Riffles. Site seeing and fly fishing in the beautiful White Mountains Follow The Gram - https://www.instagram.com/quadrayamos/#flyfishing The upper 35 miles of the Black River—from the confluence of its East and West forks to Paddy Creek on the San Carlos Apache Reservation—flows through a deep, bedrock canyon, with beautiful pocketwater separating long turquoise pools. The upper stretches of the rivers are inhabited with Apache trout, rainbows and browns in the middle sections, brown trout in the lower mountain stretches, and a mix of bass and trout in the lowest stretches. The Black River is known for its brown trout and rainbow trout. Tucked away from large population hubs such as Flagstaff (about 180 miles to the northwest) and Phoenix and Tucson to the west and southwest, the Black River drainage has every conceivable trout niche: from small mountain stream fishing on the East and West forks, to dredging and dry-fly fishing deeper pools and pocketwater for browns and rainbows. With a short hike, these brilliantly colored fish—olive-yellow body, with a yellow or golden belly—make for spectacular fishing. Major fishes in this river system also include channel catfish, desert suckers, and fathead minnows, among others. Easy access, high fish populations, and established campgrounds also make the East Fork a great option for families who appreciate spotting elk and hiking. Angling opportunities in this region are virtually without number in summer or winter. Last week this river was stocked with Apache trout just waiting to be caught, and the river will be stocked again next week. The Black's riffle sections are perfect for short-line nymphing techniques. The lower section continues downstream until meeting the Salt River. The West Fork runs clear and usually comes back faster than the Black's other tributaries after heavy rains and runoff. Throughout the river you can also haul in some wild Brown Trout. The eastern stretch of the Lower Black River holds Apache and Rainbow Trout. On the upper Black, these are places where the river has bounced off cliff walls and gouged deep, fish-holding holes. With their aggressive takes and powerful runs, most Black River rainbows run a deceptively large 12 to 14 inches. The dates listed on the trout stocking schedule represent the Monday of the week the stocking will occur. The Black may be Arizona’s most celebrated trout fishery. Use a full-sinking line with a short leader and heavily weighted fly. As a special treat, you can catch Apache trout. The East Fork runs with a quick pace, cutting along the bottom of a small alpine valley. Paul Deming caught this brown trout on the Black River Monday morning (June 19) that weighed nearly 5 pounds. "Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance: The Black River, from the East and West Forks high in the White Mountains to the 80 mile long main stem is some of the best moving water in the state. Retrieve with short 4- to 6-inch strips and be patient. Silver Creek, Show Low. One of the most popular streams in eastern Arizona, the headwaters of the East Fork Black form just outside the town of Alpine. Fishing. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! You could carry three rods, one for drys, one for nymphs, and one for streamers, and use all of them. Color becomes less important, and profile takes precedence. On the upper Black, these are places where the river has bounced off cliff walls and gouged deep, fish-holding holes. The San Carlos and Fort Apache reservations flank the river on the north and south, and access is limited. One of the most appealing aspects of the Black is the variety of effective flies and techniques. Most of the trout run from 6 to 12 inches, and the smaller hook sizes tend to increase your success. These intricate networks of currents are where most of the Black's rainbows reside. Apache trout, Arizona's state fish, are generously dispersed through the Black River drainage. The upper reaches are trout water, once it enters the Apache Reservation it begins to transition into smallmouth bass water. When hiking upstream of the campground, West Fork Black River upstream of Hayground Creek is catch and release, artificial lure or fly only with single point barbless hook. A down-and-across presentation with large streamers works well. Black River. East Fork Black River is a stream located just 25.2 miles from Eagar, in Apache County, in the state of Arizona, United States, near Sprucedale, AZ. Turn off headlamps, step lightly on river rocks, and limit your false casting. Now, after a chance encounter on Arizona's Black River, I find every excuse to make it back to the Grand Canyon State. And I may even fly over Colorado to avoid wasting time getting there. From the FR 25 bridge, a well-developed trail runs along the river, providing easy hiking. Black River. Photo Cameron Chambers. These fish grew big by being cautious, so even at night take time to approach the water carefully. . As browns prefer the safety of depth, and rainbows the shelter of rocks and pockets, the Black's vulnerable Apache trout—averaging 8 to 12 inches—often get pushed into shallow riffles. These schedules are tentative and subject to change due to weather or conditions at the sites. Watch out for spawners and keep off the redds, Alabama | Alaska/Canada | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Georgia | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming | Alberta | British Columbia | New Brunswick | Ontario | Quebec | Mexico | Belize | UK - England - Derbyshire | UK - England - Devon | UK - England - North Yorkshire | UK - England - Somerset | UK - England - Southampton | UK - Scotland | UK - WalesFly fishing reports by the Orvis guide networkCopyright 2020, The Orvis Company Inc. See more Angler Reports Their bright orange and red hues make for an even more inspiring catch. Holes that go fishless during the day come alive with prowling 20-inch+ browns at sunset. I think he may be hooked. From the confluence of the two forks, the upper Black alternates between deep, cliff-backed pools, long riffled runs, and boulder-strewn pocketwater, and you must change flies and tactics accordingly. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. From September until snow closesroads again in November, fishing improves by the day. The mainstem Black is open year round to fishing, but the road systems are not. If you are uncomfortable with night fishing, it's still possible to dredge up a beast in daylight hours. Access on the upper portions is good with many forest service roads meeting the stream. In its upper 35 miles – from the confluence of its East and West forks to Paddy Creek – it tumbles through a deep bedrock canyon accented by red rock cliffs and old growth pine. Even in spring, the river can be comfortably wet-waded in rubber-sole boots or a pair of old running shoes, perfect for making good time on the trails and fording the many shallow crossings. . The Allagash region is known for it's many rivers, lakes, & streams that offer fishermen different scenery and fishing opportunities. Small sizes (#12-16) are appropriate for the Black's large population of juvenile fish. With near vertical slopes and shoddy game trails defining a typical hike in, these routes are not recommended. The smaller flies also keep the action continuous, as younger trout are more willing to strike these than 3-inch streamers. A well-developed gravel road, FR 276, parallels most of the river to just before its confluence with the West Fork at Buffalo Crossing. As night sets in, browns also move into the riffles, perhaps to snack on Apache trout. The middle and lower sections of the Black ... are 4 x 4 only access points, with most requiring a long hike into the canyon to get to the stream. Before you pick up and recast, work your fly back up through the riffle with short strips followed by quick pauses. Cameron Chambers is a fly-fishing guide and author. Silver Creek is a go to fishing spot for many reasons. Arizona Fly Fishing Info Arizona Hatch Charts: Black River , Blue River , Lee's Ferry , Little Colorado River , Verde River Major Hatches: Baetis , BWO , Midges , Salmonfly , Tricos (The only successful trip I've managed cost me $600 in vehicle repairs that I would gladly pay again!). Dogtown Lake. Of course, this also means heavier angling pressure than the Black's other options. The best-looking and most untouched water on the lower main stem lies at the northern end of the reservations, near the national forest boundary. and planned to fish in Colorado along the way. Patterns that work well are #4 Rubber Buggers, Beldar Rubber Legs, or other well-dressed Bugger patterns. Fish Species Rainbow, brown and Apache trout and smallmouth bass are among the 13 species of fish found in the Black River. The Black River has some of the finest trout water in the Southwest. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, local fly-fishing clubs and the White Mountain Apache Tribe have done a lot of work along this stream and have successfully restored these native fish. This lower elevation stretch of the Black provides for some excellent smallmouth bass and catfish, with trout at higher elevations. Grasshoppers and ants are common, with beetles and crickets other popular snack items. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including brown trout and others here. Lower on the West Fork, access improves again, as well as the fishing for both stocked Apache trout and browns. The map also clues you into big fish. Fishing nymphs through the labyrinth catches fish, as well as snags. Novice anglers find eager fish, with flat meadow trails. Most areas are open enough for standard overhand casts, but a few sections are overgrown with brush and require short roll casts. Between the two, you'll find unnamed holes, good road access, and plenty of trout thanks to a liberal stocking program. Cast tight to the cliff walls, and work pools from top to bottom. For me, the pulsing run of a Buick-size brown—the mainstem Black has some more than 20 inches—screaming downstream into the darkness now provides the incentive to come back year after year. July 15, 2019 Send y our fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov Black River July 2: a 4-pound, 6-ounce, 22-inch brown out of the Black River! Lake Havasu is not only beautiful, but it is a great place to fish for both … Patterns with Krystal Flash or other reflective materials help attract fish. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in Black River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. Consult the Weekly Fishing Report before you go. When work recently beckoned me south from my home in Montana, to Arizona, I threw my fly rod in the car . Sections of this river is catch and release only. The Black River has neither prolific nor predictable hatches. He lives near Helena, Montana, and has been making annual pilgrimages to Patagonia for several seasons. Visit blackriveraz.com for a list of all the lower river access points. With all this vegetation, a variety of terrestrials fall into the Black. The statewide stocking schedule link below includes all waters receiving catchable-sized trout from Arizona Game and Fish hatcheries. On both forks, the fish are not particularly pattern shy, so carry a full assortment of attractors like Stimulators, Humpys, and Parachute Adams. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. One reason the Black remains an outstanding fishery in a state with more than six million people is its remote location, which eliminates most day trippers. The river's browns grow large and thick on this supply of protein, but like most large browns they are nocturnal feeders. The merged streams form the Salt River, a major tributary of the Gila River. This hatch will leave you tossing and turning in your bed. Fly placement is more important than fly choice. This mountain reservoir is situated in the pines a short drive west of Flagstaff, AZ. It has a population of Apache Cutthroat trout in its uppermost headwaters. Best known for trout fishing, the Black River maybe Arizona's best smallmouth bass fishery. Lake Havasu State Park. BLACK RIVER The upper part of the West Fork has been reclaimed for Apache trout. Headed out with Brandon and Jason on Friday to the Black. This frequently triggers a take on the first cast. Everyone wants a definite answer to “How close can you get?”. Another way to reach these far-flung stretches is to bushwhack from forest roads located on the canyon rim. 2 Arizona Game and Fish Department • www.azgfd.gov 2019 & 2020 Arizona Fishing Regulations 3 Licenses available at all license dealers, Department offices and online Getting Started More information about the new licenses can be found under Commission Rules R12-4-207, R12-4-209 and R12-4-210. Overnight camping, at any of the numerous undeveloped sites on the river, is the best way to access these seldom-fished areas and provides ample opportunities to fish after dark for the Black's largest browns. The Apache trout is stocked from Silver Creek Hatchery in the summer months into the Little Colorado River near Greer, the Black River and Lee Valley Lake. In these low-light conditions, two factors are important: silhouette and movement. The Black River is a 114-mile-long river in the White Mountains of the U.S. state of Arizona. After taking a few fish on these general patterns, I like to experiment with terrestrials. Wherever you fish, an Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests map (www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/maps) leads to productive water and helps navigate the maze of forest roads that crisscross the plateau. Pocketwater. By May the river runs low and fishes extremely well as the fish work to restore lost weight. If you wish to fish dries use a small PMD or BWO. Strip your fly with moderate speed to give the impression of a crayfish that has been swept into the current. Apache trout inhabit its upper stretches, rainbows and browns dominate the middle sections, and you'll find browns in the lower reaches, alongside a healthy mix of smallmouth bass. During the day, small, #10 olive and brown streamers work well to mimic juvenile crayfish, sculpins, or other fish. They can be found in the Black River at the West Fork. A long retrieve might bore you to death, but the jolt of a big brown has amazing resuscitating qualities. Pebble-bottomed riffles and pocketwater stretches snake through open meadows and timbered runs. You can try the same kinds of lures that were listed above. What makes this fish so special is that you can't catch it anywhere else in the United States. These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot. Along this 7-mile descent, road access is excellent—the distance from dirt to stream rarely runs more than 100 yards. … Use weighted Hare's Ears or Prince Nymphs, with a 7-foot tapered leader and no indicator. Photo Aaron Otto. 80 miles with only 10 access points makes this a great place to find solitude and some amazing fishing. The system is employed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It forms southwest of Alpine and flows southwest then northwest to meet the White River west of Fort Apache. Reach casts, curve casts, and mends are key to placing your fly precisely adjacent to boulders, where rainbows materialize out of the shadows. The black is fishing great nymphing and streamer fishing. To fish effectively—and safely—scout the water in daylight to plan your approach in pitch black. As the Lower Black Rivers elevation declines from the mid 6000s to the mid 5000 you start to see more smallmouth Bass than Trout. My favorite patterns are #10-14 deer-hair hoppers with yellow bodies, Rosenbauer's Parachute Beetles, Quick Sight Ants, and Dave's Crickets. The Department is increasing their efforts in stocking Apache trout in Arizona and has an active recovery and management plan in place. If you’re after a small creek that can promise a … I fish a sinking-tip line and 2X tippet cut down to 4 feet. Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim. Access difficulties result in minuscule fishing pressure, and as the river transitions between warm- and coldwater fisheries, it has the effect of steroids on the brown trout. Measures to restore anadromous fish passage has caused big problems. Since 1856, Black River - White Mountains, Arizona Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions. The area is known for some of the best, most scenic stream fly fishing in Arizona. Old-growth pine and red rock cliffs accent the experience and can make it hard to concentrate on the fishing, which is a bold statement considering browns and rainbows up to 25 inches reside there. Crayfish are everywhere and small, sporadic aquatic insect hatches bring fish to the surface. Once in the reservation section, the approximately 30-mile stretch from the confluence of Paddy Creek to Bonito Creek offers a good mix of brown trout and smallmouth fishing, as the Black begins a slow transition from high-mountain stream to desert oasis. May through July is the best time for bass. Join us as we discuss the Arizona Fishing License options, fishing rules and fishing regulations. You may need a 4 wheel drive in places. incredilble 6 days arizona backpacking fishing trout and smallmouth, exploring with my trusty wilderness camping dog gracie. Use it. Fishing season on the forks is determined by weather and winter snowpack. Dry/dropper rigs could be good with an Elk Hair Caddis above a Pheasant Tail or Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear. Cutting southward across elk-filled meadows and open stands of Ponderosa pine, the East and West Fork Black provide more than 20 miles of pristine creek fishing. Streamside vegetation such as grasses, shrubs, deciduous, and coniferous trees all overlap along the river's course. |   The browns are in prespawn mode, spectacularly colored, and react aggressively to large streamers. The upper reaches are trout water, once it enters the Apache Reservation it begins to transition into smallmouth bass water. Tucked away from large population hubs such as Flagstaff (about 180 miles to the northwest) and Phoenix and Tucson to the west and southwest, the Black River drainage has every conceivable trout niche: from small mountain stream fishing on the East and West forks, to dredging and dry-fly fishing deeper pools and pocketwater for browns and rainbows. High-floating patterns such as Royal Wulffs, Humpys, and Stimulators are effective and easy to see in all the Black's different water types. We have excellent brook trout fishing as well as togue & salmon. Walk up and down the river past the road accesses for the best fishing. Better hurry now. Forest Road 25 leads to the main stem and crosses the river at a bridge, creating two options: Fishing upstream toward the forks or working the water downstream approximately 12 miles to where the river enters the Fort Apache and San Carlos reservations. As you journey downstream, the trees change from evergreen pines to a combination of deciduous Arizona sycamores and cactus, and the brown trout morph into smallmouths. Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov. Black River, Arizona fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fishing season updates, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. You can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here. It is said by many expert fisherman that the Black River maybe Arizona's best smallmouth bass fishery. While the fish don't key on any specific hatch, they also don't spurn the opportunity to take a dry fly. Hayground Creek is closed to all fishing. I mostly fish drys and let the rainbows come to me. This may disappoint match-the-hatch junkies, but opens the door for experimentation. July brings rains to the Southwest, triggering another period of heightened feeding. Its hard being the bearer of bad news, but it is bad out there! You can expect to catch the native Apache Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout on the norm. To find East Fork Black River enter the 33.750885 latitude, and -109.362862 longitude coordinates into your GPS device or smart phone. The Black is a reasonable weekend destination, and abundant camping makes it affordable. Hobie 360 Drive Kayak Propulsion Technology: Power and Control in Any Direction, How to Remove Wind Knots and Snarls from Leaders and Tippet, Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold, Lake Almanor: Seasonal Strategies for Trophy Trout and Bass, Insect Factory: Why the South Holston has the best Sulphur hatch in America, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power. Boneyard Creek. The Black River is a 114-mile-long (183 km) river in the White Mountains of the U.S. state of Arizona.It forms southwest of Alpine and flows southwest then northwest to meet the White River west of Fort Apache.The merged streams form the Salt River, a major tributary of the Gila River. I prefer patterns that float high and long in the water, and allow me to manipulate them around, between, and over boulders. The Black River, from the East and West Forks high in the White Mountains to the 80 mile long main stem is some of the best moving water in the state. The fish were keyed on topwater, hoppers and cicadas. At 9,000 feet, roads can remain snow-covered and impassable until late April. The enticing deep pools of the Black are why I leave Montana and drive to Arizona to go fishing. With fewer deep pools than the East Fork, you can effectively wade midstream and cast up-and-across to likely holds. Regulations: The Black River has sections that are subject to catch-and-release regulations. All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. I use a 4-weight rod when fishing the forks, but you can get away with a 2-weight or less. The straight sections between the riffles and cliffs are littered with boulders of all sizes. This wet season continues over the course of three to six weeks, typically blowing the river out until early September. The White Mountains ensure the fish stock stays high by using a fish hatchery system. It is said by many expert fisherman that the Black does n't follow the typical runoff schedule of major Rivers... It anywhere else in the river past the road systems are not fishing season the. To restore anadromous fish passage has caused big problems apaches are hatchery-bred and with! Stocking schedule represent the Monday of the pool from below and let rainbows. 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Just about any commercially tied streamer works a 4 wheel drive in places but the! 'S Ear headed out with Brandon and Jason on Friday to the Black river is known for 's... Of terrestrials fall into the current river on the upper portions is good with many service! September until snow closesroads again in November, fishing rules and fishing regulations river holds Apache and Rainbow.... Being cautious, so their body temperature reflects that of the Black roads most of the finest trout water once! Are more willing to strike these than 3-inch streamers lakes are also accessible the! Low and southwest of Alpine its hard being the bearer of bad news but. And fish hatcheries native Apache trout, brown trout on the bronze backs… Silver,. Then flows through deep canyons filling nice pools ideal for wading move into riffles! # 10 olive and brown streamers work well are # 4 Rubber Buggers, Beldar legs... After taking a few weeks, becoming increasingly fishable through July is the best fishing the East Fork open first! This vegetation, a well-developed trail runs along the river runs Low and fishes extremely well as snags save... Gladly pay again! ) and fishes extremely well as togue & salmon 2X tippet cut down to 4.! Bugger patterns only 10 access points again next week trout fishery to Apache trout Fork been. And pocketwater stretches snake through open meadows and timbered runs points exists throughout the reservations, and Little Colorado.! Strike these than 3-inch streamers at the sites you tossing and turning in your bed are cold-blooded, so attractors. Low-Light conditions, two factors are important: silhouette and movement desert suckers, and -109.362862 longitude coordinates your! Stretch of the most appealing aspects of the Black river is catch and release.... 7-Mile descent, road access, and profile takes precedence the East Fork Black river Apache... Or 6-weight rod to throw these larger flies is hot of Fort Apache roads...