Fishing in Arizona

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Throughout Arizona, anglers come into contact with the vivid landscapes and wildlife that characterize the Southwestern United States. Each corner of the state holds unique fishing opportunities giving anglers the chance to target everything from largemouth and smallmouth bass to rainbows, browns, and the ever elusive Apache trout.

In Central Arizona, surrounding the town of Phoenix, some the state's most popular lakes support healthy populations of largemouth, smallmouth, and striped bass, while the Salt River Tailwater gives anglers the opportunity to catch rainbow and brown trout year-round. North-central Arizona holds such fly fishing gems as the Oak Creek Canyon with its breathtaking scenery often compared to the Grand Canyon and its challenging brown and rainbow trout fishing in pristine pools. The Black River flows through east-central Arizona and is where the country's only population of wild apache trout reside. Those who want a glimpse of what the West was like pre-settlement will want to fish stretches of the Colorado River in Southwestern Arizona where the land is just as it was, and where trophy-sized largemouth bass can be caught in the river's backwaters.

Year-round fishing can be found all throughout Arizona, especially in the lower elevation lakes, streams, and tailwaters. Winter slows down much of the fishing in higher elevation locations like the White Mountains, whereas summer takes temperatures to unbearable heights in the state's more desert regions.


AZ Department of Fish & Wildlife
5000 W Carefree Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85086
P: (602) 942-3000

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Arizona Fishing Articles

6 Winter Flies to Never Leave Home Without

Posted on February 12, 2017

It’s winter time and if you’re like me then you’re probably daydreaming of warmer weather and being on the river. You’re also probably behind the vice tying up dozens of flies for the months ahead....

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Choosing the Proper Fly Rod

Posted on January 21, 2016

Proper fly fishing gear is essential. Along with the reel, flies and line, the most important gear is the fly rod. Fly rods may vary in length from 6 - 12 feet and come in different weights, colors,...

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Guides based in Arizona

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Northern Arizona Flycasters
Conservation, Restoration, and Education through Fly Fishing. We support active involvement in coldwater fisheries conservation.  We work to insure that Arizona’s habitat is not degraded and in the...

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