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Where To Fly Fish In Arizona.

By Robert Johnson.

Arizona offers some of the best scenery and desert landscape, along with more than half-dozen rich trout streams. So it’s not surprising that these are on the top list of fly fishers, especially given that they provide a variety of sites to anglers.

Where to Fly Fish in Arizona

With the perfect temperature and large freshwater lakes, these spots are nothing short of a blessing for fly fishing.


Best Spots to Fly Fish in Arizona.

We have reviewed all the best locations out there and picked out the four best ones that offer the ultimate fly fishing experience.


  1. Oak Creek.

Besides its Red Rocks, Oak Creek is what attracts people to Sedona. You need to visit this place if you want a phenomenal fishing experience in, what is truly, a beautiful city.

General information.

Oak Creek is a 42 miles long stream that emerges from the spring water of Oak Creek Canyon. Located in the middle of Sedona, it is accessible from the city itself.


With its sparkling clear water and its cold temperatures, this Creek will draw you in like no other. The sandstone cliffs accompanying it along its length make this creek an epitome of scenic vision.

Best time to fish.

It is suitable to do fly fishing here all-round the year but it can get a little toilsome during winter storms. Also, you can be here all day without any concerns for safety or security. Though, it might be a little crowded on weekends for some people.

Types of fish species.

The species that you are most likely to find here are Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Catfish, and Bass.


  1. Salt River.

Salt River is the only cold water trout fishery in the country and is a great spot for fly fishing lovers.

General information.

It flows in the South-West, around 25 miles from Phoenix. During summertime, it gets filled up with cold water from Saguaro Lake and remains stocked throughout winters. With its high quantity and flow of water, it is perfect for float fly fishing.


It has beautiful desert flora and fauna surrounding it. This is further pronounced by the many high canyon walls around it. It is also an appreciable tubing destination for the local people.

Best time to fish.

You can fly fish in Salt River all-round the year. Although, it is ideal for a break from winter trout. Additionally, due to the pleasant weather, you can spend the whole day fishing here quite comfortably.

Types of fish species.

The common fishes you will find here are Bass, Carp, Largemouth, Bluegill and winter Trout.


  1. Silver Creek.

Owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Silver Creek proves to be another pleasant fly-fishing destination.

General information.

Two miles long, Silver Creek is close to Show Low. Most of the fishing here takes place from the banks and is ideal for beginners, who want to indulge in some catch and release fly fishing. Being government-owned, the government regularly restocks it with fish, so there is ample to go around.


It has plenty of vegetation around it, giving it a very natural and nurturing feel. A lot of people from the city visit it to escape the heat as well, along with fly fishing. Also, you will come across many newbies and seasoned people here, both trying out their hands.

Best time to fish.

The best time to visit Silver Creek for fly fishing is from end of March to October. This also makes it an amazing go-to spot during summers.

Types of fish species.

Being the largest reservoir of trout in Arizona, you will find a large number of Apache and Rainbow trout here.


  1. Lees Ferry-Colorado River.

Lees Ferry is considered one of the best spots for fly fishing in Arizona and thus, you can find it in almost all guides on the subject.

General information.

Located near Page, Lees Ferry is a 15-miles long tailwater fishery. It meanders from Lake Powell to the Grand Canyon. With the Colorado River ensuring the temperature remains pleasant all through the year.


You will see gigantic red sandstone cliffs surrounding the lake that enhance its beauty. It also has gravel bars and riffles running along it. All this nature and clear water will surely enchant you and make you a regular visitor.

Best time to fish.

It is suitable for fishing all around the year. Although, the cold water makes it very crowded during the summers. You can also visit it in winters, if you prefer solitude for fly fishing.

Types of fish species.

It is the best place for Rainbow Trout, whose spawning starts around April and ends around October. Other than this, you can also find Channel Catfish, Bluegill and Smallmouth Bass here.


Equipment to carry for fly fishing.

Different types of flies.

You cannot fly fish without having some fundamental gear. Here is the quick rundown and recap on some basic fly fishing equipment.

Fly Rod.

The fly rod size and weight are important to match your fishing conditions and fish size targeted. A fly rod of around nine feet and 5 to 6 weight, depending on the fish and size of water might be suitable. If you are after big bass, then a 7 or 8 weight might suit the conditions. For smaller fish and smaller streams, a 5 weight or smaller might be more appropriate.


Fly reel, fly line, leader and tippet.

Have a spare spool with a pre-loaded fly line on it. You might be using a floating line for the rivers, but if you want to get deeper down a spare fly line in a sink tip might be worth having.

Check your fly line, and keep it cleaned for easier casting. Check out – How Do I Clean a Fly Fishing Line for more information. This article also covers how to clean a fly rod and fly reel.

Before you travel and hit the river, check your leader and tippet for wear and wind knots.

Remember to have some spare tippet spools in different poundage’s. For more information on length and breaking strain poundage visit the article – What Is a Tippet in Fly Fishing?


Fishing flies.

Do not forget to carry assorted flies in different sizes and patterns of nymphs, wets and dries. This will cover most fish feeding situations and areas.

If you can’t see any active sign on what the fish are feeding on, check the water edge for food available. You can also check weeds, under rocks and logs to see what size and type of insect, or aquatic food is around and in the water. This will help you to select what fly to put on.


Conclusion – Where to Fly Fish in Arizona.

Arizona has some of the best landscapes and terrains to offer and is the perfect place for fly fishing. However, make sure to check the rules and regulations before fishing and have your fishing license with you. (As always take your rubbish home and leave the area pristine for other anglers and campers.)

Fly fishing guides in the area are a wealth of information and can save a lot of time and effort in locating some trophy fish.

Remember to use Google maps to hone in on the fishing spots as well. Check the local weather and fly fishing forums for some extra information about fishing in Arizona. Also, expect to make a few friends along the way in the fly fishing and angling community!