Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Black River Arizona
The Black River of Arizona is a beautiful mountain
stream that is the border between the San Carlos and
White Mountain Apache lands. It requires a special
daily permit for fishing and camping.

When you are fly fishing the Black River you will be
surrounded with a beautiful alpine forest of spruce
and fir trees. Most of the best fishing is in the White
Mountains. The river has two forks, the West and East
Forks, and the main stem. Both forks are
approximately eight miles long.

This is truly worth fishing just to enjoy the scenery.
You have a lot better chance of seeing wild animals
than humans, fishing or otherwise. Some of the
sections of the streams, especially the upper two
forks, have plenty of bushes that can make casting a
little difficult. The streams are purely freestone
streams that depend on rain and snow and get low in
the late Summer and early Fall.

The upper parts of the two rivers forks has native
Apache Cutthroat. Rainbows and brown trout are
found in the middle and lower stretches of water. The
lower section of the river has brown trout and
smallmouth bass.

The East Fork is the heaviest fished fork but it's
possible to escape the crowds by fishing the
uppermost parts of the stream. It has some small
boulders and plenty of large rocks that create riffles
and runs. There are some long shallow pools.

The West Fork of the Black River can be a little
difficult to fish is places where it is tightly grown up with
bushes. It has a population of Apache Cutthroat trout
in its uppermost headwaters.

Sections of this river is catch and release only. The
streams are accessed by Forest Roads most of which
are dirt. You may need a 4 wheel drive in places.

The best time for fly fishing the Back River Arizona is
from May to July
March and April is runoff time
Summer is the best time to fish the river but late
summer may have low water levels.
Fall fishing can be great but the water levels may be
low in the early part of Fall.

Click Here For Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
Type of Stream
Freestone Stream

Rainbow Trout (Stocked)
Apache Trout
Brown Trout
Smallmouth Bass

Medium - length 45 miles main stem
and 8 miles each fork

Northern Arizona White Mountains

Nearest Towns

See Regulations - Permit Required

Fair - may need 4 wheel drive

Non-Resident License
State of Arizona

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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Options For Selecting Flies:
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with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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