Fishing Season: April through November(no winter access to upper river)

Black River - AZ

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Phoenix 's Tip of the Week

The Black river is fishing phenomenal this month, big browns on big streamers! If you are planning to access the lower through the San Carlos, plan ahead to get your permit. Smallies are smacking poppers! Apache Gold Convenience store is your most consistent place to get one.

Directions open in app

Map of Black River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 6/4/23

We have been having tons of luck near wildcat crossing swinging big streamers through the pools! Some flat water has been on fire with a good dry fly bite! Get over to the lower section and grab some poppers and smack some smallies!

Techniques & Tips as of 6/4/23

Strip streamers along the undercut banks or bushy attractors thrown in the white water. If fishing the lower section, the MOAD has been hard to beat! If water is a little stained, try a May's Clearwater Crayfish

Local Species Available April through November(no winter access to upper river)

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    Brown Trout

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    Apache Trout

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    Rainbow Trout

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    Smallmouth Bass(lower river)

Orvis Phoenix 's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Rosenbauer Parachute Beetle black 10-14
Hopper tan,olive 8-16
Adams hares ear 16-20
Griffith's Gnat black 16-22
Articulated Streamers Black,olive 2
Moad Crawdad 4
Bead Head Prince Black 14-18
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer Black, Olive 2-12
Sparkle Minnow Olive 4

Rosenbauer Parachute Beetle

This terrestrial beetle fly is an effective searching pattern or attractor.

Orvis Phoenix 's Recommended Gear

Description: About Black River

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 upper reaches are trout water, once it enters the Apache Reservation it begins to transition into smallmouth bass water. Access on the upper portions is good with many forest service roads meeting the stream. 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. 80 miles with only 10 access points makes this a great place to find solitude and some amazing fishing. 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. Access may be limited in winter due to snow.

Nearest Airport:


Best Time to Fish:

Morning to Afternoon

Best Stretch:

West fork Campground or the section off road 273!