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

Can be super hit or miss during the monsoon season. Make sure your watching the flows for the lower warm water section! Otherwise the upper main stem and the east and west fork can fish pretty great with this cloud cover! Terrestrials and some hares ear or pheasant tail droppers. 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 8/7/22

Flows increasing with these storms, more then likely lots of streamers right now! Reaction bites! Check and make sure the flows around 50cfs near pumphouse, if near 100CFS , i'd probably fish somewhere else!

Techniques & Tips as of 8/7/22

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):
Indicator 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

Indicator Beetle

Use this bright foam fly pattern as an indicator and as a fly.

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:

mid morning to afternoon

Best Stretch:

West fork Campground or the section off road 273!