Arizona’s Best Fishing

The Arizona White Mountain Lakes and Streams

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Reel in the White Mountain Adventure:

Arizona’s Best Fishing


The Arizona White Mountains are a haven for anglers seeking Arizona’s best fishing experience. With crystal-clear lakes, meandering rivers, and an abundance of fish species, this picturesque region offers an unparalleled fishing adventure. Let’s explore the best fishing spots in the Arizona White Mountains and provide tips to help you reel in your dream catch.

1. Big Lake – A High Country Fishing Paradise
Nestled at an elevation of 9,000 feet, Big Lake is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the White Mountains. Known for its healthy population of rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout, anglers can test their skills in the pristine waters of this high country lake.

Boat rentals, a well-stocked tackle shop, and camping facilities make Big Lake an ideal destination for a weekend fishing getaway.

2. Greer Lakes – A Tranquil Trio of Lakes
The Greer Lakes, comprising Bunch Reservoir, Tunnel Reservoir, and River Reservoir, offer serene fishing spots surrounded by lush forests and stunning mountain views. These lakes are teeming with rainbow, brown, and brook trout, providing anglers with an excellent opportunity to land a trophy-worthy catch. The Greer Lakes are easily accessible and offer a peaceful fishing experience in the heart of the White Mountains.

3. Silver Creek – A Year-Round Fishing Oasis
Silver Creek is a favorite among anglers for its year-round fishing opportunities and abundant fish populations. With a seasonal catch-and-release section, anglers can enjoy the thrill of fly fishing for rainbow and Apache trout. The creek is stocked regularly, ensuring a rewarding experience for both novice and experienced anglers.

4. Willow Springs Lake – A Family-Friendly Fishing Destination
Located along the Mogollon Rim, Willow Springs Lake offers a picturesque setting for a family fishing adventure. This easily accessible lake is stocked with rainbow, brook, and brown trout, as well as smallmouth bass and channel catfish. With ample shoreline access and boat rentals, Willow Springs Lake is a perfect spot for a fun-filled day of fishing.

5. Black River – A Remote Fishing Escape
The Black River, located in the heart of the White Mountains, offers a secluded and pristine environment for anglers seeking a tranquil fishing experience. The river is home to native Apache trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout, providing a thrilling challenge for anglers. The remote nature of the Black River adds to its allure, making it an ideal destination for a backcountry fishing adventure.

Fly Fishing in the White Mountains: A Unique and Rewarding Experience

Fly fishing enthusiasts will find the Arizona White Mountains to be a true haven for pursuing their passion. The region boasts numerous rivers and creeks teeming with trout, offering a fantastic opportunity for anglers to hone their skills in the art of fly fishing.

Let’s delve into some of the top fly fishing destinations in the White Mountains.

6. East Fork Black River – A Secluded Fly Fishing Haven
The East Fork of the Black River is an excellent choice for fly anglers seeking a remote and tranquil experience in the White Mountains. This picturesque stream is home to native Apache trout, as well as rainbow and brown trout. The dense forest cover and pristine waters make the East Fork Black River an ideal spot for anglers looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a serene fly fishing adventure.

7. Little Colorado River – A Scenic Fly Fishing Retreat
Originating in the White Mountains, the Little Colorado River offers a diverse and scenic fly fishing experience. The upper reaches of the river are home to native Apache and rainbow trout, while the lower sections provide opportunities for catching brown trout. The beautiful meadows and canyons surrounding the river make it a favorite among fly fishing enthusiasts seeking a scenic retreat.

8. West Fork Black River – A Fly Fishing Gem
The West Fork of the Black River is another hidden gem in the White Mountains that offers an excellent fly fishing experience. The remote location and untouched beauty of this stream make it a perfect spot for anglers seeking solitude and tranquility. With a healthy population of Apache, rainbow, and brown trout, the West Fork Black River provides a rewarding and unforgettable fly fishing adventure.

One of the few Fly Fishing Guides who are licensed and registered to access the beautiful streams and lakes of White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation can be found here.

Fishing Tips for the Arizona White Mountains:

1. Familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations, including catch limits, gear restrictions, and seasonal closures.
2. Obtain a valid Arizona and or WMAT fishing license before heading out to fish.
3. Check the stocking schedules of lakes and rivers for the best times to fish.
4. Use appropriate bait and tackle for the fish species you’re targeting.
5. Practice catch-and-release fishing to help preserve the fish populations in the White Mountains.

The Arizona White Mountains offer a breathtaking backdrop for anglers seeking an unforgettable fishing adventure. With an abundance of fishing spots and a diverse range of fish species, this region is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Plan your trip to the White Mountains and experience the thrill of reeling in a trophy-worthy catch amidst the stunning landscapes of Arizona’s high country.

Arizona Game and Fish White Mountain Fishing Report

Click Here


Updated fishing information for the lakes, rivers, and streams in the White Mountains.

Arizona fishing licence required.

White Mountain Apache Tribe Fishing Report

Click Here


Updated fishing information for the lakes, rivers, and streams on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, (“WMAT” is used to represent the “White Mountain Apache Tribe”)

Special use permits required and links for these permits are provided at the link below.

Show Low Creek


LOCATION – 769 White Mountain Rd.

PARK HOURS – 24 hours

SIZE – 0.7 miles long


(Contact Show Low Parks and Recreation for current information)

2 catfish
2 trout
1 bass (13 inch minimum)
5 sunfish
1 white amur (30 inch minimum)
Statewide limits apply to all other species


Show Low Parks and Recreation
180 N. 9th Street
Show Low, AZ 85901
928 532-4000

Silver Creek Hatchery

Catch and Release – From Oct. 1st to March 30th   |   Catch and Keep – From April 1st to Sept. 30th

Fish production history

The hatchery is the primary facility for growing & stocking Apache trout, which are one of the state’s two native trout species (the other is the endangered Gila trout). The only place Apache trout can be caught in the world is the White Mountains of Arizona. Silver Creek is a small hatchery, producing about 80,000 catchable sized Apache trout each year. Apache trout are stocked into selected streams and lakes in the White Mountains, including Silver Creek, the East Fork of the Black River, West Fork of the Black River, Sheeps Crossing on the Little Colorado River, and the Little Colorado River at Greer. All the Apache trout stocked in Arizona are produced by Silver Creek Hatchery.


Silver Creek Hatchery is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north from highway 60 on to Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for a half mile to the facility.

From Oct. 1st to March 30th it’s catch-and-release fishing using artificial flies or lures with single barbless hooks, no bait, and no scents.

April through September fishing opens up to bait fishermen and fish may be kept. 

For the fly fisher that makes the fall and winter months interesting and the allure is that Silver Creek has a hatchery right on the property and is heavily stocked with large broodstock fish. Fish in excess of twenty inches are regularly caught during these months. Big trout with easy trail access can generate a bit of a crowd, especially on fair weather days.

Summer hours are from April 1 to Sept. 30 from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Winter hours begin Oct. 1 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tours by appointment only. Property access only through the main gate on Hatchery Road.

Always check the most recent regulations as they can change.

Call Silver Creek Hatchery staff for questions at:

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