Canyon Creek Arizona Trout
Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Canyon Creek Arizona
Canyon Creek is without a doubt one of the best trout
streams in the state of Arizona. It's a fifty mile long
tributary of the Salt River that forms at the base of
the Mogollon Rim. It's uppermost section lies in the
Tonto National Forest. Most of the stream flows through
the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation.

Canyon Creek wasn't always a good trout stream. At
one time, flooding and cattle grazing just about made
the stream worthless as a cold water trout fishery. Trout
Unlimited Clubs and other organizations did a great job
of restoring the stream's habitat. Here are some
organizations and local clubs responsible in part for the
riparian work that has been done on this stream:
Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S.D.A. Forest
Service/Tonto National Forest, the OW Ranch, Arizona
Flycasters, Desert Flycasters, Trout Unlimited Arizona
State Council, Zane Grey Chapter Trout Unlimited,
Payson Flycasters, Scottsdale Sportsmans Club and the
Dame Juliana Anglers.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department Canyon Creek
Fish Hatchery is located on Canyon Creek. The stream
now supports a good population of wild, stream-bred
brown trout. Rainbows are not self sustaining and are

From the OW Bridge downstream to the Apache Indian
Reservation, the stream is managed as
"catch-and-release" with artificial flies and lures only.

You will need to obtain a pass to the Tonto National
Forest side. If you fish the White Mountain Apache
Indian Reservation you will need to get a permit from

Keep in mind that catching the newly stocked rainbow  
trout and the wild brown trout are two different things.
The newly stocked trout are not very selective and can
be fooled with a variety of  flies but the wild browns
aren't that easy to fool. Flies that imitate the natural food
in the stream closely, such as our Perfect Flies,
outperform the generic and attractor fly patterns sold by
most fly shops.

The season is open year-round.
The season is open during the winter but it is doubtful
you can access most parts of the stream.
Fly fishing Canyon Creek is probably at its best in late
Summer is a good time to fish the upper section of
Canyon Creek but the water in the lower section tends
to get a little too warm at times.
The wild brown trout spawn in the Fall and early Fall is a
great time to catch a large one due to the spawn.
Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout (Stocked)
Brown Trout (Wild)


Mogollon Rim

Nearest Towns



Special Regulations
Yes, in some areas

Non-Resident License
State of Arizona

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies for Canyon Creek
Canyon Creek
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Photo Courtesy of Steve Lamb
Canyon Creek Fishing Report - Archive:
11/01/13 Water very cold. Customer reporting catching a few wild trout on our PF
Blue-winged olive nymph.
01/28/14 Customer ordering flies reporting he has caught a few trout on our BWO nymphs
and midges - cream larvae and pupa combination.
03/21/14 Customer ordering flies reporting hatches of Blue-winged Olives. He has been
catching trout consistently.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
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.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
06/24/14 Sorry for the lack of reports. We have had a few customers ordering flies for the
creek but not responding with reports. We have a new local who will be sending updated
reports. The stream is a little low but plenty of trout are being taken by those fishing. If you
fish, please let us hear from you.
07/16/14 Greetings from Arizona! I
fished canyon creek this past
weekend, caught a few on a wet
olive wooly booger, my girlfriend
caught some on just plain ol trout
bait. Had no luck with any dry flies
and checked out some areas on
the upper but only found one pool
with fish. Didn't look too much more
and didn't look at the lower part.
Christopher creek also had some
little guys in it but we didn't fish that.
Hope this helps your fishing report.
I'll have to place an order with you
guys soon!
10/18/14 Customer reporting he is catching lots of trout on Blue-winged Olives. Cooler
weather and some rain has helped.
11/10/14 Two customers reporting catching several trout the past two weeks.
12/04/14 Two customer reporting they  are catching lots of trout on our size 20/18
Blue-winged Olives.
10/18/14 Customer reporting he is catching lots of trout on Blue-winged Olives. Cooler
weather and some rain has helped.
10/18/14 Customer reporting he is catching lots of trout on Blue-winged Olives. Cooler
weather and some rain has helped.
12/19/14 Lots of trout being caught. Customers are using our Brown Sculpin and catching
some big trout.
02/06/15 We have received several good reports from customers fishing Canyon Creek this
past month. Most are using our Sculpin streamers but some the BWO nymphs.
05/20/15 Sorry for the lack of reports. It isn't because the fishing isn't good. Two customers
reported excellent conditions and catching lots of trout. BWOs, PMDs, Little Yellow
stoneflies and other insects are hatchiing.
Canyon Creek, Arizona - Fishing Report:

02/11/16 Excellent conditions. Trout are being caught on a regular basis. Blue-winged olive
nymphs, size 20, and midges, creams and reds, are the best flies to use right now.