Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Little Colorado River
The Little Colorado River in Arizona is a beautiful
mountain stream that is formed by springs. The high pH of
the water makes the perfect habitat for sustaining a good
population of trout. The Little Colorado River starts on
Mount Baldy Peak in the White Mountains of Arizona and
flows through the town of Greer. It eventually empties its
water in the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. This is
a crystal clear, small stream that flows from the Alpine
forest of Arizona. Provided you do some hiking to get
away from the roads, fly fishing the Little Colorado River
can be a wonderful experience.
The river has two forks in its headwaters - the East and
West Forks. Its West Fork starts from springs on Mt.
Baldy in the White Mountains and flows to Sheep's
Crossing and finally into Greer. The East Fork is a
tailwater that starts from Colter Reservoir and flows into
Greer. Its small, ten foot wide South Fork flows into the
main stem of the river below Greer. It has some wild trout.
Three small tributaries feed this stream that also hold
trout - Hall, Rosey and Fish Creeks. Sections of the Little
Colorado River is "catch and release" only.
The most accessible areas along the road can become
crowded with locals during the prime season. Most of the
better water is off the roads in the backcountry. You will
find that hiking a little ways will put you on water that is
peaceful and serene.
The river has a population of rainbow, brown and brook
trout. The state stocks parts of the stream but there are
plenty of wild trout when you get away from the roads. It
has some Apache Trout in its headwaters. There are
many different species of aquatic insects in its waters,
especially the West and South Forks of the river.
The best fishing is from May through October.
Spring fishing is good after the runoff. The best fishing
usually starts in May.
The streams run low during the late Summer making it a
little difficult to catch trout but it's possible all Summer.
The streams are low in the early Fall but the fishing
improves during the middle to late Fall season.
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