Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Salt River Arizona
The Salt River in Arizona, is a 200 mile long river but only
a small section of the river supports trout. It is the
tailwater at Stewart Mountain Dam below Saguaro Lake.
The reason it supports trout is the bottom release of cold
water from about the 125 foot depth of the lake. Fly
fishing the Salt River is different from most any trout
stream. Fly fishing the Salt River is fly fishing for trout in a
desert.

The Salt River tailwater is a well stocked stream with a few
holdover trout that's only 25 miles from Phoenix. It's
possible to catch a trout from water about 50 degrees in
air temperatures reaching a hundred degrees or more.

The Salt River is a very fertile stream that supports trout
well
provided some minimum acceptable flows are
maintained during low water periods. Unfortunately, that
hasn't always been the case. Certain wet years during
times the watershed received lots of rain, the trout have
done well and held over well. During dry years, with little
rainfall in the watershed, the releases have been so small
it made it impossible to have a good tailwater fishery.

Most anglers access to the area just below the dam at  
the User's Water Recreational Area. This area can
become crowded just after the stream is stocked. Phon D.
Sutton, Coon Bluff and Goldfield are other areas the Salt
River can be accessed. The Verde River confluence is at
the Pon D. Sutton access area. The fishing area extends
to the Granite Reef Dam area.

This tailwater supports a good population of aquatic
insects. There are plenty of Little Blue-winged Olives,
Tricos, Blue Quills, Pale Evening duns and other mayflies.
There are plenty of caddisflies including Little Black
Caddis, Short-horned Sedges, Spotted Sedges and
Green Sedges.

Don't forget the terrestrials. Imitations of beetles, ants and
grass hoppers work great during the summer months.
When the water is cold, midges become important,
especially in the tailwater.

Seasons:
The fishing season runs year-round.
Spring:
Fly fishing the Salt River offers the most fun during the
Spring because of the aquatic insect hatches.
Summer:
The tailwater stays cold all Summer long and fishing
continues to be good provides water is released from the
dam.
Fall:
Fishing remains good throughout the Fall
Winter:
The water remains near 50 degrees throughout the
Winter near the dam and fishing can be good throughout
the winter months. Trout are stocked during the Winter.
Type of Stream
Tailwater

Species
Rainbow Trout (stocked maybe some
holdovers)

Size
Medium

Location
Central Arizona

Season:
Year-round

Nearest Towns
Phoenix

Access:
Fair

Non-Resident License
State of Arizona

Weather
National Weather Service Link

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