If you’re looking for a fishing experience that’s off the beaten path, try Lower Salt River. This unique location holds largemouth bass, catfish, rainbow trout and sunfish. Open year round, it’s the only cold-water trout fishery located in the Arizona desert. In the summer, when the weather is upwards of 100° F, the water temperature remains at a pleasant 65° F. Before heading out, grab some flies, nightcrawlers and small spinners – all great bait options for this desert river location.
The Lower Salt River is a 200-mile-long stretch of water in southwest Arizona, and the closest spot to Phoenix to catch trout is the 11 miles below Saguaro Lake. In fact, many locals head out to fish these waters before and after work.
Rainbow trout are stocked here around the start of November and the best time to fish is when the spring flows begin, which varies from year to year. When the waters are released, water depths can reach up to 125 feet in spots. This is when the Lower Salt River becomes an angler’s paradise. Other times of year, when the waters slow, fish are still plentiful and biting. Check current conditions to determine which fly to use.
Many anglers enjoy the popular fishing spots near paved lots, but there are several unmarked paths that lead to the river’s edge and shoreline fishing. To really get away from the crowds, use an Inflatable Fishing Float Tube and make your way to more private fishing spots.