Apache trout are a popular freshwater game fish that congregate near boulder pockets, drop-offs and low hanging trees in cold mountain streams, rivers, lakes and tributaries. The best technique for catching Apache trout is bait casting or fly fishing using artificial flies, small lures, or natural baits including nymphs, worms or salmon eggs.
Habitat: Lake, River, Stream
How to identify Apache Trout
Apache trout have gold abdomens and green-gold-yellow bodies. The juveniles have vertical markings that fade as they grow bigger. Adults have distinct dark spots that are evenly distributed, are oval-shaped on their flanks and head, and may extend beneath the lateral line of their bodies. These markings can also be present on their dorsal and caudal fins. Apache trout are dark greenish-brown along their back and head. They have two small spots on both sides of the pupils that make their eyes look as if a stripe is going through each eye. Their lower jaw is a yellow-gold. Their dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins have white-orangish tips, while the adipose fin has more of a black margin.
Where to catch Apache Trout
Apache trout can be found in the streams and lakes of Arizona’s White Mountains. This fish is one of two species of trout that are native to Arizona. Thanks to programs that restock and restore fish, the Apache trout has been introduced in other parts of Arizona, including the Lee Valley Lakes and Little Colorado River.
The following are habitats where you can catch Apache Trout:
- Current Edges
- Outside of Bends
- Overhanging Trees and Bushes
- Riparian Zones
- Rivers and Streams
- Rock and Boulder Pockets
- Undercut Banks
How to catch Apache Trout
These fish live in streams and lakes. Look for them around low-hanging trees that sit near drop-offs, or in pockets of boulder and rocks. The same fishing techniques that work for rainbow trout will work for the Apache trout.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Apache Trout:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Apache Trout
Baits to use for catching Apache trout include insects, invertebrates, or small minnows. They also respond well to spoons, spinners, and flies. When using fly tackle, choose nymphs, worms, salmon eggs, or flies (wet/dry). Spinnerbaits and spoons are the best choice for regulated areas that require the use of artificial lures. Check the area’s regulations before fishing to make sure you have the right gear.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Apache Trout: