White Mountains Online

Arizona White Moutains  

 
Arizona's White Mountains...
MOUNTAIN STREAMS.

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Black River:
( West Fork):
Length: 8 miles. Elev. 6,520 to 7,525 ft. Access from same as the East Fork, continuing on FR 25 to Wildcat Point. This section of the Black River is more difficult to reach but offers an excellent example of Arizona's beauty with grassy meadows and tall pines. The area to the reservation border is brushy and weedy, but there's always the possibility of catching lunker browns in hiding pools. Wildlife sights include elk, turkey, and bear.
   
Black River:

Black River

(reservation border to White River):
Length: 45 miles. Elev. 4,400 to 6,520 ft. Access from Fort Apache south on Y10 to the river or using Y20, Y22, or Y40 to points farther east on the river. Better bring the four-wheel-drive. This lower elevation stretch of the Black provides for some excellent smallmouth bass and catfish, with trout at higher elevations. May through July is the best time for bass. Walk up and down the river past the road accesses for the best fishing. Don't forget the permits at San Carlos or Fort Apache Game and Fish vendors. Either permit allows anglers to fish both sides of the Black. However, be careful to camp on the appropriate site. The lower elevations get into the scrubby prairie vegetation and chaparral.
   
Black River:
(East Fork): Length: 8 miles. Elev. 7,525 to 7,900 ft. Access north of Hannagan Meadow at Beaver Creek; and from U.S. 191 and FR 26 along Beaver Creek; or from U.S. 191 to FR 249 and FR 276 to the Black River. This is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Black River with the high elevation vegetation and wildlife including: elk, bear, and turkey. The river is stocked weekly in the summer with rainbow trout, but watch out for beaver dams. Campgrounds, located at Buffalo Crossing and at points farther upstream, are open during the summer. Winter access is not recommended.
  • Black River Fish Species: Rainbow, Brown, Native, and Brook trout, Smallmouth Bass
  • Access: Gravel & Trail
  • Amenities: Parking areas, several campgrounds, tables, fireplaces, restrooms, trailer spaces, camping allowed.
  • Fishable miles (total) 70
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Alpine - lodging & restaurants
   
Blue River:

Blue River

Length: 24 miles. Elev. 4,200 to 5,250 ft. Access from Alpine and west on U.S. 180 to FR 281 and south on FR 567, between Alpine and Hannagan Meadow, east to Blue Crossing. The road follows the river south. Watch for and respect private property signs. The roads down into the Blue River canyons provide excellent views of eastern Arizona beauty. At the bottom lies the community of "Blue," which still has a post office and a few ranches. The old schoolhouse that stood for many years burned down a few years back. Only a good snow melt and runoff provide the Blue River with its water flow. Anglers may find some trout in the upper reaches, but past Blue Box there may be just a few catfish in the pools. Campers can set up at two established sites (Upper Blue or Blue Crossing) or at the primitive grounds at the end of FR 281.
  • Blue River Fish Species: Rainbow and Brown trout
  • Access: Gravel & Trail
  • Amenities: Parking areas, two campgrounds, tables, drinking water, fireplaces, restrooms, trailer spaces
  • Fishable miles: 10
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest town: Alpine - lodging & restaurants
   
Big Bonito Creek:
Length: 11 miles. Elev. 5,250 to 7.000 ft. Access by reservation roads Y55, Y40, and Y70, southeast of Fort Apache. Hike or backpack down to the creek. Big Bonito Creek flows through the Bonito Prairie. Bonito is the Spanish word for pretty. The canyon walls are filled with oak, willow, and cottonwood trees. Cool, clear waters spill over the rocks into the pools of brown and rainbow trout. The area has spectacular beauty and many hunters come during the seasons for mountain lion, bear, and javelina. Special permits from the White Mountain Apache Tribe are required, so remember to stop in Whiteriver on the way to Big Bonito Creek.
   
Boneyard Creek:
Length: 9 miles. Elev. 8,000 ft. Follow FR 249 north of Alpine off U.S. 191. Boneyard Creek is just north of the Black River (East Fork) crossing. Boneyard is just a small creek with small rainbow and brook trout. Primitive camping is allowed. There are more of these smaller creeks in the vicinity of Hannagan Meadow, but fish of any size are doubtful. These streams are nice picnic areas or photo subjects, though.
  • Boneyard Creek Fish Species: Rainbow and Brook trout
  • Access: Gravel & Trail
  • Amenities: Camping allowed
  • Fishable miles: 7
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest town: Alpine - lodging & restaurants
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Canyon Creek:
Length 31 miles. Elev. 2,905 to 5,300 ft. One approach to Canyon Creek is through the White Mountain Apache reservation to Cibecue, then take Route 021 past Grasshopper. Canyon Creek also is accessible from the Mogollon Rim, from SR 260 and Young Road (SR 288). Flowing from the top of the Rim, Canyon Creek finally deposits its runoff into the Salt River, west of Salt River Canyon. Canyon Creek is undoubtedly one of the best trout fishing streams in the state. The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks fish in Canyon Creek where it runs through the National Forest. In these upper reaches of the creek, anglers must fish with artificial lures only. North of Grasshopper, named for an Apache scout, is Chediski Lookout and Mountain, which climbs to 7,500 feet. Permits are required for fishing and can be obtained at the Salt River Store or Tempe Marine.
   
Cibecue Creek:
Length: 20 miles. Elev. 3,136 to 5,680 ft. Two accesses to Cibecue: one is north from the town of Cibecue on Route 020; the other is from the Salt River Canyon road G1. Entirely on the reservation, Cibecue Creek is stocked with Apache trout north of the town toward the Rim. Some of the biggest browns in the state have been pulled out of the pools of Cibecue Creek. In the lower stretch, nice pools and waterfalls can be found by walking upstream from the Salt River. Obtain fishing and day-use permits at Salt River Canyon Store or Tempe Marine.
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Diamond Creek:
Length: 11 miles. Elev. 5,600 to 7,500 ft. Access by SR 73 between Whiteriver and Hon Dah to RR25 on the White Mountain Reservation. This beautiful creek in the White Mountains is home to rainbow, brown, and Apache trout. Apache trout are stocked regularly. Check with the reservation game and fish office regarding fishing regulations. Permits can be obtained in Whiteriver or Hon Dah. The eastern branch of Diamond (called Little Diamond) may have some small trout, but some of this area is closed to non-Apaches. This high elevation area combines grassy meadows, tall spruce and fir, with stands of aspen and ponderosa pine. Wildlife sightings include deer, elk, and bear.
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Eagle Creek:
Length: 48 miles. Elev. 3,250 to 5,450 ft. Eagle Creek is best approached on FR 217, north of Morenci off U.S. 191. The road winds down a scenic canyon to a number of ranches and then follow the creek upstream to Honeymoon campground. Depending on the water levels, Eagle Creek can be good fishing for trout in the northern section. Other wildlife sights are bighorn sheep and rare varieties of large birds such as peregrine falcon, wintering bald eagles, and Mexican black hawks in the lower section. Part of the creek runs through San Carlos Apache Reservation, so permits are required.
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Grant Creek:
Length: 10 miles. Elev. 7,000 to 9,000 ft. Access by hiking trails on the east side of U.S. 191 from Hannagan Meadow (#65) or by way of Blue River, past Blue ranger station using FR 281. There is a trail that follows the creek upstream (375) toward Hannagan Meadow. Grant Creek provides a natural landmark for hikers more than a source for anglers. There are a few small rainbows and some native trout.
  • Grant Creek Fish Species: Rainbow trout
  • Access: Paved, Dirt, & Trail
  • Amenities: Parking area
  • Fishable miles: 10
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Alpine - restaurants & lodging
  • Suggested access: walk-in or by horse only
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KP Creek:
Length: 10 miles. Elev. 7,000 to 10,000 ft. KP Creek heads up on the Mogollon Rim, runs along the Blue Range and finally down into Blue River. Access south of Hannagan Meadow at KP Cienega Campground, off U.S. 191. A northern fork heads up a few miles north of the campgrounds. Follow trails #93 or #70. KP Creek has some native trout and a few wild rainbows.
  • KP Creek Fish Species: Rainbow trout
  • Access: Paved, Dirt, & Trail
  • Amenities: Parking area, camping allowed, drinking water, fireplaces, & restrooms
  • Fishable miles: 13
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Alpine - restaurants & lodging
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Little Colorado River:
Length: Varies. Elevation 7,000 - 9,000 Ft. This river was originally called Flax River be early Spanish explorers because of the abundance of wild flax growing along its banks. The East Fork is about six miles of very narrow creekbed and flowing water from Colter Reservoir to Greer. Just a few small brookies and rainbows swim here. The West Fork begins atop Mt. Baldy and flows north of Lee Valley to Sheep's crossing on into Greer. In the upper reaches you'll find a few brook trout; and around Greer a few small browns. The South Fork runs north, just east of Greer and flows into the main tributary. There's a campground and cabin resort at South Fork (FR 560) and hiking trail #97 takes you back upstream. The area around Greer is quite impressive with its rolling meadows, wildflowers and forests
  • Little Colorado River Fish Species: Rainbow, Brown, Native, and Brook trout
  • Access: Paved, Gravel & Trail
  • Amenities: Parking areas, restaurants, lodging, camping allowed, fireplaces, restrooms, trailer spaces, Airfield, Fuel for aircraft.
  • Fishable miles: 23
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Springerville - lodging & restaurants
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Pacheta Creek:
Access at Pacheta Lake using Y-55 and Y-40. Walking up and down the shoreline is the best way to fish this small creek. The stream may be pretty brushy in some places. Pacheta isn't stocked, but some fish move from the lake and there are some natural spawners. This is some of the most beautiful and remote country of Arizona.
   
Paradise Creek:
Length: 3 miles. Elev. 7,500 ft. There are good campsites below the confluence of Paradise Creek and White River. Paradise Creek is open for fishing the first 3 miles southeast of the junction of the North Fork of White River, just downstream from Ditch Camp. Small and brushy and often difficult to fish, it is stocked by White Mountain Apache Game and Fish during summer.
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Reservation Creek:
Length: 15 miles. Elev. 7,000 to 10,000 ft. Access from Reservation Lakes south on road Y20 on the White Mountain Apache reservation. Flows parallel to Pacheta Creek before reaching reservation border, then on to Black River. Levels vary along this wooded creek. Catches consist of brown, brook, and rainbow - all fairly small, wild trout.
  • Reservation Creek Fish Species: Rainbow and Brown trout
  • Access: Gravel, Dirt, & Trail
  • Amenities: Camping Allowed
  • Fishable miles: 6
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Alpine - lodging & restaurants
  • Suggested Access: walk-in only
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Salt River:

Salt River

Length from Salt River Canyon to Gleason Flats: 20 miles. Elev. 2,840 to 3,350 ft. Access by reservation road G1 just north of the bridge. Follow it east to Salt Flats. May require four-wheel-drive vehicle. The mighty Salt River, with its whitewater rapids and torrential flow, challenges kayakers and rafters with even the most experience. If you don't have the skills to conquer this section of the Salt, seek out one of the tour operators that plan trips down the river. The Salt begins with the waters of the Black and White Rivers flowing together about 35 miles upstream. One side of the Salt River Canyon is on White Mountain Apache land; the other side is San Carlos Apache Reservation. Permits are required from the reservations to enter the land. Beautiful canyons, winding side streams and abundant wildlife best describe the Salt River. There are smallmouth bass and catfish in addition to various species of rough fish in the Salt. Facilities include primitive camping at Mule Hoof, near the bridge.
   
Silver Creek:
Length: 1-2 miles fishable. Elev. 6,500 ft. Accessible north of Show Low on U.S. 60 and FR 918 just past turnoff to Silver Creek Estates. Rainbow trout are stocked by Game and Fish in the spring. Some very large native spawners have been caught from this stream in early spring as they move up out of White Mountain Lake and below the private hatchery at Silver Springs. After about May, Silver Creek is too warm for good fishing. Early settlers who built homes along the creek named it because it was "clear and silvery."
  • Silver Creek Fish Species: Rainbow, Brown, Sunfish, Catfish
  • Access: Gravel & Trail
  • Amenities: restaurants, lodging, Airfield, Fuel for aircraft.
  • Fishable miles: 13
  • Winter freeze: yes
  • Live Bait Fish prohibited
  • Nearest Town: Show Low - lodging & restaurants
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Tonto Creek:
Length: 16 miles. Elev. 5,700 to 7,800 ft. Accessible from Y40 by taking Y47 north for four miles. Not to be confused with the major Arizona stream in Gila County that runs from the Mogollon Rim to Roosevelt Lake. Tonto Creek runs from Tonto Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation to Bonito Creek. Fishing is generally better lower on the creek. The stream has brown, rainbow, and Apache trout.
   
Trout Creek:
Length: 15 miles. Elev. 7,500 ft. Trout Creek is accessible from Upper Log Road (via SR 73 south of Hon Dah) where it flows underneath the road and empties into the North Fork of the White River. Another access point is at Hawley Lake as it heads up to the northwest. This small stream has some pan-size rainbow and brook trout in the short distance between these two access points. Some lucky angler may come up with a big brown lurking in the pools. A favorite stream of the serious dry fly fisherman.
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White River:

Black River

(North Fork): Length: 50 miles. Elev. 5,000 (south of Fort Apache) to 6,800 ft. Best access to the upper reaches of North Fork is by using Upper Log Road or the Roberts Ranch turnoff. Other popular access points are the McCoy Bridge off SR 473, south of SR 260. The North Fork and East Fork of White River join at Fort Apache to form the White River, which flows into what was the Black River, creating the Salt River. Early reports tell that the river was called Sierra Blanca River (or White Mountain River). This most popular White Mountain stream is fished in heavy numbers and is a major draw for camping and picnicking families. The Apaches stock it twice a week throughout the spring and summer, plus there are many native spawners. Apaches and brown are the best catches in the upper reaches. In the section below Whiteriver and Fort Apache, smallmouth bass and some catfish can be found.
   
White River:
(East Fork): Length: 6 miles. Elev. 5,000 to 6,500 ft. Driving south from Whiteriver on SR 73, turn east toward Fort Apache. This road crosses the river and turns into Y55, which parallels the East Fork up to the closed area. Much of the East Fork is in an area closed to non-Apaches. This is to provide an undisturbed environment for the spawning of Apache trout. Below R30, the river is stocked with Apache trout. It is mostly a put-and-take stream, with some lurking lunker browns. Excellent bird-watching opportunities abound. You might catch sight of vermillion flycatcher or painted redstart.
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  Information courtesy: Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce & Arizona Department of Game and Fish
Fishing information
   
  Greer & Springerville Trails
Pinetop-Lakeside Trails
   



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