Apache (Arizona Native Trout), Brook, Brown, Cutthroat, or
Rainbow Trout. Arizona's White Mountains has 'em all!
young and old enjoy year around
fishing in the White
Mountains. Trout are just one of the many species available to the avid
fisherman! In Arizona, anglers may take fish by one line with hooks or
artificial lures. Purchase of a "two pole"stamp on Arizona's
fishing license allows anglers to fish simultaneously with two poles.
Fishing in Arizona is governed by Arizona State Law. A valid
fishing license is required. A trout stamp is required for the
taking of trout in public waters. Licenses may be obtained from the
Arizona Game & Fish Department or any authorized vendor.
World Record: 5 lbs. 3 oz.
Arizona Record: 5 lbs. 3 oz. at Christmas Tree Lake in 1991
The more widespread of Arizona's two native trout, this species is now
restricted to a few drainages in the east central portion of the state. The
Apache trout was once so abundant that early pioneers caught and salted great
quantities of them each fall to provide a winter source of meat. The Apache
trout is Arizona's state fish. Like other trout, it feeds on
invertebrates and smaller fishes. The status of the Apache Trout in the State
of Arizona is Threatened. The Federal status of this species is also
listed as Threatened. On public lands, many of the White Mountain lakes
allow "catch and release only" of this species. On Indian Lands, there are
provisions for an angler to possess a limited number of Apache Trout.
World Record: 14 lbs. 8 oz.
Arizona Record: 5 lbs 4 oz. caught at Lee's Ferry in 1982.
Non-native to Arizona, Brook trout were transplanted to many
waters of the state in 1903. Brook trout are found in colder streams and lakes
in the White Mountains. They reproduce in streams but are most often found in
lakes stocked by the Game & Fish Department.
Like brown trout,
brook trout are fall spawners and are easily caught near the shore during fall
spawning runs. They feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects. Larger brook trout
will eat small fish if they are available. Angler's find brook trout easy to
catch, especially in the early spring or late fall when cold water temperatures
keep the fish very active. They are caught on wet flies, small spinning lures,
and worms. The table quality of brook trout is delicious, with white flaky
World Record: 35 lbs. 15 oz.
Arizona Record: 17 lbs. caught at Lake Powell in 1971.
Introduced to Arizona in 1931, the Brown Trout is an exotic
species imported from Europe. Brown trout are found in streams and in some
lakes in the White Mountains or on the Mogollon Rim Country. They reproduce
naturally in streams and are often associated with deep under cut banks or
pools choked with woody debris.
Brown trout feed on aquatic and terrestial insects and
fish. Adult brown trout are voracious and eat larger food items such as
crayfish and small fish, especially other trout. They may be caught on the same
tackle and baits as rainbow trout, but are often more difficult to catch. The
best time to catch large adult brown trout is in fall during spawning. The meat
of the brown trout has a pinkish or yellowish color and is very good tasting.
World Record: 41 lbs.
Arizona Record: 9 lbs. 8 oz. caught at Bullhead City in
Introduced to Arizona in 1900, the Cutthroat trout is also a
non-native species. The body shape of the Cutthroat is similar to the rainbow
trout. However, the back and sides are lightly spotted; Dorsal, adipose, and
tail fins are heavily spotted. Red or reddish-orange slash is observed on the
Cutthroat trout are rarely found in Arizona's streams, but widely
occur in the White Mountain lakes which are stocked by the Arizona Game &
Fish Department. They prefer the same habitat as rainbow trout and are found in
similar areas. They feed on aquatic and terrestial insects and fish.
Anglers should use the same techniques to catch Cutthroat trout
as they would for rainbow trout. The fish may be caught on a variety of flies
and artificial lures, but a live nightcrawler is hard to beat! Use light line
and small hooks. The table quality of the Cutthroat depends primarily on the
fishes diet. The meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm,
flaky and is considered excellent eating!
World Record: 42 lbs. 2 oz.
Arizona Record: 21 lbs. 5 oz.
Introduced to Arizona in 1898, the Rainbow trout is non-native to
Arizona. Color ranges from olive to bluish on the back, silvery sides, and a
pink band on the sides from head to tail. Many small black spots appear on
back, sides, adipose, and dorsal fins.
Rainbow trout in Arizona are stocked in most lakes and streams
where water temperatures do not exceed 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They are common
in the White Mountains area.
Rainbow's feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects along with
small fish. For anglers, the most effective baits are worms, salmon eggs,
Powerbait, corn, cheese, marshmallows, or artificial lures and flies. The
number one key to successful trout fishing is to use light line (4-6 pound
test), small hooks, and small sinkers. Depending on the fishes diet, the meat
can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky, and is considered
What ever your fishing passion - when it comes to trout -
Arizona's White Mountains can provide you with the opportunity to enjoy clean
mountain air, pristine lakes and streams, and that lucrative lunker on the end
of your line! Fly fishing, bait fishing, vacationing, relaxing! Enjoy your
angling experience in Arizona's White Mountains.
All photographs and information courtesy Arizona Game & Fish