Arizona Fly Fishing: Gila Trout

Arizona Gila Trout
Arizona Gila Trout

The yellow Gila trout tucked away from humanity in a tiny trickle of water greedily ate our flies and made us forget about the thorns and brush that tore at our clothing. We fell on the slippery rocks and bushwhacked through the dense undergrowth to cast our lines for this rare Southwestern trout. and it was a bit surreal to hold a fish that has been on the brink of extinction for so long. The habitat didn’t allow for much in the way of casting, but bow-and-arrow casting small streamers seemed to do the trick.

Thanks to the work of Trout Unlimited and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, there is now a wild fishable population of Gila trout back in Arizona, and efforts continue to be made to stock Gila trout back in their native drainage. Stay up to date on new fishing regulations and future habitat work.

Arizona Gila Trout Fishing
DJ and Ranger focused on the task at hand
Gila Trout
Gila Trout on a C Barclay Fiberglass rod
me and ranger
Relaxing
Gila Trout Fly Fishing
Tight Quarter
Fly Fishing for Gila Trout
Native Gila Trout
Gila Trout Arizona
Gila Trout Habitat
Gila Trout
Gila Trout
Gila Trout Fishing
Ranger dog overseeing the day’s activities
Frye Creek
A look back
Gila Trout
Gila Trout
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30 Responses to “Arizona Fly Fishing: Gila Trout”

  1. Max

    That last one is hands down the best gila trout I have ever seen. Just a few more years and the rest of the Pinalenos have recovered well enough to be reopened too. Great work, Ben!

    Reply
      • Max

        Thanks, Ben! If you look carefully you’ll see a couple of your quail hats floating around in there…

        Reply
        • azwanderings

          Right on Max. I’ve added your link to my blog list. I look forward to following along.

          Ben

          Reply
          • Max

            Thanks, Ben– after years of people saying “you should have a blog,” reading yours was what inspired me to go for it. See you on the trail!

  2. Phil Foster

    Beautiful trout and of an amazing size. Almost as rare as a Gila Trout are the streams of that size that hold trout (of any species) of the dimensions pictured. A real treasure and so much to be thankful for.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Couldn’t agree more Phil. Thanks for the comment.

      Ben

      Reply
  3. Alan

    Wow, Ben, thanks for the great pictures of those beautiful trout. I am pretty sure I will never see one of those in the wild. So, I am grateful for you sharing your experience. It just feels good to know they are there, healthy, and that you were there to make the connection. Also, thanks for caring so much about their habitat.

    Reply
  4. SAT(Simon)

    Excellent report and fish Ben! One of these days I hope to make to that creek to check it out. In the mean time, thanks for sharing you trip! Looks like you and DJ knocked it out of the park! What streamers did you guys use! Simi’s?

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Simon. I used a small simi seal bugger variation that I tied up specifically for the trip. I found the fish to not be that picky though. Good luck if you head down there. Take care.

      Ben

      Reply
  5. Pete

    Just now saw this, gorgeous fish! You could get into some serious back country adventures along that creek!

    Reply
  6. Benjamin Bryce

    Beautiful fish… I’ve spent a lot of time in that canyon. It’s crazy to see it on the internet like that. It’s so easy to feel like your the only one who goes there. Glad you made it out there. By the way, you didn’t happen to find a trekking pole up there did you? Lol.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Benjamin. Sorry man, no trekking pole was found.

      Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks David. Next time you’re out this way let me know and we’ll get out.

      Ben

      Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Emily. It was fun to cross them off the list but a pretty tight stream to fish. Thanks for the kind words.

      Ben

      Reply

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