Fishing withdrawal

Kenny

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
Joe had me thinking of the Black River too, but I never have made it there for some reason. Field and Stream magazine has been saying with many articles and for decades that the Black River was the best smallmouth river in all the west. Real good trout fishing too, Rainbows and Germans. When you read the articles about the black River, there is usually a mention of Bears, because there's a lot of them. This brown was caught on the Black last year. Yes, I saved the picture, after all. Both catching a Brown Trout and fishing the Black River is still on my bucket list.
 

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audsley

Well Known Member
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I can tell you all about the Black River except for how it's fishing this spring. That's because I haven't been there in five or six years. The Wallow fire put ash in the river and messed up the PH. I've heard it's been steadily improving each year but haven't been up there to check. The best way in is across the San Carlos Res through Point of Pines. Trout and smallmouth move up and down the river as water temperature changes. It's hard to say what is possible for a person with disabilities without knowing more about that person's limits, but there is a system of ladders about a mile downstream from the pump station. Once you reach the bottom it's easy walking along the river for miles, but you do occasionally cliff out and have to wade to the other side. The route in from Elwood Tank always offered great smallmouth fishing, but it's a steep walk down to the river. Upstream from the pump station is White Crossing with more trout and fewer smallies. That stretch of the creek can be reached on foot from the road, but you'll be driving through shallow water part of the way and will want to walk along the stream some when you reach the end of the road. A kayak will not work on this river and might even get you a ticket as it's classified as non-navigable. Don't expect to see many people unless you go on Memorial Day, and even then the crowds are light. You will need to pack in everything, including drinking water, as there are no services or supplies. You should leave Globe with a full tank of gas. And yes, the place is lousy with bears and you will see them. Protect your food as they will surely be around. And consider trying a couple of the larger stock tanks for catfish and largemouth bass.
 

joester

2 salty dawgs
audsley,
The area you talk about accessing Black River going thru Point of Pines is near the Ten O Diamonds ranch, right? I had a co-worker from Safford who told me about a place in that area where the fishing goes from bass to trout - altho it was years ago. Never did make the drive up there, altho its still a place I'd like to explore. We did a drive on San Carlos res many (20?) years ago coming in from south of Salt River Canyon, turnoff to east was somewhere near Senaca lake. I remember we had a decent map that showed some of the roads. A small abandoned settlement of Sawmill, and some little cattle tank fishing holes, the only name I remember was Phillip Park Tank, caught some small bass at each. Never did find the road to the north we had heard about (I see its Rt 9) to access the river for smallie fishin. Ended the day driving south to Talkalai Lake before sunset - but every little road we took there to reach the lake, already had folks fishin, so we kept turning around and trying the next one. Never wet a line at Talkalai Lake, but tried. We need to explore the upper Salt where the White and Black confluence is - looks awesome. Tight lines everyone!
 
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audsley

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
I misspoke myself. When I said White Crossing I meant to say Ten of Diamonds. Thanks for reminding me. As I recall, you can cross the stream six times before coming to the end of the 4WD trail.

You should have a good map either paper or electronic. Take Highway 70 east out of Globe and turn on to Highway 8 a little past Peridot. Stay on 8 to Point of Pines, which is basically a firefighting camp with no services (unless things have changed.) On your climb up the to Nantac Rim below Point of Pines you can see cliff dwellings high up on your left. Once we stopped to glass them from the road and Apache police came along and politely asked us to keep moving. From Point of Pines there are two main roads going to the river. That's where you'll need to choose your destination.

This trip is not for people dependent on amenities or government agency support. It's for the young and adventurous. You'll be on your own and roughing it. If you puncture an oil pan you'll have to deal with it yourself. I don't know about cell service.

I believe San Carlos is still charging $20 a day per person, which is fine by me because it keeps the crowds down and keeps the place special.

Joester, the route you tried is the way to Black River Crossing which is much farther downstream, is much easier to get to, has far more people and warmer water. I've heard the fish are smaller.

You don't want to go until the river drops. Right now it should be raging and impossible to fish. Typically around the third week of May it becomes fishable and remains good until the monsoons turn it muddy. It's good again in October when the water clears.

If anyone decides to go, please let me know how it went.
 

joester

2 salty dawgs
We have another area in the WMAT that we really like for stream fishing, but many fishing folks, we have to keep some of our favorite places to ourselves - so we don't as they say, "have to bring our own rock to stand on" to fish there. Good luck folks, and hopefully sometime soon, we can all go catch dinner. stay safe, stay home, stay healthy - this ain't over yet.
 

Kelney

Well Known Member
Don't be planning any trips soon via the San Carlos Res. They have closed the place off to us non-tribal members for the time being. It really is a place for anyone that loves the outdoors to visit at some point in their life. I know it primarily from hunting but they have some fishy looking waters.
 

Pinefish

Junior Member
The Fort Apache Reservation is also currently closed to all entry. Every dirt road and 2 track turning off Hwy 260 is chained closed with signs all over the place. I hope that changes soon because I have a permit for Christmas Tree Lake for May 30.
 

joester

2 salty dawgs
Tonto Creek below hatchery was fun Monday - Teri caught a brown and 2 rainbows, all released - I lost 4 of my lures.
Fishing ultralight 4 1/2' graphite rods, 3# test on micro spinning reels, tossing 1/16 oz Mepps and Wordens.
Beautiful day on the creek. Heading further NE next week.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
Tonto Creek below hatchery was fun Monday - Teri caught a brown and 2 rainbows, all released - I lost 4 of my lures.
Fishing ultralight 4 1/2' graphite rods, 3# test on micro spinning reels, tossing 1/16 oz Mepps and Wordens.
Beautiful day on the creek. Heading further NE next week.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Below hatchery but above (N) of highway? We're talking about maybe making a day trip this weekend to Woods Canyon or one of the rim lakes. We stopped at the hatchery last summer to feed the big dogs in the lower tank. Need to get the kayaks out and they have PLEZ so F'd up right now it's about as dumb as the current RP model.
 

joester

2 salty dawgs
Above Norton creek, past the trailhead parking area. numerous paved pullouts along creek before you reach hatchery and the rim trailhead. Stopped at 3-4 places, hunting for the holes with foam :)
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
Well I went out fishing the other night on the salt river had a bit of luck, like reeling in a grouper but instead of vertically, it was horizontally, 43lb Flathead.
HUGE! I've watched some YouTube videos of these guys that pull out BIGGINS out of the Salt and the salt river lakes... Crazy that a fish that big or a fish that can get that big is in the salt river.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
We went out to Plez a couple of days ago on Monday. The Striper were foaming so hard at about 1pm but I could not get them to hit anything I was throwing. I had at least 3 or 4 casts that landed straight in the foam but NADA. All my stuff is set up for Rocky Point though with braid line so maybe that was the issue. Going to re wind the reels with some fluoro and hit again this weekend.
 

brokenwave

Well Known Member
HUGE! I've watched some YouTube videos of these guys that pull out BIGGINS out of the Salt and the salt river lakes... Crazy that a fish that big or a fish that can get that big is in the salt river.
Joe, a few years back we went up to the Verde River just below the dam at Bartlett lake and caught lots of LM and SM Bass using spinners.
Cast downstream and drag back up, we couldn't believe all the bites we had.
Out of 10 casts and we caught 3 fish, with 3-4 almost hooked. The largest was 4 lbs. 3 of us caught 25-30 fish in 3 hours,
we threw back most because we didn't want to clean that many fish. It was this time of year late evening, we were on our way home by 10PM.
We fished there 10 times over the past 15 years and found to be a good spot for action. 2 times out of 10 it was just OK.
 

joester

2 salty dawgs
broken - we fished that same stretch years ago - wading in waist deep and casting chartreuse twin tails, lots of 1-2lb bass - tons of fun.
Now that Hwy 87 is open, probably head back to the creeks just off the rim early next week - temperatures expected to drop nicely for a few days.
 

brokenwave

Well Known Member
broken - we fished that same stretch years ago - wading in waist deep and casting chartreuse twin tails, lots of 1-2lb bass - tons of fun.
Now that Hwy 87 is open, probably head back to the creeks just off the rim early next week - temperatures expected to drop nicely for a few days.
We fished from the shore a 100 yards down from the dam. The first time we caught so many we got tired from it.
There was a full moon that night. We also saw people pulling catfish out all night long, some big ones too.
I need to go back in the fall and try it again.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
Joe, a few years back we went up to the Verde River just below the dam at Bartlett lake and caught lots of LM and SM Bass using spinners.
Cast downstream and drag back up, we couldn't believe all the bites we had.
Out of 10 casts and we caught 3 fish, with 3-4 almost hooked. The largest was 4 lbs. 3 of us caught 25-30 fish in 3 hours,
we threw back most because we didn't want to clean that many fish. It was this time of year late evening, we were on our way home by 10PM.
We fished there 10 times over the past 15 years and found to be a good spot for action. 2 times out of 10 it was just OK.

I've looked in that area on the satellite images but not sure if I'd be able to get down to the water. What do you think?
 

brokenwave

Well Known Member
I see what you mean, the trails that I used to get close to the river near the dam are gone.
It's been awhile, but I remember being able to drive down and park 25 feet from the river. The only trails I see are further down the river.
The last time I was there was 7-8 years ago.
 
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