This page is an introduction to the Black River in Arizona. This page includes information on the west and east fork. You can launch our interactive map of the Black River below to see each section of the river.
For the off-road enthusiast who knows were to go, those areas are also home to some of the most secluded experiences to be found in the entire Southwest. Arizona's Black River runs all the way from near the New Mexico boarder, to central Arizona, where it finally joins the White River, tuning into the Salt River. -G.J Sagi, from the travel handbook Fishing Arizona
Anyone who has made the trip to the Black River will agree that it is an Arizona gem when it comes to ruggedness, fishing quality, and adventure. Known by many as "The Best Smallmouth Fishery in the State," the Black River will continuously keep your lines tight with the amazing aggressiveness and number of fish that inhabit it. Many people have their "secret spots," or favorite parts of the river where they return year after year, while others choose to explore and experience all parts of the river. - Ted Standage, from the the book The Lower Black River: An Outdoor Guide
Upper east and west forks and Lower Black River
Much of the Black Rivers remote regions wind through both the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache Indian reservations. The Lower Black River or main flow is considered from the beginning where it the main flow starts near the New Mexico border in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest just southwest of Alpine. The Upper Black River consist of the east or sometimes called "north fork" and west fork. The east and west forks of the Black River are smaller in size compared to the Lower Black River where the eventually drain into.
Fish of the Black River
Trout are the main attraction at the west and east forks. You can expect to catch the native Apache Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout on the norm.
Smallmouth Bass are the main attraction of the Lower Black River although there are Channel Catfish, sunfish and some trout at higher elevations to the east.
Black River West Fork
The west fork of the Black River is less visited but holds great trout if you know were to go. It's more popular with fly fisherman. The west fork runs along the eastern side of Mount Baldy. The west fork of the Black River lies on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest which is not reservation land so you don't need a White Mountains, or San Carlos Apache Permit.
Creeks and Tributaries of the West Fork Black River
Black River East North Fork
The east fork of the Black River runs from above Crescent Lake. The stretch northeast of Crescent Lake is often called the North Fork of the Black River . There are Rainbow Trout, Apache Trout and Brown Trout in the east fork of the Black River, so of which are stocked. The east fork of the Black River lies on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest which is not reservation land so you don't need a White Mountains, or San Carlos Apache Permit.
Creeks and Tributaries of the East North Fork Black River