Fishing Overview: Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon Highlights

  • In March 2008, over eight million acre-feet of water was released from the Glen Canyon Dam into the Colorado River, and future releases are planned. Don't be alarmed by this release of water, but it is recommended that you check with your outfitter or guide service about how the local fishing is affected during these times.
  • Arizona Raft Adventures is a family-run business that offers outfitting trips in the Grand Canyon. Primarily focusing on different levels of the rafting experience, guests may also do some fishing. They offer expert tips and can tell you the best locations while on your trip. When fishing you will be following their environmental priorities as they practice catch-and-release on their trips.
  • Surrounding Williams are several lakes for trout, crappies, catfish, and small-mouth-bass fishing. To fish on public land everyone 14-years-old and up is required to have an Arizona license.
  • Lees Ferry at Marble Canyon offers some of the best trout fishing in the southwest. Visit Lees Ferry Anglers for all of your fishing supply needs or to book a guided trip.

Before the Glen Canyon dam, the Colorado River ran warm and muddy through the Grand Canyon—the perfect environment for native desert fish. The river in the canyon is now a turquoise blue and the perfect temperature for introduced trout. Fly fishers regularly pull up rainbows in the ten pound range. Getting down to the river from the North or South Rim is an overnight affair. You'll need to camp in the canyon, for which you'll need a backcountry permit.

Another option is to fish the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry, at the foot of the canyon. Fishing in the park requires a Arizona State fishing license. Licenses are available at Babbitt's general store in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and at Marble Canyon Lodge (2 and 1/2 hours from the South Rim, near Lees Ferry). Licenses are not available at the North Rim. Details on fishing regulations are available at the Backcountry Office.


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