There is a hidden gem that seldom few know about with amazing fishing, and camping opportunities right in the middle of Arizona! It’s called Chevlon Canyon and it’s amazing! Go see how awesome this place is for yourself someday, fly fishing Chevelon Canyon can have some strange happenings.
Fly Fishing Chevelon Canyon
It is located on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona, or as locals simply call it “The Rim.” This canyon is beautiful in so many ways and filled with a lot of diverse wild life.
I took a trip down into this canyon with my friend RC in August of 2017. It was a little tough to find the place but with some mapping and GPS usage, and scrambling down difficult game trails, we were able to find it.
When you park at the edge of the canyon there is approximately a 3/4 of a mile steep “game trail” hike you will have to boulder hop and climb down if you don’t find the correct hiking trail. We were excited upon arrival so we forged ahead down the sketchy trail to get down into this canyon. At the bottom of the hike the trail opens up to a flat grassy area next to Chevelon Creek.
The grass is nice and green and there are some game trails that line the creek from the deer and elk and other wild life that regularly come through. We even saw a coati down there which we were told can be quite a rare site in Arizona.
Get ready for a hike
The strangest thing we found down there was an older man probably around his 60’s. He had backpacked into the canyon and had set up camp beneath a few trees, and when we got down there he greeted us with a friendly smile.
We got to talking to him about the fishing and what kind of fish were found down in the creek. He informed us there were rainbow trout and brown trout in the creek and that they were pretty good size.
The old man told us the best fly lures to use down there, and gave us some pointers on where he had luck catching some fish. He claimed to us that he had been down there for 3 full moons.
He said he would sometimes hitch a ride with fisherman into town for necessities, and then would hitch a ride back from friends, or by hitchhiking.
We spent most of the day down in the canyon fishing and hiking around. We also hiked down stream to explore the dispersed campsites and threw a few flies in to see if we could get a bite. I have never caught any fish, by fly fishing before this trip. I have always been a bass fisherman and never used my fly gear much.
I was happy to put it all to use this trip and we had an absolute blast catching so many fish. We didn’t keep them though, the day was too hot, and we didn’t bring a cooler down there nor did we have one in the truck. Had we camped down there we probably would’ve eaten a few fish, as they were all good size and would have been tasty and filling!
Not everything went perfectly though, being that neither of us were expert fly fishermen. We forgot a net to pull the fish in with, so a few fish got away.
Personally, I lost about 4-5 flies in the water, and didn’t bring anything down to eat or snack on. What ever “hang-ups” we had didn’t seem to matter at the end of the day though, because the experience and time spent down there was well worth it!
My friend RC and I are heading back down there again this May. This time we should be a little more prepared from what we learned on this trip. In May, we are going to backpack into the canyon and stay for a night. We’ll be bringing some extra company along with us well as more food.
No one knows if the old man is still down there or not, but I guess we will find out soon. The mystery still remains.
Check the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest website for updated information and fishing conditions as well as weather.
If you enjoyed this blog you may find these other ones interesting as well.
- DEEP SEA FISHING KAUAI, HAWAII
- FLY FISHING CANYON CREEK, ARIZONA
- HORTON CREEK BACKPACKING
- MYSTERIOUS NATIVE RUINS OUTSIDE GLOBE, ARIZONA
- BEARFOOT TRAIL PINE, ARIZONA
“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” – Unknown