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Bucksnort 04-04-2018 01:47 PM

Lower Salt River
I see so much information about the lower Salt, I don't know which way is up or down.

Will someone tell me where I can go to wade the river and when to go? I know I can wade at the parking area near the bridge on the Bush highway.

wolleybug 04-04-2018 08:29 PM

Plenty of spots to wade. But just watch out for the spots that are mud and will swallow you whole. It almost happend to me in January. Had to pull myself out and crawl on my knees till I found solid ground.
It's overfished by the bridge, need to walk
I'm going to try phon D tomorrow morning.

Bucksnort 04-04-2018 08:34 PM

May I assume there is public access from Phon D?

SAT 04-04-2018 11:51 PM


Originally Posted by Bucksnort (Post 171846)
May I assume there is public access from Phon D?

Yes that is correct.

Champ161 04-05-2018 06:43 AM

Fished it yesterday from 4:30 to 6PM. Waded in just after the bend before the bridge. Caught 5 Trout 2 of them being nice Rainbow hold overs and a 3lb sucker all standing in the same spot. The sucker almost took me into the backing twice. The water is only knee deep. The Trout seem to be stronger this year, I have caught more hold overs than the last few years. Using a 5wt rod with a 24ft sink tip swinging a bead head black simi seal leach. All fish came while letting the fly dangle in the current at the end of the swing.

BunsbertMontcroffEsq 04-05-2018 07:13 AM

The deeper pools under the bridge at Blue Point are usually reliable, but also heavily fished. If you hike about a half mile downstream another big pool opens up, and I've seen fish in there, but haven't had any luck. I assume it's carp or suckers.

When I fish Phon D, it's usually *above* the confluence. Lots of small (appx. 8-10 inches) but feisty, hard fighting bass in that area. I've also had luck getting into smallmouth bass at Coon Bluff and bluegill, black crappie, and bass at Water User's and above Water User's (just below the dam).

The Lower Salt just baffles me sometimes. There will be days when I catch 20 fish of various species in just a few hours, and then days when I'm completely skunked. I suspect it has to do with the season, and of course the flows.

Tying2Fly 04-05-2018 10:16 AM

It has been awhile since I had the chance to fish the Salt, but when I do, I prefer to go further up river that the bridge as like others have said, it gets fished a lot. I like to park up at the Recreation Area and sometimes can find small areas where the fish like the over-hanging brush on far side of river. It is sporadic at times but have done well on Trout at times and also where I caught my 1st LM bass (2-3 lbs.) on a fly a few years back.

Bucksnort 04-05-2018 08:42 PM


You mentioned a word I hate - suckers. My philosophy regarding suckers is there are only two kinds. Those that are dead and those about to die.

lostdutchman 04-05-2018 09:01 PM


You mentioned a word I hate - suckers. My philosophy regarding suckers is there are only two kinds. Those that are dead and those about to die

Youíre missing out. A plastic bag fights better than the 10Ē stocked finless trout in the salt, and the suckers are wild, native. And strong, but, itís your rodeo. Depending on flows.. you can wade pretty much any stretch of the river above phon d. The rubber fish get stocked at phon d and the bridge ( blue point) and rarely move very far... much like most of the fisherman at the river haha.

Champ161 04-06-2018 06:52 AM

The Suckers are a ton of fun to catch, they fight hard! You catch 3 or 4 of those and your arm is feeling it. You can sight fish for them as well and they are there all year. For me the trout are hit or miss during the hot summer months. I do most of my trout fishing up north so catching a few trout at the salt when I'm fishing for the suckers is a bonus. I will say this years seem to be much better fishing than the last 2 years for both.

wolleybug 04-06-2018 08:32 PM

Lost 2 trout at phon D yesterday. They were down in the fast moving water. The water was crystal clear.

wolleybug 04-09-2018 02:02 PM

Found some trout 1/2 mile above granite reef. If you want therm on the fly rod you need float tube or kayak

wolleybug 04-16-2018 08:34 PM

Fished a mile of river at sheep's crossing and found trout just above the rapids in the big pond area across from the big sandy area on the north side.

wolleybug 04-18-2018 08:53 PM

10 trout today, they must have liked the cooler temps this morning

wolleybug 04-25-2018 09:13 PM

Found trout in the rapids of sheep's crossing and in the slow flows a mile above granite reef dam, a few good size and nice coloring than the typical stockers.

wolleybug 05-16-2018 08:54 PM

Anybody else been fishing the lower salt?
I have been catching at least 2 rainbows every trip. They have been scattered from blue point all the way down to granite reef. Actually caught a big meaty one last Thursday at phon D.

jimc 05-18-2018 06:07 PM

Holdovers in Lower Salt
I have had the same experience, mostly around Blue Point and the Bridge area. Nice 12+ inch rainbows with "shoulders" on occasion. A couple have broken me off on 5x. I see a couple rising in the afternoon, but they are hitting midges and not too many larger flies. So I've kept to the beaded nymphs and beaded semisealed leeches on the inside of the currents.
I am pretty pleased with the remaining fish in that area. There has been steady improvement in the fish number and quality over the past 12 months.

wolleybug 05-18-2018 08:43 PM

I think it will be a good summer. I have caught trout in the middle of August with tubers floating down the river 2 years ago. With the numbers of trout i have been getting lately hopefully they hold over for some time.

jimc 07-30-2018 08:59 AM

Holdover Trout
As I mentioned previously, the quality and number of trout in the Lower Salt has been improving over the last 18-24 months.

In the last month, I've been able to pull 14-18 rainbows from the stretch between Water Users and the Bridge.

These have been the most successful jaunts that I've ever had to the Lower Salt River. I am not ready to attribute this success to my improved skills, just yet.

I have been covering a lot of different areas/flow types. I have been using many different techniques. But, I believe that something has changed about the River itself and the management/stocking of the river. It is definitely a change for the better.

Any thoughts?

wolleybug 08-01-2018 08:55 PM

Good to hear your success
I haven't fished up that section since the winter months when there was low flow and few trout to be found.

jimc 08-15-2018 10:38 PM

Water Levels
The water levels have been decreased significantly over the past week.
The fish must be scrambling because they are not biting.
Anybody else notice the difference?
Any advice as to where they are hiding?

wolleybug 08-16-2018 09:48 PM

I was there last Sunday
Flow seemed normal but the water was like chocolate milk from the mud the rains washed in.
I didn't have any luck

jimc 08-17-2018 11:50 AM

Lower Salt River.
Never Mind.
Their still in there. I just had to be patient.
I also had to adjust my drift lines because of the 6 inch drop in water level.

BTW, flows were above 1200 cfs for most of June/July.
Recently, flows have been dropped to 700-800 cfs.
It may not be noticeable right away, but I suspect the fish feel it.

If your below the confluence, the Verde is pumping out pure mud right now.
Might want to go up above Phon D until the storm runoff clears.

jimc 09-07-2018 03:47 PM

Switched off...
Ive been skunked for the last 2 weeks along ALL stretches of the Lower Salt.
Not even a token bite.

This seem to coincide with the sand built up after the latest storm.
No camouflage and no emerging insects coming from the sand.
I suspect they went higher up stream above water users?

No action on any of the dropoffs, pools, or riffles either.

The surface has been dead as well. They're not coming up for real bugs either.

The storm really threw them ( and me ) for a loop.

I'm still trying though and will keep you all posted.

Any updates or advice would be appreciated.


wolleybug 09-09-2018 12:42 AM

I haven't tossed any flies in a while
May try tomorrow and see what happens
Lots of bass active everywhere on the driver last time I was there

Bucksnort 09-11-2018 10:28 AM


Are those big mouth bass or small mouth bass?

BunsbertMontcroffEsq 09-11-2018 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by Bucksnort (Post 172497)

Are those big mouth bass or small mouth bass?

not wollybug, but i have caught both out of the lower salt. always had good luck at the coon bluff area for smallmouth bass.

wolleybug 09-20-2018 09:02 PM

Fished last Sunday towards granite reef. Lots of weeds floating down river and muddy water. I think after Wednesdays rain it will be some time before the water clears up from debris.
Never caught any small mouth at coon bluff only at phon D. Part of the charm of the lower salt is you never know what you will pull out from where.
I landed a fat 13 inch rainbow 3 weeks ago fishing for bass with the spinning rod unexpectedly.

wolleybug 11-18-2018 08:41 PM

2 trout today at phon D on a Ssl
The cooler weather this year should help keep them active

Bucksnort 11-20-2018 08:27 AM

lostdutchman and champ,

You two can have all the suckers in the Salt and anywhere else in the world. They do put up a good fight.

jimc 11-29-2018 11:41 AM

Verde Flow
Verde flow is down to a manageable rate and the water is clear at Phon D.
Stockers are not interested in the dry fly yet.
I have been to the bridge and Phon D in the last 2 weeks.
A lot of surface action, but they are taking tiny bugs.
Having better luck stripping SSL's.

Looking forward to more nymphing at Phon D with the clear water and good flows.

wolleybug 12-02-2018 09:22 PM

At phon D I have had much success with black SSl, but I'm fishing the moving water.
They have spread out with the lower flows.

wolleybug 12-31-2018 09:37 AM

Anybody have any luck on the lower salt with trout from phon D and below since they been dumping in dirty Verde water?
I have fished above phon D in the low flow area's and only hooked bass.

jimc 01-04-2019 09:20 AM

Dirty Verde
I have not hooked a trout since the Verde flow has increased, again.
I have also noticed that they are no tired tracks down from the gate.
I suspect that they have not been following the stocking schedule for some unexplained reason.

There was a brief period of clear flow from the Verde in mid-December when the stocked fish were biting.

lakelady 01-04-2019 11:55 AM

Stocking schedule says it was stocked last week. Didn't it rain? Wouldn't that wash away tracks?

wolleybug 01-23-2019 08:50 PM

Anybody catching anything on the lower salt ?
I haven't been out I 3 weeks

jimc 01-25-2019 01:42 PM

Lower salt river
Just stocked this week.
Plenty of action.
I've been mixing it up.
The big pool above the bridge is very busy, but they are hitting midges at the surface and that's been very hard to replicate for me because of the lack of flow and distance to cast.
I've seen others take decent sized trot with nymphs on indicators at the edge of the big pool.
My only success has been stripping SSL through the area. There is a lot of chase, but few takes.
Below the bridge the small pool has many active trout. Dry flies has been pretty useless. Beaded pheasant tail nymphs and caddis nymphs have been very productive, but you have to get it in the narrow flow for presentation.
At the end pf the pool, they have been hitting the SSL and beaded nymphs on the strip.
At the blue point bend, I caught one trout yesterday on an SSL. first trout there in 8 months.
Hope this helps. They have been holding over between stockings also.
This is a significant, pleasant change over the past 24 months....

lostdutchman 01-25-2019 04:34 PM

might sound crazy with there being little to no flow.. but y'all should try out swinging or slowly stripping soft hackles..

take a step into the water above the bridge and look at your feet... you'll see thousands of nymphs scatter.. the trout see that too.

plus, swinging a fly beats staring at a bobber anyway! haha

good luck!

wolleybug 01-26-2019 09:26 PM

I got a chance to hit phon D Friday morning. There was a lot of water flowing and it was a bit muddy but no fish in the spots I normally catch fish.

jimc 02-21-2019 02:31 PM

Lower salt river - nymphs?
I appreciate the advice to use soft hackles in the slower water above the bridge.
To my surprise, I had a trout in the net after my 3rd cast. This seems to be the exception because I have not had any sustained success since.
I am still perfecting my technique - retrieval, drift, choice of sinking line, etc.
However, I am still trying to figure out which fly to tie below the soft hackle to make it sink. I have been using smaller beaded nymphs, but they don't sink quickly enough and they start to buoy on retrieval.
So far, I have tried wollybuggers and SSL. The SSL seems to be the perfect weight, but I am only getting takes on a faster retrieval and only on the SSL.
So basically, I am streaming an SSL with a soft hackle doing nothing.
Any advice would be appreciated.

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