We are often asked about the fishing on Grand Canyon Rafting tours, so here is the scoop…
You will be fishing mainly for trout (rainbow and brown). The best fishing is in the first 60 miles of the trip, starting at Lee’s Ferry. Then the fishing begins to diminish, especially if the river is muddy.
Please keep in mind, that Grand Canyon Expeditions does recommend practicing catch and release on our trips.
Rod and Tackle
Grand Canyon Expeditions does not carry spare rods and reels, so you will need to bring your own if you plan to fish. We can store your fishing gear, but you should bring a collapsible rod or at least one that comes apart into two pieces. Rod storage tubes are very helpful. Please limit yourself to just the essential tackle needs.
The best lures have been large, fluorescent orange z-rays, small daredevils with a spot of orange or fluorescent red, and different colored worms. Corn, salmon eggs and cheese, etc., are allowed and have been very successful in relatively clear water. We do not have storage provisions for live bait. Another recommendation has been for an assortment of KastMaster and Panther Martin spinners with lots of gold and silver.
Licenses and Information
Fishing licenses are available online at Arizona Game and Fish online. There are 7-day licenses available that seem to work perfectly. Prices are different for residents and non-residents, and children 14 and younger do not require a license.
We do not allow fishing from the boat when on the river. Fishing from the boat may be allowed when the boat is stopped -but this is up to the discretion of your guides.
Any fishing is limited to lunch stops, side hikes, and at camp each night and in the morning.
One final note…
The fishing is best when the side streams are not running and the river is running fairly clear. If the river is somewhat murky, the items like cheese, etc work best due to their odor. If the river gets very muddy, you will have very limited success. There is no way to predict when the river will or will not be muddy. It depends on recent rains in the area, not the spring runoff. If the fish are biting, you will be glad you brought your pole.
Thank you for this encouraging commentary. I will look into the license and these lures. I have a small spinning reel and a 4 piece rod.
Where can I buy large fluorescent z-ray and small daredevil lures? Will they be available at the Walmart that we are going to stop at?
We are not sure if the Walmart you stop at has Z-Rays and daredevil lures – you may need to go Walmart online and enter the location zip code (84737) and look that way. I tried a search and from what I can tell they have the daredevil lures for sure.