Derek Rivchin (owner, operator)
Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Surprise Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service. Where to begin! One of the few to be born in Phoenix, Arizona I was raised on our local lakes, which led to me fishing from a young age! I started fly fishing in 2013. Carp came into my life after driving hours to fish for trout got exhausting. Like any angler, I was always looking for a new chase, and carp were the answer. A local legend first got me on carp and from that day forward I became 100% addicted. There have been countless hours, boats, boat motors, trucks, money, and memories made over the years! Let me show you what Phoenix has to offer without driving hours to the mountains.
Phoenix wouldn’t exist without canals and reservoirs to fill them. From the early native inhibitors first digging the same groundwork used today to the Salt River Project, the Phoenix metro areas has hundreds of miles of canals. Some spots don’t fish like others. This is where my local knowledge comes in. I scout for fish daily to ensure I get you as many shots as possible. I can’t guarantee the fish will eat, but I will do everything I can to make it happen. Canals are a great place to target grass carp and commons. These fish are smart, to increase success, anglers should be very efficient at casting 60’ fast, good line management and accuracy all play huge roles. Don’t be discouraged, I’ve had new clients hook & land once in a lifetime fish.
Lakes: our canals are filled through a series of lakes from the west, the Central Arizona Project all the way from the Colorado river, to Alamo lake and then underground to Lake Pleasant. Plez, can be filled in hours via this pumping system and host crystal clear Colorado river water most of the year. To the north of lake Pleasant, lies her “rivers”. Although they don’t flow year round, when we do get the rain and they do flow. Fishing explodes, stripers, white bass, carp and now giant shad all run up river.
To the east lies the Salt River and Tonto Creek to the west, these rivers are fed from the Mogollon rim area and the White Mountains. These fill a few reservoirs on the Tonto National Forest starting with, Roosevelt Lake, which is dammed and below fills Apache lake, which is also dammed and holds Canyon lake, below Canyon is Saguaro lake and finally back to the Salt River, through some canal then back to river and then into Tempe Town Lake and then off to the Gila river and so on….
Our lakes are where I use a skiff to pole around for bass and carp. This is my bread and butter. The lakes host “flats” which we can stalk carp and bass in pre spawn. The skiff also has many advantages to get into places others simply can’t. Plus being at a elevated position you can see everything and creep into position.
What we target around the Phoenix metro area
Carp, aka Desert Bones. Where do I begin… Despite what 98% of American’s think, these fish are some of the strongest and smartest species there are. Carp are some of the hardest fish to catch because of their early warning radars. Carp are equipped with eyes that are more sensitive than ours and a sensory system that detects the slightest noise and movement. These fish don’t get big by being stupid. Grass carp eat 2-3 times their weight a day! White Amur aka Grass Carp were imported into the SRP canal systems as a means to rid vegetation without chemicals or machinery.With 50 miles of this river, there are a lot of carp!! I have also recently gotten into using a flats boat to stalk these fish in 6″ of water, a true salt experience and right here in the desert!! I have spent countless hours chasing these intelligent fish. They are tricky and take persistence. This is Arizona, so please bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and wear long sleeves.
Bass, our lakes host many species from largemouth, smallmouth, striper and white bass to all the typical warm water panfish. Our largemouth are the Florida strain and strive in our atmosphere reaching +10 lbs. During their spawn they become very aggressive to large flies and this is a ton of visual fun as your watching the bass chase and eat your fly. Once dog days of summer come, bass are hit or miss, once fall sets in, your typical bass tactics kick back in and you’re off to the races. I really enjoy our bass fisheries.