If the friends that I grew up with Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, heard me talking about fishing in Phoenix, they would just laugh. Fishing in a city that's in the middle of the desert? Yes, I mean fishing right in Phoenix, right in the city, and people have been doing it since the first canals were dug, which for the Phoenix pioneers was in the 1860s, and for the civilization came came before them, most often called the Hohokam, hundreds of years before that.
I took the pic at the top of this post this morning, and while I'm no expert on fishing, I could tell that was going on. I just pedaled by, and I didn't see any catching, but it's called fishing, not catching. And if I recall correctly, there are catfish in the canals. OK, that's the end of my fishing expertise!
As far as I can tell, the confusion sets in because most people don't realize that it's just river water flowing through the canals of Phoenix. And yes, there are fish in there! The water begins mostly as snowmelt in the high country of Arizona and flows down through the Verde and Salt Rivers, and then is diverted into the dams of the greater Phoenix area. Yes, it's flowing downhill.
The water flows downhill, joins up with the Agua Fria, flows into the Gila at Tres Rios (the three rivers are the Agua Fria, the Gila, and the Salt), and then empties out into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of California.
And if you put a fishing pole into the water, you may catch a fish! Yes, you need a fishing license, and of course much more patience than I'll ever have!
Image at the top of this post: Looking west on the Arizona Canal just west of 67th Avenue, north of Thunderbird Road, Peoria, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix).
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