Outdoors Magazine

11 Best Fly Fishing Locations in the United States

By Chris Noal

Originally, the term fly fishing referred to casting a line and trying to catch some trout. These days, however, the sport has evolved into a near craze that allows all sorts of fishing sports fanatics to try their luck at catching a variety of fish in different types of environments. But, not only do they get to enjoy some excellent fishing, they also become intimately familiar with the most beautiful locales in the country while enjoying this mental sport.

From rivers, lakes, saltwater bays and private streams, here are the top 11 best fly fishing locations in the United States.

Best Fly Fishing Locations in US

1. Bristol Bay in Alaska

Bristol Bay is famous for the number of fishing retreats in the area. From Mission Lodge to the King Salmon Lodge, this place offers plenty of variety to fishermen of all styles. You’ll find the area packed with beautiful vistas, gorgeous greenery and ample wilderness available to let the inner outdoorsmen within you go out and play. Fly fishing is very common in this location, and you’ll find a large variety of fish available such as: rainbow trout, Arctic char, salmon and its counterpart the red eye salmon.

If you’re looking for variety, and numerous opportunities to try out your skill at different styles of fishing and enjoy the majestic scenery of Alaska, visit Bristol Bay!

2. White River in Arkansas

White River runs from Arkansas to Missouri and is 722 miles of pure beauty and awesome fishing. Featuring a number of dams (such as the Powersite) and numerous lakes like Lake Taneycomo, Table Rock Lake, and Bulls Shoals Lake (known as a hot spot for Trout), you’ll almost always find a great spot to cast your line and test the waters with you Fly Fishing abilities.

However, White River is a well-known and popular spot for fishermen of all kinds, and it’s important to keep in mind a few things. Avoid the holidays as it is typically going to be packed with campers, pro fishermen, and tourist. If you’re going to try your hand at fly fishing, the best months are the fall seasons of August to December.

3. Jupiter Inlet in Florida

One of the best fishing States in the U.S. is Florida. Jupiter Inlet, however, is the spot to go if you’re going to try your hand at some awesome fly fishing. You’ll find all manner of saltwater fish in the Florida Keys and it’s a well-known spot famous for the shark fishing in winter time.

If you’re looking to try your hand at fly fishing, and don’t particularly care about the kind of fish you’re going to nab, try your luck at the Jupiter Inlet in Florida. You’re almost guaranteed to succeed.

4. Devils Lake in North Dakota

Once the site of Cabella’s Masters Walley Circuit, the Devil’s Lake in North Dakota is one of the most beautiful and popular spots for fly fishing in the United States.

You can find a number of popular fish here in the lake including: crappies, bass, perch, northern pikes, walleyes, and more. But, you’ll be surprised to know that the reason for this variety is due to the fact that Devils Lake is not only a salt water lake, but also has varying depths. This makes the area a suitable environment for the number of fish that live within its domain.

5. Fryingpan River in Colorado

A 14 mile tributary of the Roaring Fork River (itself a tributary to the Colorado River), the Fryingpan River in Colorado is a short 14 mile trail that is excellent for trying out fly fishing. Colorado is already packed with numerous fishing spots and any list detailing the best fishing spots in the country will inevitably feature the State, but anyone who wants to try their hand at fly fishing is best advised to head on over to the Fryingpan River. You’ll not only enjoy casting your line out in the water, but you’ll be awed by the green pines and sandstone that makes up the scenery in the area.

Find a sweet spot somewhere along the river, and try your hand at some serious fly fishing in Colorado’s Fryingpan river. You can find a decent variety of fish here, but you’re more than likely to catch some brown trout, rainbow trout, and brooks. If you’re looking to bring the family with you, the area has plenty of spots for camping, biking, and hiking trails.

6. Hammersley Wild Area of Potter County in Pennsylvania

Those who want to try their hand at catching some trophy fish should head on over to Potter County in Pennsylvania. There you’ll find the Hammersley Wild Area, which is known as one of the most beautiful treasures of the state, and a famous fishing spot for fishermen everywhere. You’ll find a nice variety of fish in this area such as: rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook.

Additionally, this area is famous for being one of the few spots where you’ll find at most one or two people fishing alongside you, which improves the odds of catching a big one exponentially.

7. Bighorn River in Montana

Let the gentle and clear waters of Bighorn River help you catch some of the biggest fish around. Known as an excellent spot for catching trout, the area is known for being one of the best places to fly fish all-year round. The river is controlled by the Yellowtail Dam, which has made it the perfect environment for trout, and over time it gained a reputation for being an excellent fly fishing spot.

Additionally, if you’re new to the sport and need some help figuring out the intricacies, there are numerous fishing tours whose helpful guides will help you understand the inner workings of fly fishing. You’ll soon find yourself becoming an expert fisherman yourself after visiting the Bighorn River up in Montana.

Pro tip: The best time of the year to visit this area is during August.

8. Henry’s Fork in Idaho

Discovered back in 1810 and named after Andrew Henry (the man who discovered it), Henry’s Fork is not only a tributary to the Snake River, but also its source. Known by experts as one of the best locations to try out fly fishing, the waters of this place are full of rainbow trout just waiting to be plucked from their habitat.

Furthermore, the area is known for its great hunting with duck, and geese being in season during the fall. For those of you who’d like to stay and try out the different sports in the area the Henry’s Fork Lodge is located nearby and ensures you have a place to stay with the family.

The beautiful scenery of Idaho is in full display in this stream, and you’ll enjoy some wonderful grassland views along with the majestic mountain views that make up the background scenery. It will certainly be a place to remember.

9. Glenwood Springs in Colorado

Once again, Colorado makes the list with, yet another excellent spot for fly fishing this time in Glenwood Springs. Known as the geographic center of fly fishing within Colorado, it’s located between multiple famous fishing spots in the state such as: Eagle River, Gunnison, Roaring Fork, and more.

This area is famous for its trout population and it is known to be sunny almost all year round. If you’re an avid fisherman, and haven’t visited Glenwood Springs, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Excellent fly fishing, awesome cuisine, and an awesome lodge in the area make this a definite spot to visit if you’re trying the sport.

10. Charlotte Harbor

A top fishing spot in Florida and one of the largest estuaries in Florida, Charlotte Harbor is an excellent mix of saltwater and fresh water fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re going to try your hand at fly fishing, but also want to dabble in other styles of fishing then this is the spot for you.

11. Green River in Utah

Known throughout the U.S as one of the most beautiful sceneries in the State of Utah, and recognized by pro fishermen as an excellent spot to try out their craft, the Green River is one of the places to catch trout and try out some fly fishing.

You’ll find the best time to visit this area is in spring due to the fact that hardly anyone fishes here in the winter time. But, you’ll definitely be mesmerized by the scenery and if you decide to bring the family, there are plenty of other sports and activities waiting for them. Just don’t come during the fall or summer as it sees very heavy traffic.

Conclusion

Well, folks whether you’re new to the sport or a well-known pro in the scene, you’re almost guaranteed to find a new area you’ve never heard of before on this list.

Fly fishing has been a popular activity since even before the 1800’s and it continues to be one of the best hobbies available to men everywhere. If you want to try out your hand at fly fishing, visit one of these locations at the earliest convenience, you’re almost guaranteed to come out with a haul… just make sure you practice your technique because fly fishing is all about the technique.


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