In the past, fly fishing usually meant trying to hook a trout – well, up until a few decades ago anyway. The definition of fly fishermen has changed to anyone lucky enough to land a tarpon in the Florida Keys.
Or a bonefish in the Bahamas, some Pacific salmon in Alaska, or a load of brook and rainbow trout in lower Canada.
Let’s just say that the sport has become a craze, allowing people of all sorts to cast a fly. They come to tie on a fly and cast that fly to fish from all over the world.
They come to wade through the rushing streams and come into contact with some of the nation’s most pristine regions.
So practice your catch-and-release skills and satisfy your inner intrigue for hunting for the fish. You can get all of this while enjoying high, beneficial mental, and physical exercise.
Even though fly fishing is very possible in countless locations. We’ve gathered up the most rewarding, beautiful, and remote fly fishing spots in the United States.
Rivers, multi-rivers, lakes, saltwater flats, or private streams, you name it. Here are the 8 most amazing fly fishing destinations in the U.S.
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Table of Contents
TOP 8 Best Places to Fly Fish in the USA
Alagnak River, Alaska
In the Bristol Bay Region 0f southwestern Alaska, the fishing season is only a few short months. But in those months, you can find salmon, steelhead, resident rainbows, northern pike, grayling, and so much more.
So take your fly rod and try some fly fishing for all different kinds of fish. It’s true American wilderness for even the fanciest of fly fishermen or women.
There is nothing that can compare to going off the grid to this cold state for a fly fishing outing. The surrounding landscapes and views will be some of the most spectacular you’ll have ever seen.
You will also be able to fight and reel in a very wide variety of fish.
Some Alaskan and Canadian fishing camps will even provide “fly-out” fishing opportunities, as well as guided fly-fishing trips.
These are staffed with some of Alaska’s finest guides who can provide expert instruction in Alaskan angling methods.
Pair this fishing adventure with a stay at the Katmai Lodge, located on a lake with facilities for floatplanes. The Enchanted Lake Lodge, which has been rated Alaska’s premier fly-out fishing operation because it offers superb comfort in the heart of Nonvianuk Lake.
There are lots of fishermen that are going after all kinds of fish with a fly rod. That is also so very true with bass, because of the ferocious hit and the way they run.
Do you want to talk about getting your blood pumping? Try hooking a 12 pounder, this will make your heart almost jump right out of your chest.
Sam Rayburn, from Texoma Florida, has an argument for having the best overall bass fishing in the country. And the action is also pretty darn good in Alabama and New York too.
If you add in the huge largemouth and spotted bass found in certain fisheries across California, they get a nod. And there’s Mexico, an enchanted land of sunshine and lunker largemouth on beautiful lakes like El Salto.
But as good as those waters are, it’s hard to beat the bass fishing action in the state of Texas. From Amistad, Alan Henry and O.H. Ivie in the west, Lake Fork, Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn in the east.
There are plenty of these headline-grabbing bass waters in the Lone Star State. And in many of them, there’s a real chance to hook up with a double-digit giant.
This was something that was evidenced by the 566 fish weighing 13 pounds or more and 66 public water bodies. They have more than a dozen private lakes, that have been entered into the state’s ShareLunker program.
But don’t worry even if you aren’t able to hook a ShareLunker. Remember almost every bass lake in the state has lots of 7-, 8-, 9- and 10-pound lunkers. Toledo Bend was ranked as the No. 1 bass Lake in America in 2015-16, so what’s not to like about that?
Jupiter Inlet, Florida
There’s no other spot that compares to Florida when it comes to the best saltwater fly fishing in the States.
The Florida Keys offer everything from big, wary bonefish and spooky permit, to tarpon, redfish, snook, and even largemouth bass.
Experts say that Florida is for saltwater fly anglers, to what Michigan is for freshwater fly fishermen. This area of inland waters is worth checking out since sizable fish can be found pretty much anywhere.
It doesn’t matter you can find fish in a quiet pond or a city-side canal! There is a variety of gamefish all along the Atlantic beaches just off the central Florida inlet.
Find spinner sharks in the winter, jumbo jack crevalle, or cobia in the spring. There are wahoo, mahi-mahi, and blackfin in the summer.
You might even find some Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and pompano for those fly-rodding enthusiasts out there. They say diversity is the name of the game.
Potter County, Pennsylvania
For some of you private fly-fishing enthusiasts, the Hammersley Wild Area is the spot for you. They say this is where trophy-size fish are the general rule rather than the exception.
Fishing for brown, brook, and Kamloops rainbow trout can be easily be done along the almost seven miles of private streams that are divided into 3/4-mile beats.
Experience privacy at its best, there are never more than two anglers with one guide on a single beat. There are private year-round redwood lodges like Big Moores Run Lodge in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.
This lodge can handle ten anglers in five rooms. They also have a sumptuous cuisine, special fly-fishing schools, and even one-on-one private instruction.
The area can be accessed by commercial air from Bradford Regional Airport. It can also be by private plane from nearby Ranch Aero Airport. It also offers several various spring-fed creeks like the Little Juniata, Penn’s Creek, and Spring Creek.
These creeks offer thousands of brown trout per mile. Like New York, Pennsylvania has quite a lot of steelhead and salmon rivers, including the bountiful Elk and Walnut creeks.
The only thing really missing in this state is saltwater, but you can bet that all that privacy sure makes up for it.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
There is not a favorite fly fishing list that would be complete without mentioning Colorado. With attractions like the Platte River, the San Juan River, and the Colorado River, which all offer heavenly spots for fly fishing enthusiasts.
There are a large number of beautiful locales to stop in the region that is also well-known. They are well known because of the high number of trout to be found in their rivers. It’s truly difficult to find a combination of gold-medal waters, blue skies, and nice climates.
There aren’t any more stunning canyons anywhere in the world besides Glenwood Springs. Many say that it’s the geographic center of the best fly-fishing in the entire state, with the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers merging right in town.
The Eagle River, Frying Pan, and the Gunnison are conveniently nearby for those who want to take a day trip.
What’s more, is that Glenwood is far enough downstream from the all-too-popular Aspen to keep things fairly affordable. What with over three hundred sunny days a year, it would be wrong not to mention lots of natural hot springs to enjoy.
The trout-laden lakes and rivers of this region are bound to soothe any stressed angler’s soul. Make sure to try out the enchanting Elktrout Lodge overlooking the Colorado River.
You’ll be able to find outstanding fishing, great meals, and a fantastic fly-fishing trip. There is also air shuttle service from Denver or Kremmling airports that is available.
Montauk, New York
From the Oceanside fishing that is off Long Island and Montauk. Clear down to the traditional river and stream fishing in the Adirondacks or in the Catskills.
There’s no doubt that the Empire State is a popular fishing destination for anglers.
There’s no need to leave the Big Apple in order to find some world-class fly-rod action. Around the middle of spring to the middle of summer on Long Island.
You can see the guides and anglers stalking the clear shallow flats. They stalk flats that surround Gardiner’s Island and Peconic Bay for large amounts of bluefish and stripers.
In the fall, a Montauk craziness occurs when large schools of baitfish bring lots of striped basses, blues, and albacore. I hope you get yourself ready.
Coastal Marshes, Louisiana
Do you want the best inshore fishing in the world? Head out to Louisiana, the fishing for speckled trout and redfish is a great pastime for anglers. They all adore the vast large marshes and the saltwater bays of Louisiana’s coast
The state has an amazing complex of creeks, channels, bayous, and ponds that are perfect for any serious fly-fishing enthusiast exploring the waters come autumn time into spring. There are a lot of excellent southeastern Louisiana guides.
These guides will set up shop to take anglers to fish on bay boats or skiffs. They also offer several multi-day options for their mother ships and there are floating resorts available.
The Louisiana Marsh has one of the best Redfish fisheries that the world has to offer. You need to go to the outer marshes where you’ll find yourself in 1-8 ft. of water and reel in fish as big as 20-50+ lbs. Plenty of world records have been caught in Louisiana, that’s for sure.
It’s one of North America’s prime fly-fishing areas for large trout. This is because they have productive waters that boast copious hatchings of insects year-round.
Also, lots of streamer flies suggesting minnows that are incredibly effective in attracting migrating brown trout. Montana’s appeal for anglers is very similar to that of Wyoming’s.
The state that has the “Big Sky” name has lots to offer in terms of sprawling. These wide-open areas make for plenty of awesome fly fishing areas to find and seek out.
Let’s just say that Montana is all about rivers, streams, and creeks that all offer superb fishing any time of year.
For some sizable trout, try out the Bighorn River in the eastern portion of the state. There’s also the Yellowstone, the Madison, and the Montana portions of rivers in Yellowstone National Park.
Then there’s the Beaverhead, Missouri, and other various spring creeks, as well as the popular towns of Missoula and Bozeman. Both of these often tie for the best spots in the state for fly fishers.
What’s more, is that Bozeman has blossomed from a sleepy railroad and college town into a western-chic hotspot.
So over the years, the fly fishing junkies can mingle with artists, entrepreneurs, and telecommuters all while experience gritty cowboy culture mixed in with modern ambiance.