The Best Fly Fishing Locations in the US

Fly Fishing Locations US

If you have ever been fly fishing, you know how important the location can be. A bad location could not have any good places to fish or a low population of trout to catch. So if you are serious about wrangling, then you need to make sure you know the best places to go fly fishing in the US. The US is fortunate because there are tons of places to go fishing, which can’t really be said about other places in the world. 

So in honor of being the fly fishing capital of the world, we put together this list of the best fly fishing locations in the US. These locations are the perfect place to go when you want to catch some fish and relax on the water for the day. 

Fryingpan River, Colorado

Fryingpan River is located in western Colorado and is about 14 miles of trout fishing goodness. The river is smack in the middle of what many consider to be the top fly fishing destination in the country. The river is known for its red sandstone base and forest coverage of large green pines. The winding rivers have several bends and inlets, which makes finding a good fishing place easy. 

If you plan to hit up this river for fly fishing, your best bet is to do so during the autumn. If you get tired of fishing, the region has tons of other things to do as well, including camping, biking, hiking, and more. Brown trout is the most common species but you can also find populations of Cutthroat, Brook, and the world-famous Rainbow trout. 

So if you are looking for the absolute best camping places in this country, the Fryingpan River in Colorado is probably it. The state has designated the 14-mile stretch of river as “Gold Medal” meaning that you can only use artificial lures and flies to catch fish, so plan your trip accordingly. 

Yellowstone River, Montana

Yellowstone River is another top destination for fishers in the country. The strong current and amount of water make it a difficult place to fish for newbies, but experienced anglers should have no problem cutting through the wake to catch as many trout as possible. Yellowstone River is home to brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout, as well as a large population of salmon. So if you want to switch between trout and salmon fishing, you are more than able to. The best way to fish in Yellowstone is by boat over the open water but dockside and shoreside fishing exists as well.

The Yellowstone River is also home to several lodges and resorts dotted around the region. You can wake up at the crack of dawn for fly fishing then relax at the Yellowstone Valley Lodge in paradise valley later on. Be careful though; the waters here are rough so you will need to bring your heavy rod and line!

Big River, Montana

You are probably noticing a pattern here that many of the best fly fishing spots in the country are located in and Colorado and the rocky mountains. This is mostly because of the massive river systems that are home to tens of thousands of species of fish. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Big River, Montana. Big River has been tamed from the wild thanks to the Yellowtail Dam so it is a stable water source where trout can grow. The most common kind of trout found here are brown trout but you should also have luck with rainbow and cutthroat as well. 

If you get tired of fishing, then you can go out and explore the Montana wilderness near the Bighorn National Recreation Area. You can come fishing at virtually any time of the year but most experts agree that the best time to come for fly fishing is during the late summer and very early fall months. 

Florida Keys, Florida

If you’re sick of fishing freshwater trout, then maybe you should move to saltwater forays. Fly fishing in the Florida Keys is a very popular activity. This small chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida is home to tons of fun species to fly fish, including Permit, Bonefish, Snook, and Tarpon, among other species. Keep in mind that most Floridan fly-fishing fare is seasonal, so you have to make sure you are coming at the right time of the year. 

When you come, make sure that you bring your heavyweight fly rod and saltwater flies. Saltwater fly fishing can get pretty intense so be ready to wrangle some massive specimens. Also, make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen in order to beat the Florida heat. 

White River, Arkansas

Stretching all the way from northern Arkansas to the Mississippi, the 720 mile-long White River is a great spot for fly fishing due to its crystal clear waters and a large selection of trout species. Due to its location near the coast, the river maintains a moderate temperature year-round so the trout are almost always active. So you can plan a trip down to White River pretty much anytime you want, not just during the summer and fall. 

The White River also has tons of camping and hiking locations alongside its run. So when you feel tired from fishing all day, you can ease back to your campsite or go for a nice stroll in the southeastern hills and gentle plains.

The Bottom Line

The US is one of the best countries to go fly fishing in due to its dense and large network of rivers and streams. You can find a place to fly fish practically anywhere in the country, so make sure you check close by where you live to see if there are any fly fishing opportunities. 

At the end of the day, fly fishing is an American pastime. So when you are planning your next big fishing trip, make sure that you consider all the great fly fishing locations around the country.