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If you are not a fan of deep sea fishing, or even having to use boats to fish on big lakes, you might be a fan of fly fishing. Yes, fishing in rivers and creeks is a lot more convenient due to the fact that they are usually more accessible and don’t require much in terms of transportation, plus you never really have to worry about deep waters either.
This is not a rule of thumb, but of course, fly fishing is generally done in shallow waters that you can stand in, such as from river banks and in streams and creeks too.
8 Best Fly Fishing Places In The USA
Well, if fly fishing sounds like it might be your thing, you probably want to know where the best fly fishing spots are. Let’s get right to it and talk about some of the best places to go fly fishing in the US right now.
1. Alagnak River, Bristol Bay, Alaska
When it comes to fly fishing, you will be hard pressed to find a better place than the Alagnak River, located in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Now, beware that the fishing season here only lasts a short few months, with June, July, and August being the main fishing months. The reason for this is because this is Alaska, and for the rest of the year, it is super cold and the Alagnak River is frozen over. In terms of fishing in the wild, this is definitely a great place to be.
Here you will see some truly spectacular sights, both animals and the wilderness in general. The Alagnak River is not too easily accessible seeing as it is the remote State of Alaska. It is possible to get there, but generally speaking you will want to get yourself a charter and fly there. When it comes down to it, flying there is really the only viable option.
Here there are quite a few charters and guided fishing trips you can take advantage of, plus there are a couple of really nice lodges here too, ones that allow you to rent floatplanes and such. When fly fishing in the Alagnak River, you will find many specimen that you can angle for, ones including grayling, rainbow trout, steelhead, northern pike, salmon, and a few others too.
If you are looking for a fly fishing area that is relatively untouched, has a large stock of fish, and many species to go for, the Alagnak River in Alaska is hands down one of the best places to be.
2. Potter County, Pennsylvania
Potter County in the State of Pennsylvania is often regarded as being on the very best fly fishing destinations in all of the USA. What is cool about this area is that there are numerous rivers and streams that can be fished from. Some of the most popular streams to go fly fishing in here include Elk Creek, Walnut Creek, Spring Creek, Penn’s Creek, Little Juniata, and several others too, just to name a few.
What you do need to know about Potter County is that mostly all of the fishing here is private. This means that you cannot just rent a boat or fish from the shore at will. You have to stay in one of the several private fishing lodges, hire one of several chartered fishing expeditions, or the likes. You can’t just go out on your own, and due to the fact that this area is mostly private and has limited access, it is not necessarily cheap.
Yes, it’s not cheap, but what is cool is that won’t ever find too many anglers here. Most people would choose to go somewhere that does not require permission from a private party, but with that being said, due to limited access, you can always pick the spot that suits you best, plus there is always an abundance of fish here too. Potter County is definitely not overfished.
If you go fly fishing here, you will find may areas that have literally thousands of steelheads (we have covered our favorite reels for steelhead fishing here) and salmon for every mile, plus lots of brown trout, Kamloop rainbow trout, and brook trout too. What is awesome about Potter County is that it is a haven for trophy fish.
The fish here are not small and you are more likely to find huge ones rather than small ones, with 10, 20, and 30 pounders not being uncommon.
3. Jupiter Inlet, Florida
If you want to go saltwater fly fishing, you will probably never find a better spot than the Jupiter inlet, which is located in the Florida Keys. There are a lot of swampy areas, larger rivers, crooks, and streams here, all of which are home to an abundance of saltwater fish.
Most people would agree that this is the number one best saltwater fly fishing spot in all of the US, and potentially in the whole world. Don’t forget that you can also go fly fishing right off the coastal beaches and piers that line this area. It’s neat because you can choose between coastal areas, beaches, marshy areas, rivers, and literally everything in between. Heck, even some of the canals right next to the city are home to some big fish.
What also needs to be noted is that the Jupiter inlet is home to some very large fish, being a big trophy fish spot, not to mention that here you will find big diversity in fish species too.
If you go fly fishing here, you can catch fish such as largemouth bass, tarpon, snook, permit, bonefish, redfish, jack crevalle, cobia, wahoo, mahi, blackfin, pompano, mackerel, and bluefish too. As you can see, there is no shortage of fish here, not one bit.
4. Montauk, New York
The State of New York in general is an awesome hot spot for fly fishing in the USA. In the Catskills and the Adirondacks you can do a lot of river and stream fly fishing. As well, in Montauk and Long Island, both of which are right next to one another, you will find some great coastal and Oceanside fly fishing too.
It’s neat because in one State, the Empire State, you can do both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing. The choice is yours. What is cool is that you barely have to leave New York itself, the city, not the State, in order to experience some awesome fly fishing. Both Montauk and Long Island are centrally located and offer some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the USA. Many people love it here because weather tends to be fairly stable and this area is very easy to access too.
There is also the fact that due to being in New York, there is certainly no shortage of accommodations and lodgings for weekend or week-long fishing trips. During the summer, here you will find plenty of bluefish and stripers, especially in the shallow flats surrounding Gardiner’s Island and the Peconic Bay. In the fall, late fall, you will find plenty of blues, albacore, and striped bass too.
5. Glenwood Springs, Colorado
In terms of fly fishing in the USA, we absolutely have to mention the great State of Colorado. Here there are tons of great fly fishing spots including the San Juan River, the Colorado, Platte River, the Gunnison River, the Frying Pan, Eagle River, many others, and of course Glenwood Springs too.
Sure, all of these fly fishing spots are fantastic, but many are quite expensive when it comes to accommodations and the like. However, Glenwood Springs is located a good deal south of Aspen, and is thus fairly affordable for your average Joe.
One of the reasons why Glenwood Springs is such a popular fly fishing spot, besides its relative affordability, is because several rivers merge into it, thus creating a hot spot of big fish activity. Not only will you find tons of fish here, but the mountain scenery is absolutely beautiful too, and there is no shortage of places to stay the night and charters to hire too.
If fly fishing is your thing, in Glenwood Springs you will find many large trout. Yes, of course there are other fish here too, but large trout are the main attraction which most fly fisherman come for.
if you need some suggestions for good 10wt rods then checkout this article.
6. Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman, located in the oh so flat State of Montana, offers copious fly fishing opportunities. The flat ground means that there are lots of slow moving creeks, streams, and rivers that are teaming with big fish. Many people love coming to Bozeman for fly fishing due to its relative close proximity to several notable rivers and streams which include the Madison, the Yellowstone, the Missouri, the Beaverhead, and several others too.
From Bozeman, you can easily access all of these areas by car, and none are all too expensive either. It’s the perfect spot for fly fisherman who like slow to moderate currents that are chalked full of various fish species. The scenery is not bad either, as the large and open prairies are definitely a site that you need to see.
People also love Bozeman due to the fact that in the last decade it has become a hipster hotspot, or in other words, it has undergone a lot of development and modernization, making it not only a great fishing city, but a great place for culture, entertainment, and all kinds of lodgings, both old and new. The climate in Montana sees insect hatchings year round, for the most part, which means that fish always have lots to eat.
This means that these waters are home to some of the largest river trout numbers in the world, comparatively speaking anyway. If brown trout is a type of fish you like angling for, Bozeman is the place to be.
7. Green River, Utah
Utah is a great place to be for many reasons, with fly fishing being just one of them. There is a lot to do here including camping, hiking, fishing, river rafting, hunting, mountaineering, and so much more, making it a prime destination for not only fisherman, but tourists of all kinds.
What does need to be said here is that you can only use artificial flies and lures, no live baits, which can be a bit of a pain in the neck, but it still works. If you want to fish here, going in the spring to early summer is the best time to go, as long winters mean that the waters have been left alone for many months.
If you like fly fishing for large rainbow trout and brown trout, the Green River in Utah is a great place to visit.
8. Coastal Marshes of Louisiana
Another great fly fishing spot in the US, the coastal marshes of Louisiana are home to some of the most diverse and numerous fish in the world. If you like fly fishing in saltwater, this is a great place to be. These coastal marshes consists of many bayous, marshes, creeks, and larger streams too, all of which are home to copious amounts of fish.
Sure, you can go by yourself in your own boat, but if you do not know the area well, this is not recommended. It is easy to get lost in the marshes, as well, if you don’t know the routes, it’s easy to bottom out your boat and get stuck too. For this reason, there are lots of charters and guided tours that you can take advantage of. Louisiana, for saltwater fly fishing, is a prime spot to be from early autumn to late spring.
Here you will find many different fish that you can angle for, ones including redfish, speckled trout, and many more. Trout is one of the biggest fishing attractions here and it is not uncommon to find massive specimens, which is also true for the redfish.
In fact, these coastal marshes in Louisiana is said to be the best redfish fishery in the world, with specimens of up to 50 pounds being caught on a regular basis.
On a side note; it’s important to check what gear you can bring with you if you on the plane are flying to a fishing destination. more on that here.
Don’t get us wrong folks, because these are only a small handful of good fly fishing spots in the USA, but of course, we have listed the very best and most popular ones here. Fly fishing is tons of fun, you can find a whole lot of fish, it’s not hard to get the hang of, and if you go to one of these spots that we have talked about, you are sure to fill up your fish cooler in no time at all.