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Posted 05/14/2024 in Fishing

The Best Fly Fishing Destinations in North America


The Best Fly Fishing Destinations in North America

Fly fishing in North America offers a diverse range of experiences, from the pristine rivers of Montana to the tropical flats of Florida. Each destination has its own unique charm and a wealth of opportunities for anglers. Here's a closer look at some of the top fly fishing spots across North America, along with recommended outfitters to help you plan your adventure.

Montana

Montana is renowned for its world-class fly fishing, with numerous rivers teeming with trout. The Big Sky State is a haven for anglers looking for an authentic fishing experience amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Madison River: Known for its prolific hatches and healthy population of rainbow and brown trout, the Madison River is a must-visit. It offers excellent dry fly fishing during the summer months, especially during the Salmonfly and Caddis hatches. The Madison flows through both Yellowstone National Park and the picturesque Madison Valley, providing a mix of fast riffles and deep pools.

Outfitter: Montana Angler offers guided fly fishing trips on the Madison River and other renowned waters in the state. They provide full-day trips, multi-day excursions, and lodging options.

Yellowstone River: The longest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States, the Yellowstone River offers diverse fishing opportunities, from trout in its upper reaches to smallmouth bass downstream. The river is known for its scenic beauty, flowing through Paradise Valley and offering excellent fishing in Yellowstone National Park. Anglers can expect to catch brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout.

Outfitter: Yellowstone Angler provides guided trips on the Yellowstone River. Their experienced guides can help you navigate the river’s diverse fishing environments.

Colorado

Colorado’s diverse ecosystems offer a variety of fly fishing experiences, from mountain streams to expansive reservoirs.

Gunnison River: Famous for its large rainbow and brown trout, the Gunnison River flows through the stunning Black Canyon, offering both scenic beauty and excellent fishing. The river is known for its Gold Medal Waters, which produce some of the largest trout in the state. Anglers can enjoy float trips through the canyon, targeting trophy fish in the deep pools and fast riffles.

Outfitter: Black Canyon Anglers specializes in guided float trips through the Black Canyon, providing access to some of the most remote and productive waters in Colorado.

South Platte River: This river offers year-round fishing opportunities and is known for its technical fishing and challenging trout. The South Platte flows through various sections, including Cheesman Canyon, Eleven Mile Canyon, and the Dream Stream, each offering unique fishing experiences. Anglers can target rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout in the clear, cold waters.

Outfitter: Trout’s Fly Fishing provides guided trips on the South Platte River. They offer both walk/wade and float trips tailored to different skill levels.

Alaska

Alaska is synonymous with wilderness and adventure, making it a dream destination for fly fishers seeking both solitude and trophy fish.

Kenai River: Known for its large rainbow trout and salmon, the Kenai River offers some of the best fly fishing in Alaska. The river is famous for its massive king salmon, which can weigh over 50 pounds, and its hard-fighting rainbow trout. The Kenai flows through the Kenai Peninsula, providing anglers with a mix of fast water and deep pools.

Outfitter: Alaska Troutfitters offers guided trips on the Kenai River. Their services include fly-out fishing trips to remote areas and multi-day packages.

Bristol Bay: Home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run, Bristol Bay’s rivers are also teeming with rainbow trout, Arctic char, and grayling. The region is known for its pristine, untouched waters, providing anglers with a true wilderness experience. Fly fishing in Bristol Bay often involves float trips and remote fly-out adventures.

Outfitter: Bristol Bay Lodge provides all-inclusive fly fishing packages, including guided trips, lodging, and gourmet meals.

Florida

Florida offers a different fly fishing experience with its saltwater flats and tropical climate. The state's extensive coastline and warm waters make it a prime destination for targeting a variety of species.

Florida Keys: The flats of the Florida Keys are famous for bonefish, tarpon, and permit fishing. These crystal-clear waters provide excellent sight fishing opportunities, where anglers can spot and cast to fish in shallow water. The annual tarpon migration, known as the Silver King, attracts anglers from around the world.

Outfitter: Florida Keys Outfitters specializes in guided fly fishing trips in the Florida Keys. They offer both half-day and full-day charters, as well as lodging options.

Everglades National Park: This unique ecosystem provides excellent opportunities for catching tarpon, snook, and redfish. The Everglades' maze of mangroves and waterways offers a diverse and productive fishing environment. Anglers can explore the backcountry and target fish in both freshwater and saltwater habitats.

Outfitter: Captain Wright's Airboat Tours & Fishing Charters offers guided fly fishing trips in the Everglades. Their expert guides are knowledgeable about the local waters and fish species.

British Columbia, Canada

Just north of the US border, British Columbia offers incredible fly fishing opportunities, especially for those seeking wild and pristine environments.

Skeena River: Known for its steelhead and salmon runs, the Skeena River is a prime destination for anglers looking to catch trophy fish. The river's tributaries, including the Bulkley, Kispiox, and Babine, are also renowned for their productive fishing. The Skeena's remote location and rugged scenery provide a true wilderness experience.

Outfitter: Nicholas Dean Outdoors offers guided fly fishing trips on the Skeena River. They provide comprehensive packages, including accommodation and gourmet meals.

Bowron River: This remote river offers excellent fishing for wild rainbow trout and bull trout in a stunning wilderness setting. The Bowron River flows through the Bowron Lake Provincial Park, known for its canoe circuit and unspoiled natural beauty. Anglers can enjoy solitude and pristine waters while targeting aggressive trout.

Outfitter: Northern Rockies Lodge provides guided fly fishing trips on the Bowron River, along with comfortable lodging and dining facilities.

North Carolina

North Carolina's diverse landscapes, from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plains, offer excellent fly fishing opportunities.

Davidson River: The Davidson River, located in the Pisgah National Forest, is known for its large, wild trout and challenging fishing conditions. It’s particularly famous for its brown trout and offers excellent dry fly fishing.

Outfitter: Davidson River Outfitters provides guided fly fishing trips on the Davidson River and other local waters. They offer half-day and full-day trips, as well as instructional services.

Nantahala River: The Nantahala River offers great fishing for rainbow and brown trout in its clear, cold waters. The river flows through the scenic Nantahala Gorge, providing a beautiful backdrop for a day of fishing.

Outfitter: Nantahala Fly Fishing Company offers guided trips on the Nantahala River, including both wade and float trips.

Tennessee

Tennessee’s rivers and streams provide excellent fly fishing opportunities, particularly in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Clinch River: Known for its trophy-sized brown and rainbow trout, the Clinch River is a tailwater fishery that offers consistent fishing conditions year-round. The river’s cold, clear waters support a healthy population of trout.

Outfitter: Tennessee Tailwaters offers guided trips on the Clinch River, providing both half-day and full-day excursions.

Hiwassee River: The Hiwassee River offers diverse fishing opportunities, from trout in the upper sections to smallmouth bass downstream. The river flows through the Cherokee National Forest, providing a picturesque setting for a day on the water.

Outfitter: Hiwassee Angler provides guided fly fishing trips on the Hiwassee River, with options for both wade and float trips.

Michigan

Michigan’s Great Lakes and inland rivers offer a variety of fly fishing opportunities, from steelhead and salmon to trout and smallmouth bass.

Au Sable River: The Au Sable River is one of Michigan’s most famous trout streams, known for its prolific hatches and wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout. The river’s “Holy Waters” section offers excellent dry fly fishing.

Outfitter: Gates Au Sable Lodge provides guided fly fishing trips on the Au Sable River, along with lodging and dining options.

Pere Marquette River: The Pere Marquette River is renowned for its steelhead and salmon runs, as well as its resident brown trout. The river’s clear waters and diverse fishing conditions make it a popular destination for anglers.

Outfitter: Pere Marquette River Lodge offers guided fly fishing trips on the Pere Marquette River, including options for both wade and float trips.

Ontario, Canada

Ontario’s vast network of lakes and rivers provides excellent fly fishing opportunities, particularly for those seeking trophy fish.

Grand River: The Grand River, located in southern Ontario, is known for its brown trout and smallmouth bass. The river offers diverse fishing conditions, from fast riffles to deep pools, and supports healthy fish populations.

Outfitter: Grand River Outfitting & Fly Shop offers guided fly fishing trips on the Grand River, as well as instructional services and fly fishing gear.

St. Marys River: The St. Marys River, connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron, is famous for its Atlantic salmon and steelhead runs. The river’s rapids and deep channels provide excellent fishing opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers.

Outfitter: Algoma Country provides information on guided fly fishing trips on the St. Marys River and other local waters, along with travel and accommodation options.

Closing Thoughts

North America is a fly fishing haven, offering a wide range of environments and species for anglers to explore. From the trout-rich rivers of Montana to the saltwater flats of Florida, there's something for every fly fishing enthusiast.

For more information on gear, adventure providers, and other resources, visit the Outdoor Adventures Connection website at www.outdooradventures.pro. Dive deeper into these amazing destinations and start planning your next fly fishing adventure today.

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