Best Fly Fishing State? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Best Fly Fishing State?

04-18-2003, 10:48 PM
If you guys had to pick one state that ranks the highest in your eyes for the most productive fly fishing state what would it be? I haven't fly fished many states, but it would have to be a state where no matter what time of the year it is there is always something to fly fish for.

My vote is for my home state OHIO! :chuckle:

04-18-2003, 11:01 PM
Say Yes to Michigan !!

36,000 miles of rivers

1,000 miles of blue ribbon trout rivers

220 miles of fly fishing only.

7X24 trout and salmon fly fishing.

God thank you for transferring me to the GLs in 1979!

PM Out

04-19-2003, 12:22 AM
Sometimes refered to as "British Coloumbia" is pretty hard to beat.

04-19-2003, 02:50 AM
I'd second WA and N. WA (aka BC). LOL. But, born and raised here. Fished all over the world, but prefer my homewaters. For me, it's the Olympic Peninsula. Spent many a days in early fall, and have caught big kings, steelhead, chums, and silvers all on the same day. Then, add cutts, dollies, and if you prefer gear Sturgeon. Then, all the saltwater species too (bottom fish, etc). Everything, including a blue ribbon trout stream. Plus, you have the beautiful Olympic Mtns and Cascade Mtns to view while we're fishing.

04-19-2003, 05:57 AM
The state of euphoria.

04-19-2003, 06:51 AM
that I respond in the following way.....

Having travelled to a few places, but NOT extensively, and having spent some time in the Military and travelling as a businessman, both here and in other countries (including the far east), YOU CAN FIND GOOD FISHING ANYWHERE!

But that requires some ground rules:

1. You have to be a determined fisherman;
2. You can't be a "species snob";
3. You have to be able to communicate to locals;
4. You have to "get along with common people"
5. You have to be adventurous and be willing to explore;
6. You need time to explore.

In addition, never argue about religion, politics and baseball - that's a good way to get yourself killed (or maimed)!

But if you are a DETERMINED fisherman, there are few places in this world (possible exceptions - the Sahara and the South Pole) that don't normally have good fishing. You may have to lower your "species sights", but hey - do you want to fish, or cut bait???


04-19-2003, 10:26 AM
Wisconsin the only problem is that all of the rivers and lakes are not in my area
2nd connecticut

04-19-2003, 10:31 AM
Florida. Definitely NOT Maine!

04-19-2003, 10:58 AM
Gonna have to say right here in the Great Land.

BobK's theory and ground rules are dead on, though.

04-19-2003, 04:24 PM
I would have to say Oregon. Almost all the rivers offer excellent flyfishing!

04-19-2003, 04:32 PM
Having never been there, but always wanting to go I would have to say Alaska.

2nd best , the state of confusion...

Octavio Araujo
04-20-2003, 02:31 PM
Florida.... for the greatest variety and lots of fish, just gotta know where to go and avoid the crowds.

04-21-2003, 05:18 AM
Montana for Freshwater Flyfishing because of the great water. Missouri, Big Hole, Madison, and the Big Horn rivers. Saltwater Mass. can't beat the Cape.

04-21-2003, 10:56 AM
I have to say Montana. see water. fish water.. catch big trout.. it's really that easy. even though there are no longer any steelhead there (the only reason i don't live there) i have to say that montana has the best fly fishing I have experienced anywhere in the world.. well since i have only fished oregon Washington Idaho Montana and BC maybe i am not the best judge

04-22-2003, 01:08 AM
As someone else has stated: The best fishing can be found where you live. I grew up and lived in PA for 25 years and had very good fishing for trout, smallmouth bass, large mouth bass, pickerel, sunfish, blue gill, and crappie, and fished New York's Catskills many times before leaving PA.

I then went to fly fisherman's purgutory, South Dakota, and found excellent large mouth bass, crappie, walleye (a ball on a fly rod), northern pike, and very good trout fishing in the Black Hills. Couldn't stand more than one year in SD though.

Montana was my next stop for 12 years. I loved it. Great trout fishing (unfortunately, it spoils you and make regular good trout fishing seem to be poor fishing), excellent northern pike fishing (with pike up to 40 pounds on the fly), really good smallmouth fishing (that very few Montanana take advantage of) in eastern Montana (the lower Big Horn is tremendous smallmouth fishing), very good largemouth fishing, good whitefish (yep, they are a ball to catch in February and early March, especially when they run to 5 pounds or so), and the ubiquiitous squawfish in the middle and lower Clark Fork.

Then on the my current home state of Washington where there is steelhead, coho, kings, chum (love to catch the large (15 to 15 pound), fresh-run chum on the Skagit in November, pinks in the odd years, trout (unfortunately most of the good trout fishing within 5 hours of me is in lakes), smallmouth bass, and some very fine largemouth bass fishing within 15 miles of home (with virtually no fishing pressure).

Ah BC........ Steelhead, salmon, and some tremendous trout fishing in the rivers in southeastern portion of the province, not to mention the Kamloops lakes.

Which is best? It depends on the time of the year and the species you are chasing.

04-22-2003, 10:06 AM
That's awesome that you have been able to live in such diverse fly fishing areas!

04-22-2003, 10:12 AM
Let's see...
I know a state with gorgeous mountains and mile after mile of gorgeous little trout streams and some larger water. This state also has the third largest largemouth bass state record. Oh yeah how about an ocean shoreline with NO (let me repeat NO) hardened structures and very few high rise hotels along it. This ocean shoreline has a wonderful mix of warmwater and coldwater fish species that mix in the same water at different times of the year. Where is this wonderful place, North Carolina of course.

04-23-2003, 01:37 AM

Yes, I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been able to live in these various states and enjoy the fishing they each have. I also know that I am fortunate living only an hour from the BC border so that I can fish in this marvelous province as well.

There is nothing like getting out into God's creation and enjoying the beauty and creatures therein.

04-23-2003, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by juro
The state of euphoria.

Have to agree with Juro on this one. Also Lee Wulff's famous quote "the best time to go fishing is now." There are no guarantees that any of us will see tomorrow's sunrise. Fishing, especially fly fishing, should be in every Doctor's list of prescriptions for whatever ails you. Sure beats the hell out of taking pills. Life is like a box of chocolates,-------------------<")\\\>< Carpe diem.


05-05-2003, 11:39 PM
gotta agree with capt gordon.....NC is hard to beat, unless you fish Kentucky...more navigable streams and rivers than any other state.......prettiest women east of texas don't hurt none either!!!!!!

05-06-2003, 08:19 AM
Hey fishhead can you PM me some of the streams and rivers you fish in KY. I'm in the Cincinnati area and have been wanting to venture into Kentucky for small good Smallmouth stream.

05-06-2003, 08:58 AM
Peacock Bass
Black Bass
etc., etc., etc.

Ahhh... Florida.

05-06-2003, 07:32 PM
i might be so persuaded to share my information, and made even a few strategies, but we must first agree on some type of compromise. i am more than happy to share the wealth, so to speak, as long as that wealth gets passed back around! what kinda incentive ya got to persuade me to spill my guts!!??:chuckle:

05-08-2003, 08:46 PM
i was only teasing willmulllis. e-mail me and let me know what you are interested in catching and i can hook you up (free of charge). you are within about 1 1/2 hrs. drive from three trophy smallmouth streams , just north of Lexington. There is also was great musky action up along the northern reaches of the Tygart river in Greenup County, particularly near Red Hot on old route 2 and Fire Brick around the old Jesse Stuart homeplace. I tell you a little more, but not here :tsk_tsk: drop me a line !

05-09-2003, 08:19 AM
Just sent you an email. I am forever in debt to you.

05-09-2003, 02:45 PM
may take me a day or so to get back with you, but i promise not to leave you hanging

05-09-2003, 02:59 PM
Willmullis..I got to go with my home state of New Hampshire.Great trout and salmon fishing .and we have a small(13 mile) coast line thats very good for S. bass fishing

05-10-2003, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by aknightinak
Gonna have to say right here in the Great Land.

BobK's theory and ground rules are dead on, though.

I agree on both counts. I did a quick tally of states I've fished and came up with about 20, from Maine to Florida to California to Alaska and Hawaii. Not that I've fished them extensively. But everywhere I've gone I've found something new to experience and they have been worthwhile experiences.

I have soft spots in my heart for the trout fishing in Oregon where I used to live. For Maine and her native brookies and landlocks. (Sorry, Eddie).

But I would nominate my home state of Rhode Island, where in my south coastal town I can fish for tiny native brook trout and 10 minutes later be fishing for my other favorite fish, the striped bass. From panfish and trout to deep sea fishing for sharks and tunas, it's all here. Best of both worlds, fresh and salt, in the smallest state. Hmmm. Sounds like a tourist ad.

05-10-2003, 01:45 PM
You neglected to mention "salters" - you know, the sea-run brookies that the coast has, but is a well-kept secret. I also understand that browns do it, too!

I never had the chance, but talked to an angler from RI that did, and he loved it.


05-14-2003, 12:36 AM

what's your favorite Southern or Midwestern state?...just curious...haven't fished in New England yet, but have always dreamed of it...

05-14-2003, 11:40 AM
Been around and done some fishing. Everywhere I went, I enjoyed myself. Had some good times. I now live in northern NY to be near my grandkids.

Won't go into it, but beautiful native brook trout, browns and rainbows, native cutthroats, grayling, even lakers on a fly rod all make it fun. Bass, pike and the warmwater species are all fun, too. And fishing saltwater on the coast is very enjoyable, as well. And the fresh air, scenery, and good companions and other fishers I meet all make it a worthwhile experience, at least for me.

Catching the lake-run fish on the tribs is a great experience, as well. There's something about lifting the rod, and it doesn't budge. Just about when you are ready to say, "Oh, $#!%, snagged again!", it starts to move off, then the fun begins.

Me? I just enjoy it all, ask questions, and just have fun, regardless of where I am. Yeah, I try to be a little technical, but tend to keep that minimal. It's just the outdoor experience, the scenery, the fun and the conversation that other anglers I meet on the water provide. And, you can enjoy the fun whether your outfit costs $50 or $2000!

Just remember what Fredaevans (I think) had in one of the topics not too long ago - "Every day above ground is a good day!" :rolleyes:


03-18-2006, 03:18 PM
Hi Guys,

I just found this site. I registered and now have a question. I have a vacation ownership thing (AKA Timeshare). I can go to Big Sky Montana and stay a week.
I just don't know what time of year would be best to go and do some flyfishing.
Does anyone have an idea when to go? I like topwater the best.

Thanks All, Bill

03-18-2006, 06:14 PM
what about NY. - cradle of america's fly fishing
from excellent salt water fishing to fishing the great lakes and their tribs. wide variety of species and besides, the NY DEC stocks just about every puddle so there are plenty of fish to catch.
the only downside is that everyone from new jersey is fishing here as well:D (just kidding NJ natives)

03-18-2006, 10:09 PM
Hi Guys,

I just found this site. I registered and now have a question. I have a vacation ownership thing (AKA Timeshare). I can go to Big Sky Montana and stay a week.
I just don't know what time of year would be best to go and do some flyfishing.
Does anyone have an idea when to go? I like topwater the best.

Thanks All, Bill

The Gallatin runs right through it but you'll want to get there before or after runoff. Hit the Madison between Hebgen and Quake Lake and in the Park. You won't be far away but everything is far away in Big Sky Country. Don't pass it up. Beautiful place! Spend the last two days on the Mo. Bit of a drive but well worth it.


Todd Ripley
03-19-2006, 10:59 PM
I could make a list of the dozens of species available, in salt, stream, and lake...the beautiful scenery...the beautiful women...the wonderful weather...but it can all be summed up in one short phrase:

Wild Winter Run Steelhead.

...and if we're talking wild winter steelhead in the US of A, we're talkin' Washington State!

Fish on...


P.S. flyman, all the Big Sky streams can provide excellent dry fly fishing...but be there April thru May, or September thru October...the weather is not too hot, and the rivers aren't too high with runoff, and the fish are willing. If I had my druthers, I'd choose the third week of September, and I'd be on the Madison between the lakes.