Fishing in the USA [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fishing in the USA

12-17-2003, 04:05 PM
Hi all,
I am from England and would appreciate any help or suggestions that you are able to offer me.
I am planning a trip for 2 or 3 years time (lots of planning to be done) to the States.
My aim is to drive through each state and catch a fish in each state. I have had people tell me already that I would be better off to concentrate on a couple of states and spend longer in each place but this does not interest me as such.
I am invisaging the trip to take 6 months - that gives me 3 days per state - not a long time really. In this time I want to hit the good rivers.
So, if you can recommend a couple of rivers or waters in a state please do so, any information or help you can offer is much appreciated.
I am interested primarily in trout but after that any species on the fly is fine :D


Chris Cook

12-17-2003, 07:25 PM
I would fly into Florida in January, work north for the summer, then west for the fall and end up in San Diego by the following winter. The stuff in the middle - you can figure that out for yourself ;)

Seriously, this is intriguing but you could be a one-man parasite spreading machine. Years ago I campaigned against people using felt waders in multiple regions, and sure enough it's been found to be safe harbor for whirling disease.

Fish barefoot and shower often! :devil:

12-17-2003, 08:24 PM
hey chris tell me when and maybe i'll be able to join you during the summer

i'm thinking the same thing as juro though maybe focus on one region

12-17-2003, 08:46 PM
Noticed you've had 9 posts, so you've joined us across the 'pond' before. But, stay with us; I really enjoy your posts to the UK Board.

Darn! Forgot to add: when you get to Southern Oregon/Nor. California you've got a ton of rivers to fish ... so skip Nebraska and Kansas... and a few others in between. Just drive through, hit a drainage ditch, flip in a fly, and drive off. You can 'mark your map' but not "waste" your time.

Forgot to add here, as I posted on the uk board: When YOU 'get here,' you stay with Joan and I. Skip the 'Motel sh..' Trust me, you'll shoot at least a week in our area.

12-17-2003, 08:49 PM
chris hows that large swap going?

12-17-2003, 08:50 PM
Here is what I would say to vist for sure....

Bighorn River, Montana - Excllent trout fishery, one of the best in North America.

Pere Marquette River, Michigan - Great steelhead/salmon fishery, one of the best; if not the best steelhead river in the Midwest. It can be waded or floated and has one of the highest returns or natural fish in the Great Lakes. Also, a great brown trout stream year round.

Key West, Florida - Argueably one of the best destinations in the US for bonefish and tarpon, abe even permit too. Have a 9'8wt rod for bones/permit and a 10wt for lay up tarpon.

Alaska - One of the best destinations in the world for salmon/steelhead and trout. Amazing how well the fishery is and continues to be. Wild and remote, and you should expect to catch numbers of fish.

New England - excellent striped bass fishery from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersy, New York and even Deleware and Maryland. Whether it be wading the Monomoy flats or chasing the blitzes off rock shoals, this is the place if you want to hook up with some serious stripers, and an occasional albie or little tunny as well.

Cow Country Spring Creeks, Iowa - Fish many of the secluded spring creeks of the Midwest. Iowa has many and offers some excellent fishing year round. Big fish and sight fishing can be the game here!

Pacific Ocean, California - Bluewater extreme angling might be an adventure you wish to take. Fish for Marlin, Sailfish and Dorrado using light tackle fly rods. Definitly an expirience worthwhile!

These are just a few. Of course there is numerous other destinations for flyfishing all across our Great Country.

12-17-2003, 08:55 PM
even SW wisconsi with the spring creeks
will be doing a couple of capming trips there this summer sleeping in the back of my little ford ranger

12-17-2003, 09:07 PM
What about Hawaii and Alaska? :hehe:
That's a great idea, a fish in every state on the long rod. How are you going to deal with fishing licenses?

12-17-2003, 11:11 PM
bring you credit card .. you can get a lic. on it anywhere. "They"may add 3% to offset the bank card charge ... but you're 'good to go.'

12-17-2003, 11:22 PM
Don't forget ...if you find yourself in Chatham on Cape Cod...look me up and I will show you around.

12-18-2003, 04:25 AM
Hi all,
thanks for all the messages. Because of the time differences I have only just got your messages as I was asleep when you posted them, and I assume you are all safe asleep now! :D

My plans are obviously very flexible at the moment but as it stands, my route is along the following: fly in to Florida and buy a vehicle. Head west to California. From California cut across the middle of the country to North Carolina sort of area and head up to Maine. From Maine head along the northern States to Washington. Taking that route would allow me to hit all the states except Alaska and Hawaii which I am not planning on fishing and will also allow me to end on the West coast in September sort ot time which I have been informed as well worth it.

Regarding vehicles - I have a budget of probably $6000 for a second/third/seventh hand vehicle. I will be wanting a vehicle that I am able to sleep in comfortably, store all my gear in, but is safe and not going to kill me in petrol.

I appreciate your kind offer of accomodation and would be more than happy to take you up on it.

many thanks for the info on all the states, I have a big spreadsheet which I am adding to all the time and is growing more detailed by the dat :cool:

the large fly swap seems to have died a sorry death, there were only a hardcore few that were interested. I have my fishing clubs general meeting this week and will mention it there. Failing that we may have to hold a little one.

I believe I am going to have to buy a seperate licence for each state, this will be fairly expensive :(

I will be hitting the places you mention and will let you know when as soon as I know

Many thanks for all your help, any ideas on vehicles appreciated and any more info welcomed

Kind Regards


12-18-2003, 06:27 AM
90's SUV like a Ford Explorer. Given what you want to do, anything smaller would be a pain where you sit .. sleep ... etc., pretty darned quick.

If you're contemplating purchasing an auto (probably not a bad idea .... other than getting rid of it at the end of the trip) don't forget about auto insurance. All states require you show proof thereof, and being a non-resident working off a UK drivers lic., you'd better assure you've got your butt covered. Get stopped, accident, no proof of insurance, you could end up in the "grey bar hotel" until you can proove 'financial responcibility.'

But back to the auto for a second. For the amount of time/milage you're talking about I'd also recommend you contact the rental agencies about a long term rental. Usually the daily rate is far less, so you just have to negotiate the mileage thing (unlimited per day). This way you'd get a current model, zero maintance issues, etc. Overall petrol price is averaging about $1.60-$1.70 for 'regular' gas. This would be at/slightly above 'One Pound' per gallon at current exchange rates. (Remember, we're not on the metric system :>) 'over here.'

Anyway, keep us all posted on how the trips shaping up!!

Dble Haul
12-18-2003, 08:34 AM
This sounds like a very interesting undertaking. I hope that you plan to chronicle your journey to preserve the memories.

Best of luck to you.

12-18-2003, 08:40 AM
I have been taking a look on autotrader and something called a Jimmy but not sure how well that fits my criteria, possibly a little small and I have no idea what a Jimmy really is. Will do a search on the vehicle you talk about.

I plan to get hundreds, heck, even thousands of photos as well as write the trip up in full. Would be a great read and could even print off a few copies. If I do get copies printed I would love to send one to each person I fish with, would make it worth the dangers of fishing with me and my dodgy casting!



12-18-2003, 09:52 AM
General Motors GMC pick up truck or SUV. GM also makes a 'full court press' suv that's huge ... and 8-10 miles to the gallon with a good tail wind.

Forgot to add: you sound like a good candidate for a Dig. Camera. If you have a lap top computer you can down load all your photo's as you go along. If the laptop has a CD burner, you can also back them up rather than risk a 'crunch' of your hard drive.

Dble Haul
12-18-2003, 10:00 AM
I thought that Jimmy is a firefighter who lives in western CT and gives me a hard time about my height when we fish together...


12-18-2003, 11:05 AM

Sounds like a fun trip and a great adventure. You will meet many interesting people in every state you visit.
As for the auto. I'd stay away from the suv's. You will not need 4 wheel drive to go into the back country as you will only have 3 days per state. They get lousy gas milage and all but the very biggest have much room. Get like a 1986 Volvo station wagon they get better gas milage, confortable and most of all even at 6 foot 3 you can still sleep confortably in the back. A late 80's Volvo stationwagon in excellent condition will be around 6 thousand dollars.
Best of luck!

12-18-2003, 11:13 AM
in about 7 days I will be the proud owner of a digital camera. I certainly wouldn't be taking thousands of photos if I had to get each one developed :D
I will probably be taking my laptop with me on my trip and it does, as you say, have a cd burner. So, a couple of dozen cds should do the trick of backing them, and any writing up.

Regarding fuel prices, as many of you have mentioned already, how much would it cost to drive 10,000 miles for example in for example a station wagon??


12-18-2003, 02:14 PM
chris i'd be than happy to join you from either here in wisconsin or i can meet you in connecticut
just tell me when and i'll be there for the end of the trip and finish in the northern states

a small pickup with a cap will work too and they get decent mileage you may be able to find one for a lot less than 6000
mine was only 1500 and that is after new belts and everything

12-18-2003, 05:16 PM
Hi Sean,
sounds like a great plan. When I have finer details I can let you know the times I will be in Wisconsin and Connecticut.



12-20-2003, 09:07 AM
Wow, sounds like a blast! However, I've gotta say that if I were doing a trip like that I would never even think about skipping Alaska!

As for fishing licenses, many states have free fishing days: they designate one or more days per year when you do not need a license to fish in that state. New York, for example, always has free fishing weekend on the last full weekend in June, and I know that Massachusetts and Connecticut have free fishing days as well. Also, many states do not require a license for saltwater fishing. If you do a little research and schedule your trip accordingly you can probably save quite a bit of money.


12-20-2003, 09:21 AM
Well of course there really is no such thing but there are some places that you can fish for free. In the State of Washington you do not need a fishing license in the Olympic National Park. I do not know if there are other National Parks that operate with a similar rule but it would be worth looking into.
As for a vehicle I would look into a VW Camper Van. I have a cousin in BC who swears by his.
An easy way to take care of three birds (states that is) with one stone would be to show up in Clarkston Washington on or about the 10th of October. This will put you in striking distance of catching a steelhead in Idaho Oregon and Washington, it will also give the added benifit of not having to travel very far to change states which would give you extra days to fish.
Good luck.

12-21-2003, 08:52 PM

I lived in Montana for 12 years and fished nearly all of the large strout streams and rivers in the state. The Bighorn has a lot of fish (rainbow and brown) and is a beautiful river; however, unless you plan on fishing it from November 1 to April 1 it has so many people fishing it that you nearly have to take a number and wait for you spot to open. There are far too many folks fishing it and far too many boats as well. Also, since it flows through private property or an Indian Reservation, you can only access it at 5 points in the 18 miles of quality trout water.

There are far better choices in Montana than the Bighorn for a visiting angler. The Clark Fork comes readily to mind as do the Kootenay, Thompson (a small river in extreme western Montana, and the Yaak. There are even some wonderful spring creeks (or chalkstreams as they are known on your side of the pond) that are on public land that are not very well-known and so they have very little fishing pressure.