No matter where you are in the United States, you are always close to great water bodies.
1. Madison River, MT
The Madison River in Montana is a top destination for anglers from all over the world. Its clear water and abundance of hatches make it an ideal spot for catching large fish. The section of the river below Quake Lake and Hebgen Lake is especially popular, as they are always stocked with many fish.
2. Yellowstone fever, MT
The Yellowstone River is known for its strong current and a large volume of water, which can be challenging for beginner fly anglers. However, it is home to cutthroat and brown trout, as well as a variety of salmon and terrestrial flies. To increase your chances of success, bring a variety of streamers and be prepared to switch up your tactics. If you have the opportunity, consider fishing from a boat for a different perspective and easier access to different river areas.
3. Boulder River, MT
The Boulder River is a lesser-known fishing destination in Montana, but it offers great pockets and pools for anglers. You can access the Boulder near the Natural Bridge in Big Timber and wade downstream to the Two-Mile Bridge, where you may catch rainbow and brown trout. The Missouri River is another popular fishing spot in Montana, with over 4,000 fish per mile. Fishing is usually best before the 4th of July, as the summer heat can slow down the activity. Bring a 6-weight rod, as the average fish in Missouri is around 17 inches, with some reaching over 20 inches. No matter where you go, the Missouri River is always worth a visit for its abundant fish and stunning scenery.
4. Missouri River, MT
The Missouri River in Montana is a popular destination for anglers, boasting over 4,000 fish per mile. It is known for its large population of rainbow and brown trout, with some individuals reaching over 20 inches in length. The fishing season typically peaks before the 4th of July, as the summer heat can slow down the activity. However, the Missouri River is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, with stunning scenery and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Anglers should be sure to bring a 6-weight rod and a variety of flies to increase their chances of success. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the Missouri River has something to offer everyone.
5. Bighorn River, WY
The Bighorn River is a popular fishing destination that flows between Montana and Wyoming, with the more popular section located in Montana. However, there is a stretch near Thermopolis, Wyoming, that is less crowded and offers plenty of opportunities to catch trout. Bring a 6-weight rod and explore the river’s various seams, pockets, and pools. The Bighorn River is a beautiful place to spend a day fishing, with stunning scenery and various fish species to target. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, the Bighorn River has something to offer everyone.
6. North Platte River, WY
The North Platte River is a well-known and heavily fished destination in Colorado, but the Wyoming portion of the river is relatively untouched and offers excellent fishing opportunities. The Grey Reef section of the river is renowned as the best rainbow trout fishery in the country. It is not uncommon to catch double-digit rainbow trout in this area. To increase your chances of success, be sure to bring a variety of flies, such as Clouser Minnows and Wooly Buggers, as well as a selection of dry flies. The North Platte River in Wyoming is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend a day fishing, with stunning scenery and abundant fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, the North Platte River has something to offer everyone.
7. North Tongue River, WY
The North Tongue River in Wyoming is a beautiful and highly prized destination for fly fishing, known for its large brown and rainbow trout. The river is filled with fantastic pools, riffles, and pockets, and the portion just north of Burgess Junction is the most accessible and offers the best fishing.
8. South Platte River, CO
The South Platte River in Colorado is another well-known and highly regarded fishing destination, with nearly 3,000 fish per mile, many of which are 18-20 inches long. While the South Platte can get crowded, especially in the spring when the water levels are high, it is worth visiting for its abundant fish and stunning scenery.
9. Yampa River, Co
The Yampa River in Colorado offers a true western fly fishing experience, with good populations of rainbow and brown trout throughout the waters. It is accessible throughout the town of Yampa and Steamboat Springs, and the season never has to end thanks to the river’s consistent flow.
10. Snake River, ID
Finally, the Snake River in Idaho is a top fishery in the United States, known for its wild cutthroat trout and brown and rainbow trout. These fish can be found in various sizes and locations throughout the 60 miles of the river, including seams, riffles, and pools.