Forbes Selects America’s Top Fly Fishing States

How’s it match up to your favorite states to fly fish in?

For the full article check out, Forbes list of the Top 10 Fly Fishing States 

Here is Forbes Magazine writer Monte Burke and his take on the best states to fly fish in.

©Alessandro Belluscio,

©Alessandro Belluscio,

Alessandro Belluscio,


New York

I’m biased. I live here now as a southern expat. But check this out: the state has Montauk, Long Island Sound and all the southern beaches of Long Island which, together, might make for the best striped bass, bluefish and false albacore fishing in the nation. The Catskills—with the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc, the Neversink and the branches of the Delaware—offer the nation’s best trout fishing east of the Rockies. And the Adirondacks have earned their spot in flyfishing lore. Then you have the Great Lakes rivers—the Salmon River the most well-known among them—that have runs of salmon and steelhead. These species are not native, of course. But they are there. The state has incredible variety, maybe the best in the nation.


You just have to include this state. The Yellowstone, the Big Horn, the Madison, the rivers in Yellowstone National Park, the Beaverhead, the Missouri, various spring creeks…the list goes on and on. This is the best trout-fishing state in the union.


On this list partly for history’s sake. The Letort Spring Run is no longer what it once was. The rapid suburbanization of the area has taken an almost lethal toll. But this is the little spring creek where Vincent Marinaro and Charlie Fox pioneered the American version of fishing “far and fine,” that is, casting light tippets with small flies to big, wary trout. You still have the various spring-fed creeks in the State College area. like the Little Juniata, Penn’s Creek and, of course, Spring Creek, which seems to have thousands of brown trout per mile. Like New York, Pennsylvania has some steelhead and salmon rivers, like Elk and Walnut creeks. The only thing missing in this state is a saltwater scene. William Penn should have just gone ahead and annexed southern New Jersey.


The famous Hex hatch, the utter wildness of the Upper Peninsula, the history, the land of Hemingway, Harrison and McGuane…and salmon and steelhead from the Great Lakes.

©Nicholas Conklin.

©Nicholas Conklin.


Washington could be here. Both states have runs of wild salmon and steelhead. Both have sea-run cutthroats. I’ll go with Oregon, home of the Clackamas, Deschutes, Klamath and Umpqua rivers…and the writer, David James Duncan.


The state has a fishing season of only a very short few months. But, wow, what a few months those happen to be. Salmon, steelhead, resident rainbows, grayling, northern pike, grizzly bears, floatplanes and the last true American wilderness.


You have the Big Wood, the South Fork of the Boise and the Big Lost—all great rivers. But what makes Idaho special is two places that offer some of the most challenging trout fishing in the country. Silver Creek is one. The sublime Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is the other. These two rivers are the big leagues….


For the full article in Forbes Magazine, check out, Forbes list of the Top 10 Fly Fishing States 


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