Where to Fly Fish?

After a couple hours of casting practice on your backyard lawn or at the park with a little tuft of yarn for a fly, you're going to want to want to get your feet wet. But where to go?

Choose Wisely

As a new fly angler you have more resources to help you locate and access quality fishing grounds than you might guess. Visit a local fly shop, ask other anglers, search online for information on local honey-holes. Don't be afraid to ask questions about location - much of the fun to be had in this sport is the discovery of your own favorite places that reward you with the sense of solitude and anticipation-of-the-catch that so well defines fly fishing.

To help get you started, we recommend these tried-and-true resources for finding quality places to fish:

Resource #1: Visit your local fly shop. Owned and staffed by people who live and breathe fly fishing, these folks not only know the gear, but they can help you find the best fishing spots. Most fly shops even post local river, stream and lake conditions including what areas are fishing best and what insects and flies the fish are eating. When you consider that some fly shops may have a dozen or more guides on the water each day, it is not surprising that they know just where the hot spots are. Put their vast knowledge to use!

Resource #2: Learn your local water systems. By staying close to home you are more apt to fish a system frequently and begin to unlock its secrets. Click here to check out stream flows for any major river system in the U.S. to determine the best times to fish. Your local fly shop can help you identify which rivers have flows matching your skill level.

Resource #3: Hire a guide for the day. Hiring a fly fishing guide is a great way to learn how to best fish a particular body of water. Guides have an invaluable knowledge of the waters they take you to and can assist you with your gear, offer helpful casting instruction and show you how to see and locate fish. More than just an aid for beginners, a good fly fishing guide gives you the best chance for a successful trip, especially when fishing a new area. Look for guides in your area via the Web, or schedule a trip at your local fly shop.