Best Rivers to Fly Fish in The United States
Many of those in our 4×4 camper community love to pack their fishing gear on trips. Lucky for us, there are an unbelievable number of great fly fishing spots in the United States, from lake fishing in the Midwest to fly fishing in the Rocky Mountains. If you’re an avid fisherman who is looking for the best place to set up camp and cast your fly fishing pole for a few days, we’ve curated a list of our favorite rivers to fly fish in the United States!
1. Clark Fork River, Montana
The Clark Fork River is a section of the Columbia River and spans 310 miles between Idaho and Montana. The most popular area for fly fishing is near the town of Missoula, where anglers try to catch some of the most coveted river trout in the country. This includes massive populations of brown trout and rainbow trout. A fantastic region for both beginners and experts!
2. Nushagak River, Alaska
If you’re ready for a far-away adventure and ready to take the trip of a lifetime in your truck camper, we cannot recommend the Nushagak River enough. The remote river is commonly referred to as a “king salmon fisherman’s dream.’ Because of the remoteness of the river, most anglers rent jet boats to transport them to the upper tributaries, which are famous for the population of king salmon.
3. Gauley River, West Virginia
The eastern part of the United States is wildly underrated when it comes to fly fishing. The Gauley River in West Virginia is a prime example. The 105-mile river is known for both whitewater rafting & fishing, making this a true adventurers’ paradise. Popular catches in this area include smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, and even muskellunge.
4. Shoshone River, Wyoming
Located just outside Yellowstone National Park, the Shoshone River runs for 100 miles before joining the Big Horn River. There are two popular sections known for fly fishing known as the Northfork and the Southfork. Popular catches include rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow-cutthroat hybrids, and Mountain Whitefish. Make sure to pack your bear spray! This area is known for its dense population of grizzly bears.
5. Madison River, Montana
Located just a few hours away from the Shoshone River (yes, you can do both in one trip!), the Madison River is located just outside Bozeman, Montana, and also runs through a section of Yellowstone National Park. It’s important to remember that fly fishing in a National Park is catch and release only. You can review all of Yellowstone’s fishing regulations here. Anglers fishing the Madison River can expect to catch a wide range of fish, including grayling, cutthroat trout, and mountain whitefish.
6. Green River, Utah
Green River, Utah, is widely known as one of the best trout fly-fishing destinations in the world. This is because of the fish and also because of the unique and stunning landscape surrounding the area. Brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and hybrids are the most popular catches for fishermen along this river. Better yet, the area has plenty of camping nearby, making it perfect for those looking to fish near their truck camper.
7. AuSable River, Michigan
Midwest is often overlooked when it comes to fly fishing, but the Ausable River in Central Michigan offers 138 miles of world-class fishing. Anglers travel to this region from around the county to go after trophy brown trout, steelhead, salmon, brook trout, and rainbow trout. May and June are the best and most popular months for fly fishing in this region.
8. Snake River, Wyoming
Meandering between Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon, the Snake River is famous for many reasons: whitewater rafting, hot springs, and fly fishing are just a few. The river winds through the scenic Jackson Hole valley before heading west into Idaho and eventually Oregon. This river is known for its population of spotted cutthroat trout, which are known to put up quite a fight against anglers.
9. Upper Kenai River, Alaska
If you Google “best fly fishing in the United States,” chances are most lists will include the Upper Kenai River in southcentral Alaska. This river is more accessible than the previously mentioned Nushagak River but still offers world-class fishing for Alaskan king salmon. In fact, this is the location where the biggest king salmon ever recorded was caught, at a whopping 92lbs!
10. Crooked River, Oregon
The Crooked River is a 125-mile offshoot of the larger Deschutes River in Central Oregon. It is a popular spawning ground for many popular fly fishing species, including chinook salmon, pacific lamprey, bull trout, and steelhead trout. The best fishing along this river is just below the Bowman Dam just outside Prineville, which is conveniently located near at least a half-dozen campgrounds!
Best Rivers to Fly Fish in The United States: Insight From the FWC Family
We’ve shared our biggest recommendations for the best rivers to fly fish in the United States, and now we want to hear from our pop up camper community! If you could add to this list, where would recommend?
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