The Top 10 Spots for Freshwater Fishing in the US
As we all know, choosing the right fishing spot can be the difference between a day of waiting and a day of reeling. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of freshwater hotbeds guaranteed to keep your arms tired and bucket full. Keep reading for the ten best areas for bass, trout, salmon, and all your other favorite freshies.
This California town provides some of the best fly fishing in the country, courtesy of abundant rainbow trout in the temperature-controlled Lower Sacramento River and the steelhead that populate the Trinity River. Not to mention the McCloud and Fall Rivers or Hat Creek, the latter two guaranteed to give any angler a challenge. Shift gears and hit one of the area’s lakes, like the Shasta, where you’ll find brown trout and bass.
Roscoe, New York
The self-proclaimed “Trout Town, USA” has quite a rich fishing history, including being considered the birthplace of fly fishing. These days, the fishing is still great, with people coming far and wide to take a shot at the legendary Beaverkill River and Willowemoc Creek or fish one of the Delaware River’s many offshoots.
Traverse City, Michigan
Kevin VanDam, considered the best bass angler in the world, once said, “My favorite fishing town, without a doubt, is Traverse City, Michigan”. That’s because the crystal clear waters of Grand Traverse Bay are home to some of the best trophy bass in the US and some huge carp as well. Then there’s salmon and steelhead in Lake Michigan, plus trout and panfish in the nearby rivers.
This Texas town is a top-notch largemouth bass fishing destination, provided by two nearby reservoirs – Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. But bass isn’t the only thing on the menu. Anglers can also look forward to catfish, crappie, and sunfish on their fishing trip to Jasper.
West Yellowstone, Montana
Considered by some to be the country’s trout capital, the area around West Yellowstone boasts an impressive array of rivers and lakes that will keep any angler busy. If you want an experience to remember, try fly or lake fishing surrounded by breathtaking nature in Yellowstone National Park, where you’ll find several different trout species – cutthroat, brown, brook, and lake. The Yellowstone River and Lake in particular are known to produce some sizable cutthroats. Just be careful of the other fishermen in the area – otherwise known as bears.
Excellent fly fishing in trout-filled rivers nestled in the shadow of gorgeous mountain ranges. What more could you ask for? Driggs is home to the nearby Teton River and Henry’s fork, among others, meaning there are plenty of options if you’re looking for a tough but extremely fun fly fishing experience. Some anglers even fish from kayaks to make the most of the river’s ever-changing conditions.
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Find striped, white, black, and smallmouth bass in abundance in Mountain Home’s nearby lakes, Bull Shoals and Norfork. Walleyes, too. Then there’s the Norfork and White Rivers, where some of the biggest brown trout you can imagine fill the waters. In fact, the second biggest brown ever was reeled in here – a 38 pound 9 ounce beast caught in 1988.
The lake that surrounds this spot shares its name and is home to some big, beautiful largemouth bass. In fact, there’s a 15 inch minimum for both large and smallmouths. Lake Guntersville – all 69,000 acres of it – is also a good bet for crappie, bream, and catfish.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Voted Bassmaster’s best bass fishing lake of 2014, this bay of Lake Michigan not only has some really big bass, there’s a whole lot of them. And since you can transition seamlessly between deep water and inland here, bass aren’t all you’ll be catching – trout, walleye, pike, perch, and salmon populate the waters around your boat as well.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
It’s probably not a coincidence that this area’s two most famous rivers, the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan, describe exactly what you’ll be needing for the boat load of fish you catch here. Continuing the theme of trout-packed waters are the Colorado and No Name Creek, also nearby. Brook, rainbow, cutthroat, brown – if you’re looking for trout, you can’t go wrong visiting Glenwood Springs.
Wet Your Line
From the East to the West Coast, down South to Midwest, hopefully one of these fishing holes is not far from you. Now all that’s left to do is grab your rod and tackle, hop in the car, and get there. Make sure to bring an extra big bucket, too.
Have you fished a place where they were biting harder than one of the above? We’d love to hear about it.