Learning to fly fish is kinda on my "bucket list"...I used to fish with flies on a spinning rod to "harvest" trout in the Sierras to save a few bucks as a college kid...to save on grocery money. Now I'd like to learn the "aesthetic" way to fly fish.
So...I have heard, with "heard" being the operative word, that Hot Creek in the Mammoth Lakes area/Owens Valley of California, offers great fly fishing, as do other venues in the Eastern Sierra's Owens Valley.
For larger stream/river trout that are hard to find and catch anywhere else... its really hard to beat South Fork of the Snake River as mentioned above. My father-in-law retired in Swan Valley and the pictures of fish coming from there are incredible. There are some local spots to get away from that masses as well, which can be a lot of fun. But that is not for me to divulge, as I'd really like to go back every year.
We were consistently catching 25-40 trout on dry "flies" and should have been higher (but flyfishing the rivers was a little harder than I expected, DUH). Your results may vary due to abilities, time of year, water level and good old fashion LUCK.
By the way... its a little early for there, and would probably be better closer to the July/August time frame.
All great spots and have been lucky enough to fish many of them. But Arkansas is still (I believe) home to the World Record Brown Trout (42 pounds, +/-?), and the State Record Rainbow, is, I believe, in the 27 pound range. There are a couple of stretches of only slightly known rivers that produce by far greater numbers of trophy fish per mile than anywhere else - certainly in the US.
Best part? NO SEASON. Fish for them every day of the year.
Worst part? When they wreck the fishing by running generators.
I would still be fishing there today except, at least for now, my "wheels" are in fairly poor shape. But I'm working on 'em…
I was out in New Mexico in September and fished the San Juan river with a guide in a drift boat. Incedible fishing for Browns, Rainbows and a hybrid trout that looked like a cuthrote. Fished about 5 miles of the river below Navaho Dam. I have no idea how many fish I caught. Had to be more than 25. My wife read that there are about 17,000 fish per mile. Incredible to see the fish just laying there in the feeding lanes. The largest I caught was 22" and there were at least 10 of those. Saw some that were at least 25" but no luck for those. Rod used was a Winston LT, 8' 9" 5WT. My guide was Capt. Mark Nesbit, Blue Sky fly fishing Co. in Navaho Dam. Great trip, Great guide.
Try the Upper Sacramento above Lake Shasta. Plenty of places to stay in Dunsmuir, and the best guide anywhere (Fred Gordon, 530.235.2673)in my opinion. Usually late May through June are the best times. BobK
More years ago than I care to admit, we made yearly pilgrimages to the Henry's Fork of the Snake. I thought that that Fly fishing was the best in the world - including Scottish Highland trout. Then, I found the inland waterways of Beaver Lake, Sitka, Alaska. I've never been as happy fishing since then.
I'm getting ready to go North to the Au Sable west of Oscoda in the next couple of weeks, with my grandsons. We fish around Cooke Dam pond and stay in the camp grounds on River Road.
You guys that live around there should be counting your blessings.
This will be the first year we will have to buy flies - our fly tyeing partner was taken by cancer last fall.
love to fly fish. More relexing than trapshooting. LOL. I fished the Big Horn River in Wyoming but its tuff to fish due to all the weeds in the water. Caught nice rainbow and cutthroats but just wasn't the right place yet.