Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Glenwood Spring, Colo.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better combination of gold-medal water, blue-sky climate, and stunning canyonscapes anywhere in the world besides Glenwood Springs. It's the geographic center of the best flyfishing in the state: The Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers merge right in town, and the Eagle River, the Frying Pan, and the Gunnison are easy day trips. In any season (even the dead of winter), there's always at least one world-class flyfishing option. Glenwood is far enough downstream from the la-la world of Aspen to keep things relatively affordable, and with 300 sunny days a year, natural hot springs, and more trout-laden rivers and lakes than you can count, Glenwood is soothing to the angler's soul.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

North America's Top 10 Trout-Fishing Towns

Arnold Gingrich, an avid angler who also happened to found Esquire magazine, once wrote, “A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.” According to government statistics, some 11 million anglers in the U.S. and Canada search for that moment of beauty every year. President Obama joined the ranks this week when he fished for trout in Montana.

North American anglers are blessed. The continent has some of the best trout fishing in the world. And unlike the British Isles, where most trout water is private, the best fishing on this side of the pond is open to the public and relatively easy to access.
In Depth: Top Trout-Fishing Towns

Depending on where one lives, right now might not be the best time to take up the sport since some rivers and streams have warmed to the point that the fish stop eating during daylight hours. But spring creeks (streams formed by ice-cold springs) and rivers known as “tailwaters” (rivers fed by the dams that release cool water from the bottom) fish well all year round, even in the dog days of August. And, with the coming of fall, all rivers will begin to cool off. Superb trout fishing is right around the corner. And we’ve got 10 great places to do it.

Admittedly, identifying the best trout towns in North America is a subjective exercise. Most of the time, the best trout fishing is wherever you can do it, and people tend to favor their home streams. Like politics, trout fishing is a local concern.

East Coast Spots

In the East, Roscoe, N.Y., in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, calls itself Trout Town USA. The hallowed Beaverkill River–a favorite haunt of the late Arnold Gingrich and the New York City literary set–and the charming Willowemoc River flow right through town. Nearby, the East and West branches of the Delaware River provide some of the best wild brown and rainbow trout fishing in the East.

“Roscoe is the hub of an area that has great trout fishing and a long literary history,” says Paul Weamer, author of Fly Fishing Guide to the Upper Delaware River and Pocketguide to Pennsylvania Hatches.

You might think of State College, Penn., as just a college football town, but the area surrounding it is veined with what locals call “limestoners,” which are creeks and rivers fed by cool springs. Penns Creek and Spring Creek, which flows through town, are two world-famous trout streams. “The springs keep the rivers fishable all year,” says Weamer. “And they hold some big trout.”

Big Sky Spots

 In the West, Montana has earned the reputation as perhaps the best trout fishing spot in North America. Missoula and West Yellowstone are two of the most prominent, but really any place in the western part of the state could fit the bill.

Missoula is a laid-back college town with a serious trout-fishing addiction. Anglers can fish the bouldery Blackfoot (A River Runs Through It author Norman Maclean’s home river) and the cottonwood-lined Bitteroot, both of which empty into the Clark Fork, named after explorer, William Clark, which has 300 miles of fishable water.

West Yellowstone is in the epicenter of some of the best trout fishing in the world. It’s a quirky place, where the frontier greets thousands of RVs that cruise through Yellowstone National Park.

“It’s a honky-tonk town with everything a fly-fisherman needs,” says Tom Rosenbauer, the marketing director for Orvis Rod & Tackle. “And it’s a gateway to so much great fishing.”

In the park, anglers can hit the famous Firehole and Gibbon Rivers. Also nearby is the Gallatin (where A River Runs Through It was filmed), the trout-rich Madison and Henry’s Fork of the Snake River–one of the most beautiful and challenging trout rivers in the world.

But there is great trout fishing found all over North America, from Michigan to Arkansas to California to Calgary. Time to rig up the rod and get out there.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Five of the best desinations for salmon fishing

There are several species of salmon worldwide. And then there is Salmo salar, the Atlantic salmon. For anglers there is something that sets “Salmo the leaper” apart. To Europeans it is our only salmon, and so it burns brightly in folklore and poetry and tales of red-letter days when Victorians with big beards hefted dozens from mist-soaked torrents in the Highlands.

 Fresh from the sea and of a silver that almost compels cliché, the Atlantic salmon is fishy perfection: they look predatory without appearing malevolent; they are built for stamina and persistence, but are neither rakish nor bullheaded. To anglers they are compellingly inscrutable. One day they’ll throw themselves at your feathery hook, the next they will leap all about you and nothing will induce them to take.

 Set against this sophisticated reservation, their poor Pacific cousins are arriviste, gaudy and promiscuous. Go to Alaska if you want to catch a boat-full of fish and die of surfeited boredom. But for a lifetime’s addiction, stick to the Atlantic.