Fly Fishing is a popular pastime, and finding a hot spot in the Northwest to tackle this sport isn’t hard. When you’re visiting, ask a local where their best bites are had or stop in at the local outfitters for the current river conditions and tips on what flies are working. We’ve also put together a quick list of some of our favorite blue-ribbon spots in the Northwest.

  • The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the Lower 48, with one of the best trout streams as well. A fly fish angler will love throwing a line into the Yellowstone National Park headwaters in search of the highly-coveted cutthroat trout.
  • The Deschutues River in central Oregon is well-known for annual salmonfly and golden stonefly hatches (aka big bugs). Fly fishers know that these large bugs always bring the large trout to the surface from spring to early summer making their sport a bit more exciting.
  • With strong variances from deep canyon areas to flat meadow sections, Henry’s Fork is perfect for catching some big trout. A tributary of the Snake River, Henry’s Fork spans across the Continental Divide and offers many hiding spots for fish. Home bases in Island Park, ID are popular, so check those out first to assure your party has the perfect lodging.
  • The South Fork of the Snake River is also a fly fishing hot spot close to Wyoming’s Teton Mountain range. The secret is to get downstream of Palisades Reservoir for the best water when fishing for cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout. You’re bound to catch some dinner in these parts.
  • Don’t overlook the vast Missouri River spilling across seven states. This big body of water is also home to some mighty big fish, not to be ignored. One of Montana’s best fly fishing sources, the Missouri River is a classic go-to for serious fly fishing anglers.
  • Visitors may additionally find great fly fishing spots in Leavenworth, Washington thanks to an abundance of creeks and rivers that are habitats for steelhead, salmon, trout and whitefish. One of the Northwest’s top fly fishing destinations, Leavenworth adds in glorious views of the Cascade Mountains as a bonus. Check out hot spots like Icicle Creek, Icicle River, Wenatchee River, Fish Lake and High Lakes and don’t forget to arrange a place to lay your head before venturing out.

No matter the destination, do your homework to ensure the very best fly fishing trip for your vacation and enjoy all the best of the Northwest.