TOP 25 Places to Catch Large Trout Fly Fishing in America

Large Steelhead - Top 25 Places to Catch Trout in America

If you have been searching for the best places to catch large trout fly fishing in America, then you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of twenty-five places that you can go to if you are hoping to catch some pretty big trout. There are so many places across North America that you can expect to catch large trout, and people who live in this country are very lucky as this is not the case all over the world. It is not going to be a guarantee that every time you go to one of these places, you are going to come home with a trophy, but these are the great spots that you can head to if you are looking to bag a MONSTER. 

1. Roscoe, New York

Roscoe in New York is nicknamed Trout Town USA. This is the launching point for the hallowed rivers of the Catskill Mountains, so you know that you are going to be in for some pretty cool catches. The Beaverkill and the Willowemoc both flow through this place, so if you are looking to catch some brown or rainbow trout, this could be your place.

Rosco New York

2. Missoula, Montana

This is a small, laid-back college town, and yet trout fishing is a huge deal here. You can fish in the bouldery Blackfoot or the Bitterroot, both of which end up emptying into the Clark Fork. Montana has a variety of different trout species, and you will find many of them in all the bodies of water that flow through the areas.

Clark Fork River Montana

3. West Yellowstone, Montana

There are a variety of rivers that run through Yellowstone. You will find the Firehole River, Gibbon River, and Slough Creek. Or, there is the Gallatin and Henry’s Fork, which also boast plenty of trout for you to find.

Fire Hole River Wyoming

4. State College, Pennsylvania

Most commonly, you will find large brown trout in this area. Surrounding this area, you will find places such as Carlisle, Lock Haven, and Altoona. Spring Creek runs through this town. There isn’t much here as it is quite a small town, but you are going to be able to find some pretty big brown and rainbow trout here.

State College PA Large Brown Trout

5. Grayling, Michigan

The Ausable River flows over the bottom side of this town, providing fly fishers with the ability to find some decent size trout. Trout fishing in America is a big thing, but people travel from all over to come to Grayling for this reason.

Ausible River Michagan

6. Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The Crystal River, The Frying Pan, The Roaring Fork, and The Colorado River can all be accessed through Glenwood Springs. With some of the most consistent trout streams located here, you are sure to catch something that you can be proud of.

Colorado River at Glenwood Springs Colorado

7. Mountain Home, Arkansas

People are catching thirty-pound fish every year here, thanks to the White River and the Norfolk Rivers that runs through. You can fish in this area all year round, and you will find some of the biggest non-migratory brown trout in the entire world in this area.

White River Arkansas Brown

8. Asheville, North Carolina

If you hike into the Smokies, which is just a short journey from Asheville, you will find some of the best mountainside streams to catch large trout. The Southern Appalachians are known for their brook trout.

Ashville Falls Hooker

9. The South Holston, Tennessee

This has been hailed as arguably one of the best trout rivers in the South East of the United States. Closeby, you will find towns and cities such as Kingsport and Watauga. You are sure to find plenty of trout here and some pretty large ones at that.

South Holston River Tennessee

10. Redding, California

The McCloud River, known for its leaping rainbow trout, is in this area. As well as this, you will find The Lower Sacramento, which is the largest trout river in the whole of California. For those who are more experienced, you can head to Hat Creek and the Fall River, which are two spring creeks that have large and demanding trout. These are only for experts, so don’t try going if you aren’t one.

Lower Sacramento River Redington California

11. Green River, Utah

Flowing into the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, you will find some large rainbow, brown and lake trout. But, the waters are challenging, so fly fishing isn’t easy here. Some estimates show that there are nearly 20,000 trout per mile in the first 7 miles below the dam. The tailwater is best known for its cutthroats, but you will also find rainbows and browns here if you look hard enough.

Green River Utah

12. Bighorn River, Montana

If you go to Bighorn River, you should only really expect to see some brown trout. It is quite a relaxing experience here, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to find some big ones around.

Bighorn River Rainbow Trout

13. Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

If you are ever in Maryland, then the Chesapeake Bay is somewhere for you to consider going. Annapolis is the closest city to this area, and you can expect to find some pretty big trout when you are fly fishing here if you come at the right time.

Chesapeak bay

14. Kobuk River, Alaska

Mostly lake trout, Kobuk River in Alaska is two miles long, but you are sure to find plenty of large trout here. Eighty miles away, you will discover Kotzebue, which is the closest town to Kobuk Valley National Park.

Kobuk River, Alaska

15. Lake Mead, Nevada

You will find that you can fish in this lake all year round, so you don’t have to worry about missing out. There have been some pretty large trout caught here in the past, but thanks to the diverse range of fish that live in this river, you never really know what you are going to get. However, you do have the option to target the trout, so keep your eye on the prize. St Thomas isn’t far from here, and this is the closest town in Nevada.

Lake Mead, Nevada

16. Missouri River, Montana

The Missouri River in Montana is a large body of water, and it has some of the best trout that you will ever see. In 2018, the rare tiger trout, which is a hybrid of a brook trout and brown trout was caught in Montana which is practically unheard of! Some of the closest towns to this area are Missouri City, Great Falls, and Loma.

Missouri River, Montana Brown Trout

17. Manistee River, Michigan

This is one of the best trout rivers in the world. While you might not always catch large trophy trout, you are guaranteed to find amazing volumes of trout here.

Manistee River, Michigan

18. Connecticut River, New Hampshire

Wherever you can find good current in this river, you are going to be able to find good trout. If you are looking for trophy trout, then you will find plenty in the form of rainbow and brown. Charlestown and Hanover are among some of the closest towns to this river, and in different areas, you will find different variations of trout such as brook trout.

Connecticut River, New Hampshire

19. Niagara River

In this excellent, loved around the world river, there is an excellent trout stream. It is not going to be an easy river to fish, though it will be rewarding for that large brown trout that you will find here.

Niagara River

20. Henry’s Fork, Idaho

If you want some truly satisfying fly fishing, then you should head to Henry’s Fork in Idaho. There are some excellent opportunities to find trophy trout here, and it is not far from St Anthony, which is a town in Idaho. It would be a shame for you to miss out on this place, as it is one of the best places for fly fishing across the entire United States.

Henry's Fork River Idaho

21. Jupiter Inlet, Florida 

If you are looking for something a little more exciting, then you might want to try and catch yourself a speckled sea trout. If that’s the case, then you need to visit Jupiter Inlet in Florida, where you just might manage to find one. This is within the main city of Jupiter, so you don’t even need to go far at all to experience some awesome fly fishing.

Juniper Inlet Floriday

22. Monocacy, Pennsylvania

For the more experienced fly fishers reading this list, you might want to try and tackle a wild brown trout. These fish can be unpredictable and difficult to catch, but if you think you are up to the challenge, then you should head down here and get yourself one of these beautiful large brown trout.

Leihgh River in Pennsylvania

23. Florida Keys, Florida

If you have ever taken your fly fishing here before, you will know that this is largely hailed as one of the best saltwater fly fishing spots in the entire US. It doesn’t matter if you are staying in Key West or Islamorada, you are likely to catch some pretty big trout if you head to this area.

Florida Keys

24. Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

In this place, you will be treated to some of the most stunning views that you will ever experience, and then some amazingly large fish. Even if you have a bad day on the river, you are never going to be sorry that you went out when you see the breathtaking views on offer. After a long day of fly fishing, you can head to the nearby city of Boulder to take a load off and relax.

Indian Peaks Wilderness Colorado

25. Pyramid Lakes, Nevada

Being the spot of the World’s Largest Cutthroat Trout makes Pyramid lake hugely popular. Trout in the 10lb to the 15lb class are all over the place, and it isn’t impossible hearing of someone pulling in a monster over 20 pounds. The average size Cutthroat is also amazing at 20 – 22 inches. These large trout makes Pyramid Lake one of our top 25 best places to catch large trout. 

Pyramid Lakes, Nevada

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know where twenty-five of the best places are to catch large trout through fly fishing in the United States. We hope that you will consider visiting some of the places that we have listed here and trying to catch some of the biggest trout that you have ever seen. Good luck, and we hope that you have fun on your adventures fly fishing.

About the Author


Matthew Bernhardt, a third-generation Coloradan, grew up at the forefront of the state’s fly-fishing revolution, enjoying time on the water side by side with experienced guides and lifelong anglers.

By combining his passion for fly-fishing with input from other experienced fly-fishers and guides and his fine arts degree from Colorado State University, Matthew spent five years carefully developing the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, built to help every angler catch more trout.

When he’s not spending time with his wonderful family, you’ll find him out on the water catching MONSTER trout, and he anxiously looks forward to the day when his kids are old enough to join him there. 

 


2 comments


  • Raul Padilla

    Can’t believe you left The San Juan off that top 25 list. The sun wants to be on everybody’s top 5 list!


  • KJ Stafford
    Writing this because found in Download section that, The South Holston and Watauga Rivers, Top 20 Places to catch Monster Trout! Johnson City, Tenn We are 10 minutes from The Watauga River in Elizabethton Tn, 20 Minutes from The South Holston River.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Gone Fishing!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published