BEST TROUT FISHING… by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: May 27, 2024

NOT IN MONTANA!  Trout fishermen love catching Trout. Brown, Rainbows, Brooks, Lakers, Grayling, Goldens, etc. Trout are beautiful and live in beautiful places. Many trout are great jumpers and certainly give fishermen the Tug that they enjoy. 

Montana is a famous trout fishing hot spot. Our Blue-Ribbon Waters are a destination for Fly Fishermen worldwide. The only Native trout in Montana are Cutthroat, Bull, and Grayling. Whitefish are also a Native species. Every other trout is a Wild, once stocked trout. 

The fishing pressure in Montana’s trout waters has become unsustainable. The volume of guides, fly anglers, and other fishermen have hammered the once great waters of the Treasure State. Even with Catch and Release, trout populations are declining. Keep in mind that Montana does not stock fish. Even with perfect Catch and Release skills, an average of 10% of caught trout will die. Electrofishing and other Scientific capture techniques also has mortality. Even with perfect reproductive conditions, the trout populations are in crisis. 

You may disagree with my concerns but consider the truth. Trout encounters are reduced. Caught trout are smaller than in the past. Watersheds are covered in Boot Tracks and drifts are filled with boats. The Carrying Capacity of the trout’s ecosystem is maxed out. 

Big Sky Country does have wonderful trout fishing but there are many other places with huge bragging rights. 

Historical Waters    Pennsylvania has many historic watersheds. The Limestone streams are challenging and beautiful. Many clubs, along with state agencies, manage and monitor wonderful fisheries such as Kettle Creek, Yellow Breeches, Slate Creek, and many more. New England has waters where Fly Fishing began. Roscoe New York is Trout Town, USA. The Delaware River is home to huge hatches and trout. Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and many of New England’s waters hold great trout and historic qualities. The Nesowadnehunk in Maine contains trophy Brook Trout. The Beaverkill, Willowemec, and upper Connecticut River are also glorious trout destinations. The Kern River in California has been a great trout fishery for generations. The Ausable River and BoisBrule River in Michigan, Deshutes River and North Umpqua River in Oregon, offer great and unique trout fisheries. 

Cold Water Releases    The White River, below the Bull Shoals Dam is a hotspot for wild browns. This watershed covers Arkansas and Missouri and is arguably the BEST Trout Tailwater in the world. The Miracle Mile along the North Platte is actually several miles long and contains great Wyoming trout. Below the Ruedi Dam, on the Frying Pan River, Coloradans enjoy wonderful trout fishing through the Cheeseman Canyon. The Dams along the Colorado River also serve up amazing trout fisheries. The Green River in Wyoming, the San Juan River in New Mexico, and many other cold-water releases offer great trout fishing. Even the South Holston River, in Tennessee offers great tailwater trout fishing. 

Quality Stocked Waters    The watersheds in the Cherokee Nation of the Smokey Mountains contain massive and abundant trout populations. The Smoke hole area in West Virginia also has designated sections of water specifically for Catch and Release trophy trout fishing. The Nantahala River in North Carolina produced a Brown trout of nearly 25lbs. 

Lake Spawners     The Great Lakes offer migratory trout fishing. Steelhead, salmon, and trout run up neighboring waters to spawn annually. The watersheds that extend to the Pacific Ocean offer a Northwest America trout and salmon assortment. Steelhead and salmon migrate all the way to the Clearwater River in Idaho. The biggest Cutthroats in North America are healthy and well in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. 

Wild and Remote     Many remote waters are also stocked or have Wild trout. These destinations require young and strong legs supported by some adventurous anglers. Golden trout and many other unique species can be added to tour bucket lists. These areas take extra effort to access but can be well worth the time and adventure. 

Fly Fishermen have different goals. Some may want to grow their species lists. Others are about the Biggest or the most fish. Some enjoy the destinations that they encounter during their pursuit of all salmonoids. During my life of chasing Trout, all these other waters have rewarded and inspired me. There are many other great trout destinations that can still be discovered. Each fishery means new tips, tricks, techniques, and skills. Trout Fishing is more about learning to be a trout fisherman than just catching trout. Where the classroom is, makes for better learning, and experiences. 

Whatever your trout agenda is, I am just saying that Montana is not the only place to discover and learn your limits of trout fun!

Montana Grant

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