Where to Fly Fish Near Home?

Driving out to the major large rivers can be rewarding. But, it’s nice also to find very local waters, where you can fish without burning a lot of time.

I’m lucky in that there’s a stream close by with some good brown trout, like the 15″ one above. I quickly can drive to that spot, fish for an hour or two, and the family will hardly know that I’ve been gone.

I suspect there could be similar waters near you.  How to find such a body of water? My suggestions:

Track the stocking. DFW stocks a huge number of fish, and they’re good-sized. Over 70% of stocked trout are 12″+, and they will put the bend into any fly rod. You need not feel guilty, for your state fishing license fee helps pay for it all. Look up stocking areas near you and track the schedule, which is updated on Fridays in the spring.

Find aquifers. These are underground water springs that keep water cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. So, stocked fish have a good chance of surviving August and January. You may find wild brookies. Colie Egertson (blog here) shared this idea with me. He also directed me to an online resource that shows where aquifers are. Go to this web site, and, under “Physical Resources,” click on “Aquifers.”

Look for DFW-rated “cold waters.” The data aren’t current, but at some point, DFW surveyed which waters can count as “cold water fisheries.” It’s an interesting reference point. The map is here. It should lead you to some “blue lines” that hold fish

Join a Trout Unlimited local chapter. One exists for the Millers, for example, and there’s one that focuses on the Nissitissit and Squannacook. The best spots are always word-of-mouth driven.

When you find a special gem, it can be your personal secret and a resource you can enjoy for many decades.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

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