Your Bucket List?

I follow many out-of-MA anglers on social media and read their blogs. There is so much amazing water out there!

I’m too cheap to travel abroad (or, to Alaska) to fly fish. So, I am starting to pull together a bucket list for trout waters in the Lower 48. I’m not a fan of drifting and prefer to wade. I love fishing small dries and tightlining. Streamers? Only if I have to.

I’d love to get your thoughts, and, here are mine:

  • Taylor, CO
  • Frying Pan, CO
  • South Platte, CO
  • Big Horn, MT
  • Missouri, MT
  • Rock Creek, MT
  • Upper Madison, MT (loved it the first time and really must return)
  • San Juan, NM
  • Truckee, NV
  • Green, UT
  • Provo, UT

Any others you’d suggest?


12 thoughts on “Your Bucket List?

  1. I’ll suggest some “local” waters: W.Branch Ausable; W.Branch Delaware; Yellow Breeches; Big Fishing Creek PA; W.Branch Penobscot; Magalloway; Beaverkill. Some I have fished and some are on the list!
    I have fished the South Platte and it is outstanding, but lots of fishermen like the Farmington.

  2. I like your list! While you’re out fishing the Madison, be sure to hit the Ranch section of Henry’s Fork. I think I saw more spinners (PMDs, Tricos, Mahogany duns, Callibaetis, and maybe a few Flavs thrown in for good measure) the morning I fished it than I have in the entire rest of my life. I didn’t even land a fish and it ranks as a top five dry fly fishing day in my mind. Also in that neighborhood, try Slough Creek (or one of the other Lamar system streams) in YNP. Nice dry fly fishing for native cutthroats, and lower down, a mix of cutthroats and rainbows and hybrids up out of the Yellowstone. I caught big fish while listening to a wolf pack howl in the hills last summer.

    Closer to home (and especially if you like nymphing) the Pennsylvania spring creeks are awesome. I fished Spring Creek and Big Fishing Creek and would love to go back for Penn’s, Letort, and maybe Yellow Breeches. I fished the upper Delaware and some of the Catskills streams (Beaver Kill, Willowemoc) once and would love to go back. There are lots of New England rivers I haven’t fish yet, but you know about those.

  3. I second Magalloway River, and also suggest Kennebago Pond and Kennebago River in Western Maine. Frankly, anywhere in Montana is a good bet, I don’t think you can really go wrong.

  4. Definitely would add the Delaware system (the best on the East coast), also for variety would add the Chattahoochee in Atlanta, South Holston in Tennessee, and the White river system in Arkansas. Others in the West to consider – Snake river, Deschutes river , Sacramento river.

  5. I also second Magalloway and Kennebago as well as the Rapid or Rangeley. I haven’t fished any of these but I’ve heard very good things about them and they have sections where you have to traverse logging roads so you can escape the crowds. These bodies of water are unstocked and it is very likely that you may hook into some very large natives

  6. I you want to fish the Kennebago River then wait till late June for the Salmon run or late September (only if there are big rains otherwise no water/no fish). Been fishing it for over a dozen years and lately the Spring run seems later in June.
    If you can hit the Drake hatch on the Lake it is a fabulous experience to fish big drys for Landlocks and Natives.

  7. I’m generally a river guy….but after a quick visit to Pyramid Lake, NV and a lot of following blog posts about that place….it sits pretty high on my bucket list. The scenery is breathtaking and the ceiling on the trout that can be caught is second to very few places in the world.

  8. Everyone has such great lists! Maybe I’m biased being from New England, but I feel like we have such a rich diversity of waterways and ecosystems here in such a condensed area that most of my bucket list places are within a 5-6 hr drive of me in RI. In northern NH alone I could fish a big river, a lake, a mountain stream and a remote pond all in one weekend!
    That said, I’ll put in another vote for the Magalloway, as well as one for the Androscoggin. Also I’ll second Ashu on the Rapid. There’s gotta be something to it if so many presidents have gone there to fish! Big smallmouth fishing in northeastern ME, the various branches of the AuSable in upstate NY, there’s just so much!
    The only big motivator I have in going out west would be to target something we don’t have here, like cutthroats or grayling (at least I don’t think we have grayling in NE!).
    Sometime in the next few weeks, I’m planning on taking a few days to do a little “tour de central/western MA” to hit rivers like the Swift, Westfield, Deerfield, and some of their branches and tribs. It’s something Ive been wanting to do for quite some time, so I guess it could be considered a bucket list?

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