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Best Fishing Spots in America to Visit

There’s no denying that relaxation is an important part of everyday life, and nothing beats the serenity of the best fishing in the United States.

But you don’t have to go all the way to the fishing capital of the world (Islamorada, Florida) to find great spots to cast your line. Montana, Colorado, and California, as well as North Carolina, Michigan, and other states, have some of the best freshwater fishing in the country.

So, if you need a break from high-adrenaline activities like hiking the best hiking trails or participating in the best extreme outdoor adventures, consider spending a day surrounded by nature, casting your line occasionally and marveling at the breathtaking natural beauty this planet has to offer. Keep one eye on that little bobbing float and prepare to catch some of the most delectable fish ever (think trout, salmon, catfish, and more)—who knows, you might end up cooking a meal that rivals those served at America’s best seafood restaurants.

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LAKE TAHOE, CA

Lake Tahoe, a popular winter and summer destination in Northern California and Nevada, is also an excellent fishing destination. Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake and the second deepest, with majestic blue waters. Anglers come to catch Kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, and mackinaw during the warm months, always limiting their catches to five fish total (limit of two mackinaw per fisher) to keep the fishery healthy.

COLORADO RIVER, CO

Though this 1,450-mile-long river winds through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico, some of the best fishing can be found near its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains. Flyfishers should plan a trip to the upper Colorado River in June, when the salmonfly (a large stonefly species) hatches in large numbers and attracts a large number of big trout. Organize a trip with a local guide who can show you the best places to wade or steer your boat.

BIGHORN RIVER, MT

This large river is a must-see for fly fishing enthusiasts. While river access is limited (much of the water flows through private property and Crow Tribal lands), the public access fishing spots are worth braving the crowds for. Because catches are strictly limited to maintain the quality of the fisheries, most sport fishermen catch and release the trout, experimenting with new techniques and artificial flies as they go. Brown trout dominate the river, but prized rainbow trout can also be caught.

LAKE AUSTIN, TX

While there are several lakes in Texas where you can catch a 20-pound trophy largemouth bass, Lake Austin has the added benefit of being located in one of the Southwest’s coolest cities. This reservoir, located on the Colorado River’s lower reaches, was built in 1939 and has since become a major tourist attraction in the Texan city. Fish at night during the summer to avoid the recreational boaters.

THOUSAND ISLANDS, NY

Over 1,800 tiny islands and countless freshwater fish can be found in upstate New York (way upstate) on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario in the St. Lawrence River. During the region’s mild summers, spending an entire day on the water catching bass, salmon, walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge is simple. Even inexperienced anglers can strike gold here, especially on one of the popular guided tours. Only experienced anglers should attempt to catch the massive muskies, which can grow to be 5ft long.

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