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12 Best Fishing Towns in the U.S. (Fly, Saltwater, Deep Sea, Freshwater)

Posted in: Fishing

Looking for a new fishing adventure? In this post, you'll learn our choices for the twelve best fishing towns in the United States. These towns are known for many types of fishing, including fly fishing, deep sea, saltwater and freshwater. We've included videos for most locations and links to learn more.

Best fishing towns in America

Glenwood Canyon, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

12 Perfect Fishing Towns in America

Few things are as relaxing as a peaceful afternoon of fishing. The soothing sounds of river water trickling through streams or the sloshing of waves undulating under a fishing boat are hard to match. Finding the perfect place to go fishing makes it even better.

There are many places to find great fishing, but here are twelve we are sure you’ll enjoy. They all have generous amounts of fish and picture-perfect settings. The only thing missing is you, a fishing rod, a tackle box, and a trusty knife.

12 Best Fishing Towns in the U.S.

In this post, we'll cover our choices for the 12 best fishing town in the U.S. Here are our picks, in no particular order:

  1. Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  2. Bend, Oregon
  3. Traverse City, Michigan
  4. Salmon, Idaho
  5. Minocqua, Wisconsin
  6. Nantucket, Massachusetts
  7. West Yellowstone, Montana
  8. Talkeetna, Alaska
  9. Montauk, New York
  10. Mountain Home, Arkansas
  11. Green River, Utah
  12. Morehead City, North Carolina
Best towns for fishing in United States

Montauk Point Lighthouse, Long Island, New York (See #9 for more info)


1. Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a mid-western treasure trove of outdoor activities, and it is one of best fishing towns in the continental United States. Furthermore, Glenwood Springs is often considered “the hub of Colorado fishing” because of the epic fly-fishing riverscape.
At the intersection of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork rivers right in the middle of town, you can enjoy world-class fly-fishing all year, even during the coldest winter months. The beautiful climate, sparkling waters, and picturesque geography only add to the fishing attraction.

Although Glenwood Springs is located relatively close to Aspen, it is tourist-friendly, with much more practical pricing on lodging and events. Currently, the town population is about 10,000 residents.

Learn more about fishing in Glenwood Springs.

Watch on YouTube


2. Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon has been growing from a town to a city in recent years, but it deserves a spot on this list because it’s one of the most perfect fishing communities in the United States. The fishing community, among other outdoor activities, has helped attract people to this gorgeous landscape.

With a rapidly growing population, Bend has increased its population by nearly 100,000 residents in just a few years. If you don’t mind all the people, it’s an almost necessary destination for the adventurous angler.

The Deschutes River is the largest fishing attraction in Bend. Each section of the river is home to diverse species of fish, including but not limited to brown, steelhead, and rainbow trout, or smallmouth bass. Additionally, Bend is home to many fantastic lakes that offer some of the country’s best trout fishing.

Learn more about fishing (and fly-fishing) in Bend, Oregon

Watch on YouTube


3. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan is renowned for diverse fish populations, thanks to its location near both large and small bodies of water. Lake Michigan is known for great steelhead and salmon fishing, while the Grand Traverse Bay houses large populations of smallmouth bass and carp. The area is teeming with many rivers and lakes that are home to dense populations of bass, trout, and panfish.

The only disadvantage to fishing in Traverse City is the climate. The best fishing season is May to October. However, it’s also a popular ice fishing location during the frozen winter months. The Boardman river flows into Grand Traverse Bay and is well-known as the origin of the Parachute Adams Fly. This spot always ranks among the best fishing destinations in the continental United States, and it deserves a spot on the list of perfect fishing towns.

Learn more about fishing in Traverse City, Michigan

Watch on YouTube


4. Salmon, Idaho

Salmon, Idaho takes its name from the Salmon River that runs through town. The Salmon River is home to world-renowned fishing tributaries that have plenty of fish species, including steelhead and trout for hobbyists and wildlife alike.

Located in Idaho’s central mountainous region with a population of just over 3,000 residents, Salmon, Idaho is adjacent to “the largest wilderness area in the lower 48,” and it is the perfect destination for anyone looking for peaceful serenity and great fishing.

Learn more about fishing in Salmon, Idaho.

Watch on YouTube


5. Minocqua, Wisconsin

Wisconsin has many great fishing tributaries, but one of the best might be in the town of Minocqua. Everyone fishes in Minocqua because Minocqua is Wisconsin’s “Island City.” Indeed, the town is perched on a peninsula surrounded by the Minocqua Lake and the Kawaguesaga Lake. Many other lakes and streams also run through the surrounding area, so there is no lack of biological diversity.

Since Minocqua is located hours from its nearest cities, it is truly a fisherman’s paradise. Over 70 lakes are near Minocqua, and it has one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in the country. Minocqua has a population of just over 4,000 residents. It’s truly one of the best fishing destinations in Wisconsin.

Learn more about fishing in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Sorry for the banjo music in the following video (unless you like banjo music). The video shows great aerial views the lakes and landscapes of Minocqua.

Watch on YouTube


6. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket has a long history of fishing, and the island continues to be a premier destination for the sport today. Whether you love sight-fishing or surfcasting, Nantucket is sure to have something to enjoy. Although the fishing opportunities may not be abundant all year, it is a hot spot for albacore and bluefish between April and November.

Read more about fishing in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Watch on YouTube


7. West Yellowstone, Montana

Both Missoula and Bozeman are considered Montana’s premier fly-fishing destinations, but they are cities, not towns.

Alternatively, the small town of West Yellowstone offers many of the same attractions in a more tranquil setting. Plus, it is right on the state border of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, providing access to many fishing resources and cozy lodging options.

Read more about fishing in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Watch on YouTube


8. Talkeetna, Alaska

Every fisherman loves the great outdoors, and there is no better place in the United States to enjoy serenity and solitude than Alaska. Alaska is considered “The Last Frontier” for a reason, and Talkeetna helps describe why. Located just north of Anchorage, Talkeetna is like visiting a simpler era without metropolitan congestion. Currently, the town has under 1,000 residents in a 49.2 square mile area, which translates to only 18.6 residents per square mile.

However, Talkeetna is a fisherman’s dream because of its vibrant salmon fishing season and breathtaking geography. It’s not too far from civilization but also not close enough to be affected by the Anchorage city space.

Read more about fishing in Talkeetna, Alaska.


9. Montauk, New York

Montauk is one of the most perfect fishing towns in the United States because of the schools of fish that migrate through the area during certain seasons. In fact, it is one of the most densely populated migration locations for bluefish, tuna, and striped bass.

With a population of under 4,000 residents, Montauk is an ideal fishing town for fishing enthusiasts. However, the small town becomes very popular during the migration seasons, which occur between June and October. Yet, joining the mad rush is worth the effort if you enjoy blue-water fishing for ocean fish such as shark and tuna.

Read more about fishing in Montauk, New York.

Watch on YouTube

Best fishing town, Montauk, New York


10. Mountain Home, Arkansas

Not only is Mountain Home a great town for fishermen, but it’s also often recognized as one of the best retirement communities in the continental United States. The low tax values and safe and friendly environment make it an ideal destination for permanent residence or visiting anglers.

World-record-size fish have been caught in the Norfolk Lake rivers and streams. Largemouth, walleyes, brown trout, and stripper fish are also prevalent in the area. Adjacent areas are also bountiful, such as the Bull Shoals Lake. The town has only 12,000 residents, but it still has the amenities of city living.

Read more about fishing in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Watch on YouTube


11. Green River, Utah

Green River, Utah is a small but geographically diverse town located toward Utah’s northeast region. Its population is just over 1,000 residents, which makes it a great destination for fishing enthusiasts looking for a relatively tranquil spot.

The Green River streams are known for its abundance of rainbow trout, but they are also home to several fantastic fishing lodges, many of which have fishing guides to help enthusiasts hone and sharpen their skills.

Read more about fishing in Green River, Utah.

Watch on YouTube


12. Morehead City, North Carolina

Moreland City is a 160-year-old port town located in Carteret County, North Carolina. Moreland is a perfect fishing town because it is where some world-record-setting redfish were caught. Fishermen can take their chances with marlin offshore, and seatrout and red salmon onshore. Although the tourist population is heavy at times, the fishing is good all year long.

The United States contains countless challenging currents and placid waters for fisherman looking for the next great catch. Plan a trip to one of these beautiful locations and cast off to enjoy some of the best fishing in the country!

Read more about fishing in Morehead City, North Carolina.

Watch on YouTube

Best fishing towns in United States

Do you camp on your fishing trips? Have you tried hammock camping? Check out our ultimate guide to camping with a hammock.


Your Turn

Which town are you planning on visiting? Have you been to one (or more) of these fishing towns? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GudGear - and is working to make it the best resource for outside gear. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with Bryan and Dena.

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