By Zach Lazzari | Photos by Ryan McSparran
This summer is unique with Covid-19 and travel restrictions but that doesn’t mean fly fishing trips are off the table. International destinations are mostly on hold for the summer season and those dreamy destination trips to places like Kamchatka, Bolivia and Panama are simply not an option. Luckily, the United States is flush with fly fishing variety, and the approaching summer is loaded with domestic opportunities in nearly every state.
Do Your Travel Research First
The rules are constantly changing and nothing is certain for this summer. Ideally, domestic travel will open and fishing multiple states will be an option for US citizens. Some states may require a 14-day quarantine however, a complication that limits your ability to manage the basics like shopping for groceries. Stocking up in advance and camping in a neighboring state without making any human contact is a different story however. Play things by ear and build some flexibility into your planning to account for sudden closures. If things are not entirely open, have a plan to fish in your home state. But ideally, domestic interstate travel will be acceptable.
Every state has fishing opportunities and this summer is the perfect time to explore your own backyard. You might revisit childhood creeks or fish new water entirely. It’s surprising how many fishing spots are overlooked within an hour or two of home. It’s time to pull out the state atlas or jump on Google Earth and start examining the visible waterways. Next, look for public access points and go out scouting. Learn about the local species, grab your fly rods and get busy fishing. State fish and wildlife agencies are also an excellent resource. Check the websites for fishing information and even consider calling local offices to learn more about fishing in your home region.
Summer Hot Spots
If domestic travel is open, the United States is chock full of incredible summer fishing. The Rocky Mountain states are ice cold all winter and prime for trout fishing in the summer. Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico are all great options with a long list of world-class tailwater and freestone rivers.
The big trips for many summer anglers revolve around Alaska and most lodges are looking to operate on a normal summer season schedule. Hit Bristol Bay or any of the remote fishing lodges for salmon and some of the biggest rainbow trout in the world. If you had big plans for an international destination trip, Alaska is a great way to fulfill those expectations.
Saltwater anglers might not make Belize, Mexico or the Seychelles, but fishing in Florida and all the way to Texas along Gulf Coast can still yield bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, redfish and a host of other exciting species.
Social distancing is easy on remote fishing trips. Take advantage of the big rivers and millions of acres of public lands in United States. Backpacking into wilderness areas to fish high mountain lakes is a great way to escape the noise while eating up the big mountains in the west. Multi-day rafting trips will also get you far away from civilization while making it possible to access low pressure waterways. While some rivers like the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are permit-only floats, hundreds of other rivers are wide open to summer trips. Even canoeing down a long lakeshore to access to roadless sections will do the trick. Get as far out there as possible and go wild fishing some of the best rivers in the US.
Mystic Fly Rods for the Journey
Whether you’re chasing tarpon in the Florida Keys or brook trout high in the Rockies, Mystic produces expertly designed, high quality fly rods for any adventure. If you have questions, please contact us, call us at 888-669-7842 or pay a visit to your local Mystic dealer.