Where's your favorite water

DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
in the country?

Im from East Central Fl, currently in Nashville. My year lease is up in May and I've got nothing holding me here. I really want to get out and travel, fishing other cities before I have things holding me to a certain area. Kids, Career, House, etc...

I know I couldnt have picked a bigger difference in places but this is all ive got so far
Seattle/Portland (Big Steelhead Water)
Florida Keys/Southern tip of mainland Fl. ('Glades and Gin-Clear flats)

if you guys could pick anywhere to move and fish all day. Where would it be?
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Replies

  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,180 Captain
    I'm a firm believer that good fishing is where you find it. Some of the best fun I've had on the water were places you really wouldn't call "prime destinations". Rhode Island surf, Michigan smallmouth, and northern Ontario pike and musky come to mind. Good company can make all the difference in the world, and I think all of us just need a change of scenery from time to time. I won't have anything to do with what the rest of the world considers a legitimate winter, and I'm not interested in living under a dictatorship, in some third world ****hole, so that makes my list kinda short. At the moment Melbourne Florida is just fine with me, so long as I get a few road trips in from time to time.
  • Renagade69Renagade69 Posts: 1,213 Officer
    Jupiter to Fort Pierce has got some of the best estuary and offshore fishing diversity year round.If I had to choose a place to live I would go to mile marker 27 area from Bahia Honda bridge to Little Torch Key area. I love fishing there.
  • MistermtdMistermtd Posts: 73 Deckhand
    1st I'd echo ODC's sentiments. Good fishing is finding the challenge where ever you are. I lived in the PNW for 20+ years and its a GREAT place, though I didn't fish when I lived there. I AM familiar with many of the rivers though and there are TONS of great water sheds. Based on my reading, fishing for steelies requires great patience and fishless days are common. Still, there are lots of salmon runs and always a few trout around. The John Day, east of Portland is alledgely a great small mouth fishery. And if your a skier/boarder/climber there is SO much terrain up there its just sick.

    As to other areas, you'd have to consider the marsh south of New Orleans to be one of the top pieces of habitat in America. Not knocking any part of Florida, but when it comes to salt marsh, is there really anything to compare with the Mississippi River delta? It only drains half the country and you can fish it from anything between a kayak and a full on flats boat. Talk to locals here. http://www.laflyfish.com Plus NO is just a great town.

    Next area to consider is Mt Home Arkansas - home of the White and Little Red rivers and a ginormous trout fishery. Wade it, fish from a drift boat or work runs from a modest jon boat. You'll meet more than a few of America's most experience fly fisherman in the area. A few of them hang out here. http://flyfishingarkansasandmissouri.yuku.com/

    Those are two areas I know personally.

    Oh - and if I didn't already have those things tying me down I'd be working on my Spanish and headed to Patagonia tomorrow. That's just me day dreaming though.
  • FLTXhunterFLTXhunter Posts: 516 Officer
    Good fishing, bad fishing.....plant this guy anywhere in the 10,000 Islands and i am a happy man.
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    The Panhandle of Florida has some great water. St. Joe Bay is beautiful beyond belief. Destin's the epicenter of the spring cobia run...you get tarpon off the beach and tripletail, Kings on flies that are very reliable at certain times of the year, site fishing for reds, world class red snapper fishing, great flyfishing for pompano in the crystal clear water and on and on.

    I think the difference between our area and others is that we don't have the big 3 (tarpon, permit and/or bonefish). Seems like they generate the bulk of publicity, magazine articles etc. and I'm fine with that.

    Just don't tell anybody about this area, OK. Mum's the word. :B Please delete this post after you read it (G).
  • DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
    All great stuff. Thanks guys! Mistermtd thats exactly what I was looking for so thank you for that.

    I think I am going to go bum it up there in Seattle for atleast 6 months then figure out what I'll do from there. One of the things I like the most about there is that from what I understand it has a fairly well developed public transportation system and bike paths. I would definitely be interested in selling the car/furniture and going up there with just a backpack or two.
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  • ShadowcastShadowcast Posts: 1,007 Officer
    Middle Keys.....Lower Keys.....doesn't matter.
    Capt. Jon Bull
    Shadowcast Charters
    Ankona Boats Sales Rep
    2018 Tavernier 17.....Coming Soon!!
    www.shadowcastcharters.com
  • deerflydeerfly Posts: 711 Officer
    Sounds like you're in a good place attitude wise, enjoy it before life's usual trappings make it harder to escape, literally and figuratively. I agree with the others that the fishing is what you make it too. In a way you can miss the whole point if you get too obsessed with pursuing the glamor species...

    As a S. Fl native since the late 50's though, I'd say there's no where like ENP and the Fl Keys. The variety and size of species available to target is unmatched anywhere else in the US. When you consider the blue water and reef species combined with the estuaries, not even the Mississippi delta can match it. You need a serious offshore ride to tap Mississippi's blue water species whereas a modest skiff can get you anywhere you need to be throughout S Fl and the Keys most of the year. If you're looking to do the minimalist thing though and bum around without a boat, it's not so great. You'd at least need a yak and a way to transport it to get some range. You could probably get by with a bike and a yak somewhere along the Big Pine to Key West corridor, but if you're young and single that other thing that smells like fish is gonna' be slim picken's around those parts.

    PNW might be a better choice for on foot fly fishing experiences as well as the rest of the lifestyle thing. It's really beautiful up around that area too, been to Seattle and Vancouver on business a few times, was killing me that I couldn't hit some of that water. Best of luck where ever you end up.
    "impossibility cannot be concluded from a sample of failed efforts" - Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • BBearBBear Posts: 33 Deckhand
    Depending on what you want to fish for and what other activities you enjoy, Paradise Valley in Montana gets my vote. Great rivers all around. You can drift or wade or fish the lakes from a boat or shore. Also the hunting is awesome and the state works out a deal with farmers that allows public hunting of their private lands. You are also not far from Big Sky or Jackson Hole where, during ski season, you can find a whole lot of "the other thing that smells like fish."
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    Mistermtd wrote: »
    Oh - and if I didn't already have those things tying me down I'd be working on my Spanish and headed to Patagonia tomorrow. That's just me day dreaming though.

    You don't need to know Spanish to fish and/or hunt in Patagonia. I was going to be a guide there and I have talked to lodge owners. The guides have to speak Spanish, and English as well, but the clientele is mostly English-speaking, so the guides have to also speak English. So start packing!!
    .......Rick
  • CaptNedCaptNed Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    I have had the good fortune to fish a few of the great destinations stateside, and I have guided in Everglades for over fifteen years now. But this thread reminded me of a day I had almost forgotten. It was on the Ashokan Creek in the Catskills, above the reservoir. It's a tiny thing, a spate creek if ever there was one and I was with a good friend who I haven't seen in years now. Somehow that enhances the memory of that day. That little creek was chock full of tiny, native brook trout. Little palm sized jewels, I can still see the color of their spots and parr marks. Sharing that tiny creek with a great friend, lots of beautiful midget fish jumping over themselves to hit your haybasket fly, the sunlight through the trees. It was autumn and yellow poplar leaves covered the ground and fell like snow from the trees.
  • CaptNedCaptNed Posts: 28 Greenhorn
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  • td.td. Posts: 4,686 Officer
    Depends on what you want. Lots of areas in the Rockies that are fun.

    Here's a Rocky Mountain public water 'bow I coerced a couple weeks ago. Not even the largest of the day...

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  • DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
    I really enjoy hearing about all of these places you guys have traveled to, fished, and had a great time. I'm not looking for a destination with the biggest fish or the most sought after sportfish. I'm looking for locations that you guys have mentioned. The places people go and end up being completely consumed by the thought of being able to go back. There's not too many places that have that effect on fisherman that have traveled extensively, and even fewer for fly fisherman.

    I've heard of some fisherman getting that "high" in places like Alaska, Montana, The Keys, Patagonia, New Zealand, Andros Island
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  • MistermtdMistermtd Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    You don't need to know Spanish to fish and/or hunt in Patagonia. I was going to be a guide there and I have talked to lodge owners. The guides have to speak Spanish, and English as well, but the clientele is mostly English-speaking, so the guides have to also speak English. So start packing!!

    Well I have a few guide lines for foreign travel. You've got to be able to speak enough of the local language to a) order a beer, b) find the head and c) chat up pretty girls. C gets pretty funny in Asia.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    Mistermtd wrote: »
    Well I have a few guide lines for foreign travel. You've got to be able to speak enough of the local language to a) order a beer, b) find the head and c) chat up pretty girls. C gets pretty funny in Asia.

    I gotcha...and see what you mean. The lodge I was referring to, is in the middle of nowhere and the guests don't venture off the property. Since then I have a house in Mexico and my improved Spanish would get me hired down there in a minute. Asia? I just got back from Bangkok, but didn't participate in any trolling....(which isn't to say that I was without female company)

    My dream fresh water destinations are Scotland for Atlantic salmon, and (probably) Austria for huchen. Both trips are mega bucks and will probably never happen. But right after Russia opened up, I went to the Ural mountains, north of the Black Sea, to see if maybe there was an untapped huchen population that we Westerners had not been privvy to, prior to the early 90's. All I found were trout....and lots of real pretty water.
    .......Rick
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,180 Captain
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    My dream fresh water destinations are Scotland for Atlantic salmon.


    One of the guys I fish with frequently recently did 4 days of atlantic salmon fishing on private waters in Scotland. He caught 4 fish, and the tab was 21K in US dollars.
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,547 Captain
    21K!? I think our backyard is pretty good right now.
  • MistermtdMistermtd Posts: 73 Deckhand
    One of the guys I fish with frequently recently did 4 days of atlantic salmon fishing on private waters in Scotland. He caught 4 fish, and the tab was 21K in US dollars.

    Daaayyyyuuummmm - that's steep.
  • Bill@NSBBill@NSB Posts: 207 Officer
    Personally, I'm fine with Mosquito lagoon. I just wish I could get out more often.
    Sight-fishing reds in scary-skinny water still thrills me like no other type of fishing.
    IMHO redfish can be just as spooky and difficult as Islamorada bones, or as easy as crappie in a pond.
    Like DOC, as long as I can get away every once in a while I'm good.

    That said, if I were young and possessed, the keys would certainly be on my shortlist.
  • DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
    This was a few years ago but maybe some of you guys can recall who I'm talking about.

    The first time I ever walked into HG Fly Shop I came in, grabbed a bunch of stuff, and probably dropped half a dozen mirrolures next to the register and got to talking a little bit with the guy at the counter. Young guy, its been so long I can only guess he was probably late twenties and short brown hair. Anyway what I will never forget is that after a minute or two he started talking about fly fishing and some trips he'd been on. This was before I had ever picked up a fly rod and so I really couldnt relate when he was talking about this "flyfishing" thing that he was so passionate about. He said something to the effect of...

    "My mom tells me she'd rather I be addicted to drugs. It'd be a heck of a lot cheaper."

    6 months later and I've got more than enough hand tied flies than I know what to do with, and enough fly fishing gear that nobody had to wonder if I was on drugs. I couldnt afford it if I tried.
    So yeah. I'm young, and surely possessed in some way or another. As far as Seattle goes... Im still not entirely sure if thats where I'll be but I guess thats one of the best parts of the adventure. Though I have upped my coffee/tea consumption to atleast 1 per day to make for a smooth transition into the coffee consumption capital of the country.
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  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 927 Officer
    To do it right you need to visit/live in several places. There are peak seasons you know.
    Saltwater- The Keys or the Everglades, maybe the Bahamas
    Trout- Montana, Chile or Argentina
    Salmon- Alaska
    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • BullsharkBullshark Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Living in South Florida most of my life I was very suprised to find the best fishing was in Pensacola, Fl. The shallow bay holds tons of reds, flounder, trout and some stripers. The deep bay is so deep it holds offshore fish like red snapper, huge redfish (winter), grouper and kings. Just off the beach (on a boat) in the spring the cobia run is just stupid. Last time out we hooked 18 in a day. The pompano run is awesome also. You can get into schools of thousands between the bars. Offshore is second to none in the lower 48. You can get a permit for a private reef. Bottom fishing you have grouper, red snapper, mingo snapper, triggers and so on. The blue water is far but since it is it's loaded with everything caught in south florida. It's a great place to raise your kids (Gulf Breeze) and you can own a home for 1/2 of south florida cost. Almost no crime. The kids there are mostly military kids so you don't find a lot of bad ones. I really did love it there.

    Other than that I could live the rest of my life near the Davidson River in NC but the wife is a city girl....
  • DKDDKD Posts: 371 Officer
    FL Keys are my favorite, but as you have already lived in FL, I would try something different.

    I am originally from NJ and have always loved fishing in the Northeast (NJ up through New England). There is some great fishing up in those parts. Mostly stripers and blues, but they get WAY bigger than you see them down south. Stripers can reach 50# and I have caught bluefish close to 20#. Awesome fight on a fly rod. There are a lot of neat little towns up that way - really salty/nautical. If it wasn't for the winters, I would have never moved.

    Another option is to go out west. If you have never been to the Rocky's, it is something you should experience. Just awesome country. Probably would go to Montana (maybe Wyoming or Colorado). Great trout fishing. If you have never gone trout fishing, it is a totally different experience than saltwater. Definitely worth a try.
  • yakmanyakman Posts: 63 Deckhand
    I just moved from Sherwood Oregon, SW of Portland.
    Bring Gore-Tex and lots of it. The fishing is slow, at least within a 2hrs drive from the Portland Metro area. You only get about 2-3 months of nice weather west of the Cascades. If you like the sun, look into eastern Washington-Oregon. Also southern Oregon is very nice near the California border. Best of luck on your adventure. It is a beautiful part of the country when it's not raining.
  • yakmanyakman Posts: 63 Deckhand
    I just moved from Sherwood Oregon, SW of Portland.
    Bring Gore-Tex and lots of it. The fishing is slow, at least within a 2hrs drive from the Portland Metro area. You only get about 2-3 months of nice weather west of the Cascades. If you like the sun, look into eastern Washington-Oregon. Also southern Oregon is very nice near the California border. Best of luck on your adventure. It is a beautiful part of the country when it's not raining.
  • DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
    Yakman, I know theres a ton of waterways in and around Seattle but how much of it is wadeable?
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  • MistermtdMistermtd Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Yakman, I know theres a ton of waterways in and around Seattle but how much of it is wadeable?

    There is lots of wadable water. You'll be in Spey country though. From down town Seattle in a three hour radius you have the Green, Snoqualmie (3 sections), Skykomish, Snohomish, Duwamish, Puyallap, and dozens of others. They all have different flows and some days when it's pouring rain you'll sit in a bar, drink a beer and wait for the rivers to get back in their banks. A drift boat and a partner to take turns on the oars would come in very handy. I kayaked these rivers and western WA is the Yosemite Valley of White water boating. Swift water everywhere you look. There will be plenty of wading.

    Can't say how many fish.
  • DowntownNashDowntownNash Posts: 182 Officer
    I'm having trouble finding good info on Seattle Fly fishing so thanks for that mtd. I'm trying to see if Id be able to bike to any of the wadeable areas. Do I have worthwhile options within 20 miles of downtown?
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  • td.td. Posts: 4,686 Officer
    I grew up in Seattle. For the ocean run fish, it's very hit and miss for the runs now-a-days. You will get some time where you can target steelies or salmon, or if you really get to know a couple rivers, some sea run cuts, but it is not a quick learning curve. There is some good fly fishing in Eastern WA for bows, some no name streams have some pretty decent fish. You will spend many, many days swinging flies for steelhead without so much as a hit. Other days, you may get a few. The better steelhead fishing is out on the Peninsula, but again, knowledge is king and with the runs being down, people can be fairly tight lipped about stuff. The area gets all 5 species of salmon with a few of the runs being in decent shape. Access for good fly fishing can be a challenge. Drift boats are definitely a key piece to success unless you have a few years to learn everything. Even then, a boat is golden. Eastern WA also has some sea run fish opportunities that shouldn't be over looked.
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