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Top Fly Fishing Destinations

Top Fly Fishing Destinations

They say, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.” And for fly fishermen, this always holds true.  

Fly fishing is a centuries old pastime that delivers its enthusiasts the hope of hooking a trophy catch while basking in the tranquility and serenity of an unspoiled river or stream. This is one of the few sports that allow you to fully immerse yourself in nature to rejuvenate the soul to the sound of running water while practicing one of the most challenging sports known to man. There are opportunities to try your hand at this pleasurable hobby at many Equity Estates destinations.  

When most people think fly fishing, they picture Montana. With three Equity Estates residences positioned in the heart of Big Sky country, you have a world of options. Colorado also offers some of the best and most abundant trout waters you’ll find anywhere in the country. The addition of our Vail property right on Gore Creek brings us to four destinations in the Rocky Mountains to hone your skills while enjoying the beautiful scenery in your backyard.   

No matter where you choose to fly fish, your local host is happy to arrange a private guide who has a wealth of experience and insight and will take you to some of the best local spots off the beaten path. Whether you chose a float trip via boat or a wade trip, your team is ready to outfit you for a perfect day on the river.   

We consulted our Investor Relations Manager and fly fishing authority Jake for some insight into which residences offer “the goods.” He shared his top picks, in no particular order. 

Big Sky & Lone Mountain, Montana

Big Sky is a world-class fly fishing destination attracting anglers of every skill level from all over the world to its renowned rivers, streams, and lakes. Big Sky country is home to hundreds of miles of water to fly fish. All the trout species a fly fisherman desires to catch can be found in the local lakes and rivers. While there are dozens of places to lure trout, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular.  


Gallatin River  

For the fly fishing enthusiast, the Gallatin River is a top fly fishing destination and definitely a bucket list spot to fish. There are many sections along this stretch of nature’s paradise where the views and scenery are as exhilarating as the hunt for trout. Anglers not only catch copious trout but also witness many types of wildlife while casting into the beautiful river. You can expect to catch brown trout, rainbow trout and even a cutthroat trout if it’s your lucky day. Anglers can choose to cast in several areas, most notably Hog Alley and The Southfork of the Gallatin.   

Yellowstone River  

The Yellowstone River is one of North America’s most productive wild trout fisheries. It offers a variety of species as well as a front row seat to a landscape most only witness in the movies.  While wade fishing is an option in the National Park and at a few other locations, the temperament of the river lends itself to superior float fishing from guided tours on rafts and drift boats.  

Aspen & Snowmass, Colorado

Whether you’re staying at the Equity Estates residence in Snowmass or a few miles away in Aspen, fly fishing options are bountiful on the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan Rivers. Anglers of every age and skill level enjoy this year-round opportunity to catch beautiful trout along a picturesque Rocky Mountain backdrop. Some sections of both the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan earned the Gold Medal Water designation by the Colorado Wildlife Commission, making them the ideal spot to hone your casting skills.  

Roaring Fork River  

The Roaring Fork Valley is home to numerous legendary fisheries and the river flows from Independence Pass to Glenwood Springs and is less than a block away from our Equity Estates Aspen home. The movement of this river changes with the seasons based on rainfall and snowmelt producing a robust trout population that thrives due to an abundance of aquatic insects and tributaries providing cold water year-round. This is a fantastic river for a float trip, and it also offers clearly marked public access spots to the north toward Glenwood Springs. Anglers love this hot spot for the stellar fishing and the calm, picture-perfect backdrop where they can escape in nature.  

Fryingpan River  

Plentiful fish populations, stunning scenery, and sizable trout explain why much of this river is rated Gold Medal Water. You can find brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout in this unspoiled waterway. The Fryingpan River also features some of the best dry fly fishing in the country. From June to September, anglers dry fly fish from afternoon to evening. Autumn months deliver beautiful mountain vistas, fall colors and big fish. In winter months, the crowds are smaller, and the fish are larger, so it’s a great time to test the waters.  

Crystal River   

This pristine body of water offers anglers respite from popular fishing spots during the summer season. Fish are more likely to jump at a fly than their counterparts on the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan because fewer anglers are casting flies.  

Maroon Creek   

Located 15 minutes from Snowmass in Maroon Bells, this secluded body of water offers a quiet spot to catch small rainbow and brook trout in a beautiful setting.  

Snowmass Lake  

The only way in is to hike via the Maroon-Snowmass trail. The views are amazing, especially in late summer. Cutthroat and rainbow trout may be found swimming in the lake.   

Vail, Colorado

Casting into the tranquil water is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the summer weather while exploring the most serene spots on Vail’s many streams and rivers. With your choice of home bases in either Golden Peak or Lionshead, fly fishing in your backyard has never been easier. Fly fishing is a year-round hobby in Vail, so no matter what season you’re visiting, it’s a must on your to-do list.  


Gore Creek  

Although it runs through Vail Village, locals say Gore Creek remains a bit of a fly fishing secret. Anglers can pop into the river through parks in the Village.  In fact, it’s in the back yard of our Golden Peak home. If you have your eyes on a larger trout, try your hand west of Vail where Red Sandstone Creek enters the Gore. That’s prized Gold Medal Water territory. Fly fishermen’s favorite spots along the Gore can be found by Vail’s Nature Center, Ford Park, Antler’s Lodge, Donovan Park, and Vail’s Grand Hyatt. You have a great shot at landing brookies, cutthroat, rainbows and brown trout and some surprisingly large fish call this trout stream home. The fishing on Gore Creek is rewarding every month of the year.  

Eagle River 

The Eagle is a free-flowing river less crowded than the Gore but still ripe for fly fishing any time of year. Anglers can wade in from the shore, or you can also float the Eagle on a guided tour during certain times of the year (typically April through June). Guides note the Eagles has excellent dry fly fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout. Locals say the best hatches are during the summer and fall when you’ll find plenty of rainbows, cutthroat, browns, and brook trout.  

Colorado River  

Thousands of anglers make their way to this legendary river each year in the hopes of landing browns, brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout along the waters of the Colorado. There’s always a stretch of river where you’ll have success all year, and many sections offer excellent conditions from sunrise to sunset. With so many spots to choose from, we are happy to book your knowledgeable guide to lead the way.  

Lake Tahoe, California

Centered around some of the best fly fishing in the Sierra Nevadas, Lake Tahoe is known as the Golden Circle of trout fishing. With numerous rivers and lakes with renown fly fishing in the snow kissed Sierra Nevada range, you have a variety of options near the Lake Tahoe residence. Tahoe’s North Shore is considered by locals to be some of the most difficult yet gratifying fly fishing rivers in California, offering a chance at a trophy size trout any day of the year.  

Truckee River  

The Truckee River, known for rainbow and brown trout, is famous for its trophy size catches, but you should be prepared for a challenge. This remarkably diverse fishery produces mammoth trout, but they’ll put up quite the fight. A popular fishing spot is Lake Tahoe to Trout Creek which is heavily stocked by the state and fed by many tributaries. In summer months, white water rafters compete for real estate on the river, so it’s important to get an early start. April to November is trout season, and guides say the fall is a great time to snag that trophy sized trout.  

Little Truckee River  

This tributary to the main Truckee is a tailwater fishery with controlled flows and is known to fish well during run-off months when the other rivers flow high and muddy from snowmelt. Consistently clear waters allow anglers to spot fish nearly every day of the year, so it’s a great place to cast if you’re just as content to watch trout as you are to catch them.  

Carson River Watershed  

This body of water is south of Lake Tahoe and originates in the mountains throughout Alpine County, making its waters ripe for trout.  The East Fork of the Carson River is the main fishery and has many miles of catch and release only waters as well as several miles of regular trout regulation waters.  

East and West Walker Rivers   

The East Walker River below Bridgeport Reservoir stays open year-round and makes for some great winter fly fishing.  

The Trout are Calling

Whether you’re a fly fishing aficionado or casting for the first time, there are plenty of world-renowned options at Equity Estates destinations across the map. Your Destination Manager and Local Host are happy to arrange everything you need to make your day in or on the river complete, from fishing licenses to waders, we take care of the details.