June 20, 2008
The Flyfishing Capitals of America
By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter
I know some of you wonder how we at Field & Stream select "The Best Fishing Cities" and "The Best Fishing Towns" in America. I can't tell you, otherwise I'd have to keel-haul you. The secret rests in a vault somewhere next to Cindy McCain's cookie recipes. Let's just say, however, that the methodology is somewhere this side of ballots being burned and white smoke flying up the Vatican chimney; and just on the other side of flipping off the cap and letting the foam settle in my bottle of Fat Tire.
Nevertheless, I feel inspired to leave you all this week with my own list of the "Flyfishing Capitals of America." There is no methodology here.
The overall flyfishing capital of America: Denver, Colorado. We sport the highest concentration of anglers and fly shops, per capita, of anywhere. And we're the new home of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. The fishing ain't bad either... trout, bass, carp, pike. I live here for a reason.
The trout flyfishing capital of America: Bozeman, Montana, with all due respect to the Catskill region in New York and elsewhere. And no offense meant, Missoula or Ketchum or Jackson, but the motivated angler can stage from Bozeman and hit your rivers also.
The striper flyfishing capital of America: Montauk, New York.
The tarpon flyfishing capital of America: Key West, Florida. Same for bonefish and permit.
The redfish capital of America: Hopedale, Louisiana. Love you Texas, but the big bull reds eat Cajun food.
The bass flyfishing capital of America: Hill Country, Texas. How's that for a make-good?
The pike flyfishing capital of America: Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
The big rainbow and salmon flyfishing capital of America: King Salmon, Alaska.
The big brown flyfishing capital of America: Bull Shoals, Arkansas.
The smallmouth bass flyfishing capital of America: West Lafayette, Indiana. (That one's for you, Chad.)
And the carp flyfishing capital of America... okay, you won me over, Gary Indiana!
Agree, disagree... prove me wrong. In any regard, I hope you hook 'em up and have a great weekend!