The Bend Pool wins this dubious distinction, thanks to fairly regular scrums resulting from crossed lines. Here, fat and semi-lazy rainbows and browns gorge on mysis shrimp ad nauseam, and landing an 8-pound trout on the fly is almost routine. This isn’t wild fishing as much as it is a staged photo op. Farther downstream, though, this river is indeed one of the most delightful and technically demanding stretches of water in the West. But at the Bend Pool, they really ought to hang a ticket dispenser where every angler takes a number and waits his or her turn to fish. More info: Taylor Creek Fly Shop, 970-927-4374;

Next Best: The Dream Stream, South Park, Colorado It’s a small stretch of trophy water-perhaps the best trout fishing closest to the largest major cities (Colorado Springs and Denver) anywhere in the West. Sometimes tempers run hot, but you can beat the hustle if you show up at 5 a.m. (or earlier) during one of the most prolific Trico hatches in America, usually in early August. More info: Angler’s Covey, 719-471-2984;