Best of the West

50 Hottest Rivers, Lakes, Hatches & Hangouts in the Rockies

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Field & Stream Online Editors

Looking for the best place to catch a 20-incher on a dry? Fish with grizzlies? Escape the crowds? Or get a beer and some advice at the end of the day? We’ve found the top 40 trout spots in the Rockies where you can do all that and more. Plus, we tell you the 10 greatest hatches and the top patterns to tie on. Whether you’re there for a day, a week, or the rest of your life, this is the guide you need to discover Trout Country.

Click on the states below to read about the hundreds of rivers, lakes, and streams offering the sweet possibility of big fish on any cast. We’ve done the scouting work for you.

ARIZONA

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Watch Them Eat
Colorado River – Lees Ferry, Arizona
Next Best: Armstrong and Nelson’s Spring Creeks, Paradise Valley, Montana

COLORADO

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Ditch the Family
Steamboat Springs – Colorado
** Next Best: Bozeman, Montana**

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See a Fistfight
The Bend Pool, Fryingpan River – near Basalt, Colorado
Next Best: The Dream Stream, South Park, Colorado

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Find Solitude
San Juan Mountains – Colorado
**Next Best: Wind River Range, Wyoming **

IDAHO

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Get Your A** Schooled
Henrys Fork – Idaho
** Next Best Silver Creek, Picabo, Idaho**

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Meet a Reel Woman
Reel Women Fly Fishing Adventures – Victor, Idaho
Next Best: Patty Reilly, Jackson, Wyoming

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Have a Beer
The “A-Bar” Motel and Supper Club, Last Chance, Idaho
** Next Best: The Grizzly Bar, Cameron, Montana**

MONTANA

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Lose the Crowds
Kootenai River – Montana
** Next Best: Yampa River, Colorado **

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Teach Your Children
Lone Mountain Ranch – Montana
**Next Best: Vermillion Ranch, Livingston, Montana **

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Get Eaten by a Griz
Flathead River – Montana
Next Best Thoroughfare of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Catch Trout So Big They’re Scary
Beaverhead River – Dillon, Montana
** Next Best: Missouri River, Craig, Montana Missouri River**

Best of the West Get Lost in Indian Country **
Blackfeet Reservation, Montana
** Next Best: Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Idaho/Nevada

UTAH

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Catch Footballs on Dry Flies
Green River, Utah
Next Best: San Juan River, New Mexico

WYOMING

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Catch Your Dinner
Shoshone National Forest – Wyoming
**Next Best: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado******

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Cutt Your Teeth
_South Fork Snake River – Wyoming _
Next Best Kelly Creek, Idaho

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Fish at 10,000 Feet
Beartooth Plateau – Wyoming
** Next Best: Trappers Lake and Flat Tops Wilderness lakes, Colorado**

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Gawk at Mountains
Snake River – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Next Best: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

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Keep Your Wallet in Your Waders
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
** Next Best: Teton River, Idaho**

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Go Wild
Yellowstone River, Montana/Wyoming
** Next Best: Roaring Fork River, Colorado **

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Go Trophy Hunting
North Platte River, Wyoming
** Next Best: Bighorn River, Montana**