10 of the Most Beautiful Fishing Spots in North America

Missouri River, Montana

A couple of flyfishermen scout for trout as they cross a bridge over a tributary of the Missouri River.

Scott Lake, Saskatchewan

Angler Jimmy Kloote was fishing for northern pike at Scott Lake Lodge when he paused to watch this restored 1949 de Havilland Beaver zoom past. “You don’t hear much until it’s past you,” says Kloote. “It just about knocked the ash off my cigarette.”

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Looking Glass Falls is usually crowded with tourists, but on this cold day, Grossenbacher and two friends had it to themselves. “Coming from Montana, I didn’t know what to expect from North Carolina trout streams,” Grossenbacher said. “I was blown away by the beauty of the area.”

DePuy Spring Creek, Montana

A trout angler wades upstream on a solitary section of DePuy Spring Creek in Paradise Valley, Montana.

Crystal Creek, Alaska

A salmon angler enjoys a stretch of Crystal Creek, near King Salmon, Alaska, all to himself.

Tributary of the Beaverhead River, near Dillon, Montana

“As small as this stream is,” photographer Brian Grossenbacher says, “the fish are inversely proportioned.” This wasn’t always the case, though. Overgrazing had degraded spawning habitat in the stream, but efforts to remove silt and restrict cattle have restored the water—and the trout fishing.

Blackfoot River, Montana

The salmonfly hatch was in full force as angler Jimmy Lampros and Grossenbacher floated the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. “Fish were rising, but the current was too fast to cast,” Grossenbacher says. “We pulled the raft in as soon as we could. But to get to the spot we wanted to fish, there was no good way to walk back upriver. The farther we hiked, the steeper it got, until we had quite a slope between us and the water. So Jimmy, who played baseball in high school, slid about 30 feet down the bank like he was sliding into third base, then kind of bounced and landed with a splash. It was a brilliant entry into the river.”

Grand Teton National Park

Oliver White fights a Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout during a 10-mile float from Pacific Creek Landing to Deadman’s Bar, as Carter Andrews mans the oars of their skiff. Smoke from wildfires made the surroundings hazy, as the two took turns rowing and casting flies for fine-spotted cutts. “That float through the Tetons is one of the prettiest to fish in America,” says White.

Tributary of the Beaverhead River, Montana

Fly angler Eric Jackson works a tight spot for trout in late July.

Deschutes River, Oregon

Angler Mia Sheppard makes a beautiful Spey cast along the Deschutes River in northern Oregon. “The fly was literally inches away from my face, but Mia is so consistent and controlled,” Grossenbacher says. “I never felt nervous getting closer.”