Best Fishing Spots: Northeast
Connecticut - Farmington River
Farmington River When the Housy gets too warm, many trout anglers move to the cold tailwaters of the Farmington below Hogback Dam. The 25 miles of river between Riverton and Farmington are the most popular; trout rise in the cooler water all summer. Be forewarned that these are heavily pressured and extremely fussy fish. Come prepared with 7X and 8X tippets and small flies, especially from the end of June into August. UpCountry Sportfishing, 860-379-1952; Guide's Tips farmingtonriver.com Species: Trout Guide: Shawn Britton; UpCountry Sportfishing; ; 860-379-1952 farmingtonriver.com Rig Specifics: Use a 7 1/2- to 9-foot, 3- or 4-weight fly rod with fine leaders (tapering down to 6X or 8X) and tiny caddis fly imitations. Quick Tip: Fish in the early morning, from 6 to 9 a.m. Where to Fish: The lower trout management area, starting at Pleasant Valley. Photos From Farmington River Field & Stream Online Editors
Connecticut – Housatonic River
The river has its ups and downs (literally, because the flow changes with upstream power generation), but the Housatonic near Cornwall Bridge has been a mainstay of Connecticut trout fishing for years. Summer heat slows things down, but June usually sees great hatches and very good fishing. All trout are catch-and-release because of PCB contamination; the flies-only stretch near Housatonic Meadows State Park is prime. Housatonic Meadows Fly Shop, 860-672-6064; Guide’s Tips flyfishct.com
Guide: Housatonic Meadows Fly Shop; ; 860-672-6064 flyfishct.com
Rig Specifics: Use an 8- to 9-foot, 5-weight flyrod with a 5X tippet. There are 25 different insect hatches on the Housatonic. You can’t go wrong by fishing caddis, cahill, and sulfur dry flies.
Quick Tip: Look for a combination of riffles and pools at first and last light. There are an estimated 5,000 trout per mile on the Housatonic, so finding fish is the easy part.
Where to Fish: The stretch at the Housatonic Meadows State Park is great fishing with easy access. Photos From Housatonic River Field & Stream Online Editors
Connecticut – Long Island Sound
Connecticut’s shoreline comes alive with stripers in June, as postspawn bass exit the Hudson River and start moving east. From the gray-flannel enclaves of Fairfield County on the west all the way east to the yachting village of Stonington on the Rhode Island border, catching stripers is more a matter of finding access than of finding the fish. Here are two top spots: The mouth of the Housatonic near Stratford is wadable by anglers reaching the water via the public park at Short Beach. Farther east is a state boat ramp at Barn Island near Stonington. Stratford Bait and Tackle, 203-377-8091; Guide’s Tips stratfordbaitandtackle.com
Guide: Dan Wood; ; 860-442-6343 ctwoodsandwater.com
Rig Specifics: Use a 7 1/2-foot rod with 8- to 14-pound braided line and white bucktail lures.
Quick Tip: The fishing is best during the first light and last light of the day, when the water hits about 50 degrees.
Where to Fish: Where Long Island Sound meets the incoming tide from the Atlantic Ocean. Photos From Long Island Sound Field & Stream Online Editors
Delaware – Delaware Bay
Stripers, weakfish, and summer flounder are the main targets in the big bay, generally from Dover south. Weakfish numbers have declined over the past decade, but big tide runners to 8 pounds or more are still possible. Midsummer stripers will be small but abundant and fun to catch; trophies usually return to the lower bay tide rips in mid October. Delaware Fisheries Section, 302-739-9914; Guide’s Tips fw.delaware.gov/fisheries.htm
Guide: Capt. Vernon Bruce; ; 856-455-3638 fortescue.com/FishermensDream
Rig Specifics: Use a 6 1/2-foot rod with 20-pound test line and a basic bottom rig. Shedder crab is the best bait for weakfish in the bay.
Quick Tip: Find a wreck in about 18 to 20 feet of water, and the fishing can be good all day.
Where to Fish: Between Fortescue and Gandy’s Beach. Field & Stream Online Editors
Delaware – Indian River Inlet & Bay
Indian River Inlet and Bay Inshore, southeastern Delaware offers fishing for stripers, bluefish, and weakfish. Offshore charters go for game such as sharks and tuna. Delaware Seashore State Park provides access to the back bays, the oceanfront beaches, and the tidal currents of Indian River Inlet. There are camping facilities, and a marina with guides and charter boats is nearby. Delaware Seashore State Park, 302-227-2800; Guide’s Tips destateparks.com/dssp/dssp.asp
Guide: Capt. Paul Henninger; ; 800-999-8119 atbeach.com/amethyst
Rig Specifics: Use a 6-foot rod (light spinning or light trolling, with 20-pound test line). Bait with clams or squid using number 4 or 6 hooks and a bell sinker.
Quick Tip: Use enough weight to get down to between 40 and 100 feet, and fish between 6 a.m. and noon. Concentrate on wrecks along the buoy line.
Where to Fish: Rockpiles by the inlet. Photos From Indian River Inlet & Bay Field & Stream Online Editors
Maine – Belgrade Lakes
Salmon and trout are Maine’s marquee fish, which means that bass fishing is overlooked and often first-rate. Some of the best is in the Belgrade Lakes region, west and north of Augusta off Interstate 95. Hit major lakes such as Cobbosseecontee and Messalonskee for largemouths, as well as numerous local ponds. Artificials-only rules apply through June 20. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Region B, 207-287-8000; Guide’s Tips mefishwildlife.com
Guide: John Blais; ; 207-872-9688 belgradebassin.com
Rig Specifics: A medium-action, 6 1/2-foot rod with 8- to 10-pound line. Use Senko tube baits hooked through the middle with a 3/0 red Gamakatsu hook.
Quick Tip: Look for grass beds, which can be at depths of just 8 or 9 inches all the way down to 10 feet.
Where to Fish: Hatch Cove on Great Pond. Photos From Belgrade Lakes Field & Stream Online Editors
Maine – Kennebec River
Twenty years of cleaner water and the removal of an upstream dam have transformed the lower Kennebec and its adjacent coastline into the latest striper hotspot. The bass are spawning here in increasing numbers. A single-hook artificials-only rule applies until July 1 to protect spawning stocks. This generally keeps the bait soakers off the water until high summer, while leaving lots of room for fly and lure anglers. Kennebec Angler, 877-894-4589; Guide’s Tips kennebecangler.com
Guide: Ed Blum; ; 207-458-0230 kennebecriverguide.com
Rig Specifics: A medium-action spinning rod with 15- to 25-pound test line and floating, 6-inch plugs dressed with white and red bucktail.
Quick Tip: Fish dropoffs on incoming and outgoing tides.
Where to Fish: A great place to start is where the Sebasticook River empties into the Kennebec. You have to use artificials until July 21 in the stretch from Waterville to Augusta. Photos From Kennebec River Field & Stream Online Editors
Maine – Moosehead Lake
Mayfly and caddis hatches peak in June, and the dry-fly action in the Moosehead Lake region can be outstanding. Backcountry trout ponds in the surrounding area hold big, wild brookies, and rivers such as the West Branch of the Penobscot provide world-class landlocked salmon fishing. This is also the height of blackfly season, so bring your fly repellent and appropriate clothing. Greenville at Moosehead’s southern tip is the gateway to the region. The Maine Guide Fly Shop, 207-695-2266; Guide’s Tips maineguideflyshop.com
Guide: Maine Guide Fly Shop; ; 207-695-2266 maineguideflyshop.com
Rig Specifics: A 6-weight, 9-foot fly rod with a 2X or 3X tippet. A size 8 green drake imitation can be deadly in June, but keep your eyes open for other insect hatches as well.
Quick Tip: Fish very early and very late in the day. The weeks before and after the 4th of July can be extremely productive.
Where to Fish: Look for a muddy bottom. Photos From Moosehead Lake Field & Stream Online Editors
Maryland – Gunpowder Falls
Beat the heat and catch coldwater trout at Gunpowder Falls, an exceptional tailwater fishery running out from Prettyboy Dam a few miles west of Exit 27 on Interstate 83. Back in 1987, Trout Unlimited put together a deal with the authorities to start coldwater releases from the dam. As a result, wild and stocked brown, brook, and rainbow trout are all in play. The action is best near the dam. Most of the fishing is in Gunpowder Falls State Park. Park office, 410-592-2897; Guide’s Tips www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/gunpowder.html
Guide: Backwater Angler; ; 410-329-6821 backwaterangler.com
Rig Specifics: Use a 7 1/2- to 8 1/2-foot, 3- to 5-weight fly rod. Use long (10 to 12 feet), light leaders with 6X to 7X tippets. The sulfur hatches can be hot and heavy now.
Quick Tip: Float your fly through the riffles in the late afternoon and evening. Most of the wild browns sit right at the base of these fast stretches.
Where to Fish: Masemore Road has access to great fishing. Field & Stream Online Editors
Maryland – Ocean City
This sportfishing haven in southeastern Maryland is just a short run from the Gulf Stream, where you can catch everything from false albacore to marlin. Dolphin, tuna, and sharks are in the blue-water mix, too, which peaks as rising summer temperatures draw the big fish north. Surf casting for bluefish is also picking up on nearby beaches this month. Ocean City Fishing Center, 800-322-3065; ocfishing.com Guide’s Tips ocfishing.com
Guide: Ocean City Fishing Center; ; 800-322-3065 ocfishing.com
Rig Specifics: Use a 5 1/2- to 7-foot light spinning or baitcasting rod with 12- to 20-pound test line. Use a decent-sized egg sinker to get to the bottom, which tends to be rough. For bait, fish shiners, squid, and live minnows with mylar skirts over them.
Quick Tip: Flounder sit on dropoff edges, where its goes from very shallow to very deep, whenever the tide is going in or out.
Where to Fish: The bulkheads from Second to Fourth Street provide great public access. Photos From Ocean City Field & Stream Online Editors
Maryland – Potomac River
There are almost 50 big-river miles of fantastic largemouth bass fishing on the Potomac from Washington, D.C., south to about the U.S. 301 bridge. That doesn’t count the extensive back bays and creek systems, all of which add up to what may be the best bass fishing in the East. Deep, rocky humps in the main river and thick hydrilla beds in the backwaters present different options. Most anglers use assorted jigs deep and spinnerbaits in the shallows. The river is tidal here, and water levels can fluctuate by 2 feet or more. A dropping tide tends to flush bass from shallow cover, and that can really turn on the fishing. Charles County Tourism, 800-766-3386; Guide’s Tips visitcharlescounty.com
Species: Largemouth Bass
Guide: Andy Andrzejewski; ; 301-932-1509 reelbassadventures.com
Rig Specifics: Use a 6-foot, medium-action spinning rod with 12-pound test mono. Use topwater poppers or a Senko tube bait hooked through the middle, with a 1/16-ounce slide sinker.
Quick Tip: Look for grass beds in one to three feet of water. The best time is during low tide at low light.
Where to Fish: Find where creeks such as Mattawoman Creek enter the river. Photos From Potomac River Field & Stream Online Editors
Massachusetts – Cape Cod
Right now the best striper fishing on earth is off Cape Cod. North-migrating fish are hitting the beaches, bays, and offshore rips, chowing down on squid, sand eels, herring, and more. Surf casters do best with lures at dawn and dusk high tides; a 2-ounce Kastmaster tin is basic. Boat fishermen working shoals and holes, particularly off the Cape’s south side or in Cape Cod Bay, can score all day. Goose Hummock, 508-255-0455; Guide’s Tips goose.com
Guide: Goose Hummock; ; 508-255-2620 goose.com
Rig Specifics: 7-foot baitcasting rod with 17- to 20-pound braided test. Use squid, clams, or seaworms on a single circle hook, weighted with a pyramid sinker.
Quick Tip: Fish from 6 to 8 a.m. and at dusk. In July, fish after dark for best results.
Where to Fish: By June, stripers are hitting everywhere. Stop at a local tackle shop to find out the hottest spot of the moment. Photos From Cape Cod Field & Stream Online Editors
Massachusetts – Deerfield River
Coldwater trout fishing in southern New England can be hard to find in summer, which makes the Deerfield River tailwater in northwestern Massachusetts a special place. There are two catch-and-release areas: from Fife Brook Dam downstream to the Hoosac (railroad) Tunnel, and from Pelham Brook downriver to the Mohawk Campground. Beware of water-level changes caused by power generation. Reach the river via Zoar Road off U.S. 2 near Charlemont. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 617-626-1590; Guide’s Tips mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/dfw_toc.htm
Guide: Harrison Anglers; ; 508-255-2620 harrisonanglers.com
Rig Specifics: 7 1/2- to 8 1/2-foot flyrod with a 3-foot leader, tapered to 2X, and a sink-tip fly line. Use woolly buggers and other big flies.
Quick Tip: Don’t let the fly sink too much. Once it gets down, strip it back quickly. A lot of the hits are purely because the fish is curious.
Where to Fish: The 7-mile stretch from the Fife Brook Dam in Florida downstream, along River Road. Photos From Deerfield River Field & Stream Online Editors
Massachusetts – Quabbin Reservoir
How about a 39-square-mile lake with multiple gamefish species that’s surrounded by pristine woodlands? Great, you say, but in Massachusetts? Yup, that’s Quabbin Reservoir near the state’s center, a mammoth water supply that’s eminently fishable, albeit intensely regulated. Smallmouth and largemouth bass abound, as do trout and salmon. Boat launches are open Thursday through Monday only, accessed through specific gated areas and with horsepower restrictions that vary by motor type. Some rental boats are available, and shore fishing is permitted. Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 413-323-7221; Guide’s Tips mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/quabfish.htm
Guide: Rodney Flagg; Flagg’s Fly and Tackle; 978-544-0034
Rig Specifics: An 8 1/2-foot downrigger rod with lead-core line and shiners and minnows for bait.
Quick Tip: In the summer, the salmon are down deep. The action really picks up toward the end of August, when the fish start coming closer to the surface.
Where to Fish: Around Curtis Island. Field & Stream Online Editors
New Hampshire – Androscoggin River
Here’s excellent big-river trout fishing, especially from Errol downriver to Berlin in northeastern New Hampshire, where you’ll have legitimate shots at browns and rainbows topping 20 inches. The blizzardlike alder fly hatch (a size 14 tan caddis) in mid to late June brings bigger fish to the surface. North Country Angler fly shop, 603-356-6000; Guide’s Tips northcountryangler.com
Guide: North Country Angler; ; 603-356-6000 northcountryangler.com
Rig Specifics: A 5- or 6-weight, 9-foot flyrod is just about perfect. When nymphing from a drift boat, we use the “hopper/dropper” rig, where we have one weighted nymph tied at a distance from the lead fly (usually a hopper or large attractor pattern).
Quick Tip: Make sure you have a drag-free float through moving water. Don’t let the bottom nymph hit the bottom of the river.
Where to Fish: The 13 Mile Woods section near Errol. Photo From Androscoggin River Field & Stream Online Editors
New Hampshire – Connecticut Lakes Region
From flyfishing in backwoods beaver bogs to trolling on bigger lakes, June is prime time for trout and salmon in northern New Hampshire. The Connecticut Lakes region surrounding Pittsburg offers three large lakes plus the headwaters of the Connecticut for rainbows, browns, brookies, and landlocked salmon. The river below Murphy Dam at Lake Francis is well known for browns that can top 5 pounds. Tall Timber Lodge, 800-835-6343; talltimber.com talltimber.com Field & Stream Online Editors
New Hampshire – Lake Winnipesaukee
Smallmouth bass fishing is world-class now on the state’s largest lake, thanks in part to the many rocky shoals and reefs, which are also hazards for unwary boaters. Work the shallows with small topwaters early and late in the day, then switch to small soft plastics on 1⁄8-ounce jigheads for probing deeper structure when the sun is high. Bizer Corp. publishes a highly useful bathymetric chart of the big lake, which also includes a directory of boat launches and tackle shops. 888-345-5994; Guide’s Tips bizer.com
Species: Smallmouth Bass
Guide: Steve Lucarelli; ; 603-279-2248 nhsmallmouth.com
Rig Specifics: A 6 1/2- or 7-foot spinning rod with 10- to 15-pound braided line. Use green Berkley Gulp minnows rigged Carolina style.
Quick Tip: The bass are moving to deeper water and are very aggressive from just after Father’s Day to the beginning of July.
Where to Fish: There are a variety of inlets and islands in the lake that are great. We leave from the Meredith Town Docks. Photo From Lake Winnipesaukee Field & Stream Online Editors
New Jersey – Delaware River
For incredibly diverse fishing, check out New Jersey’s stretch of this big river. Spring runs of shad and stripers are generally over by early summer, but the bass and walleye fishing holds up all season. Of special note is the muskie fishery from the Delaware Water Gap north to the state line at Port Jervis, N.Y., with trophy fish potentially topping 40 pounds. New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, 609-292-2965; Guide’s Tips www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/fishing.htm
Guide: Muskie Daze Guide Service; ; 973-948-4724 muskiedaze.com
Rig Specifics: A 7 1/2-foot, medium-heavy baitcasting rod with 60- to 80-pound test line and a black bucktail.
Quick Tip: Evenings are the best time. Find eddies and pools that are anywhere from 4 to 12 feet deep.
Where to Fish: The stretch from the Delaware Water Gap to the Smithfield Beach. Photo From Delaware River Field & Stream Online Editors
New Jersey – Island Beach State Park
Set on a long, slim barrier island between Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic, Island Beach has long drawn surf casters from all over the East. Stripers are the primary target, but bluefish and weakfish are also popular. Three-day beach-driving permits for four-wheel-drive vehicles are sold at the park entrance for $50. A canoe launch site on the bay side gives access to the Sedge Islands area, where fishing can also be outstanding. Betty and Nick’s tackle shop, 732-793-2708; Guide’s Tips bettyandnicks.com
Species: Striped bass
Guide: Gene Quigley; Shore Catch Charters; ; 732-600-3297 shorecatch.com
Rig Specifics: 8- to 9-foot surf rod with 14- to 20-pound mono, using a variety of swimming plugs, surface poppers, and soft plastics on jigheads.
Quick Tip: During the summer, the best thing is to use a soft plastic, such as a Bass Kandy Delight, either at night or in the early morning.
Where to Fish: There aren’t any jetties, so the spots change frequently. Look for sandbars, drop-offs, and points of structure. Photo From Island Beach State Park Field & Stream Online Editors
New Jersey – Round Valley Reservoir
New Jersey lake trout sounds like an oxymoron, but this Hunterdon County reservoir has coughed up state records for lakers, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. There are two boat ramps, and a 10-hp motor limit prevails. Camping is permitted at some semi-wilderness sites that are reachable by boat only. Round Valley Recreation Area office, 908-236-6355; Photos From Round Valley Reservoir www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/round.html Field & Stream Online Editors
New York – West Branch of the AuSable River
Given the chronic flooding of Catskill rivers during 2005 and 2006, you might consider heading farther north this summer to fish the West Branch Ausable near Wilmington. A 5-mile catch-and-release section above town attracts many flyfishermen. This is good because it takes some pressure off the rest of the river, which can have even better fishing. The rough pocket water downstream of the dam in town is excellent. Mayfly and caddis hatches are prolific; the green drake hatch in mid June (usually) is legendary. Fran Betters’ Adirondack Sport Shop, 518-946-2605; ausablewulff.com Guide’s Tips ausablewulff.com
Guide: Fran Betters; ; 518-946-2605 ausablewulff.com
Rig Specifics: An 8-foot, 4- or 5-weight rod. The caddis, mayfly, and green drake hatches are all great during the summer.
Quick Tip: The best time to fish is from about 5 in the evening until dark. Look for the big pools and the pockets in faster moving water.
Where to Fish: The catch and release areas along Route 86 are very good. Photos From West Branch of the AuSable River Field & Stream Online Editors
New York – Montauk
Montauk Point on easternmost Long Island is the best-known spot in all of striper fishing. That means it gets crowded, even more so when surf casters follow the advice to “fish under the light-¿ (lighthouse). Here’s a tip: Walk to the left or right along the shore from the lighthouse parking lot. Keep walking-“there’s great structure as far as you can see in both directions. And when you’re hauling that 30-pounder to your truck, tell anyone who asks that you caught it under the light. Paulie’s Tackle of Montauk, 631-668-5520; Guide’s Tips pauliestackle.com
Guide: Bill Wetzel; ; 631-987-6919 longislandsurffishing.com
Rig Specifics: A 10-foot rod with 30- to 50-pound braided line with a few feet of 90-pound braided leader. Fish 1 1/2-inch plugs dressed with bucktail using about a 7/0 hook.
Quick Tip: Depending on which side of the island you’re on, you want the tide to be going out or coming in. The fish will be around structure.
Where to Fish: Fish the wrecks. There will be a lot of people in Turtle Cove next to the light house, but it’s still a good place. Photos From Montauk Field & Stream Online Editors
New York – Lake Oneida
This big lake in central New York is a certified walleye factory. About 10 miles northeast of Syracuse, 80-square-mile Oneida has lots of shallow shoals and reefs, the edges of which are perfect summer walleye habitat. Traditional tactics, from drifting nightcrawlers to casting crankbaits, all work and are at their best early and late in the day. New York Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8, 585-226-2466; Guide’s Tips www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg8
Guide: Ray Brown Fishing Charters; ; 315-762-4865 fish4walleye.com
Rig Specifics: 6 1/2- to 7-foot rods with 6- to 8-pound Berkley Fireline. Jig a black or purple bucktail with a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce sinker.
Quick Tip: Locate your boat in about 25 to 30 feet of water, cast out in front of you, and let it drift down, bouncing it off the bottom. The morning and afternoon are the peak times.
Where to Fish: In the eastern end of the lake, north of buoy 109. Photos From Lake Oneida Field & Stream Online Editors
Pennsylvania – Fishing Creek
One of the state’s top five wild-trout streams, Fishing Creek generally stays cool throughout the summer. That means this north-central river is a good bet from the green drake hatch of early June through the tricos and terrestrials of late August. A 5-mile artificials-only area in the so-called “narrows-¿ near Lamar is the most popular. Trout here have all gained PhDs from heavy fishing pressure but are plentiful and sometimes very large. Flyfisher’s Paradise fly shop, 814-234-4189; Guide’s Tips flyfishersparadise.com
Guide: Greg Randecker; GDP Adventures; 570-893-6474
Rig Specifics: 7 1/2- to 9-foot flyrod, 3- to 5-weight with 5X or 6X tippets. Use size 12 to 16 beadhead nymphs.
Quick Tip: Fish 7 to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to dark. In the summer, the creek can be shallow with warm water. Try to drift your fly under rhododendrons along the edges of the stream.
Where to Fish: Along State Route 2002 from Lamar to Tylersville Photos From Fishing Creek Field & Stream Online Editors
Pennsylvania – Lake Erie
In Pennsylvania, the big lake is famed for its incredible smallmouth fishing. Presque Isle Bay near Erie (the city) has 3,800 acres of protected water, no small matter as a stiff breeze can really kick up the waters elsewhere along the exposed shoreline. The bay warms faster than the main lake, too, which means the bass are typically postspawn in June, schooling up and chasing baitfish. Topwaters will do the trick if you see surface action, but the two essential lures are soft-plastic tube jigs and twister-tail grubs, both fished on leadheads sized to match the depth. Presque Isle State Park offers boat launching and easy shoreline access. Park office, 814-833-7424; Guide’s Tips dcnr.state.pa.us/StateParks/parks/presqueisle.aspx
Guide: Jim Baney; ; 412-629-0639 murphcharters.com
Rig Specifics: Medium-sized downrigger rod with 30-pound Fireline, using worms for bait.
Quick Tip: Unless you have time to troll all day, the best thing to do is use your fish finder to find the thermocline. If you locate the walleyes, they’ll take the bait.
Where to Fish: The trenches close to the Ohio line. Field & Stream Online Editors
Pennsylvania – Raystown Lake
You’ll catch landlocked stripers, largemouths, smallmouths, muskies, and more in this 8,000-acre south-central Pennsylvania reservoir. Stripers have topped 40 pounds, and smallies to 8-plus pounds are possible. A good fishfinder on your boat is necessary for locating suspended stripers, and smallmouth bass along steeply sloping shoreline structure. First-timers here should hire a guide so they can learn the waters. Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce, 814-643-1110; Guide’s Tips raystownlake.com
Guide: Stan’s Raystown Lake Guide Service; stans-raystownlakeguide.com
Rig Specifics: 7-foot, medium-sized rod, with 14- to 20-pound test line using live gizzard shad on 3/0 and 4/0 hooks.
Quick Tip: he magic temperature range is between 65 and 70 degrees. If you can find that range, you’ll find the stripers.
Where to Fish: The launch at Snyder’s Run and at Seven Points Marina are great starting places. Photos From Raystown Lake Field & Stream Online Editors
Rhode Island – Newport
This city is about as old-money upscale as it gets, but surf casting for stripers here is down, dirty, and wonderful. The rocks are key. Abrupt, rough ledges mark much of the surf line, where the wash of breaking waves can bring hordes of bass. There’s access at Newport’s Breton Reef State Park, as well as at Beavertail Point on Jamestown Island. Farther west, the entire shore from Point Judith to Watch Hill is all good fishing. Saltwater Edge tackle shop, 866-793-6733; Guide’s Tips saltwateredge.com
Guide: Saltwater Edge; ; 866-793-6733 saltwateredge.com
Rig Specifics: Go big, or go home. 10-foot rods with 50-pound braided line rigged with 2- to 4-ounce lures.
Quick Tip: An overcast day is best. Hit the jagged rocks along the shore, especially when the waves are big. Many people end up casting more up the shore as opposed to straight out.
Where to Fish: The public access area at Brenton Point is a great place to begin. Photos From Newport Field & Stream Online Editors
Rhode Island – Worden’s Pond
Largemouth bass don’t get a great deal of love in a state where the striper is king, but the many small ponds and lakes can make the effort worthwhile. Worden’s Pond west of State Highway 110 in South Kingstown is one example of a water that very occasionally gives up bigmouths in the 9-pound class and, much more frequently, 2- to 3-pounders. Quaker Lane Outfitters, 401-294-9642; Guide’s Tips quakerlanetackle.com
Species: Largemouth Bass
Guide: Quaker Lane Outfitters; ; 401-294-9642 quakerlanetackle.com
Rig Specifics: 4- to 6-foot rod with 12-pound mono and black spinning lures.
Quick Tip: Worden’s Pond has some great grass beds that you should target.
Where to Fish: Along Route 2, near the mouth of the pond’s outlet. Field & Stream Online Editors
Rhode Island – Wood River
Rhode Island’s trout fishing is generally overlooked but there’s a surprising amount of it. The best is probably the amply stocked Wood River system in the southwestern towns of Exeter, Hopkinton, and Richmond, where slow-flowing deep pools sometimes produce holdover browns and rainbows that can top 5 pounds. This sort of habitat also favors big, burrowing mayfly nymphs, and I’ve heard of-“but not seen-“early-summer hex hatches that can pull awesome fish to the surface right at dark. Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife, 401-789-7481; Guide’s Tips dem.ri.gov/topics/fwtopics.htm
Guide: Blackstone Fly Company; ; 401-265-1396 blackstoneflies.com
Rig Specifics: 6- to 9-foot rod, 3- or 4-weight, with a 5X to 7X tippet. Typical flies include small dries, such as size 12 to 18 caddis and white cahills. The mayfly hatches off the mud and silt bottoms can be great.
Quick Tip: Look for the slow moving water, as that’s where they’ll be.
Where to Fish: There is easy access to the stream from Route 165. Photos From Wood River Field & Stream Online Editors
Vermont – Battenkill River
No-kill regulations on the Battenkill downstream to the New York line have made large wild browns and brookies more abundant. As June insect hatches peak, you’ve got a genuine shot at a brown topping 20 inches, especially when you’re fishing late-evening spinner falls. Gray fox, March brown, bluewing olive, yellow drake, and sulfur mayfly hatches predominate, along with the usual assortment of caddisflies. The Orvis flagship store in Manchester has everything you need. Orvis, 802-362-3750; Guide’s Tips orvis.com
Guide: The Battenkill Angler; ; 802-379-1444 battenkillangler.com
Rig Specifics: 9-foot, 4- to 6-weight rod with a 4X or 5X tippet for dry flies. There is a spectacular Hendrickson hatch throughout the summer.
Quick Tip: Float your fly down the riffles and in the tail end of larger pools.
Where to Fish: The stretch from Arlington to West Arlington along Route 313 is quite popular. Photos From Battenkill River Field & Stream Online Editors
Vermont – Dog River
This little river between Northfield and Montpelier is a real sleeper for wild browns and rainbows. It’s designated wild-trout water by the state, meaning that it is not stocked, which helps to keep the fishing pressure down. State Highway 12 parallels the stream above Northfield, and the access points at pull-offs are obvious. Pay special attention to late-evening spinner falls in slower pools. Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, 802-241-3700; Guide’s Tips vtfishandwildlife.com
Guide: Bob Shannon, Fly Rod Shop; ; 800-535-9763 flyrodshop.com
Rig Specifics: 7 1/2- to 8-foot flyrod with a 6X tippet. The trico hatch in July is a must-fish time on the Dog.
Quick Tip: During hatches, position yourself at the heads of pools and the tail ends of riffles.
Where to Fish: There is a lot of private land, so make sure you ask permission before accessing the river in many spots. There are some great pools that are easy to get in and out of around Northfield Falls, where the river crosses the main highway. Photos From Dog River Field & Stream Online Editors
Vermont – Lake Champlain
This sixth Great Lake, as Champlain is sometimes called, has gotten plenty of bass fishing attention because of national tournaments held here by BASS and the FLW Tour. At 110 miles long and 12 miles wide, with a maximum depth of about 425 feet, there is plenty of water-“and fish-“to go around. Largemouths favor the shallow bays at Champlain’s northern and southern ends, while smallmouths can be found on midlake rocky humps and points. Lake trout, landlocked salmon, northern pike, walleyes, yellow perch, and white perch all add spice. Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, 802-241-3700; Guide’s Tips vtfishandwildlife.com
Species: Largemouth Bass
Guide: Mike Nellis; ; 802-824-5792 vermont-fishing.net.com
Rig Specifics: 6 1/2-foot, medium-heavy spinning or baitcasting rod with 14-pound test. Use spinnerbaits, spoons, frogs, and other topwater lures in this grass-heavy lake.
Quick Tip: Wherever you see a thick patch of grass, toss your lures to its edges. Early morning is the best time.
Where to Fish: Near the Fort Ticonderoga launch. Photos From Lake Champlain Field & Stream Online Editors