Find Places to Fly Fish

11 Ways to Find Your Next “Secret” Fly Fishing Spots

Fly fishing is a popular and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed in a variety of locations. From rushing mountain streams to calm, clear lakes, many types of waters offer excellent fly fishing opportunities.

If you’re looking to find new and exciting places to fly fish, the internet is a valuable resource that can help you discover the best spots. We get to dive into using the internet to find places to fly fish, including using search engines, online fly fishing forums, social media, fly fishing websites, local fly fishing shops, and Google Maps.

We’ll also discuss how to find out where trout are stocked in rivers by contacting state fish and wildlife agencies. Whether you’re a seasoned fly fisherman or just starting, these online resources can help you find the perfect fly fishing location.

Brown Trout Scales
Want to learn to catch brown trout on a fly? I’ve got a complete guide 👉 How to Fly Fish for Brown Trout

1. Find Where Guides Operate

A fly fishing guide’s success hinges on their ability to find productive waters—places that ensure clients leave satisfied. While it’s highly beneficial to hire a guide for their expertise and access to prime fishing spots, you can also discover valuable insights by checking the rivers they mention on their websites. This can significantly reduce the mystery of where to fish.

Consider also exploring areas where guides might not venture, such as narrow feeder creeks inaccessible by drift boat or remote headwaters that require a bit more hiking than the average client prefers. These less-traveled spots can often be hidden gems, offering peace, solitude, and the thrill of discovery.

2. Using The TroutRoutes App

TroutRoutes App
TroutRoutes App

I’ve found the TroutRoutes App to be an essential companion for trout fishing. It simplifies finding the best spots by providing a rating system, detailed access maps, and the latest fishing regulations. Its in-depth mapping tools, which include topographical details and habitat types, have fundamentally changed how I plan my fishing trips.

What truly stands out for me is the ability to personalize my experience. I can bookmark my go-to spots, track my catches, and connect with a community that shares my enthusiasm for fly fishing. Having this app on my phone means I’m always prepared for an adventure, equipped with the knowledge to make each trip a success.

3. Search Engines: A Quick and Easy Way to Find Fly Fishing Locations

Use a search engine such as Google to search for fly fishing locations in a specific area. You can try search terms such as “fly fishing near [city/state/region]”, “best fly fishing [state/region]”, or “fly fishing [river/stream/lake]”.

Guide Recommended is dedicated to helping you find the best places to cast a fly line.  Scroll through hundreds of river guides on this page 👉 Where to Fly Fish

I always suggest combining a couple of the techniques found in this article.  Finding the river, then using Google Maps to find access points and researching a little more to see what fly shops and guides are making a living on your targeted spot.

4.. Online Fly Fishing Forums: Connect with Other Fly Fishermen for Recommendations

Fly Anglers Online Forum
Fly Anglers Online Forum – one of the oldest fly fishing forums – FAOL

Online fly fishing forums: Join online fly fishing forums and ask for recommendations from other fly fishermen. These forums are often a great resource for finding new and lesser-known fly fishing spots.

Generally, fly fishers will talk one on one with fellow anglers to promote this incredible sport.  I’m always advocating helping others especially fly fishers. The more folks tossing flies will increase the conservation ethic that will keep these rivers and lakes open.

Guide Pro Tip: I recently heard a talk from the owner of the app Trout Routes. I immediately bought a subscription. If an app can show me where the MOST PRODUCTIVE waters are – I’m Signing Up! Learn more with this shortcut link 👉 Trout Routes

5. Social Media: Follow Fly Fishing Experts and Enthusiasts for Tips and Information

Social media: Follow fly fishing guides, outfitters, and other fly fishing enthusiasts on social media. They may share information about good fly fishing spots, as well as tips and techniques for successful fly fishing.

This method is a little dicey, don’t ask directly on the social platform.  Send a private message, getting the intel might be a little bit harder, but once you connect with a couple of folks and earn some trust it’s like opening a floodgate of information.

6. Fly Fishing Websites: A Wealth of Resources and Information

Fly fishing websites: Many fly fishing websites have information about fly fishing locations, as well as tips and resources for fly fishing.

Here’s a List of Prospective Websites to Get You on Some Productive Water

  • Orvis has a fly fishing report page dedicated to destinations. HERE
  • Guide Recommended has hundreds of where to fly fish articles. Scroll through them with this link 👉 Where To Go Fly Fishing
  • Yellow Dog Fly Fishing has destinations all over the world. Read more HERE
Fly Fishing Tennessee
A complete guide to 👉 Fly Fishing Tennessee (Maps Included)

7. Local Fly Fishing Shops: An Excellent Source of Local Knowledge

Local fly fishing shops: Don’t forget to check the websites of local fly fishing shops, guides, and outfitters. These businesses are often a wealth of knowledge about the best fly fishing spots in the area.

Guide Pro Tip: One of my most popular articles is 👉 Best Places to Fly Fish in the USA

8. Get a Guide (A Lifetime of Knowledge in a Day)

When you hire a fly fishing guide, they will typically take you to the most productive areas of a river or stream.  Additionally, you’ll get all of the necessary gear, such as a fly rod, reel, line, and flies.  Which will shortcut your learning curve and make your next trip even more productive.

Usually, they’ll provide you with instructions on how to cast, what flies to use, and how to read the water to find where the fish are likely to be.

In addition to teaching, you how to fly fish, a fly fishing guide can also provide you with valuable information about the river or stream, such as the best spots to fish and the types of fish that can be found there.

If you become a regular, you’ve just gotten an insider’s view of the river.  A quick text to the guide can get some current water conditions.

Guide Pro Tip: If you like the guide and want to fish with them again, schedule it immediately.  Great guides are often booked a year or more in advance.

9. State Fish and Wildlife Agencies: A Reliable Source of Information on Trout Stocking Locations

Trout are often stocked in rivers by state fish and wildlife agencies as a way to provide recreational fishing opportunities for anglers. The specific locations where trout are stocked can vary from state to state and may depend on factors such as the availability of suitable habitat, the presence of other fish species, and water quality.

To find out where trout are stocked in a particular state, you can try contacting the state fish and wildlife agency or visiting their website. Many states have online resources that provide information about trout stocking locations and schedules. You can also try searching for “trout stocking [state]” online or asking at a local fly-fishing shop or fishing tackle store.

Popular States with Trout Stocking Resources

This is some “insider” knowledge. It’s almost like the state natural resources departments are hiding this information.

10. State and National Park Systems – “Beautiful Places are the Home of Trout”

Exploring state and national parks can lead to incredible fly-fishing experiences in stunning surroundings. To discover new fly fishing locations, try going on an adventure and exploring different parks. Before you visit a park, make sure to check the park’s website to learn about fishing regulations and restrictions specific to that location. Keep in mind that fishing rules may differ from park to park, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

Fly Fishing in the Smoky Mountains
Fly Fishing in the Smoky Mountains

Favorite National Parks to Fly Fish

11. Use YouTube to Find Some Likely “Holding Water”

Using YouTube to find fly fishing spots is a simple process. Begin by opening the YouTube app or website and searching for keywords related to fly fishing spots, such as “Best Fly Fishing River in Montana” or “Top Fly Fishing Streams in Utah.” Scroll through the search results and look for videos that showcase different fly fishing locations.

Do a Little More Online Research

These could be vlogs, travel guides, or instructional videos. As you watch the videos, take note of the locations mentioned and do some additional research to make sure they are a good fit for you.

This may include checking out websites or social media pages for the location and looking for information about the type of fish that are found there, the weather and water conditions, and any access or permit requirements.

Map It Out

Once you have found a spot that looks promising, make a plan to visit and try it out, remembering to follow all local regulations and guidelines and be respectful of the environment and other fishermen.

Where to Fly Fish on
Where to Fly Fish on

12. How to Use Google Maps to Find Fishing Rivers

You can use Google Maps to find fishing rivers by following these steps:

  1. Go to Google Maps ( in your web browser.
  2. Search for the area you want to fish in by entering a city, state, or zip code into the search bar.
  3. Once the map is displayed, click on the “Layers” button in the top right corner of the map.
  4. In the “Layers” menu, click on the “Water Features” option. This will show various water bodies on the map, including rivers, streams, and lakes.
  5. You can zoom in and out of the map to see more or less detail, and you can pan around the map to view different areas.

As you explore the map, you can click on any of the water bodies to see more information about them. This may include the name of the water body, its size, and any other relevant details.

If you want to find specific types of fishing waters, such as fly fishing streams or bass lakes, you can try using the search bar to look for specific terms. For example, you can search for “fly fishing streams near [city]” or “bass lakes in [state]”.

Keep in mind that not all fishing waters will be marked on the map, so you may also want to try using other resources, such as local fishing reports or fishing forums, to find more information about fishing locations.

Finding Fishy Water Download
Finding Fishy Water Download

13. Fly Fishing Books with River Guides

If you’re looking to learn about fly fishing or improve your skills, then fly fishing books are a great resource. They can teach you the basics, help you improve your techniques, and even suggest new places to fish. Even if you don’t have time to read an entire book, you can still get some valuable information by just skimming through it. If you’re having trouble finding fly fishing books locally, you can always try looking online.

How to fly fish for brook trout
Learn 👉 How to fly fish for brook trout

Favorite Fly Fishing Books

Guide Pro Tip: Google has a resource called  Sometimes you can get a preview of the book with some helpful locations.  Try it out with this link 👉

One More Cast

In conclusion, there are many ways to use the internet to find places to fly fish. Some options include using search engines, joining online fly fishing forums, following fly fishing guides and enthusiasts on social media, visiting fly fishing websites, and consulting with local fly fishing shops and outfitters.

Google Maps can also be a useful tool for finding fishing rivers, streams, and lakes, by using the “Layers” menu to show water features and searching for specific terms. To find out where trout are stocked in a particular state, you can try contacting the state fish and wildlife agency or visiting their website.

It is worth noting that not all fishing waters will be marked on a map, so it may be helpful to use a combination of online resources and local knowledge to find the best fly fishing spots.

Looking to Learn the Tips and Techniques for the Fish You Love to Chase? I’ve Got You Hooked Up Below

Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How to Fly Fish

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