Top Ten Fly-Fishing Destinations

From Alaskan salmon to the Peacock bass of the Amazon, the world's best rivers, seas, and streams.
By Scott Elder
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Fly-fishing Silver Creek, Idaho
TOTALLY HOOKED: Fly-fishing Silver Creek, Idaho  (Steve Smith/Photographer's Choice/Getty)

A huge blue sky hangs overhead, unbroken wilderness spreads all around, and a river rushes through, with you, fly rod in hand, standing waist-deep in the middle of it all. Welcome to a fly-fisherman's idea of paradise, where the cares are few—maintaining the back-and-forth rhythm of the cast, tricking a wary fish into biting the fake bug at the end of the line—but they completely absorb mind, body, and soul, and reinvigorate them all. If you're not a fly-fisherman, that may sound, well, fishy. I used to be a skeptic, too.

Until recently, my idea of a good time fishing involved a spear gun and the Caribbean; otherwise I thought fishing was a total bore. But when I joined my brother in Idaho to fish the renowned spring-fed Silver Creek, I quickly became a convert. Fly-fishing is a true outdoorsman's pursuit, more active and challenging than casting from a dock and waiting...and waiting. Moreover, landing a fish with a fly rod isn't simply a matter of dumb luck, and it's therefore all the more sweet. But a little luck doesn't hurt either, as I learned when I snagged a pugnacious rainbow trout on my first day out.

The fish wasn't the only one hooked. Now I'm doing what fly-fishermen do when they're not on the water: daydreaming about future trips to the world's best fishing destinations. To make sure I was imagining myself in the right spots, as I'm still getting my feet wet, I conversed with well-traveled pro fishing guides and asked where they are in their daydreams. However obscure their choices might seem, the same places kept coming up, and those mentioned first and most often ranked highest. Here are ten paradises on earth according to fly anglers who've been there and fished that.

Published: 14 Oct 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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