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TravelTravel Advice

What Are the Best Fly-Fishing Rivers in New England?

I started taking fly-fishing lessons earlier this year, and I’m already starting to get the bug—so to speak—for the sport. What are your favorite fly-fishing rivers in the Northeast?

Fly rod (Photo: Roger Asbury/Shutterstock)

Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.


The Northeast’s rivers are often overshadowed by those in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. But don't rent a U-Haul just yet: New England's rivers are full of trout, and under-the-radar enough that you'll more than likely have them to yourself. Start with these three:

The Best Fly-Fishing Rivers: Penobscot River, Maine

Penscobot River (Photo: Lewishb)

Originating near the Canadian border, the west branch of the Penobscot River is probably best known for the most rollicking whitewater in the Northeast. But make the long trip to Maine’s northern hinterlands with Maine Fishing Adventures and venture to the pools between the Class IV and V rapids to be rewarded with rich pockets of brooks and prehistoric-sized wild land-locked salmon.

The Best Fly-Fishing Rivers: Androscoggin River, New Hampshire

Androscoggin River (Photo: Harris Shiffman/Shutterstock)

The Androscoggin, which flows through the White Mountains of New Hampshire before cutting across Maine, used to be the lifeblood of the paper industry in northern New England. It was also one of the most polluted before clean water laws resuscitated it. The foam-filled upper stretch before Berlin has always remained a clean and fertile home for trout, bass, and even some land-locked salmon. Hire a guide from New Hampshire Rivers to show you the way.

The Best Fly-Fishing Rivers: Deerfield River, Massachusetts

Deerfield River (Photo: Bob Shand/Flickr)

Bostonians are quick to head north for outdoor adventure, so they often overlook the easily accessible Berkshire Mountains in the western half of their own state. In turn, the well-known but barely used Deerfield River in northwestern Massachusetts is a quiet treasure for anglers and whitewater kayakers. It’s well stocked all the way from the Vermont border until it meets the Connecticut River in Greenfield, though the best fishing is found furthest upstream. Harrison Anglers is your best bet for guiding.

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Filed To: Adventure AdviserWater Activities
Lead Photo: Roger Asbury/Shutterstock