Fly Fishing,    Perfect Fishing Days

3 Great Places to Go Fly Fishing this Labor Day Weekend

By Eric Shores 8/29/2017 5 minutes

Think it’s too late to plan a Labor Day weekend fly fishing trip? Think again. Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean you missed your opportunity to get out and hook some trout.

Here are three places where a last-minute fishing trip could help you unwind before summer’s officially over:
 

Ennis Montana

Ennis-roadsign

The summer is gradually fading out and the fall is about to kick off—here come the browns! Ennis is home to an annual fly fishing festival this weekend, Ennis on the Madison. Anglers and families will enjoy the mix of vendors, music, and activities that pay homage to the town’s rich fly fishing history and the legendary Madison River.


There are plenty of ways to enjoy fishing around Ennis this weekend, even if the Madison does get a little crowded. You could search for nearby streams with less traffic, or hire a fishing guide to help you find where the fish are hiding.

 

State College Pennsylvania

state-college

Home to the Penn State Nittany Lions, it’s a college town with about as much history as you can find. It’s also a beloved place for serious anglers because of its proximity to some of the finest fishing streams on the east coast. When you put that together with the $1 fishing licenses offered throughout the state this Labor Day, do you really need any more excuses to visit?

Check out nearby fishing waters such as: the Little Juanita, Penns Creek, Spruce Creek.

 

Park City Utah

park-city
 

Located within an hour of some great western trout fisheries, Park City is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Utah is home to some of the most renowned national parks including Zion and Arches, so there’s plenty to see. Outfitters are numerous, because there is so much to do from backpacking, to whitewater rafting and of course, casting a line.

Worried about the heat? There's no need for that. Cool rivers such as the Strawberry and the Weber help provide natural air conditioning as they wind through Utah’s red rock canyons. The fall season is on its way, but there’s still a chance to enjoy the best of the Utah summer.

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Locate other great fishing destinations
Destinations
The town of State College, home to Penn State University, is a place where you can fish for trout in amazing streams and take college level courses in fly fishing at the same time. ... moreState College, founded in the mid-1800s as an “AG” school, over time became home to Penn State University. Even though the name of the school and its post office appellation changed in the early 1950’s, the town has retained its original name.

Fly fishing has long been a part of the University’s tradition. George Harvey, an early pioneer of physical education and competitive sports, began teaching fly fishing courses in the mid-1930s. By the late 1940’s his classes became part of the school’s curriculum; to this day, fly fishing classes are offered as for-credit.

A short distance from campus is Spring Creek, a wild, trout filled, limestone stream. There are several other fine streams for both students and sportsmen to fish within reach of town, including the Little Juanita River, Penn’s Creek, Fishing Creek and Spruce Creek. Great efforts have been made to successfully restore these waters from industrial pollutants with the assistance of several conservation groups. Sport fishing groups include the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Fly Fishing Club at University Park.

If traveling with friends or family not interested in fishing, State College offers all the rich cultural, social and athletic activities you can expect to find in a university town, such as the performing arts, film festivals and art fairs. Outdoor activities consist of hiking, golf, mountain biking and boating. During the season, Beaver Stadium, home to the Penn State Nittany Lions, is packed with fans.

There are several ways to reach State College, including:

Fly to Harrisburg International Airport and drive for approximately 1 hour

Fly to Pittsburgh International Airport and drive for approximately 2 ½ hours

Fly to Philadelphia International Airport and drive for approximately 3 hours
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Park City is located about 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City along Interstate 80. It takes only about 35 minutes from the SLC Airport. The town's population is approaching ... more8,000. The town retained that great western flair and caters to an enthusiastic ski crowd in the winter. You'll find nice hotels and a great selection of over 100 restaurants and bars for just about any budget. Park City's rugged beauty is complemented by open air concerts, numerous spas and health clubs, plays, independent film screenings, a series of world-class events and festivals. Flyfishing on several rivers and reservoirs is close by and Yobi Adventures offers a number of experienced guides that will make your experience a great one.
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This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.

Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.

Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Fishing Waters
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The Strawberry river flows into Strawberry Reservoir and out through Soldier Creek Dam. The first 8 miles below Soldier Creek Dam are BLM land. This stretch is one of Utah's most productive ... morebrown and cutthroat trout fisheries and is accessed by a trail that runs along the north bank. The Strawberry river has a population of Bear Lake Cutthroat that have migrated from Strawberry Reservoir into the stream.

12 miles below Soldier Creek Dam the river runs by the Strawberry Pinnacles where it is joined by the tributaries Avintaquin Creek and Red Creek. The narrow canyon that the river runs through is characterized by high, steep cliffs and dense foliage. The river flows into Starvation Reservoir before it joins the Duchesne River east of the town of Duchesne, Utah.

This water upstream from USFS 124 (Bull Springs Road) to its headwaters has strict regulations, including some sections that are closed year round to protect spawning cutthrowat and Kokanee Salmon. Check current fishing regulations before you go. Below the road to the top of the reservoir is closed to fishing all year. However, don't snub your nose at the section below the reservoir. Great fishing is to be had here.

Strawberry Bay Campground is located on the shore of beautiful Strawberry Reservoir at an elevation of 7,200 feet. The campground is set among rolling sagebrush covered hills next to Strawberry Reservoir. Most campsites offer sweeping views of the reservoir and surrounding hills. Small pine trees dot the campground but provide very little shade.

Starvation Reservoir offers 3,500 acres of fishing four miles northwest of Duchesne on Highway 40. A 54 unit campground, sandy beach, modern rest rooms, showers, group-use area, and fish cleaning and sewage disposal stations are available. Primitive camping is allowed at designated areas around the reservoir.
Game Fish Opportunities:
The Provo River features a premier blue ribbon trout fishery close to Utah's major cities. Brown and rainbow trout mature to record lengths in the Provo, with a most fish running 18 ... moreinches or bigger. In some areas the Provo offers 3,000 or more trout per mile. As a result, the waters of the Provo River provide exceptional recreation.

The Provo River flows through Utah County and Wasatch County, Utah. It rises in the Uinta Mountains at Washington Lake and flows about 70 miles southwest to Utah Lake at the city of Provo, Utah. The main branches of Provo River are the North Fork Provo River and the South Fork Provo River. In the Provo you'll find: Brown Trout, Common Carp, Cutthroat Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, and White Bass.
Game Fish Opportunities:
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The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Trips
$
280
-
$
590
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Fishing Waters:
We offer professionally guided Utah fly fishing trips 12 months a year, on rivers, streams, and ponds near Park City, Utah. Whether you’re here playing golf in the summer, playing ... moreon the ski slopes during the winter or attending the Sundance film festival we have a great alternative for you. Come spend a day you won’t forget fly fishing with our guides.

Provo River is one of the best known fly fishing rivers in Western United States. It is only 20 minutes from Park City and 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. This Blue Ribbon River provides excellent fishing year-round. It originates in the high Uinta Mountains, and is divided into three distinct sections; the upper, the middle, and the lower. The three sections are separated by two reservoirs, the Jordanelle and Deer Creek. Because of these reservoirs the middle and lower sections of the Provo river are classic tail-water fisheries, where the upper is more of a free stone river. These tail-water sections are managed for trophy trout. The water is almost always clear and fishable, and the fish numbers are truly impressive. There are many access points along the 25 miles of river, so if you have any limitations this is a great choice. With its close proximity to Park City this river is ideal for half or full day trips.
$
525
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
The Lower Madison provides memorable Montana angling adventures. The river begins below Ennis Lake, flows through the majestic Beartrap Canyon and 35 miles downstream to the Headwaters ... moreof the Missouri River. Because it is dam-controlled, the Lower Madison can be reliable when stream flows are higher in the Spring, and in late Fall when water temperatures start to drop elsewhere. Although not as well known as its upstream neighbor, The Upper Madison, the Lower is an exceptional fishery that can produce trout in attractive numbers and size. The Lower Madison is mostly known as a Brown and Rainbow trout fishery, though some cutthroats do exist in the river. Prolific hatches and large numbers of crayfish and sculpins make for very well-fed fish in The Lower Madison.
$
400
-
$
525
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Destination:
The Madison River is arguably the most legendary trout stream in North America. It is home to some incredible trout and holds many secrets. The experienced guides at Fishtales Outfitting ... moreknow how to coax sizeable trout out of the water and will help you get them on the end of your line. Located near Sheridan, Montana, we have prime access to some of southwest Montana's finest trout streams, and there's no doubt that the Madison stands apart. Full Day and Half Day wade and drift boat trips are available based on your preferences and experience level. Lunch is included with full day trips and comes straight from food grown and raised locally. Book a fantastic day on the Madison River and you won't soon forget it!
Outfitters
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Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.
Type:
Fishing

AuthorPicture

Eric Shores

Eric Shores has been guiding clients on Montana Rivers for over 32 years. He's as wily as any old brown trout when it comes to getting his clients on to fish and his stories will entertain you along the way. Many of our clients have become life long friends after a memorable day on the water with Eric.

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