Whether you’re an accomplished fly fisher or you’ve always wanted to try, where you go makes all the difference. Here are three of the US’s best—from California, to Montana, to New Hampshire, these resorts offer some of the finest catches around.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
Long considered the premier full-service guest ranch since it opened in 1946, Alisal’s 100-acre spring-fed lake is one of the best places in California for year-round fly fishing.
Jason Grupp, Alisal’s Orvis-endorsed guide, specializes in the sport using traditional spinning tackle and fly fishing gear to help guests track down their fish. Alisal Lake also features an Orvis fly shop and offers a diverse fleet of boats including bass boats, electric trolling boats and other recreational boats.
Alisal offers packages that include three night stays, meals, guided fishing trips, as well as horseback riding, golfing, and tennis.
Bonus: Alisal hosts a BBQ Bootcamp package
If you’re looking to “beef” up on your BBQ skills, Alisal hosts a BBQ Bootcamp package. Specializing in barbecue for over 60 years, during this three-night, four-day program, guests will hone their grilling skills, gain grilling confidence, and learn the ins-and-outs of Santa Maria-style BBQ from Alisal Executives, Chef Pascal Godé and Chef Ostini. Each morning is focused on a different aspect of grilling and afternoons are free for horseback riding, golf, or a visit to the spa. In the evenings, local winemakers are on hand to pour some of the rich varietals for which the Santa Ynez wine region is known.
Ranch at Rock Creek
Set on 6,600 acres of western Philipsburg, Montana wilderness, Rock Creek offers a mix of several accommodations, including five-star amenities and authentic ranch activities. Guys can select their own private room in the Granite Lodge, or bunk together in one of the property’s luxury log homes and cabins, including a set of canvas cabins (half-cabin, half-tent digs) located along Rock Creek.
Along with blue ribbon fly fishing there’s sporting clay shooting, horseback riding, roping, archery, paintballing, pistol target practice and more. The Ranch also features a Silver Dollar Saloon with billiards, a four-lane bowling alley, karaoke, a full bar with saddle seats and a 14-foot movie screen — perfect for screenings of Clint Eastwood westerns and cowboy classics like High Noon, The Magnificent Seven, and Tombstone.
When not outdoors, guests can indulge treatments in the property’s 2,000-square-foot Granite Spa (the Saddle Sore Soak is a favorite) and sample five-star cuisine in the Ranch’s dining room. Executive Chef Josh Drage creates world-class, regionally inspired cuisine that incorporates the vivid flavors of Southern France, Italy and Spain into dishes featuring local game (elk rib eye, bison meatloaf, venison chili), Montana-raised beef, lamb, chicken and dairy products, and organically grown produce. All-inclusive rates include all accommodations, activities, meals, beverages, spirits and selections from the ranch’s extensive wine list.
The Cabins at Lopstick
In the Grand North of Pittsburg, New Hampshire, Lopstick offers a professional fly fishing guide service, endorsed by Orvis. This is one of the most picturesque locations in all of New Hampshire, overlooking the breathtaking First Connecticut Lake, which also offers some of the best fly fishing in the country.
With years of experience fishing in the North Country, guides offer the knowledge and expertise to make a fishing trip memorable. Fly fishing/casting is their specialty. From stream-side entomology lessons to mending fly line, their guides have successfully taught many beginners to cast a fly rod, select appropriate flies and catch fish.
The Cabins at Lopstick is a Certified “Best of” by New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for New Hampshire’s Grand North.