I am in the Southwest currently and misplaced here from the Upper Midwest! I drastically miss my four season, my quality and variety of fishing and waterfowl hunting. There are three states right now that I am contemplating for a potential move (four actually, but the fiance has ruled out going back to the upper midwest) and each location MUST have variety and quality in terms of fishing.
I do enjoy Trout fishing, however, it is number 4, 5 or 6 on the list. I LOVE pursuing Smallmouth, Pike, Muskie, Kings and Steelhead and I LOVE winter fishing. I know each location will not offer all of these species and I am OK with that. If I had to narrow it down to two of these species, as I know Trout will be readily available in all three locations, it would have to be Smallmouth and Steelhead.
The three areas that we are looking into are central Colorado, central Oregon or western Montana. All three locations seem to be very similar in terms of what we are looking for (hiking, biking, camping, four seasons, etc.). Based on fishing alone, what do you all have to add?
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Which of these 3 States?
"... it would have to be Smallmouth and Steelhead."
Roseburg, Oregon if the above is a critera. Umpqua river runs right through town and has both summer winter steelhead and Salmon. The main stem of the river is crawling with bass during the summer. One of the best bass fisheries in the State.
One other 'good thing' about Oregon is no sales tax. We do have a small state income tax, but minor compared to other states.
Roseburg's right on I-5 so upwards of a two hour drive gets you to the Rogue at Grants Pass, etc.
Oregon was also on our short list when moving West as well as Washington. Seems like an awesome state. However, I would respectfully disagree with Fred on the income tax. Oregon is third highest in the nation from the reading I have done. Depending on your tax bracket or what your line of work is that can be a pretty substantial factor.
That being said we abandoned the tax haven of New Hampshire for MT income tax. Painful at first but worth every penny.
Having two steelhead runs per year would probably quickly erase any tax pain though.
Colorado I like, but damn expensive and crawling with people. I have a buddy who back country bowhunts Elk every year in Colorado and he constantly runs into non-hunting hikers, bikers, etc. 8, 10, 12, 15 miles in from any road!
Montana would be awesome and I know there are some of those warm water species around, just not a ton. The winters do not bother me. In fact, winter is probably my favorite time of year.
I like both Largemouth and Smallmouth, but Smallies in a river are the deal for me! Steelhead, well, they speak for themselves! Kings would be a great bonus as would the nice Trout. I guess the only thing Oregon is missing for me is Esox! However, being able to go slam some nice Smallies and two days later fish to Steelhead, not sure if I can beat that!