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dr_wogz 05-12-2011 12:08 PM

How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Thatís the question. How does one go about finding fishing locations? I live in Montreal, and have fished the river many times. I want a bit of a change, to find a little stream or that small river thatís somewhat secluded, like we all see on TV.. Iíve driven past a few Ďpossible locationsí but donít know about access points, parking, etc.. Iíll mostly be walking the river as I donít (yet) own a boat (canoe, kayak, etc..) (Not to mention, bass season doesnít start till late June, and no way would I want to keep anything from the river!)

Iíve searched a few times on Mapquest & other Ďonlineí maps to scout out the area, a river & such. But most seem backed up onto farms or along the highway, with no real / visible access. Or parking / stopping.

Is there a method? A talent / skill for finding? Or is it just trial & error, with the initial help of online maps & a GPS & a drive..

Brewmaster 05-12-2011 03:02 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
The best initial contact I have found is the state or province department of natural resources or fish and game department. For example, when I went to Canada a couple of years ago, I was going to be around the Grand River. So, I contacted the Grand River Co-op and they provided me with several maps and brochures with fishing information, access points, driving directions, etc., etc.. Thus, when I head for another state in the U.S. I always contact the DNR or F&G as my first reference point, then I often call that same department and ask to speak to the regional biologist or fishing warden for additional information.

The second best contact resource is through a forum such as this one (FFF) where you can get information or private contacts for specific areas you plan to visit. Just don't expect someone you do not know personally to provide you with directions to their best honey-holes! ;-)

If you come to Missouri - contact the MO DNR and ask for a Trout Map - this will show all trout streams (natural and stocked) broken down into trophy blue-ribbon waters, red-ribbon waters, and white-ribbon waters, with driving directions, access points and public fishing locations all detailed for your information. Of course finding that great fishing hole is probably more about being able to read the river, which is NOT on the map!

jpbfly 05-12-2011 03:14 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Already got great advice....maybe visit some forums...a few years ago before my trip I "google earthed" an austrian stream to find the best access points and parking places:)and it worked:D

scthomas 05-12-2011 03:32 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
That's just what I wanted to know. I live in Upstate NY and don't know a soul who fishes around here. I live in a rural area so it isn't like there are shops around. I have to do most of my shopping online or drive fifty miles.

mcnerney 05-12-2011 03:59 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Another good way to find water in your area is to use Google Earth, you will be amazed at what that turns up.


chuck s 05-13-2011 05:20 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Double that hit on Google Earth. First time I used it was on a small area near here called Stillwater Park! Amazing what shows up.

fredaevans 05-13-2011 06:32 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers

Originally Posted by mcnerney (Post 255243)
Another good way to find water in your area is to use Google Earth, you will be amazed at what that turns up.


All above dead on ... the above is even 'deader on.' Just look at the date on the maps so you're looking at reasonable 'current events.'

Using the Upper Rogue River as a marker, the 'maps' were updated as of July-2010 are what you'll find "boots on ground." Was 'way cool' to do the fly by function and run up the top 30'ish miles of river.

Repeating myself here, but dead on ''BOG."


peregrines 05-14-2011 03:25 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Excellent advice. State (and provincial?) fish and wildlife websites often have where to go information and/or public access maps. Fly shops are a great source of local info on where to fish, hatch charts, up to date stream conditions, effective patterns etc. And as mentioned, Google Earth is another great resource.

scthomas- New York state has a ton of info you can start here: Places to Fish - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

You might also want to see if there are any Trout Unlimited Chapters or Federation of Fly Fishers near you. Joining a local group is a great way to get up to speed, meet new fishing buddies and learn local waters on formal or informal group trips.

In the states you can search here:
Council/Chapter Contacts | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries
Locate a Club

For Canada, it doesn't seem like there's any in Quebec: Trout Unlimited Canada
Locate a Club

Frank Whiton 05-14-2011 04:00 PM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
Hi dr_wogz,

Besides all of the good information above Topographical maps can be a great help. They are hard to use on your computer unless you have a big screen. I like to see the regular maps. They will show you all kinds of things and aid in finding places.

I looked at MS Maps and there is all kinds of water around you. Most lakes have streams or rivers entering or leaving lakes and these all have potential. I see a large park area north of you that 117 goes right through the middle. Lots of potential them. Get a canoe and you would be good to go. Even with out a boat check out the streams connecting the lakes.

One very important aspect of locating good water is hiking to spots located on your Topographical map studies. You can tell the gradient of the river by the Topo and pick a spot to hike to. One thing I always looked for when starting out in the Sierras was a steep gradient, then a flat area, then a steep gradient leading away from the flat. The flat could be a mile long or only a few hundred yards. These flat areas almost always hold fish.


tbone616 05-23-2011 01:54 AM

Re: How to find fishing locations? streams & rivers
There are lots of good access points along most major roads but if your looking for some back road access here is what I do. Google Earth, GPS, Backroad Mapbook(Backroad Mapbooks ? Recreation maps, GPS maps, Topo maps, Fishing maps, Digital maps for BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada) my Jeep and a little charm. Like alot of the other fellas have said I find Google Earth indespensible now a days for finding my access points. I'll research local waters, look them up on Google Earth make notes of what appear to be access points and go for a drive. Now I hop in the Jeep with my notes, map book and GPS and scout all the points I had recorded and look for any new ones I may have missed. If some of those points happen to be on private land I will just head to the nearest farm house and ask politely who owns the land and if I may have access to fish. Now most of the time (not always) if you are nice they say yes, if they do I get their name and number (record it in a notepad I leave in the glove box) and give them mine as well and make sure they know that I will always ask permission everytime before I just head out on their land. If they say no it is a simple thank you and off to the next spot.

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