Blessed to live in Sebago Lake area of Maine.
On a day off, it's hard to decide where to go because of all the opportunities.
Stripers, trout (brook, brown, bows), smallies, lmb, panfish, are all within 15 min.
I have six coastal rivers with good Steelhead, Chinook, Chum and Cutthroat runs i can be fishing in less than an hour. There is also a decent sized lake 20 mins away that is stocked with trout and has a decent bass fishery as well.
There are two National Wildlife Refuges within 30 minutes plus 1,000s of acres of other public estuary nearby outside the refuges. The beach front itself is 20-25 minutes from home. There is so much public water close to home and so little relative fishing pressure, I hardly ever feel the desire to fish elsewhere. There are a lot of species to be caught on the fly and too many to really list.
I can walk from my home to a creek that has a variety of freshwater fish, but seldom fish there. My parents live 10 minutes away on a natural oxbow lake with a healthy population of LMB, crappie, bluegills, and catfish among others. I should access it more, but I am mostly drawn to the saltwater environs.
Lots of good water with good fish close to Boise.
Boise river right through town, 30 miles of green belt beside it with parking. The west end is best accessed by bike, so it gets less pressure.
To the west, the Owyhee is an hour away. Big fish, even when it's busy you can usually find a spot.
Go west, then north, 40 Min, The south fork Payette. Another hour thru Crouch, the Middle Fork Payette. Farther north, 4 hours, Bear valley, Lots of water.
Go N/E, the N. Fork Boise and hour plus away, fish that upstream then drive on and fish the Middle Fork Boise. East, then North, the South Fork Boise, an hour and a half.
West 3 hours: Silver Creek, The Little Wood, The Big Wood.
South for an hour, the Snake, then west, Billingsly Creek, the Malad River.
I don't count flat water much, but there's a bunch.
I chose 3+ hours which is true for trout fishing which is what I prefer.
However, I do fish Stripers in the bay which is right out my back door but I do not do it much and it is a timing thing.
Not unusual for me to get up at 2am and drive to good trout fishing fish all day and then drive back home arriving home at midnight. That is why I bought my camper as I can leave the night before, sleep in the camper just about anywhere and then fish, sleep overnight and drive home the next day (after getting a few hours in on the stream of course.).
I never saw this when it was new either. I can walk to a good trout stream but often drive over.
It has a lot of these throughout the length of it.
It dumps into Cook Inlet so there's always the chance of picking up larger fish. The stretch below is about 1/2 mile above tidewater. This stream gets a pretty good run of sockeye and silvers too. I've already walked right up on what had to be a steelhead in early spring only to see it disappear under shelf ice. Neat little spot........
Most of the places I fish are within an hour of either the house or the cabin, I'm fortunate.
Seasonal wet wading on 1 of 4 grass flats for tailing Redfish is 5 minutes from my driveway ....maybe 10 if I ride my bike.
Most ponds have warm water fishing along with their own population of Gators which detracts from the relaxing experience.
Trout fishing ...mmmm that's a challenge around here, but realistically 5 hours or more to get into Northern Ga or Western NC. There are some in wild streams in upstate SC and at least one stocked river I am aware of mid state.
I have two stocked rivers that run through my town. They're good early before they warm up, but they are purely stocked fishing.
Around 45 minutes from me there are a couple on non-stocked rivers that are very good in the Spring and Fall, but get too warm in mid-Summer.
Mountain fishing for wild trout is from one hour to three hours away depending on where I want to go.
I have a little pond with bluegill and small LMB a half mile from my house, which I hit after work, but for what I love - trout streams - I have a nearly 4 hour journey to Wisconsin's Driftless Area, which I consider world class trout fishing.
When i am in Atlanta, Chattahoochee is within 30 mins, Toccoa, Nantahala and Chattooga 2 to 2.5 hrs. When in West Yellowstone, Lake Hebgen is a mile away, so 5 mins driving slowly. Madison, Firehole, Gallatin in Park, and Madison Between Lakes and at Raynolds Pass and $3 Bridge all are on scale of 25 to 40 mins. Henry's Fork in Last Chance and Harriman's Ranch about 45 mins. The vast majority of my fishing is in these locations, not surprisingly Hebgen more than anywhere. Some days i will take a small boat to Hebgen, fish an hour and be home in the same time it would take to just drive to last chance and back without fishing! Occasionally, maybe once or twice a year, sometimes none, i will go to Yellowstone R in the park (at least an hour), or South Fork or Teton in Idaho (probably on the order of 1.5 to 2 hrs?)
Hmm, I really thought I replied to this thread back when it first posted, but I guess not.
To get to decent trout water from Phoenix, I must drive a minimum of 3 hours up to the Mogollon Rim (pronounced, 'muh gee-on' and then 'rim'). And then there's usually at least twenty minutes of hiking, up to over an hour or three of hiking.
So, yeah, I have to plan on taking a whole day if i want to go fishing. Occasionally I'll do a day trip, but mostly I at least make it an over-nighter; otherwise it isn't really worth it to me most of the time.
And yes, I'm completely jealous of those of you that can just walk out your back door or drive less than ten minutes to your favorite lake/stream. Must be nice.
I have numerous ponds within 15 mins that are full of your typical VA warmwater fishes. There are a couple parks that are seasonally stocked with trout nearby. The James River, full of trophy smallmouth and muskie, is about 10 mins from the house but the best waters are close to 45 mins away. Native brookies and stocked streams within an hour. SNP 2-3 hours away.
I am fortunate to have the Chaplin River just 300yds from my back door.It is one of those streams that may be ankle deep in some spots but over your head in other spots and you can always catch smallmouth bass and a variety of sunfish any time of day.Also there are several farm pond close and just a few miles from Herrington Lake,Lake Chumbley,Logan Hubble Lake,Sportsmans Lake and the Kentucky River.The states only department maintained trophy bass lake,Ceder Creek Lake is just a 10 mile drive for me.To get to the trout i have a 2 hour drive to Cumberland Lake/Cumberland River and i have never had a bad day fishing there.
I'm about 20 minutes from a couple of small lakes that provide decent bluegill and largemouth bass fishing, especially from my kayak. I'm still a couple hour drive from semi-decent trout fishing though.
I'm shocked to see the results from the polls thus far. That's pretty cool so many people have good fishing right out their back door!
Warm water fishing, ok fishing nothing spectacular a few hundred yards away. A couple ponds and a big reservoir are 10 minutes away. For small trout about a hour and a half away but my parents and in-laws live very near it. I can be on a decent steelhead river in about 2 hrs when the weather is cooperating which it has not been.
Re: How Close to Home is "Good" Fishing?
15 minutes from great trout fishing... which is way better than what the average fisherman drives to get here (around 150 miles). Not sure how long from good warmwater... haven't had many chances to fish that around here yet but I'd imagine no more than 45 minutes.