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  1. #1

    Default Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    Greetings All,
    Just got back from our yearly trip to the San Juan River in NM. An awesome place if youíve never been there. Ran across an OLD guy on the river who has fished it since the 80ís and just talked awhile. He remarked how that river was just incredible back then.
    ( It is incredible to me currently). I understood his view. My home waters is the Norfork River in Arkansas. Around 2000 it was incredible and little known. Huge pods of fish would stack at your feet. The world record brown for a bit was taken there.
    In 2008? a major flood happened and severely changed the river, and not for the better. Several more recent floods havenít helped.
    So my group began asking and here is the question....

    What river today is fishing at its peak? Well known or little known matters not. Whatís the river that in 20 years you look back and say....Remember back in was incredible.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    New England

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    I don't have an answer to your question but your post reminded me of something similar.

    My hometown river is the Ipswich, in fact it's within a 5 minute drive from home. It's not much of a fishery but since I'm local I do go there a bunch in the summer. It's stocked early in the spring, but I've never managed or even seen a trout, I usually catch a Creek Chub or maybe a Crappie.

    Anyway, 2 years ago I was fishing the Upper Connecticut in NH and at the end of the day while packing up, a big old Caddy Eldorado pulled into the parking area sporting a couple of old timers. We got to talking and they asked me where I was from. When I told them their eyes got wide and they asked if I knew about the Ipswich. Ummm...yeah, I catch a bunch of Crappie and an occasional Chub, I said. They told me that back in the 30's it was one of the premier trout rivers in the Eastern US. It's a little difficult for me to imagine that now, but I think of that conversation every time I go there.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    I can't think of a single one that is fishing as well or better than it did in the past. Huge conservation efforts and more cold water are needed to protect, improve and restore the rivers.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    Without naming any streams, the overall quality of the trout fishing in the Wisconsin Driftless area is vastly improved, when compared to conditions 40 years ago. This is due to habitat improvement and better farming practices. The Wisconsin DNR, Trout Unlimited, and landowners all deserve credit for this.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    In the early to mid 70s when I lived in Binghamton N.Y. There was very little fishing in the now famous Delaware River. I used to drive to the Willowemoc and the Beaverkill going over both the West and East Branches of the Delaware to get to good trout fishing. Shortly after I moved west, New York City finally agreed to provide minimum flow releases into those rivers and that turned things around.

    I haven’t gone back to fish in New York but everything I read suggests that the Delaware has supplanted the other Catskill streams as far as quality trout fishing.

    But that is one of the few cases where conditions are much better than they were historically.

    I think that and the number of anglers as well as access problems have prompted many of us to fish still waters more than in the past.


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  9. #6

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    The Cuyahoga river in Cleveland Ohio caught fire 40 years ago because of all the pollutants. Now it hosts a pretty fair smallmouth bass fishery and even steelhead stray up into it. Also a couple of upstream dams were removed and the lowest dam, in the National park, is slated for removal in the near future. Although it was probably a much better fishery before “ civilization “ came to the area.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southeast Idaho

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    I can think of many many streams in this Rocky Mt area that are much better now than they have been since pioneer times. Lots of work and volunteer hours have gone into repairing the damage from mine dredging and tie hacking activities of the 1800s.

    Still a lot more that could use the help.

    Unfortunately even though the Blackfoot and the Portneuf Rivers are improving they won't be as good as they used to be for a long time yet.

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Rivers Currently at Their Peak

    The Farmington in CT
    The state has managed that river exceptionally well and it now fishes far better than it did when I first started fishing there in the '80s and likely better than anytime since colonial times.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.Ē --- Horace Kephart

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