Take part in a family fly-fishing adventure and you’ll wake up in some of the country’s most pristine places.
Here are a handful of fabulous places to consider:
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
For an extraordinary angling experience, consider an overnight trip on the South Fork of the Snake River. On day one, you’ll hone your skills floating through some of the most coveted water in the western United States.
Later, as the sun sets, arrive at the South Fork Hilton, a fully-outfitted camp ,tucked in the pines with a steep canyon wall as backdrop. The overnight includes a deluxe dinner, tall tales, roasted marshmallows around a campfire, and a good night’s rest in cozy platform tents.
The second day promises stunning scenery, 16 miles of braided waters and the opportunity to expand the adventure wading around gravel bars and up side channels. The trip is ideal for a multigenerational outing.
Stunning scenery, diversity of waterways, plentiful fish and an enthusiastic community of guides combine to make Montana a top notch base camp for your fly-fishing adventure. Spend a day on the Madison River with Joe Dilschneider, owner of Ennis, MT-based TroutStalkers and your family members will go home with more than basic casting skills. You’ll learn to “match the hatch”, fish pocket water from a raft and how to maximize a day on the famed Madison River. A day on the Yellowstone River, a long stretch of blue-ribbon trout habitat or nearby spring creeks will also make for great memories.
Formed by the confluence of the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison rivers at Three Forks, the mighty Missouri River flows 700 miles across Montana, and is considered one of the most productive trout fisheries in the west.
The small town of Craig is among the numerous launch points from which families explore this storied river. Expect a picturesque landscape, trophy trout and the opportunity to imagine Lewis and Clark navigating the same waters.
Jackson County, North Carolina
With more than 3,000 miles of trout streams and 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in the mountains alone, North Carolina is a fly-fishing haven. Home to the nation’s only designated fly-fishing trail, the Western North Carolina Fly-Fishing Trail takes anglers to 15 prime spots in the Great Smoky Mountains to cast a line. Expect a variety of options from wide-open rivers to small, secluded streams. The heart of the trail, the Tuckasegee River, or the “Tuck” as it’s known by locals, is the county’s largest body of water. Designed by two outdoorsmen and fly-fishing guides, the trail is an ideal way for fly-fishers of all skill levels and ages to learn the art of fly-fishing.
Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania
The Letort Spring Creek, Big Spring Creek and Yellow Breeches Creek, two classic limestone spring streams and one freestone stream are considered “hallowed waters” and have enticed fly fishers to the area since the 1800s. Enthusiasts can expect to cast for brook, brown and rainbow in the local streams where a variety of riparian ecosystems provide diverse fly-fishing opportunities. Consider a stay at the Orvis-endorsed Allenberry Resort where fly-fishing packages are offered. The Valley is also home to the Pennsylvania Fly- Fishing Museum.
Sun Valley, Idaho
This mountain town is perhaps best-known for its famous ski slopes. But the region’s gold-medal waters make for yet another reason to nudge Sun Valley higher on your family vacation list. You’ll be on the hunt for rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trout on Silver Creek, the Big Lost and the Wood rivers as well as in pristine mountain lakes.
Tap into the town’s vibrant cultural scene or strap on skates for a whirl around the ice rink at the -famed Sun Valley Lodge.
Great places and great experiences are best when shared with people you love.
That’s the philosophy of the pros at Troutstalkers, a fly fishing outfitter that specializes in Montana and Madison River Fly Fishing Trips. Their business is based on sharing a passion for the outdoors, their fly fishing knowledge, and a long history of meaningful experiences with friends and clients.
“We approach every day with a sense of exploration and discovery, and never stop learning,” explains owner Joe Dilschneider. “Often in this sport, just when you figure something out, everything changes. That’s what keeps it interesting.”
The Troutstalker pros can’t think of a better way to spend time with the grandkids than fly fishing.
“Fly fishing is life! The parallels to the important aspects of life are almost endless,” explains Dilschneider.
Troutstalkers believe that guiding is based around shared interests and curiosity, mutual respect and friendship. Their goal is to provide every client with the best leadership, coaching, companionship and knowledge possible. They commit to giving 110% to make your experience with your family members safe, enjoyable and educational.
Based in Ennis, MT., Troutstalkers offers guided day and overnight trips on the Madison, Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby, Yellowstone, Missouri, and Gallatin rivers. They also can help families plan a trip to other world-class destinations including Montana's Smith and South Fork of Flathead Rivers, Florida Keys, Bristol Bay Alaska, Bahamas, and Argentina.
For more information: www.MontanaTrout.com
Troutstalkers is a member of the FamilyTravel.com Grandparents Travel Collection.
If you would like additonal assistance planning or booking a family trip, we can help.
Spending time outside matters.
This revelation, underscored in a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute ("More Than S'mores"), doesn't surprise me.
The report suggests that girls who spend time outside regularly surpass their peers who spend less time in fresh air in environmental stewardship, they readily seek more challenges and are better problem-solvers.
Other findings include:
Spending time outdoors in nature is different from playing or learning inside.
Here’s how . . .
Outdoor spaces support physical play. Unlike most indoor environments, the outdoors offers open space where children are able to be messy, make noise, and move in more physically intense ways.
This allows them to develop their movement capability and confidence—both of which create foundations for physically active lifestyles and general health (Little & Wyver, 2008; SPARC, 2009).
Time in nature promotes attention restoration.
Spending time in nature (even just a walk in a park) has been shown to improve concentration and creative reasoning among children and adults, including those with attention deficits (Atchley, Strayer, & Atchley, 2012; Taylor & Kuo, 2009; Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008).
Nature provides novelty and challenge, which enhance leadership.
Outdoor experiences often place girls in new physical, psychological, and social situations that motivate curiosity and foster a sense of discovery. Authentic challenges in nature (think . . . starting a fire in the rain or negotiating a set of whitewater rapids) require girls to become more self-aware and to cooper- ate, communicate, and solve problems more effectively (Rickinson et al., 2004).
For me and for my children, outdoor experiences have always been healthy, enriching and expansive in every way.
Our favorite family vacations have included river rafting, hiking, fly fishing, and camping.
What role does outside activity play in your family?
You’ll find Key Largo nestled between the watery wilderness of the Everglades National Park to the west and the fish-rich coral formations of North America's only living coral barrier reef to the east.
Six miles offshore in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary you will find the wreck of the Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot former US Navy ship intentionally scuttled in 2002 as the backbone for a new coral reef.
Locals consider their home the Diving Capital of the World and it is a great snorkeling spot, but the island is nearly as famous as a sport-fishing destination.
Some of the best charter captains and fishing guides in the world work out of Key Largo. Hire a guide and sailfish offshore, bonefish along the Atlantic shallows, or redfish and tarpon in Florida Bay.
Key Largo's proximity to the Everglades makes it a premier family vacation destination for kayakers, birders and other eco-tourists. All this beauty, not to mention the island's rich history, has inspired a vibrant community of artists who show their work at several local galleries.
When the day is done, you can trade stories at any of a full-range of restaurants, bars, hotels, motels and resorts. Each is as unique as Key Largo itself.