4 fly-fishing hot spots
Top picks from a fly-fishing legend on where to cast your line this summer.
By Ellen Florian Kratz, FORTUNE writer-reporter

NEW YORK (FORTUNE) - There are plenty of fish in the sea - and in the rivers and lakes and streams. And you may have dusted off your fly-fishing pole recently in anticipation of catching some of them this summer.

But before you book a flight or pack your gear, you need some hard data. After all, this isn't like booking a trip to the beach.

"If you go to Alaska for king salmon in August or September, they're all gone," says legendary flyfisherman Lefty Kreh, who has taught angling techniques for the past 50 years. "What might be a very good place to fish in the morning, could be worthless in the afternoon."

And no matter where you're headed, one good way to get the inside track on fish is to contact good fly shops in the area and then hire a guide once you get there.

"A guide knows the local tides and whether bait fish are concentrated somewhere," says Kreh. To help you plan your summer getaway, we asked Kreh for his top picks on where to flyfish this summer.

Manitoba's North Seal River System

For the fisherman who enjoys the remote outposts. The best time to go is during the final week of June and the first two weeks of July. That's when the water temperature climbs to 60 degrees and large pike - some more than 20 pounds - move into the shallow bays and lie around like big green logs. They're the largest predators in this water, so they're not afraid of anything. And no need to worry about being an expert at this fishing hole.

"I've caught many of these big pike with just a 15 or 18-foot cast," says Kreh. "It's a good place to go for someone who isn't a really good fisherman and wants to catch big fish."

As for scenery, expect to see moose, bear, and bald eagles. Howling wolves serve as background music. The place to stay is the North Seal River Lodge on Egenolf Lake. And be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to charter a float plane out to the most remote fishing spots.

Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

For the angler who doesn't have much time. Good fishing in the Narragansett Bay can take up as little as four hours. The last week of May and the first two weeks of June is the time to catch striped bass. And blue fish are plentiful during the last week of September and the first two weeks of October.

Last year, Kreh and a friend spent two and a half days fishing the Narragansett. They caught and released 192 bluefish ranging from four to ten pounds and 40 striped bass (one of them was 40 inches long).

Los Roques, Venezuela

Los Roques is a destination for expert fly fishermen. Situated about 80 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the island offers some of the best bonefishing in the world, and pretty good tarpon and permit fishing as well. It's mostly wading, so you need to be in good physical shape. And bonefish, though relatively small, are always a challenge. When hooked, a 17-incher can run up to 100 yards.

"You can do 30 things right and one thing wrong and that fish is gone," says Kreh. For the most part, fishing is good in Los Roques all year long. "The only time I wouldn't go is during full moon periods in September and October," says Kreh. "The fish are still there, but you get extra high tides, which makes it really difficult."

Central Pennsylvania

For those who want exclusive access to prime fishing spots and are willing to pay for it, Spring Ridge Club offers more than 14 miles of streams for members only in the heart of the Allegheny mountains. A one-time fee of $71,500 and $6,000 in yearly dues is your ticket to trout filled runs that you and just 90 other people are allowed to fish.

An added bonus: you can bring the whole family. It's a great place to teach your kids the ins and outs of casting and bug identification. For those family members who aren't so inclined, there are plenty of other wilderness excursions to enjoy like pumpkin picking, hiking, biking and turkey hunting.


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