1. Pyramid Lake, Nevada
Pyramid Lake spans 125,000 acres (195 square miles), making it one of the largest lakes in Nevada. Pyramid Lake is known for its Lahontan cutthroat trout, which average around 5 lbs, and can go up to 30 lbs. It’s a popular fishing vacation location for serious anglers who want to catch a prize-winning trout.
Fly fishing is especially popular in the spring and early summer at Pyramid Lake.
2. Lake St. Clair, Michigan
Lake St. Clair stretches for 420 miles, and it’s known for its large populations of perch, smallmouth bass, crappie, and walleye.
The water is a clear, deep blue, and the lake is enormous, making the shoreline look more like a sandy beach than a lakeshore. The beach alongside the lake is a great place to relax with your family and friends and grill up the 15-pound walleye you caught for dinner.
3. Lake Erie, New York
Lake Erie touches Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. It is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada.
The fish in Lake Erie get plump off some of the smallest animals and plants in the ocean. Plankton, a favorite food for many fish, swarm in Lake Erie.
It’s a popular fishing vacation spot for steelhead, pickerel, walleye, and perch. Spring and falls are the best seasons to catch fish, and minnows and red earthworms make some of the best live bait.
4. Hebgen Lake, Montana
Hebgen Lake is a fifteen-mile, 6,500-acre expanse of water. Montana anglers call it one of--if not the best--stillwater fishing lakes in all of Montana. This manmade lake is known for its rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, and whitefish.
Late spring and early summer are ideal times to go fishing on Hebgen Lake with a Trico fly. During the late summer, switch out your lure for a Caddisfly lure instead.
Because of the vast size of the lake and the various public access points, it’s best to speak to a local bait and tackle shop, tour guide, or fisherman for advice on the best areas to fish.
5. East Lake, Oregon
East Lake is a 1,000-acre lake tucked away in half of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument crater. The water is quite deep, averaging 65 feet in depth. Blackwater rainbow trout, brown trout, Kokanee salmon, and Atlantic salmon swim in its waters.
Summertime is the best time to catch Kokanee salmon, as they prepare for spawning. You can fish year-round at East Lake, and the only exception may be during the wintertime, when the roads near the lake close, or are covered in snow.
All wild rainbow trout caught at East Lake must be released, but Kokanee salmon and brown trout may be caught and taken home (within a specified limit).
East Lake is a great stillwater lake, even for non-locals. While a fishing guide isn’t necessary, it may be helpful to get in touch with a local bait and tackle shop for recommendations on the best fishing spots.