Ultimate Guide • Updated Wed, Jun 28, 2023

Top 10 Fly Fishing Destinations in the US | Family Friendly

Are you looking for a selection of family-friendly fly fishing trips that offer both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities? Look no further! In this article, we compiled a list of the top 10 destinations for fly fishing with your family. Here, you’ll find a mix of world-class freshwater and saltwater fishing destinations that also offer great activities for newbies and non-anglers.

This article covers:

1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

One great option for a family-friendly fly fishing trip is at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Not only does the region boast breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, but it also hosts myriad waterways that offer excellent fishing accessible by rafts, hiking, and even horseback. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Yellowstone

One of the highlights of Yellowstone National Park is the Yellowstone River, where families can enjoy fishing for native cutthroat trout. Yellowstone Lake also provides an excellent opportunity to fish for lake trout fishing on its vast expanse. 

Other Activities in Yellowstone for the Whole Family

In addition to the fly fishing in the park, there are other opportunities to get outside with the whole family, such as scenic hikes like the Wraith Falls Trail, kayaking on Yellowstone Lake, and sightseeing at the park’s natural wonders.

2. Florida Keys, Florida

The Florida Keys are a great choice for a family-friendly fishing trip with amazing saltwater fishing opportunities, beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and a unique history. Located at the southern tip of Florida, this tropical archipelago is a destination the whole family can enjoy. 

Fly Fishing Locations around the Florida Keys

The Keys and their surrounding flats yield great opportunities to target various inshore species — such as snook, redfish, tarpon, bonefish, permit and snapper. There is also fantastic offshore fishing for tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, grouper, sailfish, and a host of other amazing pelagic fish species — some of which are easily targeted on fly. 

For freshwater fishing options, Everglades National Park is just a few hours north of The Keys on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The park is home to various freshwater sloughs and creeks, offering families the chance to target species like the endemic Florida largemouth bass, gar, bowfin, and a few non-native exotic species like cichlids and peacock bass. Here are some of the best guides in the Florida Keys.

Other Activities in Florida Keys for the Whole Family

Aside from fishing activities, consider visiting the Florida Keys’ picturesque, white sand beaches, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and The Turtle Hospital. These are great attractions to visit as a family and have something to keep everyone entertained. Another great day trip option is to take the 2-hour ferry southwest to Dry Tortugas National Park.

3. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, has fantastic opportunities for families of fly fishing enthusiasts. This unique spot lies nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and offers amazing angling opportunities along with a range of other activities for all ages. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Asheville

The area has several great rivers and streams to fish, including the Davidson River and Wilson's Creek — designated as Wild Trout Waters. These rivers are very scenic and home to exquisitely colorful rainbow, brown, and brook trout. These are great trout fishing spots for all skill levels. 

For a change of scenery, a day's drive to the Atlantic Ocean allows for an exciting angling adventure, offering a unique saltwater experience. On the Carolina coast, fly anglers can fish the tidal swings of the inshore marshes and oyster bars for tailing redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and other inshore species of gamefish. This area can offer amazing sight fishing opportunities that are exciting for novice and expert anglers alike. Here are some of the best fishing guides in North Carolina.

Other Activities in Asheville for the Whole Family

 Beyond fishing, other activities in Asheville include exploring the vibrant downtown area, visiting the Biltmore Estate, and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

4. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan, is an ideal destination for a family-friendly freshwater fly fishing trip. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Traverse City

Traverse City sits on the shore of Lake Michigan, where the Great Lake offers excellent freshwater fishing opportunities. The lake is home to over 150 different species of fish — including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, king salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, brown trout. The coastal lake town with charming maritime vibes is also home to the Boardman River, a popular choice for local fly anglers of all skill levels. Here anglers can seasonally encounter large numbers of brown trout, brook trout, steelhead and salmon as they migrate up all the Great Lake tributary streams to spawn. 

Other Activities in Traverse City for the Whole Family

Apart from fishing, families can enjoy the lake beaches or travel west to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or venture to one of the many inland lakes in the area that are perfect for water sports like kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and tubing.

5. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a perfect choice for a fly fishing adventure suitable for the whole family, providing one of the best opportunities for saltwater fishing. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Cape Cod

On the Cape, those interested in light tackle fishing for striped bass, bluefish and false albacore can find great fishing from both shore and boats. Check out the Bass River, the Monomoy Flats, Cape Cod Canal, or jetties and breakwalls along the coast for consistent action throughout the season. These spots can be extremely productive and can offer non-stop excitement for the whole family.

 Alternatively, tag along with one of the area’s top offshore captains for shots at tuna, mahi mahi, shark, and white marlin during summer months. These trips often provide great viewing opportunities of whales, seals, porpoises, and other marine wildlife.

Other Activities in Cape Cod for the Whole Family

Apart from fishing, Cape Cod offers charming seaside communities with charming downtowns, with boutique shopping and delicious dining options. Consider checking out Sandwich or Hyannis, or take the family to visit Heritage Museums & Gardens or the Woods Hole Climate Research Center.

6. Kenai River, Alaska

The Kenai River in Alaska is a remote location for a fly fishing trip suitable for the whole family. 

Fly Fishing Locations around the Kenai River

The pristine glacial waters make the Kenai River an excellent location for freshwater fly fishing and the chance to catch the iconic Alaskan salmon. The nearby Cook Inlet also provides an exciting saltwater fly fishing experience, where families can test their skills in a different environment targeting salmon, sea-run trout, and other nearshore species like cod and halibut. 

Other Activities in Kenai River for the Whole Family

Beyond fishing, the region surrounding the Kenai River offers other family activities, such as hiking in the majestic Chugach Mountains, guided rafting trips down the river, and wildlife viewing suitable for all ages. 

7. Bighorn River, Montana

The Bighorn River in Montana is the perfect choice for a family-friendly fly fishing trip out West. Anglers of all ages can enjoy casting their lines and honing their fly fishing skills in this river’s pristine waters, surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Bighorn River

The Bighorn is known to be one of the most productive trout fishing rivers in the U.S., holding thousands of fish per mile. Brown and rainbow trout are the main target species on this river, and offer great fishing opportunities from the shore and watercraft. 

Other Activities in Bighorn River for the Whole Family

Aside from fishing, visiting families can explore nearby hiking trails, such as Hike Upper Layout Creek Trail, or camp on the Bighorn River at Grapevine Campground to enjoy the Montana landscape further. In Bighorn National Recreation Area, there is also a collection of preserved ranches that still exist in their original state that can be visited. 

8. Gulf Shores, Alabama

For families in search of an unforgettable saltwater fly fishing experience, Gulf Shores, Alabama is the perfect destination to consider. This splendid destination provides an ideal backdrop for a thrilling and enjoyable expedition. 

Fly Fishing Locations  Gulf Shores

Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, the warm, clear blue waters present exciting opportunities for saltwater fly fishing. Anglers can cast their lines for various species, such as yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, and sailfish, redfish, and giant jack crevalle. Shore fishing can be great along any of the area’s beaches and jetties, especially during the early morning and late evening. 

Other Activities in Gulf Shores for the Whole Family

Families can also engage in other beach activities on the area’s beautiful sandy coastline. Alternatively, take a trip to The Wharf in Orange Beach, where your group can ride on the Ferris Wheel, play mini golf, and enjoy the SPECTRA Laser Light Show.

9. Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley, Idaho, is ideal for families seeking a fly fishing adventure to create lasting memories. The area is known for its natural beauty and pristine fishing spots. 

Fly Fishing Locations around Sun Valley

Silver Creek is a great option for anglers of all ages, known for its abundant trout population and picturesque surroundings. The Provo River also presents excellent opportunities for all family members to cast their lines for brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout. There are also plenty of mountain creeks and streams that are excellent spots to hike into and explore. 

Other Activities in Sun Valley for the Whole Family

Besides fishing, Sun Valley offers many other family activities, such as mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking on the nearly 400 miles of trails in the area — such as the Heidelberg Hill Trail.

10. San Diego, California

For families seeking a fly fishing adventure, San Diego, California, is the ultimate destination, offering abundant fishing opportunities in freshwater and saltwater, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for all. 

Fly Fishing Locations around San Diego

San Diego is a Southern California city that sits in the pacific ocean; its location makes it a great place to fish for yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail, and dorado, to name a few. Those interested in freshwater fishing can seek out inland reservoirs such as Chollas Park Lake or Santee Lakes, stocked with trout and catfish, making them great places for anglers of all ages. 

Other Activities in San Diego for the Whole Family

Aside from fishing, San Diego can offer many great family activities, such as the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND.


Whether you prefer freshwater or saltwater fly fishing, there are plenty of family-friendly destinations in the U.S. that offer both options. These 10 destinations are just the tip of the iceberg, but they're a great place to start planning your next family fly fishing adventure. If you have any questions or need assistance finding a world-class guided experience, you can contact us HERE and one of our AnyCreek team members will be happy to help you find the perfect guide.

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