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I'm a school teacher, and I have the whole summer off. I plan on fishing my life away all summer. I want to hook into some 22+, and I'm so new to fly fishing, that I need some advice where I will have the best chance of hooking up with a nice fish in a stream or river. Please give me some advice on where to go and what to use....I'm willing to drive anywhere.

Thanks
 
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School teacher eh? To be a fly fisher and have the summer off, man it doesn't get any better than that. 8)
Here are my thoughts on your question, not in any particular order.

San Juan River
The Dream Stream
The Frying Pan
The Green below Flaming Gorge
The North Platte @ Grey Reef
Parts of Yellowstone
The Big Horn

There are plenty of options, these are just a few.
Good Luck in your quest.
 

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Great list salmo!
I have fished 5 of those waters and you can't go wrong on any of them. The San Juan is my least favorite. The fish are just overrun with pressure and are so use to being caught they don't fight much. I prefer the northern direction. Grey reef -- the gorge -- yellowstone.

Tight lines
 

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Thats a great list. The Gunnison East Portal will be very hot from now through Memorial Day and you can catch many, many 20"+ fish. The Taylor River has some downright hogs measured in feet, not inches. Fish at dawn with yellow egg patterns before the crowds send the big guys sulking. Dress warm there in the wee hours even in summer. Doing both rivers next weekend myself.

But for the summer, if you are really willing to drive anywhere - head to Alaska. If you haven't been there shoot me a PM and I can give you all sorts of tips - but be forewarned, it will ruin you!


Pass through Yellowstone on the way back when all the rivers
 

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Since you have lots of time...

The Colorado River around Glenwood...take a bike and ride up the canyon from Glenwood...

The river below Taylor Reservoir during the week...fish dont get any bigger than that...

A place in state that gets forgotten about...the White River has some enormous fish...

Not as huge but a fun Brown Trout stream in the state is Northgate Canyon on the North Platte North of Walden where it runs into Wyoming...
 

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You've got a great list so far.

If you are up for a drive to Utah (~8hrs), the Provo river offers some excellent fishing as well. The river gets a lot of attention, but I believe that it is very well deserved.
 

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I actually find this post odd. New to flyfishing but wants to catch 22" fish. I've never catch a 14 incher I didn't love. I have actually fished all of Salmo's list. Easiest place to catch a 22" cutthroat Yellowstone river near Buffalo ford. If you know what you are doing their are some huge fish there. I know you asked for rivers but here is my list....

Spinney Reservoir May Chrinomidge hatch
All the Delanney Lakes Everyday
Hebgen Lake August Callibeatis Hatch
Henry's Lake June Chances of landing a 5 pound brook trout
Herny's Fork around Memorial weekend " Stonefly Hatch"
Madison River Mid June "stonefly Hatch"
South Forst of the Boise last week of June "Stonefly Hatch"

Seems there is a pattern fine a Stonefly Hatch and chase big fish with Big flies....


Good Luck


Fish
 
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Had a friend that taught High School History in CA and was a guide in the summer out of Slide Inn on the Madison in Montana outside the Yellowstone area. He passed away quite a few years ago (on the river) but man, that is the life. I'm jealous although I'm not sure I could handle all those kids without having a nervous breakdown!

So far, everyone has listed mostly streams and rivers (and for the most part, I'd recommend everything listed) but I'd also encourage some lake fishing. In Colorado, aside from Spinney, try some buggars and some matuka sculpin on Granby and Williams Fork. The fingers at Williams Fork have been very productive for me with the smallest rainbow being 18" and the average between 22" and 24". Blue Mesa is another good one for big browns.

You might also give Stagecoach a try for some Pike.

If you do go to the Yellowstone Area, and you are new to fly fishing, I wouldn't hit Henry's Fork right off the bat. Henry's is a terrific fishery but most beginners find it tough and frustrating. I would hate for anyone to get discouraged. Up the road from Last Chance on Henry's Fork, you've got Buffalo Creek that will provide a confidence booster with brookies and Coffee Pot that can provide anything from 8" to 30" rainbows. The Yellowstone inside the park provides a great opportunity for large Cutthroat, and a great confidence builder, but they fight like wet socks.

The Madison in mid-July is also fun during the caddis hatch. One thing I would recommend is that you fish within 2 or 3 feet of the shore when fishing Yellowstone area rivers. You don't need waders (if you want to use them, wade out in the middle and cast within 2 or 3 feet of the shore).

Have a terrific summer!
 
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