Fishing in North Dakota

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Although there aren?t many trout streams in North Dakota, if you?re willing to think outside the box and pursue slightly larger, slightly toothier species, you?ll find plenty of water to explore with a fly rod in the Peace Garden State.

There?s no question that walleye are the favorite fish statewide, but when it comes to fly fishing, pike have a lot to offer fly anglers looking for a challenge and a serious fight. Lake Sakakawea, the largest body of water in the state, provides what seems to be endless fishing opportunities, with a wide range of species including walleye, smallmouth bass, white bass, crappie, yellow perch, pike, and even landlocked chinook salmon. Devils Lake is another large body of water that has many of the same species and is a popular lake to go after toothy critters. The Missouri River, both before and after Lake Sakakawea, offers loads of fishing opportunities, and the central section holds populations of brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and lake trout, though it is big water and is best fished from a boat. Some of the state?s most accessible fishing is found in lakes and ponds within close reach of cities. These ponds are stocked with trout, pike, and catfish, and give anglers of all skill levels easy access to fishable water and the chance to catch brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout with a fly rod.

Being so far north, North Dakota?s fishing season is divided into two distinct seasons: open water fishing season, and ice fishing season. That said, there is no closed season, and as long as you?re willing to drill a hole in the ice, there are fish to be caught all year long in North Dakota.


ND Department of Fish & Wildlife
100 N Bismarck Expy
Bismarck, ND 58501
P: (701) 328-6300

Popular Water In North Dakota

North Dakota Fishing Articles

6 Winter Flies to Never Leave Home Without

Posted on February 12, 2017

It’s winter time and if you’re like me then you’re probably daydreaming of warmer weather and being on the river. You’re also probably behind the vice tying up dozens of flies for the months ahead....

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Choosing the Proper Fly Rod

Posted on January 21, 2016

Proper fly fishing gear is essential. Along with the reel, flies and line, the most important gear is the fly rod. Fly rods may vary in length from 6 - 12 feet and come in different weights, colors,...

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The Scout & Cast Story

Posted on February 10, 2015

My whole life has been filled with various trips to the lakes & rivers in search of fish. As a kid growing up in “Lake Country” Minnesota, it was practically a sin not to be a fisherman. I would...

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Guides based in North Dakota

Featured Program

Trout Unlimited
By the next generation, Trout Unlimited will ensure that robust populations of native and wild coldwater fish once again thrive within their North American range, so that our children can enjoy...

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Water Access Locations in North Dakota (139)