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Although it?s the smallest state in the Union, there are few places on earth with as much high-quality, fly-fishable saltwater as there is in Rhode Island. 400 miles of coastline, vast shallow-water flats, plentiful surf-fishing beaches, and the unique and ever productive salt ponds make Rhode Island a saltwater fly anglers dream come true. Add the state?s premier trout stream, the Wood River, to the mix, and you have what amounts to one of the best fishing states in all of New England.
Much of Rhode Island?s best saltwater fly fishing action happens in and around Narragansett Bay. Several rivers empty into the bay providing a series of estuaries full of baitfish, while over 30 islands in the bay create sheltered water and miles of shallow-water flats. Within this prime saltwater habitat, there are droves of striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, fluke, false albacore, and the occasional school of bluefin tuna ? all of which can be sight-fished with a fly rod. Although some anglers fish the bay in boats, many of the best spots can be fished on foot, either from the beach, the surf, from jetties, or by wading the flats. Along the state?s southwest shore is where you?ll find the famous salt ponds. These small inland tidal bays are very fertile, producing an abundance of forage that draws striped bass into the ponds to gorge themselves. One of the most anticipated times of year is the annual cinder worm hatch in the salt ponds that sends striped bass into a feeding frenzy and anglers into a hurry to get their lines in the water. Harsh winters make saltwater fly fishing in Rhode Island primarily a three-season pursuit, but during that time the action is pretty much non-stop.
While most anglers set their sights eastward to the Atlantic, Rhode Island has some incredible trout fishing that shouldn?t be overlooked. The Wood River is New England fly fishing at its finest; the stream flows through pine forests that provide shade and keep the waters cool all year long supporting healthy populations of both stocked and wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Peak season is generally May through September, and during this time the water levels are perfect for easy wading, but the river is always ideal for float trips in canoes or kayaks. Tributaries of the Wood River, including the Flat River, Breakheart Brook, Paris Brook, and Falls River provide additional fishing opportunities but tend to be smaller, more intimate streams with fewer stocked fish and larger populations of wild brookies. Several lakes and ponds throughout the state including Olney Pond, Silver Spring Lake, and Carolina Pond, provide additional freshwater fly fishing opportunities for trout but also warmwater species such as largemouth bass, northern pike, and bluegills.
RI Department of Fish & Wildlife
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Rhode Island Fishing Articles
When the winter weather sets in, fish get lazy
posted on Tue Feb 7
Well it’s officially winter here on the east coast. For me, winter means bundling up next to the fire tying dozens of flies at the vice and eating pizza on an almost nightly basis. My winter activity is actually very similar to how trout act in th...
Choosing the proper fly rod
posted on Sat Jan 21
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, actions, materials and types. Understanding the rod...
6 Tips to take better photos of your catch
posted on Fri Jan 13
Having a photograph taken of your catch is something that all anglers can appreciate. First trout, biggest fish, memorable catch, etc. etc. That photograph can be looked back at years later and it will remind you instantly of that day. What I'm here ...
Guides based in Rhode Island
Today TU is a national organization with more than 150,000 members organized into about 400 chapters from Maine to Montana to Alaska. This dedicated grassroots army is matched by a respected staff of lawyers, policy experts and scientists, who work out of