Fishing in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts is as rich in fly fishing history as it is in fly fishing opportunities. Trout fanatics take to the inland streams for some of New England?s best brown, rainbow, and brook trout fishing, while big-game seekers head to the coast in search of their favorite Atlantic saltwater species including the ever-popular striped bass.

Western Massachusetts holds some trout fishing gems such as the Deerfield River and the Swift River. The Deerfield River is a larger tailwater, with cold, clear water that provides year-round fishing for both stocked and wild browns and rainbows. The Swift River flows through beautiful wilderness and provides excellent fishing for wild brook trout as well as runs of landlocked Atlantic salmon coming up river from Quabbin Reservoir. Central Massachusetts has several excellent trout streams of note including the Squannacock River and the Nissitisset River ? the state?s first fly-fishing-only, catch and release area. Eastern Massachusetts is home to the Merrimack River and its many tributaries, all of which provide phenomenal fishing for rainbows, browns, and brookies, as well as true sea-run Atlantic salmon, some reaching upwards of 20 pounds.

Beyond the many trout fishing opportunities throughout Massachusetts, quality saltwater fly fishing exists all along the Atlantic coastline, from Gloucester Harbor in the north, through Massachusetts Bay and Boston Harbor, all around Cape Cod, and down through the Nantucket Sound. Striped bass are perhaps the most popular species to chase with a fly rod, but bluefish, sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and flounder are available for the catching.


MA Department of Fish & Wildlife
251 Causeway St, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114-2152
P: (617) 626-1500

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Massachusetts 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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Guides based in Massachusetts

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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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Massachusetts Water Systems (209)

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