Driving out to the major large rivers can be rewarding. But, it’s nice also to find very local waters, where you can fish without burning a lot of time.
I’m lucky in that there’s a stream close by with some good brown trout, like the 15″ one above. I quickly can drive to that spot, fish for an hour or two, and the family will hardly know that I’ve been gone.
I suspect there could be similar waters near you. How to find such a body of water? My suggestions:
Find aquifers. These are underground water springs that keep water cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. So, stocked fish have a good chance of surviving August and January. You may find wild brookies. Colie Egertson (blog here) shared this idea with me. He also directed me to an online resource that shows where aquifers are. Go to this web site, and, under “Physical Resources,” click on “Aquifers.”
Look for DFW-rated “cold waters.” The data aren’t current, but at some point, DFW surveyed which waters can count as “cold water fisheries.” It’s an interesting reference point. The map is here. It should lead you to some “blue lines” that hold fish
Join a Trout Unlimited local chapter. One exists for the Millers, for example, and there’s one that focuses on the Nissitissit and Squannacook. The best spots are always word-of-mouth driven.
When you find a special gem, it can be your personal secret and a resource you can enjoy for many decades.
Good luck, and happy hunting!