Fontana Lake

Fontana Lake borders the southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The lake is also the northern border of the Nantahala National Forest. Water levels fluctuate throughout the year, but during the summer months the lake is about 17 miles long and perfect for boating activities.

In fact, Fontana Lake provides the only access (other than a grueling multi-day hike) to Hazel Creek, which is one of the most remote areas of Great Smoky Mountains National park. The lake is dotted with inlets, coves, and islands that are worthy of exploration. Labeled my locals as one of the most beautiful lakes in the southeast, Lake Fontana is home to walleye, smallmouth bass, and lake trout. It’s certainly worthy of using some of your bulk oil supply to explore.

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Fish Checklist

In perusing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website I came across a long list of native and non-native fish that are found in the waters running through the park. As mentioned previously, the park is known for its rainbow, brown, and brook trout (of which only the brook trout is considered native, meaning the species lived in the waters prior to European settlement). Other native species include logperch, gilt darter, olive darter, and tangerine darter fish.

TN snubnose darter, Swannanoa darter, wounded darter, and banded darter are also native (are you seeing the trend?). Among non-native species found are walleye, yellow perch, fathead minnow, and sunfish. I’m eager to visit the park to do some fly fishing for these many species, as well as take my boat out in the surrounding areas. First I need to get my shipment of bulk motor oil!

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Fly Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles two states, Tennessee and North Carolina, and has some of the country’s best streams for fly fishing. Brook trout are native to the waters and brown and rainbow trout were added later to the area and have thrived. Recent droughts have triggered tighter restrictions on fishing in the park, but it still a must-see for avid fishermen and women.

If you’re looking to capture trophy fish, then Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t for you. The fish in the park are smaller – having adapted to their environment – but it is the terrain and degree of difficulty in catching some of the more elusive species that makes the site such a big draw. Although you can fish from dry land, you should still bring your boat, and plenty of boat motor oil, to try out some of the waters in and around the park.

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Grayling, Michigan

Trout Unlimited, the biggest conservation organization, was founded in Grayling, Michigan. This top trout spot is also home to the Au Sable River, home of the largest mayfly in the world, the Hexagenia. The river runs straight through town, so it’s no wonder that the locals care so much.

Nearby is Manistee another river that is closer to a spring or creek. Fox and Two Hearted rivers are nearby as well. It’s easy to feel like a world class angler when you’re in Grayling and the surrounding areas. When you’re through fishing, I recommend cruising the waterways with your boat, provided it has plenty of the best outboard motor oil on the inside.

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State College, PA

State College, PA is best known for being home to Penn State, and more importantly, Penn State football. I’m no Penn State fan (they’re a rival to my alma mater when it comes to football recruitment), but they do have some impressive trout fishing. The spring fed streams are referred to as “limestoners” and are home to brown trout all year round.

Spring Creek is my favorite spot, although Little Juniata is pretty good, too. The Green Drake mayfly hatch is world renowned. State College is definitely on my list of places to travel to in the next few years. I just have to figure out how to get my outboard, amalie oil, and other necessities across the country at an affordable rate.


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Trout Town USA

Ok, so the next place on my list of top trout fishing locations isn’t actually named Trout Town USA. Given all the attention it gets for its trout fishing, Roscoe, NY might as well be renamed. The rivers that run down through the Catskill Mountains are teeming with trout.

The Beaverkill and Willowemoc flow through town and are storied throughout angling history. Nearby East and West branches of the Delaware River also offer incredible brown and rainbow trout fishing. I typically go for dry fly-fishing in these areas, but I know a few people who like to take their outboards out lubed up with 2 stroke oil.


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Missoula, Montana

Yes, number two on my list of best places for trout fishing is also in Montana. Would you expect anything less? Montana is Big Sky country, after all. Missoula is typically though of as a laid-back college town with a fishing addiction.

The bouldery Blackfoot and Bitteroot empty into the Clark Fork, which in turn has 300 miles of fishable water. I first discovered this waterway while following the Lewis and Clark trail on a summer vacation. I vowed to go back and fish there and the Missouri, that is also full of rainbow and brown trout. Neither location disappointed me, my boat and its 2 cycle oil.

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Top Trout Fishing Towns: West Yellowstone, Montana

This week I’d like to focus on where to catch the most delicious trout. Number one on my list is West Yellowstone, Montana. The town is a unique hodge-podge of locals and thousands of tourists who come to see the famed Yellowstone National Park. As far as fishing goes, Firehole River, Gibbon River, and Slough Creek are simply incredible.

Though I can’t vouch for it firsthand, I’ve heard great things about Gallatin. (A fun piece of trivia: the film ‘A River Runs Through It’ was filmed in Gallatin). A half hour away is the spectacular Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. I’m licking my chops just thinking about the great trout that is caught there. Hopefully I can get there this summer with my boat and some Yamalube oil, and catch a few trout for myself.


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Lake St. Clair

It should come as no surprise that Michigan is a renowned fishing destination. After all, the state borders the great Lakes. Nestled between Lake Erie and Lake Huron is Lake St. Clair. In my opinion, Lake St. Clair is one of Michigan’s best kept secrets.

St. Clair boasts a fishery stock full of muskie, walleye, perch, crappie, and smallmouth bass. What is most incredible about the lake is that it’s only 11 feet deep on average. Muskies in this lake are frequently over 15 pounds – a rarity – and have been known to weigh over 30 pounds and measure 50 inches in length. If that doesn’t make you want to take your outboard motor with Yamalube 2W oil on an adventure to Lake St. Clair, then I don’t know what will.

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Channel Bass

Channel bass, also known as red drum, is a delectable fish that can weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. There have even been channel bass caught that have weighed in at over 80 pounds. Reeling one in is quite a feat, especially when you factor in how much of a fight they put up.

When I was living on the east coast, I got to experience red drum fishing firsthand in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Nowadays, red drum fishing is primarily catch-and-release due to coastal restrictions along the North Carolina coast. Still, I would rate taking my outboard motor boat with Yamalube 2W oil and catching a red drum as one of my proudest fishing moments.

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Castaic Lake

Is there anything tastier than a fried up recently caught largemouth bass? Fortunately for me, I live just a few hours drive from Castaic Lake, California. The pristine lake is known for its excellent largemouth bass population.

I’m sure that all you readers are thinking ‘I know a much better lake for largemouth bass,’ but since it’s my blog, I’m going with Castaic Lake. Plus, I chose Castaic Lake based on the fact that no other lake in the country has boasted as many 20-plus pounders caught. I plan on taking my family down to the lake this spring; they can go swimming while I take the boat out, properly outfitted with Yamalube 2M oil, and try to catch a beauty.

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Tarpon of the North

Yesterday I wrote about tarpon fishing in Florida. Today I want to tell you about the tarpon of the North, also known as sheefish. Sheefish is a freshwater whitefish that as an adult can weigh as much as 55 pounds. It lives off of plankton and smaller fish.

The prime location to catch sheefish is Selawik Valley, Alaska. Like many places in the Alaskan wild, you will absolutely need a guide through the wilderness. Sheefish can be caught year round, although summer is the best season while the sheefish go through their feeding. I haven’t been that far up north myself, but I hope to someday take my Yamalube 2M taking outboard motor boat up there for a few days of fishing.

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