So Many Fish So Little Time: 1001 of the World's Greatest Backcountry Honeyholes, Trout Rivers, Blue Ribbon Waters, Bass Lakes, and Saltwater Hotspots


Ever dreamed of following in Hemingway's footsteps and fishing in the Basque country of Spain? Or casting your line in the urban jungle of New York City? How about reeling in a 150-lb. tarpon off the coast of Florida?

In So Many Fish, So Little Time, expert fisherman Mark D. Williams takes you to the 1,001 places all anglers should visit before they go to that great fishing paradise in the sky. From milkfish in the Seychelles to sailfish off Guatemala to Arctic char at the top ...

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Ever dreamed of following in Hemingway's footsteps and fishing in the Basque country of Spain? Or casting your line in the urban jungle of New York City? How about reeling in a 150-lb. tarpon off the coast of Florida?

In So Many Fish, So Little Time, expert fisherman Mark D. Williams takes you to the 1,001 places all anglers should visit before they go to that great fishing paradise in the sky. From milkfish in the Seychelles to sailfish off Guatemala to Arctic char at the top of the world, he'll take you on a lively and informative trip to the most beautiful, bountiful, and fish-laden waters in the world. The only angler's guide to essential places to fish that covers the entire world, So Many Fish, So Little Time is truly a fish tale like no other.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Shall I go to Heaven or a-fishing?" asked Henry David Thoreau. For millions of men and women, angling is one of earthly life's incomparable joys. Mark Williams's 880-page extravaganza identifies more than 1,000 prime fishing destinations around the world, some of them little known even to sport aficionados. This breakthrough paperback original identifies little-known fishing hotspots from urban New York City to the far reaches of the Pacific.
Library Journal

Ambitious would be an understatement in describing this work's thrust and contents. Williams, the author of several previous angling books geared to fly fishermen, offers something here for all anglers, covering the United States state by state and Canada province by province. Then he covers the rest of the world, albeit not nearly to the same degree. Judging by the treatment of the regions and waters with which this reviewer is intimately familiar, e.g., the Southeastern states, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana, the depth and accuracy of detail is impressive. There are the inevitable little things to nitpick-you'll fish North Carolina's Davidson River in vain for brook trout in the 13-inch class, and no local would agree that the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River (on the Tennessee side of the Smokies) is the "best all-around stream in the Park." But these are the kinds of quibbles that anyone might bring up about his home waters. That said, this book deserves a prized place on library shelves for serious traveling fisherman and the general sporting audience.
—Jim Casada

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060882396
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/8/2007
  • Pages: 882
  • Sales rank: 265,227
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Avid angler Mark D. Williams is the author of five books, including the Trout Fishing Sourcebook, The Nuts 'N' Bolts Guide for the Backpacking Flyfisher, and The Nuts 'N' Bolts Guide to Knots for Fly-Fishers.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     xv
United States of America
Northeast     3
Connecticut     3
Farmington River     5
Housatonic River     5
Maine     8
Kennebec River     8
Rapid River     9
Sebago Lake     9
West Branch of the Penobscot River     10
Massachusetts     11
Boston     12
Cape Cod, Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound, Nantucket Island     13
Deerfield River     14
Martha's Vineyard     15
Quabbin Reservoir     17
Westfield River     17
New Hampshire     18
Androscoggin River     18
Connecticut River, New Hampshire, and Vermont     19
Lake Winnipesaukee     20
New York     21
West Branch, Ausable River     22
Beaverkill River     23
Black Lake     25
Cayuga Lake     26
Delaware River     27
New York City     29
Montauk Point     32
Lower Niagara River     32
Salmon River     33
Willowemoc River     34
Pennsylvania     35
Letort Spring Run     36
Pennsylvania Trout Streams     37
Philadelphia     38
Pittsburgh     40
Raystown Lake     41
Susquehanna River     41
Youghiogheny River     43
Rhode Island     44
Wood River     44
Newport     45
Vermont     45
Batten Kill River     48
Lake Champlain     49
White River     51
Winooski River     52
Southeast     54
Alabama     54
Birmingham     56
Lake Dannelly/Millers Ferry     56
Lake Eufaula     57
Lake Guntersville     58
Pickwick Lake     59
Smith Lake     60
Tallapoosa River     60
Wheeler Lake     61
Florida     62
Bienville Plantation Lakes     63
Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande Pass     64
Destin Village     65
Everglades     66
Homosassa River     67
Florida Keys     68
Jacksonville     69
Lake Tarpon     71
Lake Okeechobee     71
Miami     72
Orange Lake and Crooked Lake     73
Orlando     74
Pine Island Coast     76
Rodman Reservoir     76
Georgia     77
North Georgia Trout Waters     79
Atlanta     80
St. Simons Island     87
Lake Seminole     89
Paradise Public Fishing Area     90
Savannah     90
Soque River     91
Kentucky     93
Barren River Lake     94
Cave Run Lake     95
Cedar Creek Lake     95
Cumberland River     97
Dale Hollow Lake     97
Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake     98
Louisiana     99
Calcasieu Lake     100
Chandeleur Islands     101
Venice     101
New Orleans     102
Maryland     103
Big Gunpowder Falls     104
North Branch of the Potomac River     105
Baltimore     106
Savage River     107
Mississippi     108
Lake Tom Bailey      108
Biloxi and Gulfport     109
North Carolina     110
Chattooga River     112
Charlotte     113
Davidson River     113
Fontana Lake     114
French Broad River     115
Great Smoky Mountains National Park     116
Nantahala River     120
Watauga River     122
Outer Banks     122
South Toe River     124
South Carolina     124
Lake Murray     124
Santee Cooper     125
Tennessee     126
Clinch River     127
Duck River     128
Hiwassee River     129
Holston River, South Fork     130
Nashville     130
Nolichucky River     131
Reelfoot Lake     131
Tellico River     132
Virginia     137
James River     140
Mossy Creek     141
Rappahannock River     142
Richmond     143
Shenandoah National Park     144
Whitetop Laurel Creek     145
Washington, DC     146
West Virginia     148
West Virginia Top Fishing Hot Spots     148
New River     151
Midwest     152
Arkansas     152
Buffalo River     154
Crooked Creek     156
Dry Run Creek     156
Greers Ferry Lake     157
Little Red River     158
Norfork River     160
Ouachita Lake     161
Spring River     162
White Oak Lakes     163
White River     164
Illinois     167
Chicago     167
Rend Lake     168
Kansas     169
Kansas City     169
Michigan     170
Au Sable River     173
Boardman River     174
Fox River and the Upper Peninsula     175
Detroit     176
Grand River     180
Manistee River     181
Muskegon River     183
Pere Marquette River     184
Rifle River     186
Saginaw Bay     186
Minnesota     187
Boundary Waters Canoe Area     187
Driftless Area     189
Lake of the Woods     195
Lake Vermilion      196
Minneapolis-St. Paul     197
Red Lake     198
Missouri     198
Lake of the Ozarks     200
North Fork of the White River     201
Top Waters of Missouri: St. Louis to Branson     202
Truman Reservoir     209
Nebraska     209
Lake McConaughy Reservoir     209
Merritt Reservoir     210
North Dakota     211
Devil's Lake     211
Missouri River     211
Ohio     212
Lake Erie     212
Oklahoma     214
Lake Eufaula     216
Mountain Fork River     217
South Dakota     219
Black Hills     219
Lake Oahe     224
Lake Sharpe     224
Wisconsin     225
Milwaukee     226
Bois Brule River     227
Namekagon River     228
St. Croix River     228
Southwest     230
Colorado     230
Animas River     236
Arkansas River     238
Blue River     239
Cochetopa Creek and Cebolla Creek      242
Colorado River     245
Conejos River     246
Delaney Butte Lakes     248
Denver     249
Dolores River     250
Durango Area     251
East Fork of the San Juan River, Colorado     258
Frying Pan River     259
Gunnison River/Black Canyon     261
Horsetooth Reservoir     266
Rio Grande     266
Roaring Fork     268
Rocky Mountain National Park     270
San Luis Lake     273
South Platte River     273
Taylor River     275
Trappers Lake     276
Twin Lakes     277
Vallecito Reservoir     278
New Mexico     279
Albuquerque     282
Rio Chama     282
Cimarron River     284
Jemez Area     287
Red River     296
Rio Costilla     297
Rio Grande     300
San Juan River     302
Texas     306
Lake Alan Henry     309
Alligator Gar     311
Lake Athens     312
Austin     313
Brazos River      314
Choke Canyon Reservoir     315
Dallas     317
Devils River     318
Falcon Lake     320
Fayette County Lake     321
Lake Fork     322
Gibbons Creek Reservoir     323
Hill Country     324
Lake Meredith     330
Houston     331
Noodling in the South     333
Richland-Chambers Reservoir     336
Sabine Lake     336
Sam Rayburn Reservoir     338
Squaw Creek Reservoir     339
Texas Coast     339
Lake Texoma     342
Toledo Bend Reservoir     344
White Bass     345
West     347
Arizona     347
The Lakes and Rivers of the White Mountains     348
Roosevelt Lake     365
Lees Ferry, Colorado     366
Phoenix     367
Oak Creek     368
California     370
Barrett Lake     372
Lake Berryessa     373
California Delta     374
Lake Casitas     375
Castaic Lake     376
Clear Lake     377
Crowley Lake     378
Lake Davis     379
Diamond Valley Lake     380
Dixon Lake     381
Fall River     382
Hot Creek     383
Kings River     384
Los Angeles     386
Mammoth Lakes     387
McCloud River     387
Milton Reservoir     389
Lake Nacimiento     390
Owens River     391
Oakland and San Francisco (Bay Area)     392
Sacramento River     395
Middle Fork San Joaquin River     397
San Diego     398
Shasta Lake     400
Trinity Lake     401
Truckee River     401
Whiskeytown Reservoir     403
Yosemite National Park     403
Nevada     405
Crittenden Reservoir     406
East Walker River     407
Lake Mead     408
Lake Mohave     409
Pyramid Lake     410
Las Vegas     411
Ruby Lake     412
Wild Horse Reservoir     413
Utah     417
Flaming Gorge Reservoir     419
Green River      421
Upper Green River     424
Lake Powell     424
Strawberry Reservoir     426
Salt Lake City     427
Underrated in Utah     428
Yellowstone National Park     437
Hebgen Lake     459
Northwest     465
Idaho     465
Big Wood River     467
Brownlee Reservoir     468
Henry's Fork of the Snake River     469
Henry's Lake     472
Kelly Creek     473
Lochsa River     475
Middle Fork, Salmon River     476
Salmon River     479
Selway River     480
Silver Creek     481
St. Joe River     484
Teton River     485
Montana     490
Beaverhead River     494
Big Hole River     496
Bighorn River     497
Bitterroot River     500
Blackfeet Reservation Lakes     502
Blackfoot River     504
Clark Fork River     505
Flathead River     507
Fort Peck Reservoir     507
Jefferson River     508
Kootenai River      509
Other Montana Waters to Try     512
Rock Creek     514
Smith River     515
Sun River     516
Montana Spring Creeks     518
Oregon     522
Deschutes River     522
Grande Ronde River     525
High Desert Lakes     526
Crane Prairie Reservoir     526
John Day River     531
McKenzie River     532
Metolius River     533
Rogue River     534
Umpqua River     535
Wenaha River     537
Williamson River     538
Washington     539
Columbia River     539
Cowlitz River     540
Olympic Peninsula     541
Rocky Ford Creek     543
Seattle     544
Sprague Lake     545
Yakima River     545
Wyoming     547
Beartooth Plateau     549
Encampment River     550
North Platte River     551
South Fork Snake River and the Jackson Hole Area     553
Alaska     558
Hawaii     568
Alberta     578
Bow River Drainage     578
Crowsnest River     581
Royal Canadian Pacific Fishing Excursion     583
Oldman River     585
Castle River     585
North Raven River     585
Red Deer     586
Ram River     586
British Columbia     588
Dean River     588
Elk River     589
Iskut Chain Lakes     590
Prince Rupert     591
Queen Charlotte Islands     593
Skeena River System     593
Vancouver Island     596
Manitoba     599
Nueltin Lake     599
Silsby Lake     600
New Brunswick     601
Miramichi River     601
Newfoundland and Labrador     602
Northwest Territories     606
Great Bear Lake     606
Tree River     608
Kasba Lake     609
Mosquito and Dubawnt Lakes     609
Coppermine River     609
Great Slave Lake     609
Ontario     610
Lake Scugog     610
Quebec     611
Gaspe Peninsula     611
Gouin Reservoir      614
Saskatchewan     615
Lake Athabasca     615
Milton Lake     616
Selwyn Lake     617
Wollaston Lake     618
Baja California     625
Bass Lakes of Mexico     627
Cabo San Lucas     635
Cozumel     636
Puerto Vallarta     639
Yucatan Peninsula     641
Bahamas     649
Bermuda     656
Cayman Islands     656
Dry Tortugas     657
Puerto Rico     659
Turks and Caicos     663
British Virgin Islands     664
Central America
Belize     671
Costa Rica     675
Guatemala     677
Honduras     681
Nicaragua     685
Panama     686
South America
Argentina     693
Brazil     700
Chile     703
Suriname     705
Venezuela     708
Andorra     713
Austria     716
Corsica     719
Croatia     725
England      727
France     729
Hungary     737
Iceland     738
Ireland     740
Lapland (Finland, Sweden)     745
Norway     748
Portugal and the Azores and Madeira Islands     751
Slovenia     754
Spain     757
Hong Kong     773
India     775
Japan     780
Mongolia     782
Russia     784
South Korea     789
Sri Lanka     790
Thailand     791
Bom Bom Island     797
Egypt     798
Ethiopia     800
Gabon     803
Guinea-Bisseau     804
Kenya     806
Seychelles     807
South Pacific
Australia     817
Bikini Atoll     819
Christmas Island     822
Fiji     824
Midway Island     827
New Zealand     828
Papua New Guinea     833
Tahiti, French Polynesia     835
Tasmania     836
Acknowledgments     841
Credits     845
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First Chapter

So Many Fish, So Little Time
1001 of the World's Greatest Backcountry Honeyholes, Trout Rivers, Blue Ribbon Waters, Bass Lakes, and Saltwater Hot Spots

Chapter One



I don't have a Connecticut patch. The trailer-park side of my family comes out in me more times than I want and one way it manifests is that I iron and sew patches on my ratty old fishing vest.

My late father-in-law Fred gave me my fishing vest as a Christmas present the year he died. My vest is no longer khaki; more a drab gray. Every pocket is frayed. The Velcro on the pockets rarely works anymore. Last count, the vest had five holes of significance. Leftover crumbs sit, powdery, in every pocket, vestiges of orange peanut butter-cheese crackers or what I usually call lunch on the stream. Second nature after all these years, I know where everything is on the vest: my extra Chapstick, ibuprofen, sinus pills, several safety pins, thread and needle (I pretend I might have to one day sew up a wound which, if I or a fishing buddy ever did need that kind of medical attention, I do not think I would be able to do, at least not sober), toilet paper, wet wipes, five fly boxes, leaders, tippet, tiny shreds of my wife Amy's pantyhose I used to attach to flies as shucks, beef jerky wrappers, Xink, floatant, nippers, forceps, receipts from the road trip in '92 to the Driftless, splitshot, foam indicators, leaves and dried flowers I collect to give to Amy to show I am thinking about her but forget to give her, and an extra pair of clip-on polarized sunglasses. And most important, on this multipocketed fishing ragtag vest, for reasons beyond my control,all the patches.

From Idaho to New York, Cozumel to France, the patches are attached in various stages to my vest, on the shoulders, the pockets, under the armholes. Some have completely torn off but their die stained the vest after being dunked or rained upon and you can easily tell that a Bow River patch used to cling there. Some are curled up and threaten to fall off at any moment. Others are sewn in addition to being ironed on but they know that on this threadbare vest they could be expelled soon.

I don't have a Connecticut patch. I went all the way for a Northeast angling sojourn and had a blast that spring but I never got on the Farmington for the deluge, three days of heavy rain, and not the kind in which you can fish. If I don't fish it, I don't get a patch.

My patching habit is kinda reminiscent of those slow recreational vehicles you see on the road, the RVs you are behind on this single-lane road, the ones from the 1960s, beaten and worn, with a thousand colorful decals and stickers on the back so you can see all the neat places they have visited in their rust-bucket. You know sure as shootin' that the largest two stickers plastered on the RV will be from Yellowstone National Park and Good Sam's RV Club. KOAs are big players on these moving murals, too.

Maybe I am into this patch thing for the goal-oriented spirit, to satiate my list-making tendencies. Whatever it is, I have to guard my vest at home because Amy has threatened to throw it away. "It looks like rats have gotten ahold of it," she complains. Maybe they have, I don't know. But even so, it's a perfectly good vest. I'll get a Connecticut patch one day. I just hope the vest makes it long enough to iron or sew it on.

Farmington River

  • Location: North central Connecticut
  • What You Fish For: Brown and rainbow trout
  • Highlights and Notables: The holdover trout reach trophy size

Farmington is one of the finest brown trout rivers in the East. The river is not an angler's homerun rising-up-the-charts bestseller but a solid novel that will keep selling a goodly number of copies each year.

Located in north central Connecticut, this medium- to large-sized river is one of the more picturesque, what with the clear river passing under covered bridges, past green forests and through rolling hills out in the peaceful countryside and all. Despite two dams, the Farmington doesn't suffer from major water fluctuations. Accessibility on the Farmington is a positive since the river has roads following it and intersecting it.

Two Trout Management Areas (TMAs) on the river were meant to create trophy trout and it appears they are doing their job. The upper reaches of the Farmington provide a wilderness setting that belies its proximity to the cities. Most don't believe that a river this close to major populated areas can be a fishery of quality trout fishing. They're sadly mistaken. The Farmington gets cold water releases from dams that keep the river fishable even through the hot days in summer.

With the cold water, the prolific insect hatches, plenty of holding water (pockets, pools, riffles), and the river management, it's no wonder the Farmington provides a healthy population of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. The holdover browns and rainbows reach 16 to 20 inches and they are able to hide out well—18-inch trout on the Farmington are reported daily, it seems.

The West Branch out of Hogback is one of the top streams in the East. The river's two branches meet in New Hartford and the Farmington fishes well to Lower Collinsville Dam. Farmington enjoys solid mayfly and caddis hatches.


Classic and Custom Fly Shop,
New Hartford,
UpCountry Sportfishing, New Hartford,
Quiet Sports, Collinsville, 860-693-2214

Housatonic River

  • Location: Western half of Connecticut, north to south
  • What You Fish For: Brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass
  • Highlights and Notables: Some of the most prolific hatches in the East. Big river with plenty of access and challenging fishing

For several of my friends, the Housatonic is their favorite river in the East. The Housatonic is a real joy to fish, miles and miles virtually unfished. The river is photogenic with its covered bridges, green riverside forests, and big boulders tossed out in the river with no rhyme or reason. Thick green tops of trees and green small trees form a 3-D multitextured wall of all the shades of green on a color wheel. This tailwater runs north to south in the western half of Connecticut and this river's beauty is accented by shady banks and boulders as big as my Uncle Bob.

So Many Fish, So Little Time
1001 of the World's Greatest Backcountry Honeyholes, Trout Rivers, Blue Ribbon Waters, Bass Lakes, and Saltwater Hot Spots
. Copyright © by Mark Williams. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    This is a great book!

    The first thing I did when I found this book in the store was to open it up to the section about the Beartooth's of Montana and their small mountain lakes. It's my favorite place, and this guy nailed it. A beautiful, insightful, couple a hundred words that mirror the magic of fishing on little lakes above ten thousand feet in beautiful surroundings. Now that I've had it for a bit I can say the whole book is like that... I pick it up and start anywhere and in within sixty seconds I've found another place I just must visit. Buy it.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    This is a Great Book

    My Husband & Son are fisherman from the word go. If they could spend the rest of their lives in a boat or on a lake fishing that would be there dream. This book was the best for both of them. They are planning a fishing trip over sea's and all the information that they needed was right in the book. This book is for all the fisherman/woman in your lives. You can not go wrong by giving this book as a gift or buying it for yourself. It is well worth the money spent. Have Fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Having fished some of the sweetest honeyholes in 3 continents, Williams' book is accurate in its description of every one that I've visited. His stories add life to the coverage of every hotspot humorous, personal, wistful and entertaining.

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