San Fran or Boston?


Active Member
This economy blows. There is about a 70% chance I'll have to move out of WA. My company wants to transfer me to Boston. I also have a offer on the table in San Fran. Which city, San Fran or Boston, has better saltwater fly fishing opportunities? I spent a 1/2 hr talking to a guy at Orvis in San Fran when I there on Wednesday and he said the local salt fishing was pretty lame.

Charlie S

Confrimed Reprobate
Very little excellent salt water fishing in SF area. You can go north for some pretty fair rock fish opportunities or into the delta for stripers (this can be excellent) but other than that the salt scene just isn't. Added to that, you can't fish for salmon in the salt either. I don't know what Boston has to offer but it has to be better than this. That being said, if you choose Boston, then you have to live on the East there's real downs to both choices. At least out here to can travel a bit to some fair fishing.

Rob Ast

Active Member
warning - this post contains no first hand knowledge, just general surmising from reading lots of articles.

SF- Delta stripers, driving distance to lots of trout water, over-night trips to steelhead waters in northern Cal. Also a great city with outrageous living expenses,

Boston- within striking distance (no pun intended) of stripers and blues, and boat-trips for albies. Weekend trips to classic New England trout streams. A great city with slightly less outrageous living expenses.


Sculpin Enterprises
Hi SciGuy,

The major limitation with the saltwater flyfishing scene in Boston is that it is not a 12 month opportunity, like we have here. The waters in the winter are barely above freezing and the air temps usually well below freezing. However, in the spring, shad run up the rivers. In the summer, you can catch striped bass, bluefish, and little tunny (a small tuna) from the beaches and tidal creeks around Boston. Or head to Cape Cod and fish them from the Cape Cod National Seashore. There is some trout fishing, especially Swift River which flows out of the Quabbin Reservoir in west-central Massachusetts. From Boston, you're an hour's drive from the Maine border; you can fish for stripers in the summer all along the shore. About 2-5 hours north into Maine and you can fish the Kennebec and Penobscott Rivers for smallmouth bass and trout in the main stem and stripers in the lower section. There are landlocked Atlantic salmon in the west Branch of the Penobscott (by Baxter State Park) and in several of the larger lakes. Because of still abysmal numbers your opportunity to catch a true searun Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in Maine is a longshot. The salmon fishing is much better in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia; Cape Breton is a very fun mix of cultures and has good salmon fishing at the right time.

I lived for 8 years in New England and always thinking about moving back just for the fishing
The NE inshore fishery is fabulous
Take your pick: stripers, bluefish, false albacore or bonito
From shore or from a boat
Estuaries or open surf
And the best part is DAY or NIGHT (This almost drove me insane, stripers feed both day and night, so there is always a striper waiting to be caught somewhere)
Season runs from May to October
If you are will to travel a little (Down to New York and New Jersey) You can extend the season from march through Nov/Dec.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
In the begining I was from Boston. I'm staying in WA as long as possible. Boston at least has sports teams that don't suck. My father in law lives and fishes close to 200 days annually and he lives in NH.
If you're looking for saltwater opportunities, I'd definitely pick Boston. There's some great fishing in Northern California, but mostly in the rivers and the Delta. While there is some beach fishing, I don't think it compares to the Boston area.


MA-9 Beach Stalker
Sorry to hear you might have to move. I barely escaped this fate during the last economic downturn and luckily found a great job just in time. Since then I've explored our Washington waters and fished much harder, never taking it for granted again. You never know when you've landed your last steelhead or chrome bright salmon.

Not sure what my preference would be, but I'd lean towards the Boston area over SF (although dealing with snow again would be a minus for me). I'm a saltwater fan, and I've heard great things about flyfishing from shore and from boats in the New England area.
Well a number of questions need to be asked. What do you want to fish for ? Where will you live? SF will be more expensive and the "city" is unique without question.

There is some great trout fishing within about 3hrs. You can head north, west, and slightly south for Steel. Although, the stuff west and south are nice trout/rezzie sized. The bay, ocean, and delta have some great striper fishing. I would recommend reading Dan Blantons board.

Boston, Stripers, Blues, and False Albies. While it is not a 12 month fishery flights are pretty cheap to the Bahamas and other warm places for those nasty winter months. You are also a reasonable distance to the Eastern Canadian Atlantics.

Having recently completed a relocation, consider the impact to the family and your proximity to your favorite type of fishing. I used to fish steelhead 50-70 days a year :(.

If you pick Boston send me a PM.
SciGuy - I second what Cabezon said. Cape Cod is a truly an awesome place to fish for stripers and blues by wading the beaches. I lived in Maine for several years before moving to WA and regularly fished the Kennebec River and other spots along the coast for stripers. Every other summer I head back to New England and spend 2 weeks getting my striper "fix" by fishing in Maine and Cape Cod. I'm more of a saltdog, but if you like freshwater fishing - landlocked salmon fishing can be a blast in the Rangeley Lakes and W branch of the Penobscot River.
For saltwater fishing, Boston blows away San Fran. There's awesome striper fishing right in Boston Harbor.

Almost everything else about Boston sucks, though. Be careful about focusing too much on fishing.


Proud to Be Alaskan
San Fran I can think of:
-Giants and 49ers
-Big Stripers
-Big Largemouth Bass
-Big Trout
-Salmon (maybe sorta)
-Half Pounder Steelhead
-Hatchery Steelhead
-Within Striking Distance of Baja, BC, AK etc

-Redsox, Patriots, Celts, Bruins
-Big Stripers, Bluefish Tuna etc...
-Small but pretty trout
-Smallish Large and Smallmouth Bass
-Great panfishing
-Old World style
-Within Striking distance of the bahamas, quebec, etc.

If it came down to the fishing I'd pick san fran mostly because you can fish year round and I am a fan of the salmon family practically and its easier to get into the woods...
Seems like there's more variety of aggressive saltwater & freshwater fish up and down the East Coast. Of course the same is true for the people. Are you ready for the East Coast experience? If I wasn't a skier I'd pick Boston. Good luck.