ROAD TRIP!

SALT LAKE CITY Hunting and fishing within two hours of downtown. If you can't bear the thought of early holiday shopping in the city, sitting through a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert or trying not to get run down by snowboarders at Deer Valley, fear not. Hunting and fishing opportunities abound within a short drive of SLC in November. Extended-season mule deer hunts take place along the WASATCH RANGE (1), east and north of Salt Lake City, in two units. (See pages 51 and 52 of the 2005 Utah Big Game Proclamation for the units' boundaries.) Hunters with a General Archery Buck Permit just need to complete the brief "extended archery ethics course" at wildlife.utah.gov, print out the certificate and carry it with their permit while hunting. As long as there's open water there's no shortage of waterfowl hunting, with the 74,000-acre BEAR RIVER MIGRATORY BIRD REFUGE (2) holding untold numbers of ducks and geese at the northern end of the Great Salt Lake. FARMINGTON BAY, OGDEN BAY, HAROLD CRANE, SALT CREEK (3) and PUBLIC SHOOTING GROUNDS WATERFOWL MANAGEMENT AREAS (4) host great gunning. Big cutthroats and rainbows are still on the menu at many SLC-area reservoirs. Cast from shore or troll near it at STRAWBERRY (5), JORDANELLE, DEER CREEK and ROCKPORT RESERVOIRS (6). The fish are hitting 4-inch white or pearl tube jigs this time of year as they feast on shiners and chubs. Brown trout are spawning in the Provo, Weber and Ogden rivers. They're in an aggressive mood, so toss large streamers and wet flies at them. Rainbows and mountain whitefish will take your egg patterns. Contact: Utah DWR (801-538-4700, wildlife.utah.gov)Outdoor Life Online Editor
PHOENIX All-star fishing not far from Spring Training "Pitchers and catchers report." If you plan to preempt spring with a trip to Arizona this month to check out your team's off-season acquisitions and young studs, don't forget to pack your fishing gear. There are loads of angling opportunities within an easy drive of the Cactus League facilities in Phoenix. 1) CITY FISHING The Arizona Game and Fish Department and local parks and recreation departments run an Urban Fishing Program in the greater Phoenix area. Fifteen lakes are stocked with trout, catfish and sunfish. Another metro fishing hole, Tempe Town Lake, is stocked with rainbow trout. 2) INTO THE WOODS If you want to get out of town, consider a trip to Dead Horse Ranch State Park. The trout streams are favorites of the locals, and the scenery in the Verde Valley is second to none. Warm-water lagoons hold catfish, largemouths and crappies. 3) WHITE LIGHTS Northwest of town, Lake Pleasant is overrun with white bass. You're bound to hook into stripers and largemouths there, too. 4) SALT RIVER STRING Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes are known for their walleyes and largemouths. All four lakes hold lunkers to 6 pounds. Below Saguaro is the Lower Salt River, which flows back toward Phoenix and features the best rainbow trout fishing in the area.Outdoor Life Online Editor
DETROIT Red-hot icefishing within two hours of Detroit. Detroit will be the center of the football universe this month when the Super Bowl rolls into town. Hundreds of thousands of people will flock to the city, which means it's a great time to get out and do a little icefishing. 1) BIG-LAKE PERCH Hop on your four-wheeler and head toward the shanties on Lake St. Clair, which could be up to five miles from shore this month. You'll pull a mess of perch through the ice using minnows on a single hook and enough split shot to get the bait within a foot of the bottom, 5 to 8 feet down. 2) KILLER CRAPPIES Kent Lake, off Highway 96, offers a thousand acres of icefishing for a variety of fish. You can hook up with walleyes and northern pike, but it's the crappies that draw the anglers here. Fool them with minnows and teardrops. 3) BIG OL' BLUEGILLS Devils Lake, in Lenawee County, is another panfish hot spot. In addition to crappies, you'll find some oversize bluegills here. Minnows on pinkies are the ticket. 4) MIX IT UP Finally, if you're looking for a bit smaller water, head to 255-acre Oakland Lake in central Oakland County. You'll find a mixed bag of bluegills, crappies, northerns, walleyes and largemouth bass.Outdoor Life Online Editor
BOISE Awesome hunting and fishing opportunities surround this scenic town in the winter months. Winter may be upon us, but that doesn't mean great hunting and fishing aren't available in the Boise area. Chukar season is open through January and you don't have to go far from town for some of the best gunning in the West. Most of the area around Boise, in particular the rocky terrain in the BOISE NATIONAL FOREST (1) around LUCKY PEAK RESERVOIR (2), is prime chukar country. For birds of a different feather, hunt California quail on the agricultural/ desert interface on the surrounding BLM land and at C.J. STRIKE (3) and FORT BOISE WMAs (4). Quail season is open through December. Pheasant season is open through December as well. Hunters need to purchase a special permit to hunt the public pheasants on the C.J. STRIKE, MONTOUR (5) and PAYETTE RIVER WMAs (6), but it's well worth it. To top it off, don't forget about the legendary duck and goose hunting along the SNAKE (7) and PAYETTE RIVER SYSTEMS (8). The South Fork of the Boise River below ANDERSON RANCH DAM (9) is a hot spot for catch-and-release wild rainbows. Prince and Hare's Ear nymphs work best now. You can keep any whitefish you catch. The perch fishery at C.J. STRIKE RESERVOIR (10) should be tremendous. Target the fish between 10 and 15 feet near the BRUNEAU RIVER ARM (10) with cut bait and worms. Within the city limits, visit any number of small urban ponds for stocked rainbows. Or hit the BOISE RIVER (11) as it courses through downtown for wild browns and wild and stocked rainbows. Contact: Idaho Fish and Game (208-465-8465; fishandgame.idaho.gov)Outdoor Life Online Editor
CHICAGO Hunting and fishing within two hours of downtown winter is upon us, but plenty of great hunting and fishing is to be had in the Chicago area, if you know where to look. Once the region's lakes ice up, head north to the FOX CHAIN OF LAKES (1). Catch crappies, bluegills and channel cats through the ice on jigs tipped with wax worms. Tip-ups with sucker meat will entice northern pike there and at McCULLOM LAKE (2). Still trying to fill your deer tag? Among the best public areas in the region are MORAINE HILLS (3), GOOSE LAKE PRAIRIE (4) and KANKAKEE RIVER (5) state parks. "Kankakee, in particular, has great hunting thanks to the habitat along the river," says Illinois DNR wildlife biologist Frank Ostling. Many of the public waterfowl hunting areas around Chicago held their seasonal blind drawings months ago. However, BRAIDWOOD LAKE FISH AND WILDLIFE AREA (6) has daily draws. Pheasant hunters will want to check out the controlled hunts operated by T. Miller Inc. in coordination with the DNR. CHAIN O' LAKES (7) and SILVER SPRING (8) state parks host hunts. Visit lrsidnrpermits.com for more information.Outdoor Life Online Editor
DENVER Great opportunities for doves, trout and pike within two hours of the city. Is summertime in the city getting you down? Pack up the family for one of many great day trips to nearby waters. And with September fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about where you'll be for opening day of dove season. 1) SOUTH PLATTE RIVER Miracle Mile (Below 11-Mile Dam) is home to great brown and rainbow trout that require technical flyfishing, says Colorado Department of Wildlife's Tyler Baskfield. "Below-water stuff works in August," he says. "Prince nymphs, bead-headed Princes and the occasional midge." 2)SPINNEY MOUNTAIN & ELEVENMILE CANYON RESEVOIRS Throw tube jigs for open-water trout on these mountain reservoirs. You might also tie into a northern pike or catch a few kokanees, so be prepared for anything. 3)CITY PONDS, SOUTH PARK These ponds are stocked with trout. Bring along a can of worms and your kids can catch fish all day long. 4) STATE WILDLIFE AREAS State wildlife areas along the South Platte around the town of Fort Morgan (Boyd Ponds, Dodd Bridge, Brush, Cottonwood and others) attract lots of doves, thanks to their proximity to water and cropland.Outdoor Life Online Editor
BALTIMORE Great hunting and fishing within two hours of this famous port city. 1) SUSQUEHANNA RIVER Known equally for its striped bass, smallmouths and ducks, the Susquehanna is a sportsman's dream. During late fall and winter look for large rafts of diver ducks on the flats. Come spring, they're replaced by schooling stripers. 2) FISHING BAY WMA On the southern end of Maryland's Eastern  Shore is this expansive WMA, covering thousands and thousands of acres. By November the numerous marshes and potholes fill up with waterfowl of every type. 3) CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE Not only is the bridge an architectural marvel; it's a stellar artificial reef as well. Cow stripers feed on the baitfish that find solace around the many pilons. Bottom fish such as croakers can also be found in large numbers. 4) MCKEE BESHERS WMA Deer and waterfowl are the draw at McKee Beshers. It's flush against the Potomac River and surrounded by agriculture, creating superb habitat. A couple of fields in the WMA are managed for doves, though they're often shot out fairly early in the season. 5) HARPERS FERRY Get a bit of history along with your bass fishing at Harpers Ferry. The Potomac River at this stage looks like a Western stream in the early summer. The fast-moving river is perfect for hooking good-sized smallies.Outdoor Life Online Editor
AUGUSTA Take advantage of exceptional hunting and fishing within two hours of Maine's capital city. 1) MOOSEHEAD LAKE Maine's biggest lake is a top-notch destination for icefishermen, if you can stand the bitter cold temperatures. The bite picks up in early  January, and stable ice usually remains into the early spring. Most anglers are trying for togue (lake trout), but landlocked salmon and brook trout can also be caught. 2) KENNEBEC RIVER Very few rivers in the East can offer the variety of trophy-sized fish the Kennebec can. Rainbows, browns, brookies and landlocked salmon all thrive in the cold waters. Consider fishing from Solon to Skowhegan. 3) ANDROSCOGGIN RIVER You don't need to go to Alaska to find a remote river. The Androscoggin is a fertile body of water that is completely undeveloped on its upper reaches. Big browns and rainbows make up the bulk of fish, though brook trout lurk in slower sections. 4) RANGELEY LAKES REGION The area, made famous by the book We Took to the Woods, is a sportsman's dream. Endless logging roads lead to numerous coverts of grouse and woodcock, while the lakes offer excellent trout fishing. Landlocked salmon and fat native brookies fill the pools and eddies along the Rapid River.Outdoor Life Online Editor
NEW YORK Awesome stripers, trout and fluke are within two hours of the Big Apple. 1) EAST RIVER BLUES Why venture any farther than Manhattan? During a falling tide, stripers and chopper bluefish school in the East River estuary. Join the crowds of surf fishermen on the river walk beneath looming skyscrapers. Turtle Bay, the Williamsburg Bridge and Battery Park are local favorites. 2) LONG ISLAND SOUND FLUKES You can find a number of hard-fighting saltwater species in the sound. If you're out to meat-fish, though, nothing can top the late-summer fluke action. Anglers drift fresh squid and plastic artificial lures near structure and rocks during swift tides. 3) PECONIC RIVER STRIPERS The lower reaches of Long Island's major river are fished for stripers and blues, but trout reign throughout the freshwater stretches. Cast to browns from a canoe using a variety of streamer and zonker flies. 4) DELAWARE RIVER 'BOWS Hard-core flyfishermen will tell you that the Delaware is one of the most technical rivers in the country. Precise casting and accurate fly selection lead to drag-burning fights with tenacious rainbows. 5) CATSKILL PARK BROWNS This mountain refuge is the home field of American flyfishing. Try Willowemoc or Esopus creek or the Beaverkill River. 6) JAMAICA BAY STRIPERS It's hard to believe, but New York has a wildlife refuge within city limits. In spring and fall, stripers congregate in the large marsh. There's good fishing along the shoreline.Outdoor Life Online Editor
PITTSBURGH Stay within two hours of the Steel City for exceptional hunting and fishing opportunities. 1) OHIO RIVER The great feature about Pittsburgh is that you don't even need to leave downtown to find banner smallmouth fishing. The Citgo Bassmaster Classic was held there this year, and anglers caught the most fish on seawalls built throughout the metropolitan area. Soft plastics or deep-diving plugs are popular lure choices. 2)BLACKLICK CREEK If you don't want to chase bass in the famous waters around Pittsburgh, head east to Cambria County, where brown trout are the prized fish. Blacklick Creek, for one, is a stocked stream, but its current yields plenty of holdover browns that have grown into trophy-sized fish. Other quality waters in the county include Chest Creek and Ben's Creek. 3) FORBES STATE FOREST Pennsylvania's antler restriction program has caused a lot of local controversy. Arguments aside, bigger bucks are now being killed on state lands. Forbes State Forest is one such place in the state's western reaches that reports good deer harvests each season, with plenty of mature bucks in the mix. 4) MONONGAHELA NATIONAL FOREST Head south of the border to West Virginia and hunt this expansive timber land. Thick-tined mountain deer wander the Appalachians, as do black bears. If big game doesn't get your heart racing, take a dog and look for grouse. Whatever you choose to hunt, pack a fly rod or ultralight rod and cast to brook trout in the numerous mountain streams.Outdoor Life Online Editor
WATKINS GLEN Some of the region's best fishing lies within two hours of this famous New York raceway 1) SENECA LAKE Practically in Watkins Glen Raceway¿s backyard is Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes. Seneca has a variety of species, but the most sought after are landlocked salmon, lake trout and brown trout. The lake is home to a naturally reproducing rainbow trout population. During August, trolling deep is a popular method to catch fish. 2) CAYUGA LAKE By August, most of the surface-fishing opportunities in the lake have passed. Instead, charter captains troll plugs on planers at depths to 125 feet. Large lake trout and rainbow trout make up the bulk of the catch, although salmon and browns are possible. 3)TIOGA RIVER The dam in Tioga, Penn., creates a great tailwater fishery on the river. Most notable are the walleyes, which spawn in the outflow of the dam. For a couple of miles downstream, good trout fishing can also be had. By August, much of the river can be waded. 4)OWEGO RIVER Both the east branch and the west branch of this river hold good numbers of smallmouths. You want to fish near the town of Owego, N.Y., where the river joins the Susquehanna, creating ideal habitat for lunker smallmouths. 5) OWASCO LAKE Along with trout and salmon, this smaller Finger Lake also has large numbers of bullheads, bluegills, walleyes and pike. Trolling is a popular method for cold-water species in August. How¿ever, anglers will also want to cast to shoreline structure and submerged rocks to find walleyes, panfish and catfish.Outdoor Life Online Editor
RICHMOND Great fishing and hunting in the backyard of this historic city. 1) JAMES RIVER There are few bodies of water in the South that are as productive as the James for bass and catfish. Fish west of the city from a canoe for smallies, or head downstream for largemouth and hard-fighting whiskerheads. 2 RAPIDAN RIVER The headwaters of the Rapidan are loaded with decent-sized brook trout. (That's why President Hoover built a fishing camp here.) Once you venture down from the mountains, though, smallmouths take over, and there are plenty of them. 3) POTOMAC RIVER Just downriver of the Hwy. 301 bridge is a warm-water discharge from a nearby power plant. Striped bass and croakers will hold in that heated flow all winter long. During the summer, spot are plentiful around the bridge structure. 4) GEORGE WASHINGTON NATIONAL FOREST Straddling the Blue Ridge Mountains, this gargantuan forest is the place to go in Virginia for a rugged, wilderness deer hunt. Amid the beautiful backdrop, hunters will be in great habitat for taking the buck of a lifetime. 5) C.F. PHELPS WMA Much of the WMA's 4,500 acres are open land that was once used for agriculture. This is good news for folks in the Richmond area looking for a good place to hunt doves and other small game, including squirrels.Outdoor Life Online Editor
MEMPHIS You can find world-class bird hunting, fishing and more within a two-hour drive of Graceland. 1) SHELBY FOREST WMA Located just north of the city, this WMA is full of game both big and small. Shelby Forest designates some habitat for dove fields, hosting one of the best public shoots in the state. Flora flourishes in the rich river mud, which helps the deer to grow large. Turkey and rabbit hunts are also available. 2) STUTTGART, AR If you're a serious waterfowler with time to kill in Memphis, figure out a way to get a hunt in or around Stuttgart, Ark. The area is considered one of the greatest duck-hunting destinations in the country. Thousands of puddle ducks descend on the corn and rice fields during their southerly migration each fall and winter. 3) HOLLY SPRINGS NATIONAL FOREST Head south of the border to this sprawling forest, which boasts some of the best turkey and deer hunting in Mississippi. During the summer, Holly Springs' many lakes and streams are filled with hungry bass and panfish. 4) ANDERSON TULLY WMA Hugging the curves of the Mis¿sissippi River is the Anderson Tully WMA. Open water abounds for waterfowl enthusiasts, while the deep woods of the forest provide great cover for large bucks. In spring, the same woods are full of gobblers.Outdoor Life Online Editor
ATLANTA Excellent hunting and fishing lie within two hours of the Georgia Dome. 1) NANTAHALA NATIONAL FOREST Catfish and bass may be the most popular fish in the South, but if you're looking for an adventure, try for trout. Many varieties swim in the Nantahala River and its tributaries. Brown, brook and rainbow trout can be caught on dry flies from early spring through Thanksgiving. Some streams require rigorous hikes to access them, but the fishing is worth it. 2) CHATTAHOOCHEE NATIONAL FOREST Deer were nearly wiped out when extensive logging ruined their habitat, but thanks to aggressive management, numbers are strong. The north Georgia mountains are a challenge for whitetail hunters accustomed to hunting flat farms. 3) HARTWELL LAKE You'll have the best shot at a hefty catfish cruising the bottom of this massive reservoir under the cover of darkness. During the day, bass and panfish are popular angling targets. 4) OCONEE NATIONAL FOREST Like the Chattahoochee, the Oconee has thriving deer and turkey populations because of the state's proactive management. State-run food plots are a great place to tag a turkey in the spring, or a buck in the fall.Outdoor Life Online Editor
JOHNSON CITY Great fishing is within two hours of Tennessee's Bristol Motor Speedway. 1) CHEROKEE LAKE Big stripers make their summer home around the John Sevier Steam Plant on the lower portion of the lake. Live shad or large shiners are the bait of choice. Smallmouths can also be caught with live bait on clay and gravel points. Largemouths are plentiful in deep water during the late summer. Cast to them with Carolina-rigged plastic lizards. 2) NOLICHUCKY RIVER Large smallmouths in big numbers are the calling card of the Nolichucky River. It's best fished from a canoe or drift boat during August and September, though wading is possible. Smallmouths are the main draw on the "Chucky," but there are plenty of muskies around to tear into a well-presented plug. 3)SOUTH HOLSTON LAKE The 7,500-acre impoundment is home to several trophy fish species including bass, catfish, walleye and crappie. The best features to fish in the lake are the various shoreline structures, from rock banks to clay sandbars. 4) WATAUGA LAKE This highland reservoir is one of the best smallmouth lakes in the South. Fish to 6 pounds are reported each season. Your best chance is to fish live bait around shoreline and underwater structure, although spinnerbaits and buzzbaits produce, too. 5) WATAUGA RIVER Float the Watauga for some of the nation's best rainbow and brown trout fishing. The river stretches 24 miles through the high country of North Carolina and Tennessee.Outdoor Life Online Editor

Find great hunting and fishing within just two hours of these city centers.