Ok, I know, I know — golf? The headline might raise your eyebrows. But stick with me on this one, as golf and fly fishing have a lot in common. And I’m talking about more than a lot of old white men.
One of the things I love about fly fishing is about how it’s all about problem solving, and how no two situations are the same. The same is true for golf; every shot is different. They both can bring you to beautiful places, and afford you a few hours of quiet. Both can be frustrating, and both rewarding.
Here in the New England, we’re blessed with plenty of good options for both fly fishing and golf — sometimes very close to one another. A great day can be golf during the day, fishing the evening hatch, and closing out the day with some good food at a micobrewery or pub. What’s not to like?
Here’s my list of some good golf and fishing combos. This list includes some pricey clubs, and some public clubs that will leave you enough spare change for dinner. This list leaves out places like Fisher’s Island — clubs where, unless you were born into them, good luck getting onto them.
Granite Links and Boston Harbor Striper Fishing
In playing Granite Links, you’re on top of the world, with an aerial view out over the sky line of Boston. It’s a beautiful public course (watch out for some last minute deals that bring the price way down), and has a great bar scene at night with music and a night-time driving range. If you chase stripers during the day in the harbor, and then play an afternoon round here, it’s a damn good day.
Bretton Woods at Mount Washington and Amonousock Brook Trout Fishing
Bretton Woods, NH
The Ammonoosuc River flows from Lakes of the Clouds in the beautiful White Mountains and, in the upper reaches, is known for brook trout fishing. It’s a beautiful, often intimate, wild river. Bretton Woods is known as the best public course in NH, and is well worth the views of Mount Washington in the background. Sitting on the giant porch at sunset and having a beer is also a great way to end the day.
Skyline Golf Course and Deerfield River Trout Fishing
Finding a good golf course within shouting distance of one of my favorite trout rivers in Massachusetts is tough — they’re all a good distance. Skyline is a fairly good course with nice views at a reasonable rate. Taconic is another option, but it will cost you $100+ a round. Waconah is another option. I would only recommend you not play at Cranwell — it’s a rip off, and a course that’s so poorly maintained it’s embarrassing. A number of the fishing guides out there have a set of irons in the back of the truck, so feel free to ask for their suggestions.
The Captain’s Golf Course and Cape Cod Striper Fishing
The Cape has some famous courses — and you’ll pay famously for all of them, if you can even get on. Captain’s is a solid public course that punches well above its weight. From Brewster, it’s easy to head out to some famous striper fishing grounds. This is a great combo, believe me.
Lake of the Isles and Connecticut False Albacore Fishing
N Stonington, CT
Ranked in the top 100 “courses you can play” by Golf Magazine in 2016, Lake of the Isles is beautiful. It also employs dynamic pricing, so be mindful to book at an off-peak time. Fall is good for this, especially when the albies are out. Start the day chasing some albies around Watch Hill, and then play a round here.
Point Sebagao and Bass Fishing
Lake Sebago, Maine
Point Sebago golf course is a great course in Maine and a good deal. There’s also some good bass fishing in the ponds and lakes around there, and some good fishing on the lake, depending on the time of year.
Highland Links and Margaree river Atlantic Salmon Fishing
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
One slow day on a salmon trip to the Margaree river, I reeled in my line and decided I’ve have better luck catching a salmon on a golf course. Little did I know that, in teeing off on one hole, I would literally be hitting across a small river with a run of salmon. I was amazed, and spent a long time on the bridge hoping to see a salmon. The course is amazing, the setting was stunning, there was no pressure on the course — the whole thing was incredible. Don’t trust me? Here’s an article in The New York Times the talks about it. And see the below video — beautiful, right?