Back Packing and Fly Fishing
With summer just around the corner, incorporating backpacking into your fly fishing endeavors can make for one great of a trip. I spent a few days in Colorado where my dad and hiked nine miles up the Pine River, set up camp, and then had two days to explore. Along the way, we were constantly talking about certain items we wished we had and ones we wished we left at home. I am going to share those here to help you for your next trip and hopefully save a few backs and shoulders from carrying too much gear.
The goal should be to bring what you need while also keeping it as light as possible. Aside from your essential (tent, sleeping bag, etc.) you’ll also have all your fishing gear. I would stick to one rod and reel, and greatly limit how much other fly gear you bring. I brought my Umpqua sling pack filled with a good majority of my flies and other supplies which ended up being way too heavy and unnecessary. I would recommend bringing a small hip pack or something similar and only bring what flies/supplies you will definitely need. We talked to a guy who only brings a lanyard and puts a cup of flies in his pocket.
other item that isn’t necessarily needed but is something I would recommend is a net. I know that seems kind of silly, but being from Arizona and always fishing small streams for smaller fish I never really need a net. I didn’t bring one to the Pine River which was a mistake, as it is a lot harder to bring those bigger fish to hand. Nets can simply be clipped to the outside of your backpack.
f you’re wet wading with water shoes and are doing a lot of hiking, wear socks with your water shoes. By the end of the day, or even after a few hours of fishing, there is a high possibility of getting blisters. The hike back to camp and the hike back to the car will be anything but enjoyable.
One thing I would recommend for those who don’t sleep well in a tent is a backpacking pillow. I actually got mine for free after seeing that Klymit was giving them away (they might actually have a few left). It only weighs 2.25 ounces, so it really doesn’t add much to the pack.
One last item I would recommend is a Sawyer water filter. They are small and screw onto a pouch that you fill with water and then squeeze out via the filter. It is also very light and can be stored in your fishing pack.
Hopefully these tips will help on your next backpacking and fly fishing adventure. Have fun out there and be safe!