Backpack Fishing

Dry fly purists, skip this section. But when the weather goes south and the fish stay down, the fly fisherman with the ability to fish nymphs can keep catching dinner while the purists hang out in their tents.

Most of my backcountry fishing is done in the US West: Wind Rivers, Yellowstone, and Beartooths, where the normal fare are brook, rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout ranging in size from 6 to 16 inches, with a few larger. Generally, mountain trout are less wary than their by-the-highway-bridge cousins, so ultra fine tippets are not usually necessary.

I've hiked in wet shoes all day long while fishing - and carrying my pack - and I've never encountered any foot problems. It's important to fully dry your feet at night, or you do run the risk of the epidermis separating from inner skin layers, which can cause serious problems when you start hiking, and result in blisters, cracks, and subdermal lesions.

On the trail, you may want a fast protein boost without fiddling around with a complex meal. Prepare and poach your trout as above (see "Fish Tacos"), but add lemon juice, dill, and pepper to the poaching broth. Drain, debone, deskin, and enjoy.

I’ve kept up with your videos for a while now, thanks. I do a good bit of fishing mountain streams in the Southern Appalachians while on backpacking trips. I think you are correct, it is easy to bring too much stuff (just in case) on backpacking trips. I started leaving the net & vest at home long ago, I now carry a very small soft case, my rod, extra tippet/leader, hemostats, fly coat, and a very small knife. I use the detachable lid of my backpack to carry stuff for the hike from my camp to the many streams. At first I felt a little insecure leaving so much behind, but now I find I truly have all I need.

Your fishing license can be conveniently kept with the rest of your valuables. I keep my fishing license, driver's license, credit card, calling card, and spare cash in a 5"x4.html" Aloksak, which slides into the rear mesh pocket of my Mayfly Pouch Lanyard. Alternatively, if you want to keep your fishing license with your fishing gear and the rest of your ID's and cards safe in your pack, stow your fishing license in the even smaller MicroZip Bag.

Jason, These are great tips to reduce the weight of your fly fishing pack. Were you say “Ditch your tube” I found an alternative to the aluminum tube. I use a clear polycarbonate shipping tube, there’r cheep very light weight and give plenty of protection to my new Tenkara rod. I did have some difficulty locating them, most suppliers expect you to buy a large quantity 50 to 100 at a time, I talked some one to give me some samples. maybe you can offer them on you site they work out to about 1 to 2 dollars a tube. I have a few extra, I can send you a couple if you like. just forward your address to my email. Talk to you again, Thom from Costa Mesa, Ca

Backcountry fishing is not just about hauling your front country gear to remote places. Backpack fishing, the process by which you fish while hiking en route from camp to camp, is one of the most rewarding aspects of fly fishing, and adds a whole new dimension to your trekking exploits.

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