Many fly anglers dream of far-off destinations like the Seychelles, Christmas Island, or even a float down the Madison. These trips can be costly and there’s likely a great adventure right around the corner. Knowing how to effectively and comfortably plan the perfect multi-day fishing adventure is easier than it seems. With proper planning and the right gear, you can have an adventure of your very own, right in your backyard.
Know Where You’re Going:
The most successful trips come to those who are prepared. Before you even put your keys in the car’s ignition, do some research on where you’re heading. Whether you’re e-scouting or (in our opinion: the better option) getting some tips from a buddy or local fly shop/ outfitter – you always want to have your wits about you before you’re out of signal. Some things to check off before you go include:
- Access Points
- Camping friendly areas (if they are established campgrounds, bring some cash or buy a permit in advance)
- Fire regulations
- Proximity to the body of water you’re planning on fishing
- (arguably the most important) The Weather
Locate Your Campsite:
The first consideration in planning the perfect fishing adventure is finding the ultimate location. State parks, national forests, BLM land, and dispersed camping are options available in most states to some degree or another. It’s important to consider that the easier it is to find information about a place, the more crowds you’re likely to run into.
Using resources like National Geographic’s free topographic maps, Google Earth, Delorme’s Atlas & Gazetteers, and state fish & game websites will help you find a suitable campsite near your favorite waters. Many campsites can be accessed for free or a nominal fee but be sure to check your local regulations.
Setting Up Camp
Once you’ve found a nice flat spot to spend the night, go ahead and start setting up. Whether your car camping or sleeping under the stars, having the proper gear can make or break a trip. There are a few key camping essentials that we don’t leave home without.
A quality tent is a must unless you opt for some form of car camping. Looking to get away with that special someone? Consider a cozy 2 person option like the Kelty Wireless 3-season tent. Planning to party it up with friends? A larger option like the Marmot Torreya Tent: 6-Person 3-Season tent may suit you better. Regardless, a quality tent equipped with a rainfly is a must for any multi-day adventure.
Sleeping Bags/Sleeping Pads:
Once you’ve staked your tent it’s time to get comfortable. A sleeping mat is a must whether you’re sleeping on the ground or in a car. Two primary types of sleeping mats are available including foam pads like the Therma-a-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad or inflatable pads like Eureka Singlis ST.
Either option above will surely enhance your sleep, however inflatable pads tend to provide more support under a sleeping bag. When selecting a sleeping bag, filler material choice is important depending on your intended use and budget. Synthetic fillers are cheap but tend to be heavier and less insulating than natural down filling.S taying warm will be a forgotten worry when you’re sleeping in the Mountain Hardware Bozeman 15 sleeping bag atop your sleeping pad. Rest assured of a good night’s sleep when you start your adventure with a quality sleeping pad and sleeping bag.
Now that you have a place to rest your head after drinking a few too many around the campfire, you’ll want to outfit your campsite with a few key “comfort” items. A camp stove like the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a true workhorse capable of brewing a hot cup of coffee in the morning to cure a hangover and also boiling a pot of water in a flash for dehydrated meals, soups, and more.
Keeping food and drinks cold can be a challenge while exploring for extended periods of time. Enter the YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, another campsite staple cable of keeping your beers cold for days. Don’t worry about food spoiling either when you’re equipped with this cooler.
Remember, do your research on the areas surrounding wildlife beforehand. In areas with dense bear populations, make sure to equip properly. Whether that’s supplies to hang food in trees, or bear-proof food storage: the last thing you want is for your tent to turn into a wild animals lunch.
Getting Ready to Hit the Water:
Now’s time for the fun part. Depending on your location; the river, lake, or puddle that you’re planning on tossing a line in, may be next to your campsite, or a few miles away. Regardless, you want to make sure you’ve got the right gear for the job, that way once it comes time to dance with that first underwater denizen – the only thing that keeps that fish from the net is your own bumbling coordination (or lack thereof).
Of course, before you go, make sure you’ve got an understanding of the local water. The 3 essentials are as follows:
- Fishing regulations: These can be found with a quick Google search, and will not only keep you out of trouble but are set in place to protect the fishery.
- Understanding of Private v. Public Land: Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to access apps like OnX to scout private land boundaries. For the most part, just keep far away from posted signs, and if you do find yourself accidentally trespassing – make haste and backtrack. Some landowners are less forgiving than others, and you don’t want to be around to figure out who you’re dealing with.
- Buy a fishing license: The most important thing to remember, and something that’s easy to forget. If you haven’t yet or are crossing state lines – buy a damn license. Not only does it keep the fishery alive and accessible, but it keeps you from massive fines, confiscated gear, and potential jail time. Think of it this way: would you rather spend $20 on a weekend license, or $2 grand and a couple of days in jail after getting caught without one. Don’t know where to get one? Call a local fly shop, or Google it.
Fly Fishing Gear
Now that you’ve established your comfortable campsite, its time to explore the waters you came here for in the first place. Reliable gear is just as important on the water as it is at the campsite. This year, we’re turning to the new Backcountry x Simms Flyweight collection exclusively sold by Backcountry.com. Available in mens and womens, this collection includes waders, jackets, hats, a sling pack, and wader tote. The Backcountry x Simms Flyweight collection is designed to take the modern angler further.
The brand new Backcountry x Simms Flyweight Stockingfoot Pant+ Wader are a technical piece of equipment destined for exploring your favorite waters and pushing to reach new limits when the itch strikes. The Backcountry x Simms Flyweight Stockingfoot Pant+ Wader are backed by years of Simms engineering and design.
These waders are made of GORE-TEX and have a 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower for added durability. The Stockingfoot Pant+ Waders also uniquely feature self-draining thigh pockets to keep your essentials at the ready. The Hex Air gravel guards will keep debris from getting in your boots trekking to that honey hole.
Be prepared for drizzly mornings and afternoon squalls with the Backcountry x Simms Flyweight Technical Shell Jacket. This uni-sex Backcountry Exclusive jacket is perfect for fly fishing and trekking adventures.
Made of GORE-TEX Paclite material, this jacket neatly packs into its zippered pocket when not in use. The mesh chest pocket secures tools, tippet, or even a small fly box. The lightweight and flexible GORE-TEX is designed to move with you through a long day of fishing. Most importantly, this jacket won’t slow you down.
The Simms Flyweight Wading Boots are the perfect compliment to the new Backcountry X Simms Flyweight collection of technical gear. The Simms Flyweight Wading Boots have been the go-to boot for anglers looking for a lightweight wading boot capable of longer hikes that still provide the traction and stability needed for a day on the water. Perfect for exploring your backyard.
As always, any perfect fishing adventure requires a trusty fly rod, reel, and a fly box full of local patterns. If you plan to explore beyond your normal waters, be sure to consult a local fly shop for advice. It’s important to remember that anytime you get free advice from a shop that you should also patronize the business by buying some “hot” local flies or some new leaders.
Time to Plan Your Perfect Backyard Fishing Adventure
Now that you’ve got the gear, the rest is up to you. No matter where you live, adventure is always an hour or two away – and with the right know-how, you can make sure it’s one you’ll never forget. Take into account all the tips above, but most importantly, have fun. The weather might be a little cold, and the fishing may not be so hot, but as long as you’re exploring the great outdoors: there’s always fun to be found.
Taking inventory of your camping essentials prior to starting your adventure is a must. If you’re new to camping or are in need of assistance purchasing your next piece of gear, the knowledgeable staff at Backcountry.com are sure to help you out. With your campsite established and your wading apparel updated, you’ll be ready to tackle any adventure you set your mind to.