Fishing Trip Checklist: How To Put Together An Incredible Experience

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, sure, Ben Franklin may not have been talking about your next fly fishing trip, but a little preparation sure goes a long way. Having a fishing trip checklist that you can rely on time and time again will help cut down the amount of time you spend preparing.  Last minute or late night packing has cost me on more than one fishing trip. This complete Fishing Trip Checklist will help ensure you don’t forget any of the essentials as you prepare to hit the water on your next fly fishing trip.

Why is it so important to prepare for a fishing trip?

About a year ago I was on a camping and fishing trip with my partner Nikki in Southwest Colorado. Our plan for one particular day was to hike to a high alpine lake and fish for wild cutthroat trout. Sounds great, right? Everything was going smoothly until we arrived at our destination after a grueling hike when I discovered that I had forgotten my reel. As a result, I got to spend my afternoon watching fish snatch dry fly after dry fly off the surface with my hands in my pockets. Not the worst thing in the world, but it sure would have been more fun to land a few. 

Moral of the story, taking time to consider all of your equipment needs from the fishing basics (i.e. rod and reel) to clothing is crucial for maximizing your time on the water. Having a reliable fishing trip checklist will help ensure that you don’t forget any of your fishing essentials before hitting the road. If I have space in my car, I’ll try to take some of the stuff that “I’ll never need” like spare hats, sunglasses, extra layers, shoelaces, old wading boots, and more, however, the following fishing trip checklist covers all the necessities so hopefully, you don’t need the spares!

Key Considerations for any Fishing Trip

There are a few key things to keep in mind while planning your next fishing trip. The first and arguably most important would be the weather. Having spare layers is crucial in winter months but being prepared with a rain jacket can save the day in the shoulder months. I’ve left home more than once without checking the weather and ended up cutting my day short due to cold ears and fingers. Checking forecasts and knowing seasonal weather patterns for the area that you plan to fish can make or break your day. 

Another key consideration would be the species that you plan to target. If you are planning a multi-species trip, a variety of rods, reels, and fly boxes may be required.  Researching the location you plan to fish and types of water (streams, rivers, lakes) can help ensure you don’t leave that perfect fly box at home. On a multi-day trip, taking your vice and fly tying materials along with you is a surefire way to ensure you can match the hatch or even restock your magic patterns streamside.

Other activities you may be doing such as camping, hiking, and the length of your fishing trip will obviously change the amount of gear that you need but our fishing trip checklist will help ensure your bases are covered.

The Fishing Trip Checklist

This comprehensive Fishing Trip Checklist will help make sure you have all the essentials for a day on the water chasing your favorite species.

Download the Flylords Fishing Trip Checklist here.

Article by Evan Garda, he is on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing trout throughout the west with his trusty fly rod. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.

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  1. Thanks for the reminder that it’s important to also have a good jacket when going on a fly fishing trip. I plan to take my nephew to one soon because I’m thinking about bonding with him more often in the future. I think that will be a good idea since I haven’t really spent time with him in years.

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