New Water: My Take on Travel, Fly Fishing, and Into The Wild

Plan, but don’t plan much: Of course you should plan for a fly fishing trip. But keep it to clothes, gear, flies and letting people know where you’ll be. Otherwise, leave shelter, food, and route completely ambiguous. One of Chris’s more insightful quotes in the book is “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure”. And I think there is a lot of truth in that, I think one of the things that keeps a trip enjoyable is the unknown. There are infinite places to eat and sleep, so really-don’t plan it. Let’s call this the “magic bus theory” you’ll find a place to rest your head, no need to google it. After one of my best fishing days we picked a roadside motel, and grilled chicken wings in the parking lot on a grill we bring on all of our road trips. We drank, and laughed our ass off in twenty degree weather. I’m not suggesting you eat wild berries in the woods and construct your own shelter, I am simply saying that void of a plan, you may have an experience that you really remember, an unexpected pleasant add on to your fishing trip.

Meet people and hear them: It seems a little unfair to say that Chris McCandless didn’t listen to the people he met. But the book seems to really portray him as this kid that loved to tell people how they SHOULD be living. It doesn’t seem to make note of a single circumstance where he came across a new contact and didn’t go out of his way to share his Tolstoy-esque regurgitated views of life. And while I have nothing against sharing your own views on living, (you might have noticed that I am doing that in this article/essay) I do believe it is a much more enjoyable endeavor to actually hear the person you meet on the river while fly fishing than to impose whatever beliefs you have, either on fishing or life. Let’s call this the “I don’t know shit theory”. A theory that if deployed more regularly by Chris, may have drastically changed the course of his adventure.

Article by Hunter Garth, you can get in touch with him at and be sure to follow him on Instagram at @hgflyfishing. All photos from Zach Youngberg.

Check out Hunter’s previous article here:


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