View Full Version : Odd sort of Backcountry Question

03-15-2010, 10:58 AM
Just throwin' this out there:

I used to backpack a pretty good amount in the park. I've done several backcountry backpacking trips...then I (re)discovered fly fishing.

Now, I measure a trip's success by how much time I get to spend on the water (catching some fish adds to that factor, of course, but it's not critical...to me at least). So, ALL of my trips are to front-country sites with good access to fishable waters. I get to do that about twice a year.

Lately, I've been toying with doing a backcountry trip. I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but I'm concerned that I'm going to resent the walking as a distraction from fishing. I can bang out a lot of fishing over three days when I'm camped next to the stream and don't have to move to my next overnight spot. (Admittedly, I'm getting lazy in my old age. I think I can make the adjustments to my gear, menu and adult beverages to pull it off; it's the walking I fear I will resent.)

Does anyone else share that? Anyone else had to overcome that?

03-15-2010, 11:53 AM
One of the best things about backcountry fishing is getting rigged up in a remote camp with out the fear of other fisherman up or downstream of you. I think the walking is well worth it. You don't have to go too far to get away from everyone either. What I always liked to do was hike in the early a.m. while it is still cold/cool/no bugs on the water, set up camp, fish 'til dark and then sit and by the fire and think about what a great day I had. Wake up the next morning and repeat. If you like backpacking and fly fishing, the smoky's is a great playground.

Rog 1
03-15-2010, 12:54 PM
I used to do quite a lot of the backcountry camping/fishing in my younger days...I had one sight where I could camp and fish different water every day for three or four days...have taken my son several times and when he was young he began telling me how much fishing time we wasted hiking in(this was when he was struggling with even a small pack and a two hour hike took 4-5 hours)...I generally did this so that I could fish some of my favorite waters without having to hike 3-4 miles each way several times a week just to get on a particular stretch of water....would also hike in early so that I could fish that afternoon and the next morning just eat breakfast and wade into the river and for the most part not have any company...especially if it was during the week.

03-15-2010, 05:02 PM
Either way you are outside doing to of the most enjoyable things that I can think of. That said, I slightly prefer the backpack fishing trips.

fly fisherman DK
03-15-2010, 09:21 PM
In my opinion the hike in and out is part of the experience. I like the hike into the backcountry, because you never know what you will see during that time, the peacefulness and solitude, and the anticipation to get on the remote creek full of eager trout. Finally, I think backcountry camping/fishing trip is definitely the way to go.

03-17-2010, 02:15 PM
I like the hiking part of the backcountry trips. I have done allot of backcountry hiking/camping in the park and am now just starting to fly fish in the park. For me the easy part is the hiking/ camping the hard part is the fishing. I have been on two fishing camping trips and my pack weight was allittle to much. I need to really go over my fishing gear and only bring the bare essentials. I also think that for a fishing trip/hiking trip in the park it would be more fun to stay in one place at least two days.

David Knapp
03-17-2010, 06:01 PM
I personally enjoy the solitude gained by packing in. However, I'll hike in up to 8 or 10 miles on a day trip as well. If I want to fish an area for more than one day, I'll pack in. Otherwise I normally do day trips... Walking past water is difficult...just remember that the fishing is getting better the farther you go and it makes everything better...:cool:

Speck Lover
03-17-2010, 09:47 PM

For me, the advantages of backcountry fishing far outweigh the disadvantages. I thoroughly enjoy the entire experience, whether it be backpacking or fishing. The peace and solitude that I experience on a backcountry excursion is therapy for my soul. I normally go with two of my friends, so we keep our pack weight minimal by distributing the necessities among the three of us. If we want to stop and fish while hiking to a backcountry campsite, we stop and fish. I used to rush to get from point A to point B, but birthdays have taken care of that. Personally, I will take the backcountry trips over the frontcountry trips anytime. Try it once. You will never know if you like the experience or not if you don't try it. I don't think that you will resent the walking after you do it. From my perspective, a backcountry trip is a little easier to pull off with a couple of friends along. Oh, by the way, we always bring "light beer" when backpacking. :rolleyes:

03-17-2010, 09:48 PM
Interesting, Plateau, that's what I'm afraid of. I have trouble walking past just about anything that looks fishy. Knowing that a portion of one of my very limited fishing time will be spent walking past good looking water is hard for me. Knowing that I'm not likely to have to share the water with anyone other than the guys I go with sounds pretty good, though.

Rog 1
03-18-2010, 09:15 AM
I can remember the first time my older cousin took me fishing above Elkmont...had told him I wanted to fish Fish Camp Prong after hearing my uncle and grandfather talk for years about how good the fishing was up there....imagine my frustration as we walked along the LR for those 2.7 miles.....a mile shorter way back then....can't remember how many times I asked him if we were there yet and why not fish all that other good looking water....when we finally got across the rive and started fishing I soon forgot about all that other water.

03-18-2010, 09:29 AM
The simple fact that most guys can't pass up all that good looking water is what makes the fishing better farther on up ;)

03-18-2010, 04:32 PM
Interesting, Plateau, that's what I'm afraid of. I have trouble walking past just about anything that looks fishy. Knowing that a portion of one of my very limited fishing time will be spent walking past good looking water is hard for me. Knowing that I'm not likely to have to share the water with anyone other than the guys I go with sounds pretty good, though.

LRO needs to start selling blinders for the back packing anglers.

Rog 1
03-18-2010, 05:15 PM
As with most water in the Park the number of anglers you bump into is directly proportional to the amount of walking you do before you start fishing....that ratio has the sound of a good science/math project for someone....would be glad to help on that one.

03-19-2010, 09:02 AM
Paraphrasing a bit:

It goes to show
the park is full of fisherman...

the number increasing rapidly the
further one gets from the backcounty!

03-19-2010, 11:46 AM
I am taking the family on a back country backpacking/fishing trip at the end of the month. I have not worn a pack since the Army (25 years ago). I have purchased all of the equipment (Not the good expensive stuff) and I put on my 50+ pound pack last night for a five night camp. We are headed up Little River.

I imagine I will drop dead about 3 miles in, but at least I will be looking at my favorite stream/area.

I could have cut down, but I figure a little pain, for a lot of comfort is worth it. I cant wait to spend 8+ hours a day in the stream. My soul needs the mountains.

Get your arse up there, you cant be sorry, at least when you get there, while your hiking you will be like me, and be really sorry.

(how much do those extra BH Nymph's really weigh?????)

Rog 1
03-19-2010, 03:20 PM
Your hike is not really that hard and looking at all the water will take your mind off the task at hand....and the mind will soon block out all the pain.

03-19-2010, 03:58 PM
True. That hike up to 24 is about as flat as the get in the Park. Make sure you have some good insoles in your boots! That trail is packed hard as a rock and can be rough on the joints.

03-24-2010, 02:48 PM
Trick is picking a campsite that allows you to stay in place for a few days and still walk to different places to fish. Bone Valley, #83, fits the bill exactly. Start on Hazel Creek and fish up; up Bone Valley; down to Sugar Fork and up thru the Gorge to #83; up to Cold Spring. That's four days fishing a different stretch of stream without moving your campsite. Only last two require hiking and then donning waders; First two allow fishing upstream from the campsite. Watson

03-24-2010, 10:13 PM
Just take it slow and be sure to carry a pack that carries well, be careful of the weight you carry try to get under 40lbs and wear comfortable shoes/boots I carry 32lbs with food for 2 days and all of my fly fishing gear including waders,vest and wading boots.

It is really nice to be the only one on the stream can be a bit scary too being in the middle of what seems like no where be sure to tell someone when you are expected back and where you are planning on being.

I am hitting Bryson Place on Deep Creek this weekend I'll let you know how many fisherman I see up there. I go for 2 days that way one can be spent hiking and setting up camp and the next one fishing all day then hike out the next. campsite #24 can be hiked and fished all in the same day very easy hike but also a popular area for that reason.

03-25-2010, 01:00 PM
Spotlight, how long does it normally take you to hike the 6+ miles with a pack up to CS57? I'm interested in trying it sometime this year, when the weather is warmer and the water is lower...