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cubefisher 03-15-2010 10:58 AM

Odd sort of Backcountry Question
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 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?

gmreeves 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.

GrouseMan77 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.

mspaterick 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:

cubefisher 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.

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