Fishing trips are great times to bond, have tons of fun, and make some unforgettable memories. Long before you get out on the water, though, you need to plan. Where will you stay? Where will you fish? Should you get a rental boat, or can you bring one? These are all things you need to figure out ahead of time.
Planning a remote fishing trip doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By taking the time to prepare, you can avoid vacation nightmares and spend more time enjoying nature and camaraderie.
There are some factors that might make for a less than enjoyable trip, like extreme weather and no bites. But you always make the best of it. Some of our favorite days on the water are when it's gloomy, pouring rain, or dumping snow. Not to mention these can make for even more adventurous memories.
No matter what happens on your trip, do some research and a bit of planning so you know what to expect. Here’s some helpful advice for planning a remote fishing trip.
One of the most important things to do early on in your planning is researching the location. Picking the right spot can make or break a remote fly fishing trip.
A good place to start is to check out different reviews online and research certain destinations. Facebook groups, local forums, messaging boards, or travel websites are great reference guides because they usually come with personalized stories about the area.
Some other things you should be researching include:
- High, low, warm, and cold spots of the water or local water temps
- Future and historical weather forecasts
- The popular fish species in the area
- Water levels and flows
- Potential hazards like rapids or dams
- Whether you need a fishing license and if it needs to be visible or not
If you’re new to fly fishing or a specific destination, then you might want to arrange for a guide, especially if you are going to highly remote destinations. Avid anglers know that there are different destinations for different types of fish species, so you should plan a trip that closely matches your desired catch and location.
Also be mindful of the weather and weather temps. Once river temps hit 65 degrees, don’t go out. You’ll end up killing fish in the process. Some parks might also have restrictions around river temps for this reason, so do your research before you go. For example, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has "hoot-owl" restrictions on several of their rivers. These restrictions close fishing from 2 pm until midnight to protect the fish. Make sure to check for local or state restrictions around fishing times.
Don’t be afraid to check with local guides or contact some different fish and tackle shops around the area to get even more insight. You might even be able to catch a tip on some of the hidden spots and learn where the tourist traps are.
Most local fly shops will give you all sorts of information if you're looking to plan a trip to their neck of the woods. Make sure you're supporting those local businesses when you arrive by buying flies, equipment, or apparel as a thank you for local insight. Their expertise can make a radical difference in your trip.
Case in point: We took a recent trip to Breckenridge with a couple guys for four days and had very little success on a local stream. After talking to a local fly shop in Breck they let us know that a local reservoir was eating a size 12 chubby with a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear underneath. We checked it out and all four of us had 25+ fish days with multiple 20"s. We would have never gone there without the guidance of that shop and the flies they recommended. To this day, it is one of my favorite fishing memories in recent years.
Preparing Gear for Your Trip
The next step is preparing to get there. Are you flying to a remote destination or driving on a cross-country trip? Maybe you’re getting out of the city and exploring some rural parts of the state.
The location and style of fishing you prefer will determine your gear. If you are walking and wading, going through rivers, and walking salt flats for bonefish, then this will determine if you should look into a boat or not. If you want to go backpacking in the Frank Church in Idaho or Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, you won't be boating.
If you’re floating, you may have to budget for renting a boat. This will also depend on the destination and type of transportation. You may be able to tow your boat and some styles you could pack in a travel bag.
Luckily if you are going to a remote location and need a boat, then our two-man drift boat is perfect to travel with. It's the perfect boat for weekend warriors and destination anglers alike.
It’s always good to bring a spare rod or two (in case your friend forgets theirs) or your rod snaps. Likewise, bring a bunch of extra flies. If you’re fishing an area for the first time, you may want to try out some different flies until you find one that’s working well. And, more than likely, you'll lose quite a few flies to trees, rocks, or fish.
If your boat is equipped with the rod holder, it’s easy to keep your spare rods secured and protected on the side of the boat until you need them.
Be Flexible and Explore New Areas
Most new anglers have really big goals, like making the dream trip to Alaska. One of the main reasons why Alaska fly fishing is so popular is because there is a range of species to catch there—on the fly, you can catch all five Pacific salmon species, Northern pike, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, steelhead, and Arctic grayling. Even if you can't make a dream trip to Alaska, there are countless opportunities nearby that can still make incredible memories with friends and family.
Don’t restrict your trip by wanting to go to only the best spots, as often those are overcrowded and tourist traps anyway. It’s also good to come up with a backup plan in case the spot isn’t working out for whatever reason. Sometimes the fish might not be biting. Other times the water is just too crowded with other anglers. While every day of your trip may not be ideal or favorable, you still want to make the most out of the time you have.
While you're doing your research early on, look for some alternate spots you can get to quickly. If the conditions are right, don’t be afraid to call an audible and fish a different section of the water that day.
Campsite vs. Hotel?
Choosing to camp or visit a hotel is really up to preference. However, if you want to get to certain secluded spots, they may require that you camp.
Picking the right or wrong accommodations can really impact a trip. If you don’t have a fishing lodge, then you may be able to find a centrally located hotel or AirBnB and can let you visit a different body of water each day of your trip. However, you may want to drift down a river and set up campsites along the way.
If you're bringing a drift boat or raft, you need to make sure the trailer and boat is locked up to ward off any opportunistic thieves in hotel parking lots. If you have one of our boats and don't feel comfortable leaving outside, just loosely roll it up, partially break down the frame and bring it inside the hotel for peace of mind.
If you’re choosing to camp out in the backcountry, just leave the boat assembled and secured on the shore. When setting up a campsite, make sure to spread out, set up tables, keep your food locked up tight or rigged up in case of bears. Be sure to get a gear rack so you can easily store all of your gear for a multiday trip and keep it secure on the boat with you each day.
The tube of your boat can also be used for some other applications around the campsite, which will save space on gear. It makes a great sleeping pad for catching a quick nap. You can also use it as a table when you’re pulled off or as a comfy seat around the campfire.
Pack the Right Footwear
Don’t be the guy that rolls his ankle or soaks his feet and has a miserable experience. Every experienced angler knows that you need to bring the proper footwear so that you can get across the terrain and have a good experience.
If you’re planning to portage your boat through the woods each day, bring a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. This will help make sure you get a good grip and keep your feet dry walking through the mud and brush. If you don't mind getting wet your wading boots will work great too.
Once you get to the water, switch into a good pair of rubber boots or even waders if you wish. This will help keep your feet dry on the boat if any whitewater splashes over the top or you have to hop out of the boat in a shallow section.
Excited for Your Next Adventure? We are too.
We're serious anglers that put in thousands of miles every year driving, flying, and floating to fish. We've worked hard to create the most versatile boat on the market that we use week in and week out. We've traveled all across the continental US, Alaska, and all across South American with our boats.
If you love traveling and fishing, a Flycraft is a perfect boat for you.
If you have questions about your upcoming adventure or planning your next trip, reach out and we'll be happy to help.