You’ll often find less angling pressure at untouched locations such as this one. Steve Hickoff photo
This brook trout was taken in wild country on a well-cast woolly bugger. Steve Hickoff photo
By Steve Hickoff
Looking for an inexpensive outdoor vacation with your significant other? A backcountry fly-fishing trip is just a holiday weekend away.
Fishing on four wheels? You bet. First, determine whether it’s legal to go there. Check regulations. Ensure that you’re covered as far as the land you want to travel and spend time on, and the way you’ll do it. Can you pitch a tent there? Build a fire?
Look for likely angling spots. Move like a predator. Approach backwoods trout slowly and surely, as if you’re hunting them, crouching and moving into position for your casts. Even wear camouflage to add to your concealment.
Trout prefer cool temperatures, with a range of 50º to 65ºF. Avoid waters that heat up in the late morning and afternoon sun. You may find warm-water species such as bass in small ponds there, but trout will be elsewhere, possibly the tributaries.
Trout foods range from immature forms of underwater bugs to adult insects. They also eat scuds, worms, leeches and so on. Fill your fly box with a range of nymphs, stoneflies, caddis flies, dry and wet fly options, plus streamers, and even terrestrials (floating ants, inchworms, beetles, etc.), especially during the warmer months. Spinners, small plugs and bait still work too.
Only keep what you’ll eat. Release what you won’t. It’s a no-brainer, but don’t let ego get in the way of preserving the resource. If you want to let all those trout you catch go, consider pinching the barbs of your hooks down to expedite release (it may even be required by law where you fish). Don’t fight trout longer than you have to, and ease them back into the water.
Drive deeper into territory that may be fished less, but always pack a supply of food, water, and other survival gear including maps, a GPS hand-held system, waterproof matches, and so on. Part of the fun of taking a trip is preparing for it. Want unpressured angling in a memorable location? Your four Yamaha wheels can put you there.