Today we present you with a quick tip for all of you out there who like to strike off of the beaten path whenever possible (with fly rods in hand, of course).
When bushwhacking (aka ‘crittering’ around our camp) with fly rods, there are few things more frustrating than your rod tip and/or leader hanging up in the branches along the way. Ask any group of anglers the best way to carry your rod through the woods and you’re likely to hear the same two answers; A) carry your rod by the cork handle with the rod tip facing forward so you can guide it through the branches (which runs the risk of a broken rod tip) or B) carry the rod by the cork handle with the rod tip facing backwards to allow it to slide under branches as you walk by (which somehow still manages to hang up by the leader over and over again along the way). Both have their advantageous and disadvantageous, and both work just fine on relatively worn trails.
That being said, when stomping around in the thickest of thickets, we prefer a different method; carry the rod by the mid-section! Not only does it make the rod virtually half as long in front and behind you, two hands can also be used to help better guide the rod through the sticks if needed. We find it works much better to protect the rod tip when hiking through tight quarters and strongly suggest you give it a try.