As you might expect, operating fly fishing lodges in several different countries allows us to travel a decent amount to, well, fishing lodges. It also allows us to work with hundreds of anglers each year, many of whom are extremely well traveled themselves.
When it comes to travel, if there’s anything we’ve learned along the way its that packing well can greatly enhance a fishing trip, and takes more than simply stuffing gear into duffel bags. That’s why today we’re sharing a great write-up put together by our good friend, Russell Miller of Fishpond, featuring some great packing tips for anglers.
Five Mantras to Pack By
Having packed for rainforest steelhead, saltwater destinations, trout camps, as well as four World Fly Fishing Championships overseas, I feel confident that these tips will help make the slog of travel easier and more enjoyable. Another game changer is having the right luggage for the packing job at hand. Purposeful travel gear for the angler makes packing wet, dirty, heavy, and awkward tackle so much easier. Airlines are not making it easy, so stack the odds in your favor.
1. Do some research and know what to bring.
Whether this is your first extended fishing trip or you are a seasoned traveler, using a packing list can be a huge asset to making sure you don’t arrive at your destination saying, “oh man, I wish I remembered…”. Put in a few hours of research before you even begin to pack. What’s the weather at your destination? What type of adventure are you going on? Are long hikes part of the program? Is the wading extreme? Would another pair of waders be worth the weight to bring? Just make sure that you have talked with locals in the area or researched all of your questions and this will dramatically change your packing list.
2. Lay out all of your gear.
Once you have all of your well thought out needs in a list, begin to gather them all together. This will often times require a takeover of the living room. Visually seeing all of your gear laid out will make it easy to check off the list and get an understanding of what you are really bringing. When you write down ‘I want to bring along two rain coats, two waders, and an extra pair of boots’, it might not sound like a lot, but the reality is that those items are heavy and take up a ton of space. So that brings us to our next point..
3. Be a Minimalist.
This is only going to help you in the end. Headed to the warm salt for some fishing, your actual needs are very small. Your goal should be to use every piece of clothing and gear you bring. If you packed it, traveled around the globe, and you never pull it out, you did it all wrong. So, will you use everything you packed and can you justify every item that is laid out in front of you? This goes back to doing some research. Maybe you can do laundry and cut your clothes in half, or does the destination provide any gear that might serve as backup? Can you use your travel bags as day bags for your trip? This step is super important and will make you enjoy traveling even more.
4. What to put where and why.
Let your gear dictate what luggage you use for packing while also thinking about when you will need to access gear during your trip. Do you have a night or two layover? Make sure your day bag has those items. Not using your rods until your final destination? Pack that type of gear at the very bottom of your bag so you have better access to more relevant items.
5. Bring a luxury item or two.
Much of what I really suggest is to trim out any gear that is not an essential piece for your travels. This point is exactly the opposite; bring along a couple of items that will make travel more enjoyable or comfortable for you. It can be a big book, pillow, travel shoes or slippers, big noise canceling headphones, your favorite hoodie, or a personal blanket. I bet you know a couple of things that would be considered luxury in the minimalists’ eyes. Bring them! A happy traveler can weather any storm.