Suiting Up

10257499_753751864657265_4893673440228550360_oFitting enough gear into a backpack for a six month journey is difficult.  By the time you pack the tent, sleeping bag and stove, and throw in some clothes, there isn’t much room left for fly gear.

Fly fishing so many different places over 6 months out of one backpack worth of gear posed quite a few selection issues.  Ideally, I would have liked to have taken 5 fly rods but ultimately that had to be cut down to 3.  These ended up being a 9wt TFO TiCRx, a Sage Bass Bluegill 230gr, and a 6wt Sage Flight.

The 9wt should handle all the saltwater as well as the big rivers and salmon of Alaska.  The Sage Bass rod was taken to cover all the warm water fishing and also as a back up for any salmon available on the surface.  Hopefully it gets bent by a few Silvers at the last frontier.  The 6wt rod will cover all the trout fishing and any light warm water opportunities.

Unlucky to miss out was the 4wt which would have been unreal to have on the small trout streams in the North West and for targeting grayling in Alaska, however the 6wt will manage.

A couple of sets of poly leaders will help get the flies to the fish.  Tippets are all fluorocarbon and are 3lb, 6lb, 8lb, 20lb, 40lb and 32b wire.

I have packed a stripping basket, waders and boots, but could not fit a net.  This may prove to be a problem but hopefully not often.  I have deliberately not taken any flies so I can stop in at plenty of fly shops and pick up some the local patterns as well as the good oil.

Time to hit the road

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Workin’ on your night moves

Why you should fish at night

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.  Almost similarly, if you can regularly cast and hook up with fish at 25m in the dark, you can handle almost any situation in daylight.

Fishing at night will heighten your perception of sound and touch.  The darkness will sharpen your hearing as you learn to distinguish the clip of a fish taking your fly.  Practise will increase your ‘sixth sense’ (yes it exists) and have you pre-empting takes and knowing when your fly is drifting naturally without needing to see it.

Your casting will improve as you rely purely on the feel of feedback from the rod rather than being able to see the position of your loops.

On many heavily pressured waters fish have learnt to feed at night to avoid being disturbed.  During the heat of summer the night allows fish to feed under the cover of darkness and in the cool.

Big Bass love to hit the surface at night

Big Bass love to hit the surface at night

Fishing at night lets you beat the crowds and get your favourite spots all to yourself.

The big fish feed at night.  They will also feed and hold in shallower and more open areas than they do in the day, making them easier to catch.

4.25kg Lake Eucumbene Brown taken on a flash carrot after dark

4.25kg Lake Eucumbene Brown taken on a flash carrot after dark

So next time you have a night off, when you just don’t seem to have as much to lose. Strange how the night moves.  With Autumn closing in.

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A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Fly Fishing Dream

We can't stop here. This is bat country

We can’t stop here. This is bat country

G’day USA

Being an Australian, the majority of my fly fishing is done throughout Australia and trips to New Zealand. But that is all about to change as I’ve finally pulled the trigger and clocked off work for six months.

During May 2014 I will pack the great red shark and hit the road in North America to chase of some of the most respected quarry in the fly fishing world.

So far the list of target species and where I think my best chance of targeting them are as follows, in no particular order:

Bonefish                                              Hawaii, Florida

Peacock Bass                                      Hawaii, Florida

Smallmouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

Rainbow Trout                                     Various

Steelhead

Atlantic Salmon

Cutthroat Trout                                   Idaho

Whitefish

Shad                                                    California

Brook Trout

King Salmon                                        Alaska

Chum Salmon                                      Alaska

Sockeye Salmon                                  Alaska

Silver Salmon                                       Alaska

Pink Salmon                                         Alaska

Grayling

Artic Char

Dolly Varden

Northern Pike                                      Alaska

Lake Trout                                           Alaska

Bull Trout

Sheefish                                              Alaska

Striped Bass

Muskellunge

Redfish                                                Florida

Snook                                                   Florida

Tarpon                                                 Florida

Chub

Bluegill

This is what I have put together so far from a bit of internet research and a few books, however I would prefer input from ground zero local fly fishos.

So what are the best fly fishing experiences in the US? What is your favourite species and locations to fish for them?

If you have any suggestions for species, places to catch them, or fly fishing experiences that I should include in my trip please feel free to help me out by letting me know.

After all there is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of a fly fishing binge.

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