We've spent a fair amount of time writing about fishing in the backcountry. Regardless of how you define "backcountry", fishing there means getting away from roads and parking lots and finding rivers, streams and creeks whose banks see fewer bootprints throughout the year. So, if you've found lingering winter weather conditions or soaking spring rains keeping you from hitting the stream as often as you'd like to this spring, why not take advantage of your indoor residence to plan this year's angling departures from the beaten path. Sure, leaving the conveniences of access-point fishing means more work. But, as is commonly the case, with greater work often comes greater reward.
The rewards of heading into the backcountry can mean stretches of water like this, on the famed Yellowstone River, where you won't see another angler for days at a time.
If you're considering exploring a bit more this year -- and we strongly suggest you do -- hopefully the resources below, published over the last couple of years, will help kick start your planning.
What's more hardcore than fly fishing? Fly fishing + skiing + snowboarding. This stunning short film was made by Scumliner media for the recently completed Orvis Guide Rendezvous and Down the Hatch Film Festival. The film provides a heart-pounding look at two fishermen who mix winter sports with fly fishing on the might Missouri River.
Oh, wait. That's not what it does at all. What it does is remind us that we're out there in search of fun, not image. "When we set up the shot, we really didn't think that was going to slide. Of course, we didn't really talk about it either." Enjoy.
It's been a while since we've done the attributive journalism thing, so it seemed like a good time to pass along a few recommendations on some of the other good fishing junk out there that you should be reading. This lot sort of runs the gamut on topic matter and tone, but all are good reads.
Hunting and Fishing in America: “All Dollars, No Sense”
This excellent piece by Beau Beasley serves as a reminder to how hard hit outdoorsmen were by last year's government shutdown and gives an insightful look at how poorly natural resources are prioritized in our governmental budgets, despite how much they give back, not only in intangibles but in terms of huge injections of money into our economy.
In my experience, there's a significantly widespread misconception amongst uninitiated anglers that catching bonefish is extraordinarily difficult. You'd likely be hard pressed to find many anglers that have spent time casting to bonefish that would agree, yet the misconception seems to persist. I've even seen this misconception perpetuated by bonefish guides and outfitters which, for a business that relies on attracting anglers to their brand of fly fishing, seems a wholly unwise strategy. The result is that novice, intermediate and even some experienced anglers place hunting bonefish on their "can't do" list thanks to its perceived difficulty. Well, I'm here to set the record straight. As it turns out, bonefishing? Yeah, not that hard.
Take the plunge and you too can be as happy as this elated angler. (photo: Brock Siegel)
Bonefish are known to virtually all fly anglers as one of the most sought after species across the globe thanks to the ubiquitous dissemination of tales of bright silver bonefish tearing off line, disappearing backing at alarming rates, burning up reels and so on. Add in the fact that all this is happening on a sun bleached, sandy flat somewhere in the tropics and it isn't hard to paint a terribly appealing picture. Unfortunately, these wholly accurate tales about hooking up bonefish also typically include 80 foot casts, often in gale force winds, that need to land on a dinner-plate sized target. That's the part of the story where many a trout fisherman, even some pretty damned good ones, thinks "I can't do that" and checks out. No bonefish in their future.
There are many standouts amongst the rapidly growing ranks of women in the sport of fly fishing. One of our favorites is Aileen Lane. We've had the great pleasure of working with Aileen over the last year, sharing her insight on the expanding field of women-specific fly fishing products, bringing you her detailed and innovative fly tying recipes and more. Given that we've come to know Aileen as a creative and dedicated professional, we were pleased to learn that Aileen would be taking over as publisher and owner of George Douglas' long-standing online publication Kype Magazine, though the news was admittedly a tad bittersweet since it means we'll be losing Aileen as a regular contributor.
Kype Magazine has traditionally been primarily focused on the steelhead and trout waters of the American midwest. With Aileen at the helm, Kype plans not only to shift its focus to include the many great western waters, but also expand its coverage to "trout streams across the continent."