The sun rises on tents in Yellowstone's Black Canyon.

The task of choosing a tent for a trip into the backcountry can be a daunting one. There is a seemingly endless progression of options. Do you want a 2 person tent even though you’re only one person? Do you want a 3 season tent or four? Do you need a footprint? What series aluminum should your tent poles be made from? What about a bivy, should you be looking at those?

The topic is an expansive one, and wrapping your head around it is a worthwhile undertaking. That said, for most folks, especially those headed off on your average backcountry fly fishing excursion, much of the mystery surrounding tents doesn’t need to be unraveled.

Walt Geryk lands a steelhead on New York's Salmon River.

After almost a year of extensive testing in a wide variety of environments, Endura Fly Line dressing is now available for purchase. Endura is being introduced by Walt Geryk, a member of Hardy/Grey's and Airflo's pro staff and a well known guide on the waters of New York's Salmon River. Endura is comprised of proprietary formula and is touted to offer line-changing performance in salt and fresh water and regardless of water temperature.

According to Geryk, Endura has been tested in conditions "ranging from freezing temps and 33 degree water to hot summer days on the Salmon River [and] the Miramichi, the Deerfield River region and into the salt waters of Cape Cod. Tested by dozens of anglers, [the] results are: lasts longer, applies on wet and dry lines, floats lines higher, slides through the guides with unnoticeable friction, increases casting distances and can be used on any fly or spey line. Gives older lines a like new slickness and floatability."

The Alchemist 40L pack complete with fly rods and a 35 pound load.

For most trips into the backcountry that don’t include weather related extremes, your backpack will be your most important piece of gear. Choosing an ill fitting or poorly featured backpack, or worse, one that will fail and let you down in the field, has the potential to plague your trip. Here are some guidelines on picking the right pack for you and your trip.

Backcountry fly fishing on the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park

When preparing for a trip into the backcountry, choosing the right gear can be a daunting task. There's lots of stuff you'll need, but even more that you won't, and making sense of it can be cumbersome. Over the next few weeks, we'll be offering some helpful guidelines on how to prepare for a venture into the backcountry, with a slant towards backcountry fly fishing.

We'll provide some guidelines on what to bring, what to leave behind and how to make your decisions. We'll provide reviews and feedback on specific models, detailing what we discovered we liked and what we didn't during several summer backcountry fishing excursions that provided a wealth of gear testing opportunities.

First, we'll tackle the essentials: whether or not fishing is your ultimate goal, no gear is more essential than that which will provide for your shelter, warmth and ability to transport all the other gear that will accompany you. Not only are these items you can’t do without but their suitability and effectiveness stand to have the greatest impact on the success of your trip. Though it may go without saying, these needs are provided for by the backpack, tent and sleeping bag you choose for your journey, as well as other related items such as a sleeping pad. Choosing these items wisely will pay huge dividends once you’re in the field, so it is important to make your selections with care and from an informed perspective.

Subsequently we'll dig into the rest. Water filtration, mess kits, lanterns and lights. Ropes, utility tools, first aid and more. We won't cover everything every one might want in the backcountry, but we'll help you build a list of gear that will provide for a successful trip. We'll even provide a handy spreadsheet you can use to take inventory.

Near the mouth of the Hoh River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

An article published in Seattle "lifestyle magazine", SeattleMet, has caused one of the city's heralded eateries to pull wild steelhead from its menu. In fact, Hitchcock chef Brian McGill has decided to stop serving the fish altogether, much to the appreciation of many of the wild steelhead advocates that spoke out in defense of Washington's troubled steelhead population.

The SeattleMet author, Allicia Vermillion, took a provocative swipe at anglers and conservationists, writing that "... putting steelhead on the menu can incite letters, or even protests, from people who fish as a hobby. To sport anglers, the pursuit of the steelhead is the fly-fishing equivalent of pitching a perfect baseball game while simultaneously having a religious experience. In other words, subjecting this rare and beautiful creature to commonplace harvesting and cooking is like carving up a 20-point buck to make venison burgers."