Yellowstone River Backcountry Fishing
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.

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.

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.

Backcountry: What, Where and Why

There are a myriad of reasons to fish the backcountry, both near and far. And there is a backcountry that's near. If you're looking for extra motivation, check out our introductory primer on Backcountry Fly Fishing.

Backcountry: Preparing / Gearing Up

If the backcountry excursion you're planning is a simple day-trip, then you likely already have all the gear you need, save for a stray item or two. If it is the week-long backcountry trip of a lifetime, or something in between, you may need a bit more. Our three part series on gearing up for a backcountry fly fishing excursion covers guidelines and suggestions on backpacks, tents and other camp and trail needs such as mess kits, navigational tools and more.

Backcountry: Taking the Kids

If you think think that heading into the backcountry means ditching the kids, think again. Seasoned backcountry fisherman, and author of the book Yellowstone's Backcountry Cutthroats, Darin Letzring explores the options for bringing the kids along and how to do so safely and smartly.


I'm often surprised how tied to access points and parking lots SO many fishermen are. I can't count the number of rivers I've fished on where the pressure is dramatically different even 1000 yards from the access points.

Fly fishing has never seemed like a lazy man's pursuit to me, but some people sure have a lazy way of going about it.

I've been Fly fishing a Loooong while now and have tried on many occasions to "backroad it" with a fair amount of success (more often successful when "younger," though ACCESS rather than AGE has become the Deciding Factor in success rate. That said, (I dislike saying that?) I am vehemently against Disturbing in any way these precious smaller fish, many of which are the juveniles who will later swim downstream as adults! This is where they are best suited/equipped to fight & LIVE another day to fight again (assuming good Catch & Release practices ! Much like fishing over steelhead & salmon spawning grounds during their time of the year; another "practice" I am totally against . . . unethical at best (& immoral to some extent to Me)! I think it shameful for the Fly-Fishing Business-World to engage in the practice of promoting these 1 to 3 wt. rods to fish over these "babies" ! ! ! WHY ?; because they gotta keep "Improving the Bottom-line" ! Seems no matter what it is . . . it's ALWAYS about the Money Honey ! While the Planet continues to "Go To Hell," let's just keep on carrying on business as usual ! Dire Straits are closer than the Scientists are willing to make Public (my humble opinion). OK, said my peace. Thanks for the words.