Another post got me thinking about my approach to fishing trips that get me out of town.
How about all of you? What's your way to do it?
Mention a fishing trip to me and I'm normally thinking trout water, finding a campground, pitching a tent, campfire, etc.
I like to camp in the first place, and being a monk/priest means I have a small budget. Camping is an easy way to lower expenses.
Obviously, I'm not married, either, and I don't really have any flyfishing friends. Doing it on my own becomes a big influence on my planning. For instance, I'll probably have to pay for all of the gas. People around me on the river is actually a positve (within reason) since I get a lot of solitude in camp. I look for good books to read by lantern and campfire, and I frequently retire early (which makes it easy to be up early for an early morning fish). History museums and historical sights (especialy battlefields) are great, either to see as I travel or to take a break. I do a lot of cooking with tinfoil over a fire--I have to wash all of the dishes.
I let my fishing buddy do all the planning. He loves it. We leave in less than two weeks on a trip to Cody, WY and he has the itinerary, the menu, the campground reservations and lists of things to bring. I just have to get all my stuff together and help with the driving. He is the perfect fishing partner since I tend to just fly by the seat of my pants. Of course, all of his plans are subject to change but they give us a basic idea of what we can accomplish in the time we have.
My fishing trips are always last minute ideas that i spring on the wife and she cant really say no if i have the truck already packed lol. In general i love to explore new water! I live in utah so i am only 4 hours from henry's 5 hours from yellow stone 3 hours from the green 5 hours from san juan etc... I have explored most of these waters already i think my next trip is gonna be Montana i have a buddy who is stationed near Helena so i cant wait to get out there!
The campin' is just as important as the fishin' to me and I'm pretty particular about the campsite. I'm not about to spend my vacation in any old trailer park or family campground.
We stayed in this remote site on a lake in NW Maine a few weeks ago. Same one as we had last year
Here is my camping mindset. The trip is usually solo or with one other person. If it is with another person, we split the cost 50/50. My preference is a campsite off the beaten path or one in a campground in the middle of the week to avoid the crowds. I cannot fall asleep until after 11:00 PM, so I spend the night reading.
Over the years working in different facets of the outdoor retailer industry, I have formed a network of crash pads. Between Mt. Shasta City and Mammoth Lakes, California, I have at least 10 different sofas and beds that I can crash on. All I need to bring are a case of beer, a small box of my personally tied flies, and a bag of lumpias. All these locations have great fishing within an hour's drive.
I usually go on trips to different Margaritavilles. The hotel rooms must have air conditioning. They must be on the beach where all I have to do is cross the beach to get to the pangas. A bar under a palapa is a bonus.
I have a bit different mindset about 'trips' since I live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with so many world-renown waters just a short drive away. I am blessed to live where I do. Unfortunately I still have to work full time and provide a living to pay the bills. Day trips are to local waters such as the South Fork of the Snake River - 15 minutes away; lower Henry's Fork - 45 minutes; upper Henry's Fork 1-hour; Henry's Lake 1 hour 15-minutes; Montana's Madison River and hour-and-a-half and so on.
We can be on the Big Lost River in just under two hours; Silver Creek in 2-1/2; and many others with not much travel at all. When we do travel it is rivers such as Utah's Green River or the Provo. So many to chose from!
South Fork of the Snake River, ID:
No-Tellum Spring Creek, Southeast Idaho:
Henry's lake, ID:
Owyhee River, OR:
Lower Henry's Fork, ID:
Upper Henry's Fork, ID - Harriman:
Anyway, enough of that. I am very blessed to live where I do. So many pay thousands for a trip to the area I have in my backyard. Not rubbing it in (well maybe a little ), it's just the way it is...
I normally camp alone, usually in a campground along or near the blue ridge parkway. I get up early to fish, then I tend to enjoy a good book in the evening, while partaking in the briar pipe, and the tin cup. I use a cabin style tent with plenty of standing room. I sleep on a cot, and also have a small table and camp chair available in case it rains. I also cook over the fire and tend to eat very well!! I also bring plenty of seasoned firewood to share with any "neighbors"........
I also bring plenty of seasoned firewood to share with any "neighbors"........
Here in New England, the first thing that they do when you book a campsite is to remind you that bringing firewood is against the rules and in some places even illegal.
Too many invasives
The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid has wiped out huge old growth fores around here, but the ones that they seem most concerned about now are the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Both of which are spread by being transported in fire wood
A tent camp has become a means for being at the same place for multiple days without having to deal with the mileage to & from and to be there at 6:00 AM. to fish. The 6:00 AM thing is regulations during salmon season, you must stop at 11:00 PM and may not fish before 6:00 AM.
The mileage thing comes into play because I do my best to find a place where there will not be a bunch of boats traveling the river before 8 or 9 AM. There is no road access to any of the places I fish but I am not the only guy with a jet boat. Because of this getting 20 - 80 miles from a boat launch and setting up a tent camp provides some privacy.
Camps are pretty Spartan, either my old Jansport Yellowstone tent or the North Face Expedition 25 depending on the length of the stay. Generally I don't make fires unless they are small affairs at rivers edge to cook a burger on a portable grill. I use a Sno-Peak stove to make coffee and to boil water for hydrating foods. If there is a cooler involved I take some additional goodies but usually keep things simple.
This was a 5 day stay in the big tent.
Other than the trampled grasses you couldn't even tell I had been there when I left. I find so many sites where people built fires and because they had no saw or axe they drag whole logs to a fire and try to burn them. What is left creates an eyesore for me. If I do make fire I have a Sven Saw with me to cut wood and an axe to split up some kindling.
This; an overnighter with a chair along.
This is a float trip, even though I took down every morning after fishing I used the larger tent because the weather was threatening something new every night.
By July 13 I'll be camped on a remote river for a while. It's a park the boat and hike to fish kind of location. Although the river is large enough to be navigable last falls flooding rearranged part of the lower river in such a way that ascending by boat is not possible. In a way this is good because there are no boats up there at all
When I go it's usually not the way I used to when I was younger. I use to love to camp like we did on this trip. I did a trip for Muskie last month with my fishing partner, we both paid for the 3 day 2 night primitive camping for a few days when we got home, worst thing was we had a N.E. wind 15 to 25 the first 2 days and the morning of the 3rd, about 10:00 it laid down to 10 to 15 mph. couple very small fish was all we seen caught.
This is the way I like to camp on fishing trips today, and when my other half goes with me it's this or a motel!