What is a great fishing trip?????

huntschool

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Just thought after reading through the opening posts that it might be a good idea to consider what it cost some of us to tralel as we do to fish in general.

I have to travel at least 2 hours (thats SM Bass in MO) to hit cold water. Its funny because I must go south to do it.

Wife and I fish Missouri Ozark stuff, North Arkansas and East TN and KY for our general trout outings. Thus, each of these "trips" have some cost. Granted they are not the trip of a lifetime or even the big annual trip but still require some planning and expense.

We dont camp any more, to speak of, so its motels or cabins. Then its a question of wade fishing, Kyacks, which we are just looking into, or using a guided drift boat situation. I am unable to work a bigger boat any more so we use a guide.

I am sure there are folks out there that find themselves in the same position so it might be of interest of some other members her to see what trip costs for those trips would be.

As an example, we will be going to Mt. Home, AR on the 20th of August and will fish for three days. I will keep track of actual expenses but here are the basics for two for now.

Guide..... $1200.00 Not incl. tip
Hotel......$ 489.00
Lis. $ 11.00 Three day
Trout stamp $12.00 Annual
Gas...... $ 150.00 roughly
Food etc $ 250.00 roughly

So thats roughly $2100.00. I can and have done trips to the same area and not used a guide and stayed at a cheaper hotel and just wade fished when the flow was right and saved the guide fees which then cost us about $800.00. Big difference and we still caught the heck out of fish.

Any way..... lets have a look at those more "local" trips also....

Just a thought......
 
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trout trekker

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So to be clear, we’re looking at higher quality fisheries within a reasonable driving range, not just the half acre pond down the street, right?

To make sense of this, I’ll be referencing the book “ 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish “ by Terry & Wendy Gunn.
Page 15. The Feather River, California
Since it’s a reasonably long river, I’ll be referring to the map on page 14 and the typo that says “Stripper Water “. You’ll have to take my word on this, it’s supposed to say “ Striper Water “. The arrow along with that tag, is pointing at our home. So I could stop right there.
This is Steelhead, Salmon, Striper, Shad, Black Bass & Trout country.

The low flow section of the Feather which is about an hour upstream is actually the cold tailwater section and it’s there where most of the public wading and a good amount of the guided angling takes place.

However ( IMHO ), a better tailwater, the Yuba River has it’s confluence with the Feather just about a mile upstream from our home.
The most noteworthy put in and public access area for that river is about twenty five minutes from our home, with the take outs being along the road heading back to the house.

Then there is the Sacramento River, which is probably the best known of our states large trout, steelhead, salmon, striper and shad waters.
While the nearest ramp to us on the Sacramento is about twenty minutes from the house, the real blue ribbon trout water will take a drive of about two hours to get to.
Just a tick over an hour from us to the south, is the American River, which is also a good fishery, though highly urbanized.

Our costs boil down to:
Fuel: From none to about 12 gallons per day, typically around $3.29 p/g.
Ramp / Parking / Day Use fees: $0 to $ 16.00 per day.

We also have many lakes, both at or near the valley floor, in the foothills and in the sierra. The sierra starts about an hour due east of here and it’s there where most of our west slope rivers have their origins, clear, cold, trout water. Easily accessed on a day trip.
The vast majority of those locales which we frequent, have plenty of public access ( National Forest, BLM, BOR, etc. ) and few have day use fees.

Yes, we are lucky and now you know why so many of my old fly shop and guide service customers from the San Francisco Bay Area have stayed in contact with us over the years. Being this close to these rivers, with spare bedrooms, the ability to chuck it and go fishing on short notice and having a drift boat parked in the garage. It’s like catnip for Trout Bums.
Basically, their costs are whatever it takes to get here.

Now if we could just get some water to fall from the sky to fill them….

Thanks, Dave
 
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spm

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Good post.
The nearest trout water for me is about 2.5hrs drive to the Current River, in SW MO. I can and have done a day trip, but that's a bit much for me. Usually, I will drive down and stay two nights in a hotel. That gives me a full two days to fish, broken up. The hotel I stay at is pretty cheap; about $60.00 per night, so $120.00 for lodging. Food is approx. $25.00. Don't need a license for seniors in MO. Gas is maybe $50. No guide, wading only. So, a three-day trip to SWMO for about $195.00.

In contrast, a friend and I just made a trip to southern WY and northern CO for six days. Again, hotels were pretty cheap, approx $280.00. (BTW, I would not go back to those hotels. So that would increase.) Licenses were $56.00. Food was about $200.00. I could have spent more, but my friend is a fast-food and cheeseburger fan, so add another $75.00 for real food and a possible $275.00. Gas was maybe $350.00. Half-day wading guide, $535.00 with tip. Total for 2 was just under $1500.00. Not bad, but we agreed next time, we would shorten the trip, stay in nicer hotels, and use more guides.

Does this help?

steve
 

rangerrich99

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This is one of those threads that I'm pretty sure in which I don't want to participate, but here goes anyway.

My average drive time to go trout fishing is about 3.5 hours, with about an hr and a half of that driving on forest service roads well below highway speeds. Round trip fuel cost about $40. Food cost about $100/3 days. I camp mostly for free, but occasionally have to pay a camping fee - about $15/day. So my average trip costs me around $150 give or take an adult beverage or two.

My trip to the Green R. in WY a month ago was a bit more involved. Fuel ran around $430 round trip. License ran around $85. I stayed about six days so food was around $250, plus adult beverages, so call it $300. There wasn't a camping fee, and my buddy Muzzy was my guide, and he likes to be paid in beer and Irish whiskey. I had to buy a few specific flies, so call it another $80. So just under $1000 for that trip.

My annual trips to UT go about a week, so without going through those numbers I'd guess they run around $700.

Yikes.

Of course, these numbers don't reflect the $$$ spent on gear either replaced/upgraded, flies bought, or tying materials bought, camping gear, etc.

I'm amazed I have extra money to spend on my other hobbies much less invest.

Peace.
 

darkshadow

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A great fishing trip is one where I return home with the mental batteries fully charged, and a smile on my face....which means any trip, is a great fishing trip.

But, if we want to get into logistics, in Los Angeles, we have two choices. Fish our local mountain streams, or head off to either the Southern or Eastern Sierras to get our fix.

With the local day trip, it requires a good 2 hour drive, which 45 minutes is spent on 4x4 roads. I'll eat breakfast on the way, and pack snacks. There is no staying overnight, and no fees to fish, so I figure that my day trip will comprise of $50 worth in gas plus the significant other asking why i'm getting home at 6 pm when I said I'd be off the water by 1.

If we're doing a weekend trip to the Southern or Eastern Sierras? Then add $80 a night average at your local motel/hotel, plus a 4 hour drive each way. Pretty cost effective.

I guess my 'local' fishing trips are mighty inexpensive when I do the math.
 

yikes

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A great fishing trip is one where I return home with the mental batteries fully charged, and a smile on my face....which means any trip, is a great fishing trip.

But, if we want to get into logistics, in Los Angeles, we have two choices. Fish our local mountain streams, or head off to either the Southern or Eastern Sierras to get our fix.

With the local day trip, it requires a good 2 hour drive, which 45 minutes is spent on 4x4 roads. I'll eat breakfast on the way, and pack snacks. There is no staying overnight, and no fees to fish, so I figure that my day trip will comprise of $50 worth in gas plus the significant other asking why i'm getting home at 6 pm when I said I'd be off the water by 1.

If we're doing a weekend trip to the Southern or Eastern Sierras? Then add $80 a night average at your local motel/hotel, plus a 4 hour drive each way. Pretty cost effective.

I guess my 'local' fishing trips are mighty inexpensive when I do the math.
That's my experience, too. But if my wife wants to stay home and my friend wants to go fishing instead, then I'm splitting the Sierra cost in half. For me, my half is still 12 gallons / $50 in gas and about $40-45 for a room with 2 double beds. Now let's compare:
10 hours solo at local mountains = $50, or about $5 per hour.
2 days/ 1 night ~ 16 hours fishing with friend at eastern Sierra = $95, about $6 per hour, but you will probably get more / larger fish.

So depending on how you do your meals, and if you can split the cost with another angler, it's pretty much a wash.

One caveat: when I take off for a weekend of fishing with my friend, my wife - and my friend's wife - use it as an excuse to do a "spa day", so collectively we spend a WHOLE LOT more!
 
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cab

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I cast with my right hand, and if the fight is long enough, change over and fight with my left. A great trip is when both arms are worn out.

I live in Colorado, so everyone thinks I fish out of my back door. WRONG!!! It's about 2 hrs. drive to just about anywhere I want to fish. Say 180 miles or so round trip. Figure up gas prices this week, and mileage in your vehicle.

There's usually some sort of parking fee- figure $7/ day. Not much, but still annoying, IMO.

The one close- in trip I like to do is to camp out in Salida and float the Arkansas right after runoff. Campsite is $16/ night, food- how much you got? :D Float for 2 at ArkAnglers is around $400, usually money well spent.

CAB
 

nevadanstig

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I guess its all in the mindset of what a great trip can and should be. Maybe I'm blessed to have some great waters here in the northeast Sierras, but its doesn't have to be expensive nor extravagant to be a great trip at least to me. Sometimes it means a lot of fish, or a big old hog of a trout, but even those arent required. My favorite trip with the fly rod so far was one of the few times I went with my wife this year. Didnt catch a single fish. But she discovered crawdadding, and had a blast. Saw a big buck, weather was good, had a family of minks come within 5 feet of us thinking of raiding our cooler, and didnt run in to a single other soul. Seeing the fun she had joining me was the best part, and a belly full of mud bugs that night didnt hurt either. Total cost: 3 gallons of gas and a bag of ice.
Its all in the mindset my friends. Take note of what is going on around you and the company your with, as those are what youll look back on in the end, not the expensive guide or the number of fish you landed that day.

Sent from my SM-T237P using Tapatalk
 

Flyfisher for men

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One of my shoestring trips to Missouri runs me about $200 for a 500 mile round trip for three days. $100 covers gas, licenses, camp fees, etc. Add camp grub, odds and ends, some inevitable flies and leaders from the local shop, out of the next $100.

If you camp, and especially primitive camping, it's very affordable.
 

fredaevans

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I'm lucky in one respect .... the upper Rogue River is about 10 minutes from my door ...... odd part is there are almost no trout in the better part of the top 60 miles. What there are are probably Steelhear or Salmon migrents.

So for me, to actually trout fish, I've got the better part of a two hour drive for stream fishing.
 

geordie41

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Recently I have been spending some time on a new favourite stream about 5 hrs north east of Melbourne . A lovely little stream that gets very few people fishing it ,one of the main reasons is its close to the Mitta Mitta river which produces some very large trout. The wee stream I am currently enjoying is pretty, has a good head of Brown ( my favourite ) and rainbow trout. The largest I have caught on this stream is a brown of about 2 lb but mostly 1 to 1 and a half lb are the norm for this stream. Great fun on a 7ft ,4# bamboo.
Now regarding the cost of a 4 day trip . The local pub that I stay in ( I have just got back home after a 4 day trip) for 3 nights accommodation ,dinner on two of the nights + 9 beers and 3 glasses of whisky total cost $270.00 AU. Gas there and back $200.00 AU. + $100 for lunch ect.
So it costs me less than $600.00 Australian for a 4 day trip. :thumbsupu
Lots of action on the top with fish smashing hoppers through the day then on evening spinners or small elk hair caddis doing the trick.
In Australia you buy your licence for the state you want to fish ,Victoria licence costs $28.00 per year allowing you access to fresh and salt water.
The name of the pub is the Eskdale Hotel, Eskdale Victoria.
 

Rip Tide

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This is my latest favorite spot :secret:

The brown spot in the middle is a free forest service campsite
The drive is about 7 hours on pavement and then a good bit of additional time on unmaintained logging roads
The closest town ain't close so all supplies including food and beverages come from home. Arrive prepared.
The only expenses beyond what I'd be paying if I stayed home is for a non resident fishing license and the gasoline.
There's no guides, there's no fees, just wild, native trout and lots of 'em :thumbsupu


 

jjparson

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Great post. I surmise the responses will largely be based on where people are located relative to the water they desire to fish. So much expense gets eaten up in travel expense. My preferred fishery in Wyoming is roughly 2.5 hours from me. I usually will make a long day trip out of it, especially in the summer when the days are longer and ambient temperature more pleasant. Once or twice a year I will do a 3 or 4 day camp trip in the same area and completely enjoy being able to fish early and late in the day as well as enjoy some campfire time with good friends.

These camping trips usually run in the $500 range all in. We usually have one person buy food and beverages and then split the cost three or four ways depending on the size of the group.

I also have the ability to go north 3 hours or so to get to the Snake River drainages and a little further to get to the Madison. My folks have a place on the Henry's Fork so that trip is basically gas and food as well. I generally will buy season licenses for Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. These total to roughly $350 annually.

I think it is tough to measure value in terms of dollars spent. To be honest I have not really taken the time to think through the cost of things until this post. In this world where most of us have so little "free" time anyway, I try to focus on enjoying the opportunities and time spent with friends or solo getting life straight in my head.

I guess to summarize, a great trip to me is generally around the experience in total, not necessarily in terms of fish caught or dollars spent.

Great post!
 

mikechell

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Okay ... my apologies to all of you who live in places with no local water.
I can be at any one of a dozen or so boat ramps within 30 minutes from my house. Round trip drive for me might eat up a gallon of gas.

My 15 Hp Honda uses so little gas, a 3 gallon gas can last me for four or five trips.

I tie my own flies, just enough to cover me for a few trips. I don't tie useless showpieces or just to be tying. There have been times that I've fished the same fly for three or four trips, so I don't need to tie new flies very often. I actually DO save money tying my own flies.

I've been wondering at my ability to fish 100+ days a year and why that seems so high to many people. Now I know it's just about availability. There are several places that I can pull off and fish on my way home from work.

A great fishing trip for me, is when my hook set to strike is better than 80%.
(I hover around the 50% to 70% range).

Again, my sympathies to those of you who have to plan out every fishing trip.
 

slowdown

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Like CAB said earlier, living in Colorado brings a set of expectations to it. Most believe that we can catch trout while staring out our back door but unfortunately that isn't true (while a man can dream.....)

For me, I can drive 5 minutes and fish bass and carp etc in a small local reservoir, but frankly I rarely do that.

Instead, being raised in the rushing water of a river, I crave that more than anything so I have to drive. The South Platt is about an 1:15 from my door and for a quick relaxing afternoon during the summer or a sneak-away-from-work-day it is quite nice.

For most of my more secluded fishing, we are looking at 2 to 3 hours minimum (up to 5 for some places) I am unimaginably lucky though. I've had a company car for almost 20 years now and I don't pay for the gas, just the tax on personal miles which is minimal at best. So I have virtually no expense on that.

We have a travel trailer for the summertime, so for multi-day trips, we camp and that only costs the site fees - 15 to 20 bucks. The food isn't anything we wouldn't have spent anyway.

All in all, fishing is by far my least expensive hobby - and luckily my favorite.
 

philly

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Any trip where I've caught fish, enjoyed myself and came home relaxed. The other theme is location, I live in Philadelphia, some people will offer their condolences I'm sure. If I want to fish for trout, stocked trout any number of creeks within 30 minutes or less. Wild trout 40 minutes. Let's talk day trips, 1.5 to 3 hours will get me to the spring creeks of south central PA, like the Letort or to the Bushkill in the Poconos. Overnight trips preferably camping, 4 hours will take me to the East and West Branch of the Delaware or into the Catskills. The furthest I ever drove to fish specifically for trout was 10 hours but that was for a five day camping trip to fish the Grand and Upper Credit rivers in southern Ontario. Open it up to warm water and saltwater, a 5 minute walk to the river from my house. 10 minute drive to my favorite creek. 1.5 hours to the Atlantic Ocean. I don't think I've ever kept track of the cost of a short trip. The only trip I track cost for is my drive up to a lodge in Northern Ontario for a week. It's not a purely fly fishing trip. The lodge is going to cost $1400 Canadian and that includes everything. There are four of us going so I don't know the driving costs etc but it will probably run me under $2,000 US. A great trip is something you create by blending the right ingredients and making the best of the unexpected ones.
 

grizz

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Living Upstate NY, I am blessed to have fantastic fishing water all around me. A 200 yard walk puts me on what is arguably the best Salmon and Steelhead river in the Northeast. Within ten minutes drive I can be casting to wild stream trout in one direction or casting to large Northern Pike in the other.
That being said, I travel to the tailwater fisheries on the Upper Delaware system each year which is about a two hour drive each way, cost for lodging is about $90 per night split with my fishing partner and about $40 per day for food. This trip also includes time on the Beaverkill and other Catskill waters when desired. No guide fees as I have never fished with one.
I have lived within easy walking distance of fishing my whole life ( a couple hundred yards) and can't imagine not being able to cast a line when the desire takes hold.
 
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