Mike's Backpacking Reference


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Fishing gear will weigh a few pounds at best.   I'm mostly a minimalist for backpacking, but must confess to carringa small inflatable boat into a high lake...   I take no vest or net and keep other gear to a minimum. 

Fly vs spinning

Years ago I gave up spinning.  However in lake fishing sometimes it works best.  Especially when the fish a bit further from shore.  Long gone are the days when I carried both systems. 

Fly Fishing

I carry a 8 1/2' or 9' 3-4 wt. 6 or 7 piece rod.   The length is nice for lakes.   I use a weight forward line.    I use a woven leader, but solid tapered leader works fine.  I carry spares!   I carry a spool of 6x and/or 7x tippet.   I fish both wet and dry flies.   Most in the 14-16 size range. 


Generally light tackle is called for as back country are not that big.  A light 5-7' two or three rod will work well.   Generally you are not fishing deep or large water so a small open-face spinning reel is fine with 4 pound or lighter line.   I found 1/6th and 1/8th ounce lures work well and have always has good luck in the Sierras with black hair and silver spoon lures.  Take a small selection in a small utility box. 


A solid rod case is heavy.  I simply carry my rod in the sleeve that comes with most cases.   Since my rod is shorte than my pack it is well protected strapped on the side of the my pack.   If you rod is longer You may need to carry a case to protect it fro catching on branches. 

I carry a rope stringer as I like to eat a few fish.   A pair of nippers and forceps (with cutter) are my tools of choice.    I keep all of this in a small fanny pack that I can easily wear.