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Backcountry Fishing, Lightweight Style
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Backcountry Fishing, Lightweight Style on 07/21/2005 01:46:01 MDT Print View

Fly or Spin - got some ultralight techniques or gear to share? Fish stories? Photos? Tell us about it! This forum is a companion to the two part article series on ultralight fly fishing by Larry Tullis and Ryan Jordan.

Edited by ryan on 07/26/2005 14:32:15 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Ryan's Fly Tackle on 07/26/2005 20:56:10 MDT Print View

One thing that wasn't included in the Backpacking Fly Fisherman article was a summary of my typical tackle kit I took to a recent trek in the Yellowstone backcountry, to fish the Lamar Valley and Cache Creek.

For the sake of clarity, I'll limit this "kit" to a single fly box (assuming I know what flies I'm going to need or want based on having been someplace before) - often I will, however, take 2 or even 3 boxes (same type of boxes). Also, this kit contains a 5pc 3wt rod, but I've been finding myself using the Fly-Lite Mini Combo more and more...

Rod, Reel, Backing, Line, Rod Case:

Cabela's Stowaway 8'6" 3wt 5pc (streams and small lakes) and a Sage 3100 reel loaded with 60 feet of 3wt weight forward floating fly line and 100 feet of 12 lb Dacron backing. Rod is stowed in the BMW Ultralight fishing rod tube and a 1 oz microfleece rod sock.

Leaders / Tippet:

  • Two EXTRA 7.5' x 3x tapered monofilament leaders in MicroZip bags
  • One spool each of 3x, 4x, 5x, and 6x tippet, hanging off a piece of AirCore Spectra 1 from the D-Ring of my Mayfly Pouch Lanyard (wooden bead knotted in the end to keep spools from falling off)


Packed in a BPL (Morell) foam fly box: assorted midges, mayfly emergers (Sparkle Duns being my favorite), caddis emergers (especially X-Caddis), beetles (Tiger Beetles), hoppers (X-Hoppers), small stoneflies, and a handful of tiny beadheads (esp. soft hackle pheasant tails) for droppers.

Other tackle:

  • 2 yarn strike indicators
  • Small MicroDrop bottle with floatant
  • Dozen BB sized split shot
  • Fishpond Aussie Nippers
  • Mayfly Pouch Lanyard (old style)
  • Short shaft hemostats
  • Park license in MicroZip bag

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Cleaning on 07/27/2005 10:00:29 MDT Print View

Another great article, Ryan!

I was wondering if you could elaborate on how you clean your catch in the backcountry....

Do you carry a 20oz Bowie Knife to dress them, or what? (Looks like it would be a tough job with a Titanium Spork.) <g>

What do you do with guts, bones, etc.? Back in the water? A sump hole? Extra vitamins and fiber in your diet?



Brian Griffith
Beginner's Kit on 07/27/2005 12:24:28 MDT Print View


Would your listed kit be what you would recommend to a beginner fly fisherman? I have a 2-piece rod (9', 5wt) kit that I've been fishing with a handful of times that I bought as a beginner package including rod, reel, backing, line, etc.

I'd like to get something to take backpacking as well. Would your kit, or the mini-kit listed in your article be sufficient for a beginner or does it require more skill than I might have (shorter rod, lighter line)?


Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Cleaning on 07/27/2005 13:19:58 MDT Print View

I will take a 1 oz Spyderco Ladybug pocketknife to gut fish. In grizzly country, entrails go back into the body of water. Cooked waste (bones, etc.) get buried in a cathole.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Beginner's Kit on 07/27/2005 13:23:21 MDT Print View

>> Would your listed kit be what you would recommend to a beginner fly fisherman?

Brian: the mini rod, a beginner will do fine for small streams and short casts. You need some skill for casting longer than 40 feet with this rod - good technique. It doesn't take long to master, but it's not something you can just pick up and do either.

The 5-piece rod we sell has a great action and is very easy to cast.

Edited by ryan on 07/27/2005 13:23:31 MDT.

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Fly-streams only on 07/28/2005 07:57:30 MDT Print View

Sage 0 weight at 1 11/16 oz.
Abel Ac-1 reel at 3.8 oz.
1 fly box--dries on one side nymphs on the other
silicone treatment-dries

Total weight about 10 oz.+-

Rod is 8' so great for stream fishing--if the wind comes up--nymphs will still work--but even then it could be a challenge

Forget it on a lake--unless 30' placements work.

But a 10oz. trout on this rod feels like a 2 lb. fish.

also--easy to pack in--rod comes in a 3 pc.

Just another scenario.


Brian Griffith
Entrails into water on 07/28/2005 08:49:22 MDT Print View

>>entrails go back into the body of water.

Is Montana not concerned about whirling disease? I know that this practice (entrails into the water) is a no-no where I live in Colorado.



Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Entrails into water on 08/01/2005 13:49:42 MDT Print View

The link you gave suggests these two things:

1. Don't transport any fish from one body of water to another, which can help spread whirling disease.

2. Don't dispose of fish entrails or other by-products into any body of water.

The key issue is transport and cross contaminate water - that's why they are so careful to educate people about washing their boats, waders, boots, etc. before dropping in to another water body. Transfer of plants, fish, entrails, mud, etc. from one body of water to another is thought to be a mode of cross-contaminating waters.

I'd suggest that the disposal of entrails is the same, and the language is either not clarified well enough in the regulations, or it's mentioned because of trying to get the population in the habit across the board of take stuff out of the water, don't put it back in. But taking original organic matter from a body of water and disposing the same back into the same body of water should not increase whirling disease risk in that body of water.

In the backcountry of Yellowstone Park, they are concerned not only about attracting grizzly bears to buried entrails piles, but also in cross contaminating water bodies with whirling and New Zealand Mud Snails. Their policies include:

"When fish cleaning and disposal areas are not provided, dispose of fish entrails by puncturing the air bladder and dropping into deep water. Do not clean fish in backcountry campsites."


"Drain livewells and clean fish ONLY near the same body of water in which they were caught."

Bryan Redd
(lucylab) - F
BPL Rod Tube: Longer version please. on 08/02/2005 22:24:49 MDT Print View


My rod of choice for backpacking fishing is a 3 piece. Can you get the rod tube material in a bit longer version to accomodate those of us who use 3-piece rods?


Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BPL Rod Tube: Longer version please. on 08/04/2005 00:01:01 MDT Print View

Bryan, we're looking into sourcing longer tubes. -- RJ

Bryan Redd
(lucylab) - F
Longer rod tubes on 08/08/2005 11:40:37 MDT Print View


That's good news. Hope you're successful.

Rod Tubes on 08/12/2005 05:06:11 MDT Print View

Yes, you do need to offer a longer tube for 3 and four piece rods.

Russ Whitney
(rwhitney) - F
Re: Backcountry Fishing, Lightweight Style on 08/24/2005 09:53:20 MDT Print View

A couple of friends and I have been experimenting in lightweight rod cases. It doesn't appear that anyone has a good (ultra) lightweight hard case for 4-piece or 5-piece rods. One approach we used ealier in the season is to use golf club tubes from the local golf store (under $1/per) and then cap them with styrofoam. Does anyone else have any great ideas?

Russ Whitney (Sawtooth Gear)

Edited by rwhitney on 08/24/2005 10:18:51 MDT.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
fly fishing case on 08/24/2005 11:35:49 MDT Print View

Yeah, they sell a fly rod case right here on this site under Accessories

Russ Whitney
(rwhitney) - F
Re: fly fishing case on 08/24/2005 15:09:13 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob, it might work for a 5-piece rod but it doesn't appear to be long enough for a 4-piece rod. I saw that Ryan was looking into getting longer cases but not sure what the status is.

Russ Whitney (Sawtooth Gear)

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Recipe on 10/02/2006 07:44:02 MDT Print View

I've tried both of your recipie's, but I think you've avoided the best ones .... you can coat the fish, after cleaning, with italian seasoning, then wrap in foil with a couple of slices of pre-cooked bacon. Either put it in your bakepacker or toss it in the coals of a small cook fire for about 7 min on a side.


Kevin Kelleher
(softouch333) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge Mountains
rod tubes on 07/04/2007 07:38:14 MDT Print View

I've got 10 packing tubes 24" long 1.5" translucent with screw top. They fit my Five piece Winston LT perfectly. If you would like to have them for distrubution I'd send you the lot, or if any fellow backpacking light fisherman could use them, I'd be glad to send them for a couple bucks mailing. Recycle-reuse.


R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: rod tubes on 07/04/2007 08:38:24 MDT Print View


Whats the weight on the packing tubes?

Ryan Sager
(rsager) - F
light weight rod tube on 11/20/2007 21:43:44 MST Print View

I went to the hardware store and purchased a fluorescent light shield. Cut it to length and us the caps that come with it.