Backpack Fishing Trips

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by kingpuck, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Get into the interior of the BOB MARSHALL complex. Once in there, which will take you two good days of strong hiking, you will experience some of the best wilderness fishing in the lower 48--- lakes and wilderness rivers and streams.
     
  2. Smooth

    Smooth Guest

    Consider packing some extra weight in the form of a float tube. Rafts work for some people, but on a windy day (even a light breeze) it is difficult to hold a position. Having fins leaves your hands free from rowing. Also...I in no way wish to imply you would do this...I have seen too many piles of brightly colored PVC rafts stashed in the bushes and deteriorated beyond usefullness (trash) because the owner was too lazy to haul it out.

    You will access much better water and in some cases a tube is about the only way to fish a lake because of so much brush and vegitation choking the shore. Plus...it is way cool floating in solitude on a high mountain lake on a sunny day...near Heaven as far as I can tell!

    Hitting higher lakes (like Panhandle's suggestion, the Bob) is a good idea. You have options all over the western US. There are more accesible areas than the Bob though.
    Pick a spot and go! You will have fun.

    You can find some lighter tubes around 3 lbs, but look for a pair of lightweight fins. Regular fins are HEAVY. Don't forget waders and long underwear...high lake water is COLD...you don't want to count on "wet" tubing up there even in August.
    Anyway...I have managed to go in to remote lakes for a few days with no more than 40-50lbs including the tube, gear, waders, fins, tent, etc, etc.

    Bring a floating line, a sinking line too...dries, nymphs, buggers, and soft hackles.
     
  3. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

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    Oh, also check the elevation of the lake(s) you are thinking about fishing. If it is 6,000ft or above (in WA), usually you are above the tree line or the trees are very thin. (lots of room to backcast!)
     
  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    On a hike last June to an alpine lake, Jason and I arrived at the lower lake to find a bright yellow Seyvlor raft about 3/4 inflated leaning against a large Hemlock trunk. A recent rain had filled the lower part of the raft with water. Nestled pretty as you please in the water was a pint bottle of Wild Turkey.

    The bottle was full to the top; the paper seal was broken although still intact. Immediately suspicious, I uncorked it and gave it the sniff test. Smelled like whiskey with no weird overtones, so I took a cautious pull. Tasted like whiskey too. Ummmm!

    My paranoid mind immediately started racing with scenarios of why anybody would leave a perfectly good bottle of whiskey (well, maybe NOT perfectly good) in a raft leaned against a tree.

    We decided to leave it alone and on our hike out ran into a group of two twentysomething guys and a gal just a few dozen yards from the raft. After a round of greetings, I mentioned the whiskey and watched their eyes light up.

    Not sure what eventually happened, but on my next trip back in September, both the raft and the whiskey were gone - probably long gone inthe case of the whiskey.

    K
     
  5. WaFlyCaster

    WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

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    cant stress the importance of getting away from the popular hiking areas as noted above.... hiking rarely used areas will increase your catches significantly in high mountain lakes... also someone already also mentioned that when you get above a 6000ft the trees are much smaller... also I noticed that the farther north in the cascades you go the lower the treeline seems to be... as well as the eastern side obiviously has less trees than the western side.... I also cant stress the importance of going to lakes without trails... I have never been disappointed with a hike to a lake without a trail (always find willing fish)..just make sure that it is large enough to support a population of fish.
     
  6. Ethan G.

    Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

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    iagree
     
  7. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    sounds like I really need to go and pick the brains of the park ranger I know and see if he can give me some more tips on alpine lakes.

    Of course you guys know what this means... less beer more squats to get in shape for hiking to the upper lakes. Ugh, the work of being a fisherman.
     
  8. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    You really need to be very aware of which "ranger" you talk with, and how specific you are about where you are going to be camping....




    oh, wait a minute...my bad - I thought you said "brokeback fishing trip"

    sorry dude
     
  9. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    sorry that shouldn't have made me laugh but it did, I'm sorry to say. It's good I happen to know one of the rangers really well, so info is not a problem. Haha, "brokeback camping trip" sounds like a camping trip in Enumclaw.
     
  10. mr. bad example

    mr. bad example Member

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    I too reccomend getting obscure, but it's been my experience that once your at 5500 feet(for example, long gone/coney/cyclone/blum) and above (unless your in the pasayten) there's a very good chance the lake will have no fish or very bonsai like trouts.You can stop in the marblemount ranger station and read peoples comments on their hikes this can be a good way to sift information.
     
  11. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    Okay now that we've cleared up how to catch the little alpine lake fish, I've got another question. Once I've gotten the nice fish, cleaned it and am ready to eat it. How do you guys like to prepare your fish?

    So let's hear those recipes. Nothing to spicy though if you please.
     
  12. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    Most of the alpine lakes I've visited had plenty of fish and few fishermen, if I'm spending the night sometimes I'll keep and cook a brace of trout. High country fishes always taste so good and help you dream good dreams so in the interest of fishin', smilin', and snoozin' in the clouds I'll share.

    Take a large piece of foil with you in your gear, it's one of the ten essentials for the fisherman. In a quart size ziplock bag mix a couple of tablespoons of Ms. Dash and lemon pepper, insert your cleaned fish one at a time and shake. Place your fish on your alum foil and close them up in a foil packet, place foil packet in a cool (cooking coals) fire. Fish cooks fairly fast being a soft hydrated meat, turn the packet over after ten minutes. Cook both sides about ten minutes each or according to your fire. Remove the foil packets from the fire, open and let cool for a few minutes then enjoy.

    When your meal is finished bury the skeletons, rinse the foil, fold it up and bring it home. There are other variations to this theme, let your creativity be your guide. One can make adjustments with cooking over a stove in areas where you can't have a fire. Hope this helps...man I can smell the aroma now!
     
  13. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    my all time favorite is the following:

    If you are fishing in a place where you are allowed to have an open fire - try this:

    * The smaller the brookie the better - 6 to 8 inchers you don't really have to deal with bones. Just peel the spine out from head to tail and eat what's left.
    * Get a sharpened stick like you would for roasting hot dogs or mashmallows.
    * Put the stick into the gutted fish mouth, through the cavity, and into the flesh at the tail end keeping close to the spine.
    * Fish over the fire like you would a hot dog.

    Bigger fish - you may need to build a spit. Then watch closely. As the fish starts to get done, the meat will want to start to fall away from the bone. Keep your plate close or you may end up with a nice fish in the fire...

    The smokey flavor from the open fire is just awesome.

    But if you want to get 'fancy', bring some lemon juice and a little salt and pepper (a stop at your local fast food joint will often provide packets of said ingredients, including disposable forks, knives, and spoons...).

    The best thing about the above is that you don't really need to bring anything to cook with. On those trips, I only bring a light weight pot for boiling water and dishes of some sort for eating and drinking. No extra cookware. (and less dishes to wash)

    But if you do need to use your camp stove and a fry pan - bring some real butter, lemon, and salt and pepper. No need to get any fancier than that.
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Kingpuck,

    Some lakes offer lots of casting room, but in my experience the majority don't. So floatation is a good thing to have along. If you don't mind toting a 60# pack, then your choices are many. I don't enjoy a heavy pack, so I have a Curtis raft, which sadly is no longer made. The next lightest choice appears to be the nylon raft at REI that's about 3 1/2# if I recall. There may be some lightweight float tubes, but that still requires waders and fins that add to the weight and bulk of your pack. The next best alternative to the REI raft is an Alpaca at about 6 1/2#, but they're expensive. And there are plastic Sevalors at about 6# which don't last very long.

    Fishing from any of the small rafts is less comfortable that from a float tube, but it's a necessary compromise if pack weight is an issue.

    About the lakes, I've had my best fishing in lakes that don't have a Green Trails official or maintained trail to them. If there is an official maintained trail and campsites, expect mediocre fishing at best.

    Since the better fishing requires off-trail bushwhacking, I prefer a smaller lighter backpack for that reason as well. Keeping to that concept, all my high lake fishing gear (except the rod) fits in a small waist pack that weighs only a few onces. I can't believe that when I was younger I actually rolled up my fly fishing vest and stuck it in my backpack.

    Good luck!

    Sg
     
  15. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Another pratical compromise that is even more light weight is to bring 2 small items in your compact fishing gear pocket.... A lightweight spinning real filled with 4lb mone and a few small clear casting bubbles :thumb: If you find there is no back casting room, switch out your fly reel for your spinning reel. It takes a little getting use to, but you can fish that way just fine, cast a good distance, and present both dry and wet flies.