The Camping Part of Fishing

February 5, 2019

camping

Camping is an integral part of a fishing excursion

As a woman flyfisher, I will talk about what I’ve learned from my own experiences about camping on a fishing trip. Camping alone, the safety aspects, and much more. Anytime I go on a fishing trip at a destination that’s more than two hours from home, camping becomes a must. I don’t like driving at night, always in fear of hitting a wild animal which I’ve come across many times in my travels. Equally important is for me to be up with coffee and on the water at sunrise. It’s a beautiful time of the day and the trout are feisty and ready to slam your fly with great abandon! And let’s face it what’s not to like about spending three or four days in paradise. I love camping with my friends but camping alone has its benefits as well. You’re on your own time without a need to make concessions for anyone.

Feeling safe is paramount

As a woman, I personally would not camp in anything that is easy to break into. I mean like no tent or tent trailer. It has to have a metal locking door as in an RV of some sort. Certainly, we all want to believe that nature-loving people, fishermen, in particular, are all decent folk. And I have no doubt most are, but the reality is we don’t live in a perfect world. Camping in numbers is ideally better, but I’m the only retired one in my circle.

Besides the best time to be fishing is during the weekdays when it’s quiet. When a few of us go we stay in a travel trailer, on the other hand when I go alone I use a camper van. I like camping in the van to me it feels secure. I further enhance my security throughout the day by keeping a low profile. I’m in a habit of wearing loose clothing, sunglasses, as well as a cap, and because I have short hair (more for comfort & ease of care) I’m often mistaken for a male. It suits me fine as I don’t like to draw attention to myself. And by no means am I implying that if you show up in a halter top and cutoffs you’re asking for trouble! It’s just not really practical. In my next blog post, I will expand on clothing for fly fishing.

Designing your temporary home

Ok so now we’ve picked a nice campsite, lakefront is most excellent but seldom available. Unfortunately, the majority of the trout lakes in my part of the country are smaller in size. We call them “potholes” here, they are intimate and easy to maneuver in a float tube or pontoon boat. The downside is these campgrounds have only a handful of iffy sites. That’s when the camper van comes in handy, more compact and just right for one person. I like to bring a comfy chair with a side tray, (for my book and drink) a light metal folding table for my dinner plate.

A large griddle, as I love cooking on the fire pit, and you can cook everything at once and serve it hot! A shower bag and enclosure is bonus if you’re staying a little longer. You can buy wood at some campgrounds but I usually bring some with an axe. There’s nothing like sitting by the campfire with a good book and a cup or glass of your favorite drink. It’s a great way to relax.

Having a schedule is key to success

I get up very early at the first hint of light. A cup of coffee and a toasted bagel is my favorite breakfast when fishing. Bagels last a long time, a banana and a drink go in the bag for later consumption. I like to be on the water by the time the sun peeks thru the horizon. Fly fishing at the break of dawn is wondrous, it’s quiet, the water is calm and the fish are willing. By the time the rest of the people are heading out I’m usually coming back in for brunch! I eat my main meal at about one or two pm then have a nap ( I call it my old lady nap!). I probably just failed the health guide by sleeping after a meal oops! I get up mid-afternoon and go for a walk do whatever I want. I have a sandwich for supper and get back on the water for the evening bite! As the sun goes down and the water cools the fish become active again. By dusk they are jumping for dry flies and if you figure out what they’re after you’re in for a good time! As quickly as the bite started, it stops! It’s usually close to dark and time for a fire and some reading! Then sleep and repeat, I love it!

Some additional thoughts in summary

I’ve camped alone many times since 2014 when I started fly fishing. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever had any problems, or ever felt afraid of anything. In 2017 I camped for 10 days in a travel trailer by myself and it was wonderful! I felt like the queen of my castle! Surely the fact that I’m somewhat of a wallflower probably helps! If you’re the super social type that thrives on being around people all the time then perhaps this would not be for you. I fish mostly lakes, I’m unsure if I would be as brave fishing the rivers alone and having to do random camping in the wilderness. In my opinion, river fishing is best done with a partner no matter if you’re a man or a woman. What if you fall in the stream or river, get hurt then what? River fishing is undoubtedly very exciting but when going solo I prefer the lakes.

If you’re sitting on the fence about whether fly fishing is for you, I hope this clears up a few things.

Until then, 🙂

Blue Moon                                                   Photograph~Damselfly Chronicles