Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fishing Kit

I know almost nothing about fishing. I think I've been fishing a handful of times, but I never knew what I was doing. I don't yet own and fishing gear. However, I have been reading about fishing in the backcountry. After some hours of internet research, here are three books which are pretty commonly recommended.

   

  • The Curtis Creek Manifesto. This book is an illustrated guide to the basics of flyfising; excellent for someone like me who was learning fishing vocabulary for the first time.
  • The Orvis Guide to Flyfishing. This book was a bit of a dry read compared to the first, but it is a thorough introduction to the world of western style fly fishing. Obviously it is a little bit slanted toward Orvis, but there's lots of good information for beginners who want to get a feel for all the different aspects of fly fishing.
  • Fish Don't Think: How to Catch Fish Using a Fly and Bubble. This book was recommended as THE book on high/alpine lakes spinning reel fishing. The theory goes that the spinning rather than fly fishing setup allows for much further casting distances, which can be very useful on high country lakes where rugged shorelines or overgrowth limit your ability to move around the lake or setup long casts with a fly reel.
Based on these books and on the internet, it seems that there are two options for backcountry high lakes fishing:
  1. An ultralight spinning reel and rod intended for use with the fly-and-bubble sytem mentioned above.
  2. A simplified fly fishing style called Tenkara, which uses a shorter telescoping rod without a reel, to which you attach your line and tippet directly to the end of the rod.
Personally, I'm excited about both options, and there's little doubt I'll have both kits by the end of summer (I hope my wife doesn't read this).

Fly and Bubble Spinning Kit
This setup is intended to be a simple and effective means of cathcing fish for dinner in backcountry lakes. Whether I ever get good enough that I consider catching dinner simple... I'm sure I'll still be carrying those freeze dried dinners for a long time. Here's what I'm looking at.  
Fly Fising Kit
Fly fishing has that romanticism to it (go watch A River Runs Through It), and it seems that fly fishing is about the experience, and many (if not most) fly fisherman fish catch-and-release much more than they fish for dinner. I can see myself enjoying fishing casually as part of the camping trips I typically go on each year, as well as doing some day trips to local stream. Here's the kit I'm considering. 
  • Tenkara Starter Kit from TenkaraBum ($170+$14):  The main kit ($170) comes with an 11-foot rod, line, tippet, line hoders, flies, and a flybox. Nearly everything needed to hit the river. I'll probably also pickup the optional tools kit from them too, which is $14 for forceps, line clipper, and a 'zinger' which is just a retractable lanyard for the foreceps and clippers.
In all, it looks like I should be able to get myself pretty well setup with two kits for under $400. Here's hoping catching, cleaning, and cooking the fish is as easy as finding ways to spend money on the internet.

PS - I just realized one thing I didn't lear yet: flyfishing, fly fishing, or fly-fishing?

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Thanks for sharing your questions/thoughts!