Fly-fishing Essentials

Other Essentials


Anglers have individual preferences for every piece of equipment, fly-boxes included. I never have been able to convince myself I can afford to purchase a Wheatley-type box, the fancy, aluminum kind with all the little window compartments. I use plastic foam boxes for my normal fly-fishing trips, but when backpacking, I shrink my fly collection down to fit into a couple of clear plastic, hinged boxes with large compartments. I pack all my dry flies, and some of my nymphs and wets into one plastic box, and all the other bigger streamers and nymphs into another. Other choices for the angler include magnetic boxes which pin down your flies, and the new system-style foam wallets which have interchangeable pads.


I always wear polarized sunglasses for two reasons: the polarization cuts through the glare and helps me see underwater, and wearing eye protection makes it tougher for a wayward backcast to hook my eye. I consider my sunglasses to be as important to catching trout as my rod, reel or flies. I also suggest you bring along Croakies or eyeglasses lanyards. These will help you keep up with your glasses if you take them off, or keep them on if the wind is gusting, as it often does in higher elevations.


Many times I have stayed on the water past dark, fishing to rising trout I could not see. Having a small flashlight allowed me to tie on new flies without spooking the fish and also lit the way back to camp after staying out late. Anglers can choose between conventional flashlights, or the newer, neater models made for anglers and backpackers which hang around your neck, clip to your cap, or wrap around your head.

Other Equipment

I always carry a survival kit and a first aid kit (see Bob Newman's Common Sense Survival For Outdoor Enthusiasts , Menasha Ridge Press). I carry a lighter, Aqua-pot tablets (and sometimes my water purifier), a knife, a good compass, a camera, and film. I also carry a two-person tent that weighs about five pounds (you can sleep under the stars, but I like knowing I can stay dry in wet weather), a lightweight sleeping bag, and a foam pad. These last two things I strap onto the frame of my backpack. Finally, I bring along food I don't plan on catching and a camp stove to cook it on.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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