It is commonly said that fly fishing is a sport for gear heads. It’s true — there is a lot of gear. But after spending a part of my day in a high-end photography store, I wondered: just how much gear do I bring fishing?
In preparing for an Atlantic salmon trip, my packing philosophy is informed as much by distance as anything. The destinations to which one travels in search of atlantics are so remote that should you realize you forgot something with a 40 lbs salmon rising in front you, no Amazon drone can save you. You’re out there. And that’s precisely the point: at many of these places, you step back in time. (Or, as your email reminds you upon your return, you step at least temporarily out of time.) At least, that is my approach. I grew up fishing for Atlantics where waxed cotton was the way and bamboo double handed rods were not uncommon. There is always the local fly fishing shop in these places, which I always frequent driven by a combination of dedication to local economies and a seemingly incurable need for more fishing stuff. And yet, I always pack as though these stores won’t be there. I pack for every eventuality.
The photo above shows what’s laid out on the floor of what, in between fishing trips, serves as a guest room. This is the gear I’ve prepared for my upcoming trip to the Bonaventure and Grand Cascapedia. This doesn’t include clothing — long johns, wool socks, shirts, etc. — nor does it include food.
I wonder: what do other people pack for fishing for Atlantic salmon? Or for any trip for that matter? Let us know in the comments below!
Here’s my Atlantic salmon packing list, categorized.
Beulah Platinum Spey 13′ 8″ for 7/8
Loop blank, 11 weight, made my me
Bamboo trout rod, 4 weight, made by my dad Hoagy Carmichael as a high school graduation gift — for when I catch my daily limit and need to go trout fishing. (Yeah, right!)
Sage 9 weight blank, custom built by my dad
Rio Sink Tip packet
Metal line winder
Saracione Mark IV
Anglers Club of New York (ACNY) flag — which I fly in honor of an old friend on every salmon trip.
Electrical Tape, for keeping your Spey rod together over 5 days on the water
Custom-built cherry fly tying travel kit