Backpacking fly fishing gear

February 20, 2020 Fishing Guides Views: 3168

Backpacking fly fishing gear

Did you know that backpacking is not just for hikers and campers? With a little bit sense in the components of your backpack, you could turn any backpacking adventure into a fly fishing adventure. You only need to carry certain backpacking fly fishing gear. But first, how heavy/light should be your gear? Check out below for more information.

Weight; the major consideration

When packing for any trip, leave alone backpacking for fly fishing, weight happens to be a top factor. Sure enough, you don’t want to strain your shoulders, feet, and muscles with the heavyweight of your backpack; the fly fishing trip will be no fun if you do so. This implies that your backpack should be of less weight. But how do you achieve the low weight?

Well, first ensure that you pack only the essential gear. Don’t stuff your backpack with unnecessary items. For instance, carrying a whole set of kitchen apparatus would be burdensome. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn’t mind your stomach. No. In fact, with an empty stomach, your fly fishing adventure would be vanity. The bottom line is to carry only what you cannot do without. Another nonessential item is the landing net. Although there are small nets, the goal here is to remain simple.

Another way is by carrying lightweight materials. There’s a broad variety of fly fishing tools and equipment but for this case, we’re talking about the lightweight and heavyweight materials. Be sure to pack lightweight materials, including your light goose down jacket rather than the heavy cotton hoodie.

Fly fishing gear to include in your backpack

Putting together backpacking fishing essentials should be a daunting task. Remember that what you carry will influence what you’ll fish. While keeping weight in mind, check that you have the following things in your packing list.

Rod and reel

If your backpacking adventure is to be on an alpine lake, your backpack should be fitted with a 5wt rod. On the contrary, if you are to fish in a confined area or a stream, a 3wt rod would serve you better.

Your classic 5wt/3wt rod will require an accompanying fly reel of the same Wt. There are light reels, some even less than 3wt, but they perform just as good when matched with the right fly rod.

When packing this combo, consider the type of fish you want to catch and importantly your fly fishing destination.

Fly Line

If you’ve been following up on our articles, you must have come across one that explains the relationship between the fly line and the rod. Well, if you’re new, here’s the basic information for you. The size of the fly line is determined by the weight of the fly rod, that is, both should match.

For backpacking, fly lines vary from 4 to 10 pounds. However, after sampling a group of experienced backcountry fly fishers, we noted that most of them used 8-pound fluorocarbon for the sole reason that it's nearly invisible and it certainly sinks well for most lures.


There are so many lures out there but for backpacking, you might want to consider carrying flies. While also there are different types of flies, the major ones for backpacking are the wooly buggers, caddisflies, Adams flies, and nymphs.

There are thousands of variations of each of the named flies, so the best thing would be to choose those whose color appeal to you. Pack a handful of them in your fly box so they don’t run out when you need them most.

In connection to flies, you might find it important to carry a dry floatant to keep your flies afloat on water.


There’s no reason to leave your snippers behind, furthermore, they don’t weigh a thing. You’ll need them when working with small hooks and changing the flies.

Trash container

This tool makes sense when you want to dispose of your extra line or any other trash. You cannot afford to leave the fishing ground dirty; it’s a threat to the environment and more so to aquatic creatures.


Given a whole lot of information about backpacking gear, note that you are not packing the things you feel are the best in appearance, you’re packing those that make sense for your fly fishing endeavor. If you bring with you only the right things, you’ll not only enjoy the outdoor activity but also get something tangible out of it.

Related Backpacking Fly Fishing Gear Article:

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