I love backcountry fly fishing. When I’m fishing the backcountry, I typically have to do a fair amount of hiking to get to the waters I’m going to fish. Weight and space are at a premium. Many roadside fishermen carry a lot of fishing paraphernalia; enough to fill a fishing vest. If you’re fishing close to the road, why not? However, on a backpacking trip, where weight is the enemy, it pays to cut your fly fishing gear down to the bare minimum.
For this, I really like to use a small fly fishing pouch. My fishing pouch was made by Backpackflyfishing.com and they called it the “trico”. However, they are no longer in business. A virtually identical fishing pouch is currently made by Elemental Horizons under the name of Dragonfly Fishing Pouch.
The total weight of the pouch and everything in it is 7.9 ounces. It will get me through multi-day trips of backcountry fly fishing, using both Tenkara and/or a traditional Western rig.
Here’s what I have in the pouch (starting top left, moving clockwise)
Small lighter with a couple of tinder tabs (for making a fire in case of emergency.)
Baladeo 22g knife (for cleaning fish and other small cutting tasks.)
5X Froghair fluoro tippet
Wader repair material
Pouch with small LED flashlight, and Frogs Fanny floatant
Titanium scissor clamps
Loon Aquel floatant
Shimazaki dry shake
Fly box with dry flies and tungsten weighted nymphs
That’s really all I need for fly fishing in the backcountry. If I’m out on a really long trip, or I anticipate that I might need a broader assortment of flies, I might take a lightweight foam fly box with some extra flies in it. Otherwise, I’m good with the basic assortment that I carry in the pouch. There’s even a little room left over in the pouch for other small necessities such as a fishing license, or a blister dressing.
The pouch is very convenient. I keep the Aquel floatant in the front elasticized pocket, and the Frog’s Fanny in the dedicated floatant pocket on the side. The scissor clamps are held at the ready in a couple of loops. These are the things I use the most, and they are no harder to get at than when using my fishing vest.
For a little additional comfort, I added a bit of tubular webbing as padding for the thin cord neck strap. This keeps the cord from digging into my neck when I’m wearing a shirt without a collar.