Ready to start packing for your upcoming Montana fly fishing trip? Here's a pointer on how to make the process as efficient as possible: try to bring what you need and nothing more. Though that may be easier said than done.
You don't want to end up in one of Montana's best trout rivers missing a critical piece of gear. But you also don't want to overpack (and wind up paying more for baggage fees than for flies!).
Nothing is more frustrating than having to buy something you already have, just because you forgot to pack it. To help you keep track of the essentials, we've put together a list based on input from fly fishers who frequent these parts.
Here is a sample packing checklist for your fly fishing trip.
What to Pack for Fly Fishing in Montana
- Fly Rods
– Nine-foot rod, 5 or 6 weight with floating line. Three or four weight rod for small creeks and streams, and 6 or 7 weight rod for bigger rivers and lakes. It does not hurt to bring two just in case of breakage.
- Leaders and Tippet
– 9 foot tapered leaders work throughout season. Spools of 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x tippet.
- Waders and Boots
– Waders with layers underneath, Felt-soled wading boots, wading socks.
- Other Gear –
backpack, hip pack or fishing vest to hold gear, fly box, fly floatant, nippers, forceps, and net
- Around Town Attire –
Most backcountry towns in Montana have a very casual setting. Blue jeans, sweatshirts, shorts, fishing shirts, t-shirts and baseball caps are all commonly worn.
- Clothes for the Weather –
Bring a waterproof packable rain jacket regardless of the time of year. Synthetics that dry quickly are recommended; a fleece jacket is helpful both on the water and afterwards when the nights cool down. Fish shirts and pants that are long sleeved that quick dry are are a must. And for those occasional cold conditions, bring your gloves.
- Thermals –
Pack a set of thermals regardless of the time of year. Mid-weight, quick drying. For cold weather and water, use heavy weight underwear or fleece garments under waders.
- Shoes –
Keens for float fishing. Flip flocks and tennis shoes for around town, Non-cotton socks. Smart wool or synthetic fleece.
- Fishing Hat –
Either baseball cap or long brimmed hat for sun protection.
- Polarized sunglasses
- Waterproof case for your phone
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries and any medications
- Fishing License –
Go to your nearest fly shop for your fishing license or go online at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/license/
What else would you bring on a fly fishing trip to Montana? Feel free to post in the comments below.
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