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Backpacking fishing gear

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Backpacking fishing gear

Postby holz » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:13 am


Can anyone suggest some reasonably priced fishing gear that will work well for backpacking?

Also what bait/lures should I get to catch the rainbows and brook trout that seem to be all over the Sierras?

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Postby john » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:52 pm

I think fly fishing is the most effective (and fun) method for catching sierra trout. If you aren't a fly fisherman though here are some of my thoughts:
Get a ultralight spinning rod and reel, it should come apart into two packable rod lengths.
As for lures, a small mepps or kastmaster will work in lakes or deeper pools in streams.
It is possible to fish flies with a spinning rig...get a small bubble (bobber) and some dry flies. Put the bubble a few feet above the fly cast this and then watch the fly floating on the surface. Just tighten the line as soon as the fish hits the fly. As far as what kind of fly to use, don't worry, Yosemite trout aren't picky. A Elk hair caddis or Adams will work just fine.

On last thing, I wouldn't use bait unless you plan on keeping the fish for dinner. The fish swallow any kind of bait (especially powerbait) and make the hook impossible to get out without usually killing the fish.

Let me know if you want any more details. I just got back from Snow Creek, caught lots of beautiful Golden/Rainbow hybrids...Can't wait to get back!!!
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Postby go bears » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:38 am

like the prior post, i'd suggest a small UL fishing rod. i've had a 5'6" Ugly Stik for about 20 years and it takes a tremendous amount of punishment in my trips to Desolation and Stanislas. i've bent that thing back under low trees numerous times and it has never failed me. use a small spinning reel with no more than 4# test and spinners like mepps, kastmasters. my personal favorite are panther martins: 1/32 oz, black with yellow dots, and gold/gold. the small brookies and browns are a great fight in the streams. tight lines!
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Get a fly rod...

Postby mireland » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:08 am

I just got back from a backpacking trip to the Cottonwood Lakes area outside of Lone Pine. I had never cast a fly rod in my life, but I learned quick enough to enjoy it. I didn't catch fish but learning to cast was enough to get me hooked. I've since done much research and come upon some pretty nice gear for reasonable prices. As far as the rod...I would definitely suggest the Albright A-5. Its 50% off right now on the albright tackle web site and is a 5 piece rod so it breaks down extra small. It also got great reviews and was said to be similar to many 5 or 600 dollar rods. As far as reels, there are a bunch out there. I ended up with the Lamson Konic 2 (which is not a machined reel but had great reviews), but also looked at the Orvis Battenkill, and a few others. Hope this helps...
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re: Backpacking fishing gear

Postby JoeHiker53 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:13 pm

Reasonably priced gear- get a two piece Ugly Stick ultralight rod (5 ft when put together) and an ultralight spinning reel. Use 4lb test on the spool. You should be able to get this setup for under $50.
Get yourself some swivels (#12 or 14), some plastic bubbles ($2) and some 2lb test leader. Tie about 3 feet of leader off your swivel. Now your ready to do some fly fishing. An assortment of flies can cost you as much as you want to spend, but a good assortment that I have had success with are some black ants (#16 or smaller), Griffiths gnats (#16), Elk hair Caddis, and mosquito patterns when they are out. With a spinning rod you can also try some Mepps ultralight spinners (0 or 00) or Panther Martins. All the fishing gear such as listed above weighs under 2 pounds.

The high elevation lake trout are typically smaller but if you time it right they are really aggressive and fun to catch. I would advise that you crimp the barbs on the spinners so that you can catch and release the smaller fish without causing them too much stress and harm.
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