Fly Fishing Float Trips:

Heaven on Earth – Let the River Take You There

Is there anything better than gliding down a nice river on a warm summer day? For many of us, this is as close as we get to heaven on earth. The ever changing scenery, constantly changing fishing opportunities, and camaraderie all make a river float trip special.

Careful planning can make your trips pleasurable, productive, and safe.

Obviously you need a planned location to put in and take out. If you are on a big enough river and you have a motor, this isn’t an issue. Oh yeah, I was reminded most motorized river trips typically head Up River. Why? If you have trouble you can simply float back down to your vehicle. Sadly, someone had to actually explain that rationale to me.

Anyway, remember to double or triple your trip time if you are fishing rather than simply canoeing or otherwise floating. Plan on stopping several times to take a break and stretch. Four hours in a canoe will take its toll if you don’t mix it up with some break time.

Ask the local bait shop if they know of good access point and approximate trip time. Look at a map. Get a detailed map of the river and study it. If the river is extremely tortuous (full of zigs and zags, not to be confused with torturous), add more time. More bends can mean more holding water and prolonged fishing time.

Check the stream flow. This will also give you a clue to how fast you will move. It can also help you decide whether it is safe to float a particular river under current conditions.

River Float Check List

Some items are obviously optional, some are absolutely essential, in our view ( those in burgundy). On our river trips we generally bring along both fly and spinning gear (sorry to all you purists out there). A long trip can be tiring if one is fly casting all day.

The person running the boat will find it far easier to spin cast while operating the craft. Frequently, the operator only has a few precious seconds to fire a cast at a prime target missed or overlooked by the bowman. This is much easier to accomplish with spinning gear. You then have time to quickly reel up and grab the paddle to steer out of harms way. Often times the stern and bow will switch periodically, if possible.

At times, fish will hit sub-surface hardware and plugs better during the middle day and flies late in the day – into the evening. We think it prudent to “save your arm” for the 2-3 hours in the afternoon when the fish start ”looking up”! Many of you will disagree, so be it.