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The Backstage Pass

Backcountry Fly Fishing Trips: What They Are and Why You Should Take One

May 03, 23

Taking the road less traveled is often stated, but never truly experienced. For destination fly fishing travel, a backcountry fly fishing trip is a road less traveled that every angler should discover. From the far-off flats of a saltwater atoll or a pack trip into the wilds of Yellowstone National Park or a multi-day float down the Middle Fork of the Salmon or the remote rivers of Mongolia, a backcountry fly fishing trip is a destination trip that can bring a lot to the hustle-and-bustle of daily life here at home.

What makes a true backcountry fly fishing trip? The answer lies within each individual angler’s desires and expectations. Many destination fly fishing trips classify as backcountry angling—as the fish we pursue tend to live in remote and beautiful places. But for a fly fishing trip to be backcountry, it needs equal parts remoteness, intrigue, and angling adventure.

A backcountry fly fishing trip should venture away from the normal conventions of our daily lives. Many of the fly fishing trips we offer check that box. Let’s take it one step further and consider backcountry fly fishing trips are trips that begin where the blacktop ends or the boat dock is no longer seen on the horizon.

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Montana’s Smith River is a well-known backcountry fly fishing trip. Bolivia’s Golden Dorado fisheries offer a jungle fishing experience unlike any other on the planet. Many of the trips we offer in Chile and Argentina are backcountry, as well as New Zealand fly fishing trips. On the saltwater docket, trips like Mexico’s Scorpion Atoll, Australia’s East Cape, or Providence Atoll in the Seychelles, are fly fishing trips that venture out into the world of backcountry fly fishing. And, our fly-fishing trips in the Amazon or in Africa fill the backcountry angler’s bucket.

Whether for a week or a day, getting off the road and beyond the horizon fuels the angling psyche. Time away from cell phones, the internet, DVRs, calendars, and screens is crucial for the soul— few people would say they wish for less time by a campfire or think they get too much of their toes in the sand. A backcountry fly fishing trip is important on many levels.

The tangibles benefits are easy to pin-point—catching a permit on a fly, landing a massive migratory tarpon, a 20-inch brown trout on a dry fly, native cutthroat trout, a first tigerfish to hand, a Giant Trevally smashing a large fly, and many more. But the intangibles are those things bringing a backcountry fly fishing trip to the forefront of every angler's desires.

Jack Kerouac, had he been a fly fisherman, would have surely been a fan of backcountry fly fishing trips.

“Because in the end,” Kerouac wrote, “you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

Mountains, distant saltwater flats, wilderness canyons, jungles that never seem to end, and all the native and wild fish swimming in these environs are all waiting for intrepid anglers. Fishing these places may feel like dream destinations, but the only way dreams come true is to awake and chase them down.

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