• Home
  • -
  • Blog - Packing Tips - Multi-Day Fly Fishing Trip | Anglers All
Category: Anglers All Travel

Packing Tips - Multi-Day Fly Fishing Trip

Many of us can relate to the excitement and anticipation of packing for an overnight fishing trip. Whether that’s a backpacking trip right here in Colorado, or a week-long trip to some far-flung destination, getting ready is part of the fun! 

But figuring out how to pack rods, reels, waders, wading boots, flies, and all the other fly fishing gear can be a challenge. Whether you’re getting on an airplane, a horse, or just strapping it all to your back, deciding what to bring and how to bring it isn’t always easy. 

As you prepare for your next multi-day fly fishing adventure, here are a few ideas to keep in mind… 

Fly Fishing Road Trips

Packing a vehicle for a road trip has its pros and cons. On the upside, you can bring pretty much whatever you want. The downside? If you’re not careful, it’s easy to overpack and have a truck so loaded with stuff that you can’t find or access anything. You’ll also need to make sure fly rods and other fragile equipment are packed safely. 

On a road trip, you can bring fly rods in their hard-sided tubes. The only downside is that if you’re bringing several rods, all those round tubes are unwieldy and have a tendency to roll around. For secure storage on your roof rack, you can’t beat the convenience of a Riversmith River Quiver or the telescoping Trxstle CRC. Another option, keeping assembled rods on the interior of your SUV, wagon, or pickup truck with a shell. For that option check out theTrout Mount Rod Carrier. If you’d rather keep fly rods unassembled inside your vehicle, check out the Fishpond Dakota Rod & Reel Case or the Simms GTS Rod & Reel Vault. Both of these options will also come in handy the next time you get on an airplane. 

Otherwise, a fly fishing road trip can be as organized or disorganized as you’d like. Stash your gear into neatly packed duffel bags or pile it in the bed of a truck – that’s up to you. You can always check out our options for duffel bags, gear bags and luggage here.

For some road trip ideas, check out the previous article we shared on that subject.


After loading up for a road trip, a backpacking trip seems to be on the opposite side of the spectrum. You’ll be forced to carefully consider each item in your pack. That’s because everything you add to your backpack is going to make your quads burn somewhere along the trail.

Don’t let that deter you. Right here in Colorado we have some incredible backcountry fly fishing opportunities. Wilderness areas all over the state are loaded with great fly fishing. From the Zirkel Wilderness in the north to the San Juans in the south, you could explore new waters for years and never fish the same place twice.

On these trips, hard-sided rod tubes strapped to the side of your backpack are often the best place to carry those valuable items. Super secure rubberized straps are a must for this setup. We like the Fishpond Lariat Strap. Like any trip, we recommend bringing at least two fly rods. The thought of being several miles into the backcountry with a single broken fly rod is tragic. Plus, it’s convenient having multiple rods rigged and ready for quickly changing conditions. On high alpine lakes for example, you may want a dry fly rod and a nymph or streamer rod rigged and ready. For the weight-conscious backpacker, the Patagonia Travel Rod Roll securely holds up to four fly rods and is very light weight.

On most summer backpacking trips, wet wading is the norm. So you don’t need to worry about packing waders, unless the forecast looks chilly. When it comes to wet wading footwear, you have options. See our recent article on that subject.  

Horseback Trips

For more than a decade, we’ve enjoyed our annual trips to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in pursuit of remote, high alpine fly fishing. When using horses to access these waters, protecting fly rods and other gear is critical when packing. 

On these horseback trips, we like to bring a waterproof backpack, like the Patagonia Guidewater, the Fishpond Thunderhead or the Simms Dry Creek Series. You can comfortably ride with a day’s worth of fishing gear, rain gear, your lunch, water and camera without having to worry about an afternoon thunderstorm soaking through.

Back at camp, we like to leave the rest of our gear in a waterproof or at least water-resistant duffel bags. This will keep your clothing, sleeping bag and any other gear safe during transport to and from camp, whether that’s on the back of a mule or an ATV. Beyond just horseback trips, having a waterproof duffel bag will come in handy on your next float trip (Gunnison Gorge perhaps?) and even your next airplane ride. Because you never know when your bag will be left waiting on a rainy tarmac.

Check out all of our fly fishing duffel bag options here

Airline Travel

If there’s a destination on your bucket list, don’t let the complications of airline travel make you hesitate. Traveling with fly fishing gear is actually very simple. Rule number one: bring at least two fly rods. Rule number two: pack the essentials in your carry-on luggage.

Options like the Fishpond Dakota Rod & Reel Case, the Simms GTS Rod & Reel Vault, and the Patagonia Travel Rod Roll are all perfect for airline travel. They are designed to be carry-on sized and they’ll keep your valuable fly rods safe and with you so that you can hit the ground running when you arrive. 

In your other carry-on bag (we recommend one of the waterproof backpacks mentioned above), bring reels, leaders, sunglasses and a few other “essential” items in case your checked bags get lost. When traveling by air, flies are often the biggest point of confusion. You’ll get different answers from different airlines and TSA personnel. To be safe, we usually recommend checking all flies and tools (pliers, forceps, etc) in your checked luggage. This, in our experience, is the safest bet to avoid being stopped at an international airport. 

We keep a selection of duffel bags, luggage and travel accessories in stock. If you’d like help finding the right solution for your next trip, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’d be happy to share our experience and recommendations.

Contact Us with Travel Questions

Thinking about a new fly fishing destination? Let us help! We work with lodges, guides and outfitters around the world that we know will deliver a quality experience. Plus, when you book a trip through Anglers All, you don’t pay any fees or commissions. You’ll pay the same price you would when booking directly through the lodge – but with our personalized service, including handling all logistics, information on flies, gear, rigging, luggage, casting and pre-trip preparation.

For more information on travel, visit our Travel Page, call the fly shop in Littleton at 303-794-1104, or email us at travel@anglersall.com.