May 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm #1258608
I'm a backpacker who wants to eat trout when camping near them, as opposed to a fisherman.
Have never fished a day in my life (ok, one), don't want to buy a ton of gear for a new hobby.
I camp in Sierra's, Rockies mostly. Is there a simple fishing setup I can get that's light, cheap, relatively easy to figure out, and will help me catch dinner with relative ease?
How hard is it to catch fish if you don't know what you're doing? Worth packing the extra weight?
I realize it's asking alot, but the sad reality is, I ain't gonna buy a bunch of chichi gear, and I've got to many other hobbies to spend a lot of time mastering a new one. Just want to eat fish in the woods.May 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm #1606767
If it was easy, it would be called "catching."
Here's an alternative:May 5, 2010 at 9:48 pm #1606769
Tad EnglundBPL Member
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
John, the quick and dirty on your question is:
You will get out of it what you put into it or garbage in, garbage outMay 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm #1606777
Tad, yes, garbage in garbage out, I'm sure that's true, but it's also not a very helpful answer. Is spending tons of money and time the only way to catch fish? If so, I'll probably just take William's suggestion ;-)
What I'm trying to figure out is what's the minimum that will yield a basic result. And how does a total beginner who's more interested in catching dinner than seriously investing in a new hobby sort through the 1000s of options for rod/reel/bait to get something that will be acceptable?May 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm #1606791
@chrisfolLocale: Denver, Coloado
Most waters in the United States are artifical flies and lures only– this is certainly true here in the Rockies.
Bascially a decent fly-rod, reel and fly-line outfit will set you back at least $180-$250.
Ontop of that you will need:
This alone could cost $70-80.
Then you will need some flies– the going rate is about $1.85 per fly. So just 20 flies will set you back $40. Add your fishing license into the mix and you have quite a large start-up cost.
If most of your waters permit bait fishing, then you can pick up a spin rod and reel for next to nothing and Cabela's has complete sets of gear (both spin and fly) for less than $200 which would probably suit you better.
Fly-fishing takes time and practice to be any good– certainly efficent enough to catch fish for dinner on a regular basis. It is not something that *most* people just pick up without any instruction.
You could learn to cast in an afternoon, but hooking and landing requires serious river time. You may want to bring additional food with you on those your first season or so.May 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm #1606798
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
"I'm a backpacker who wants to eat trout when camping near them, as opposed to a fisherman."
The fishermen will be relieved to hear that. I couldn't manage a whole one in a sitting anyway. ;-)
There are other tasty morsels to be had from rivers which aren't as hard to catch. Crayfish for example.
But if you want a U/L meathod for trout, then tickling is the way to do it.May 6, 2010 at 12:42 am #1606815
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've found all kinds of fishing gear at garage sales and thrift stores. Fly fishing gear can be outrageous, but casting gear is cheap, even when new. A two piece casting rod and a few lures will get you started. The last one I got was $5 with a reel. Of course, fly fishing has a romantic appeal to it. I do like the idea of tricking the fish with bits of fur and feathers.
I've always said that fishing tackle is designed to catch fishermen rather than fish. Your local tackle shop and/or fishing newspaper will have all kinds of advice on what to use for the local species.
I have a Popeil Pocket Fisherman that is great for hiking. You can actually catch fish with one, but I recommend a pole and reel. Study your knots– monofilament line is different.
A Zebo closed-face reel and matching pole will work for lures and bait casting. If you can use eggs or worms with a bobber, it is a time-tested way to catch fish, but it bores the heck out of me– like watching golf :) Casting lures is more fun and very dramatic when you "hook one."
If you know what you are doing, you can catch fish with some very simple gear. It is more a process of understanding what and how fish eat, where they hide, etc. And then sometimes, they just aren't hungry or don't like your offering. I wouldn't count on having a certain catch for your meal plans!
The regulations vary from state to state as far as using bait, flies, or lures, and high mountain lakes and streams may have different regulations and seasons than lowland lakes– it is very much that way in Washington. Some lakes are "quality" fishing, where you may only keep a smaller limit of fish of a particular size– 3 fish over 12" or something like that. You can get a copy of the regs when you get your license.May 6, 2010 at 10:00 am #1606921
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
You could try a casting line setup such as this one:
No personal experience, but there are (rare) times when just having a line and lure are enough if the fish are cooperating. In more typical settings it seems to take tackle, time and some skills, along with the necessary luck.
RickMay 11, 2010 at 12:16 am #1608605
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Most areas of the High Sierras only allow a single barbless artifical lure. Makes it hard for a novice to catch fish. Probably the best set up for you would be a minature spinning reel and section pole set up. Keep in mind I am not an expert at all.
Current cost of license in Calif is:
I would imagine you will be frustrated in the Sierras as they have been over-fished for decades. Plus, you need a litle more elaborate kitchen than most of us take. However…
We caught 5 in about 2 hours. However, now the maximum bag limit is 2 in this area.May 11, 2010 at 7:28 am #1608672
@akajutLocale: Central Oklahoma
Loved the video Rog!
Here's one that's more serious – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Go9A7q0TA
A couple of friends caught a trout with their hands on one of our trips. It was after dark in a log jam at the spillway of a small lake in the Pecos Wilderness. It took a few tries, but the fish kept coming back to the same spot. They finally got one when obscured their hand with a bandanna. Both of them are noodlers. OK is one of 3 states that its legal in.May 11, 2010 at 7:35 am #1608674
@jdeyoung81Locale: New England
I had seen this method on tv once before… the ultralight in fishing for trout!May 13, 2010 at 7:01 am #1609390
@talbotdaleLocale: Rocky MountainsMay 13, 2010 at 7:28 am #1609397
Stephen BarberBPL Member
To catch trout with no skills and limited equipment, follow a hatchery truck to where it dumps a load of legal sized trout in a stream or lake.
Cut a willow rod (renewable resource!), attach a line, split shot weight and hook. Bait with Berkley Gulp! bait. Toss weight and bait in the water. You should shortly have a limit of trout.
Occasionally that will technique (all but following a hatchery truck) will work in the mountains away from roads, but if the trout have been fished before, probably not so well.May 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm #1609654
Thanks for the responses folks! Checking into cheap spinning gear and the Tenkara. Tenkara looks like you need major stalking skills…
The kitchen issue is a good point. Grill made out of coat hanger? I sure as heck ain't dropping $70 on a ti grill.May 13, 2010 at 10:21 pm #1609673
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
I am a flyfisherman, so i dont bait fish often anymore. But man it was tough wading in freezing water for hours flailing a line back and forth trying to avoid hooking my ears while my buddies sat on the bank with a beer in their hand hauling out fish after fish on powerbait. And you dont need money!!
thrift store fishing pole $10 (if they call it a "rod", its expensive, you want a fishing "pole").
Walmart reel $15
yellow powerbait $4.25
10pk size 16 treble hooks $3.75
Walmart 2lb fishing line $5.00
Walmart 1/4 oz split shot $2.00
Aluminum foil, butter, salt, 1 clove garlic, paprika
step 1: throw bait in, put the rod down, and wait
step 2: when fish nibbles, wait for a big pull,then reel fast.
step 3: wrap fish and ingredients in foil and place on coals
I dont know of any trout that's immune to the addiction to powerbait, we call it trout crack. You'll catch panfish galore like this, but the big ones might get away with cheap gear like this. Call the ranger and get the fishing regulations before you go!May 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm #1610453
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet, but there's no reason you can't fly fish with plane ol' cheap spinning gear if you're restricted to "fly fishing only" areas that mandate 1 hook with no barbs etc. The age old practice of placing a bobber a few feet behind a fly and pitching with spinning gear is very effective and easy to learn, plus you have the versatility to cast lures, or bait fish with the same rig if you so desire. You can get a long narrow clear bobber made for that purpose, a half dozen assorted flies, bit of fly floatant and you're in business.May 17, 2010 at 5:47 am #1610521
Curt PetersonBPL Member
@curtpetersonLocale: Pacific Northwest
Fly fishing with spinning gear – even if it terminates with an honest-to-goodness fly straight from the fly shop – is not considered fly fishing in Washington and not allowed on "fly fishing only waters" here. Personally, I think it should be based on the end of the setup (fly) and not the rod or reel, but it's not so. I fish about 95% fly on spinning setup, so this is less than ideal when I am near those waters.May 17, 2010 at 7:45 am #1610538
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
My rig is a ten dollar collapsible pole, a forty dollar spincast reel (this eliminated a ton of frustration with the cheap reel that came with the pole), six pound line, two bobbers, a small collection of Mepps spinners, a kastmaster, and some gnats, grasshoppers, a couple wooly buggers, and a (fake) one egg on a hook, all in a little plano box. Picked up forceps at walmart and threw in a red stringer. My Leatherman Micra has a scissors for nipping line and a small blade that cleans fish. The bobbers twist onto the line and can be partially filled with water for more weight for casting. I've fly fished in subalpine lakes with it and hooked brooks and rainbows.
The cooking gear is a few sheets of foil and some garlic salt and olive oil or butter packets, or some packets of lemon juice. Most places I fish we are able to build a small hobo fire. We have also caught so many that we filled a bear vault with snow and packed our limit to carry home in a ziplock.May 17, 2010 at 8:50 am #1610556
fly fishing is something i do not know how to do, but i always put them back, not a fan of killing if i don't NEED to.May 22, 2010 at 9:21 am #1612508
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
As Talbot pointed out, Tenkara fishing is a lot cheaper than Western Fly fishing. You can literally get a complete outfit for under $200 that will be a perfect UL rod for backpacking. Plus, the learning curve is minutes or hours rather than years. If you have any questions about Tenkara, feel free to PM or email me.May 22, 2010 at 9:29 am #1612512
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
There's something wrong with that trout. No trout would let a grown man and dog splash right up to it like that unless it were sick or completely exhausted from just being released.Jun 4, 2010 at 9:25 am #1616742
If your primary goal is to eat the fish without incorporating the sporting aspects/challenges of fishing maybe you should come at it from a different angle… How can I get this fish out of the water and onto my plate?
Can you work a bow? Shooting the fish could work… gear is minimal and doesn't have to be very heavy. Also, you only have to shoot as far as the fish… maybe 5' accurately as opposed to the 25 yards you'd be shooting in more traditional hunting scenarios.
If not, maybe dynamite. :-)Jun 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm #1616789
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Jason, forgive me, that's the second time I've put up a joke post in two visits to this part of the forum.
In seriousness though, I have seen an expert tickle a trout. He had a very cold hand.
I have successfully fished for Mackerel with a cricket bat. But that's another story.
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