Packing for an adventure fly fishing trip is an art. With the limits on bag weight, numbers of bags, size, etc, the process can be exasperating. Not to mention the judiciary treatment we all receive by some of the airline personnel. I will never forget being accosted by the sweetest, most delicate looking fragile flower of a gate attendant. She wasn’t happy about the size of my carryon backpack which, was nothing more than a day pack. As we stood there with her trying to take my backpack from me, two people walked right past with expedition size backpacks. She started yelling at them, then called for security to accost them as well. We all went to “the room.” The dreaded room of inquisition. A half hour later, I was granted safe passage along with my backpack. I’m not sure if the gate attendant was more disgusted that she lost the battle or the fact that I asked for her number. She was kinda hot after all.
Now days, when I’m not traveling to one the Deneki Lodges that I work at regularly, I travel with one duffel bag and one daypack. Thats it. My rule of thumb is that if it won’t fit in either of those two pieces of luggage, I do not need it. Often times, I can do a week trip to Andros South with only my waterproof backpack as a carryon and sans the duffel all together. Sun shirts and quick dry pants don’t take up much room. As far as tackle, I can stuff a 7 weight and a 9 weight in one rod tube strapped to the outside of my pack. One reel for each rod, one bonefish fly box, some leaders, tippet and that’s it. Minimal.
Packing for a trip to Rapids Camp Lodge is a little different situation. My advice is to get one of the large airline approved rolling duffles that will accept four piece fly rod tubes and gear in the bottom with a divider for clothes on the top. I have one of these made by Fishpond. It is ruggedly awesome and well thought out. Using that piece along with a backpack, I can travel just about anywhere in the world to fish for a week. If you use full size Spey rods, get a separate travel tube just for them. Its worth the extra baggage fee. The agony of trying to figure out how to stuff a couple of 14’ Spey rods in a duffel safely will break you.
If you follow the less is more mindset while packing, your airport life will certainly be much easier. Nobody wants to go to “the room.” Ever.
Thanks for reading!
Head Guide Rapids Camp Lodge