Summer means crowds and hot days in the popular river valleys. Why fight the crowds when you can pull out some maps and get busy exploring the backcountry. You can have streams and lakes to yourself with easy, willing trout. Here's our process for hitting the backcountry.
Do Your Research
Start by choosing a mountain range then narrow it down to a specific area. Take advantage of the internet and start gathering information about the lakes, streams and fish. If no info is available, that's just fine. You might stumble onto a real gem and have a secret fishery. Plan a route that you can handle physically and get your pack ready.
Build a Fly Box
Packing light means leaving most of your boxes at home. Build a single box for your trips with a variety of flies. Stock the box with pheasant tails, prince nymphs, humpy's, stimulators, ants, hoppers and buggers. Just bring your confidence flies and you'll be set.
Keep your pack light so you can cover more ground. A sleeping bag, lightweight tent, first aid kit and dry food is all you need. You can bring more stuff for short trips but we like to keep it simple. Leave the stove and pots behind and bring sandwiches and energy bars.