​5 Ways to Prepare to Fly Fish with Your Dog

5 Ways to Prepare to Fly Fish with Your Dog

Posted by Cameron Kinney on 2nd September 2018

Fly fishing is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy a day on the river with
your pup. You get the combination of nature, some relaxation, and the chance
for your pup to play in the water! It isn’t always an easy trip to plan, so we
wanted to give you a few helpful tips that will help you prepare for a fun and
stress-free experience.

Fly fishing is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy a day on the river with
your pup. You get the combination of nature, some relaxation, and the chance
for your pup to play in the water! It isn’t always an easy trip to plan, so we
wanted to give you a few helpful tips that will help you prepare for a fun and
stress-free experience:

1. First
Things First: Plan Ahead

No matter where you are going fly fishing, it is
important to make sure that you cover all your bases for the day. This goes for
your travel buddy’s supplies as well. Be sure to consider the weather, where
you are going, and how much water you’ll need. Being on the river can be cool
and relaxing, but the sun can become more intense than you think, so it’s
important to make sure that you have more than enough water for the day! I also
make sure to pack Abe’s Travel Towel and Travel Shower so I don’t have to drive back home with a wet, muddy, or stinky
dog.

2. Safety First

This is an elementary school classic line, but
it applies here as well. Depending on where you’re going fishing, you might run
into the combination of bugs, adverse weather conditions, thick brush, uneven
surfaces, slippery rocks and more! Don’t let this scare you away, but make sure
to have a good first aid kit handy for both you and your pup. Abe and I haven’t ever run into
any issues, but I don’t want to be in a pickle if something ever happens!



When we get close to the river, I always put Abe in a life jacket as
well. Even though he is a strong swimmer, the combination of algae-covered
rocks and a strong current provide good enough reason to make sure he’s safe. 

3. Know
Your Boundaries (and The Rules)

One of the things you’ll want to be sure to do
before heading out for the day is make yourself aware of the pet policies where
you’re fishing. Being respectful of the law is important, and nobody wants to
end up with a fine. Once you’ve confirmed your four-legged friend is welcome,
the next recommendation splits depending on the off-leash nature of your pup.



    • If your doggo is an expert in obedience and tends to
      adventure with you off-leash, it is always good to be aware of your
      surroundings and what may distract him/her from staying nearby. Is there a
      public road, a strong current, or deep pool in the area? For me and Abe,
      we try to find a portion of the river where the current isn’t too strong,
      and we’re away from the distractions that could cause issues. From there,
      I tell myself where I feel comfortable with Abe being, and set that as our
      boundary for the afternoon. I always keep an eye on Abe to make sure he
      stays nearby. I always keep Abe in his Journey harness when we are out on any sort of adventure, just
      in case I need to pick him up out of the water or hang on to him while cars
      or other fishermen pass by.

  • If your pup tends to wander, you may choose to put him
    or her on a leash or tether. With that in mind, this may seem obvious, but
    make sure to get them set up someplace in the shade, and where they can
    see you, and you can see them. For those times where the river is a bit
    crowded, the Quantum leash has
    been amazing. Its adjustability and ease of use makes setting things up a
    cinch.

4. Be
Conscious of Others

The river is a shared resource, and some people
don’t appreciate dogs on the river, which is okay. Even if your pup is the
world’s best, be mindful of those around you. Fly fishing is an art form. The
fish are smarter than you think, and they can scare easily. Other fishermen and
women may not appreciate your pup coming up to visit while they are hunting for
the big one. If possible, give others the space they need.

5. Have
Fun!

I know a lot of these tips sound cautionary but
following them will help ensure you and your pup have the best experience
fishing. Abe and I do a little work ahead of time which ensures that we can
have a lot of fun throughout the day.

Perhaps Abe’s favorite part of a day on the
river is when we take breaks from fishing to play fetch or just walk around for
a bit. One of my favorite things to do when I catch a fish is to let Abe get a
good sniff. It is great to see his face when he meets the fish, he’s so
curious! Even if we don’t catch anything, it’s still a day spent outside,
enjoying nature with my fishing buddy - what could be better?

All in all, it is hard to beat a good day out
fly fishing, but it’s even harder to beat a day fly fishing with man’s best
friend. Make sure you give it a try some day, and I bet you’ll be back for
more.  

Cameron Kinney is the Director of Customer Success for USEED, but in his spare time he and his dog Abe are freelance gear, beer, and event reviewers based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He guest writes on UpaDowna.org.

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