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 and runs his own review site, TheReviewCo.com.