For those taking fishing tours with Killgore Adventures, we’ll provide all of the gear you would need during our multi-day fishing expeditions. But if you’re backpacking into Hells Canyon and still want to fish, you’ll need to change your approach. You’ll need to pack lighter fishing gear, and you’ll want to know what kind of fish you’ll be going after, and bring the right fly with you. To make the most of your Hells Canyon backcountry fishing adventure, we’ll outline some of the basics for you to get to know.

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Unlike a simple river boat fishing trip on our jet boats, backcountry fishing requires a little more preparation. You’ll want to be prepared for a wider variety of temperatures and climate conditions. You’ll have to hike in from a trailhead or take advantage of our jet-up services to reach the start of your hike. It’s a good idea to practice your backpacking and hiking basics, and to hike in with comfy boots, and bringing enough layers to stay warm and dry. In addition to your fishing gear, you’ll want to pack enough supplies to last the entirety of your backcountry trip, be it three hours or three days. Make sure you have some sort of water filtration system, be it a filter or chemical treatment option. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit nearby and know how to use it. Finally, you’ll want to have several detailed maps and a reliable compass with you to ensure you make it to your backcountry fishing spot.

Get To Know The Backcountry Fish

Much like city and country folk, fish in the backcountry are very different from those found in your local fishing spots. They might still be trout, but these trout are not as well-fed as those floating through your town. You’ll want to bring larger flies that are more enticing to hungry fish. If you’re going after a particular kind of fish, like steelhead, or salmon, you’ll want to connect with a local bait shop before you head out. They’ll offer you insights into what kind of line and flies you should be using for the most success.

The fish in the backcountry are a little more cautious than other fish. They’re always being preyed upon by predators like larger fish, birds of prey, bears, and of course other anglers. To ensure their survival, these fish will likely spend more time in the reeds, in the undercurrents of the bank, in eddies, or at the bottom of the river itself. They’ll recognize when you draw near, so it’s important to mask your presence.

  • Stay away from the water’s edge, six feet should do it. Moving close near the water’s edge creates vibrations that can scare your catch away.
  • Face the sun while you fish so that your shadow doesn’t hit the water and scare the fish into hiding.
  • Don’t be afraid to move from place to place along the water’s edge. One spot might be a bust, but a few feet up the bank might yield great results.

Stay Tuned For More

Backcountry fishing is a nuanced take on an already complex experience but comes with rewards that simply cannot be found anywhere else. In our next post, we’ll cover a few more basics you’ll need to learn to make the most of your backcountry fishing experience. If you’re looking for an amazing fishing experience like none other, it’s time to book your riverboat fishing adventure in Hells Canyon with Killgore Adventures! Pursue salmon, steelhead, trout, and bass up and down some of the most spectacular fishing waters in the United States. Plus, you can even pursue the ancient leviathans that troll the depths of Hells Canyon; the sturgeon! Sign up today!