The beauty of back flipping and fly fishing


The car door slams in the trailhead parking lot and the backpack takes off
shouldered. The waist belt clicks in, the shoulder straps are tightened and the sound of earth crunching under each step taken up. The phone immediately returns to airplane mode. The weight of the package is shared, as the mind is also heavy. Going through the checklist, weighing on consciousness, wondering if something has been forgotten. Although there may be uncertainty about missing an essential item, the certainty is that there is some time for a trip to the back country. And the trail that glides through the wilderness, devoid of people, makes every effort and stress of packing worthwhile.

This adventure is brought to us by Air flow. Click here to see the lines that country adventurers can trust.

The day goes by and every bead of sweat pours down your face reminding you of the effort required to keep going. The bird chirps away, the wind sways through the trees, and the cascading stream next to the trail reminds you where you’re going. An alpine lake is in the forecast and the sun’s beating is the first obstacle of doubt about your location. Pack weight is another concern with tracks that do nothing but climb.

A break is made where food is pulled for a needed gas station. of
food always seems to taste better in its homeland. The water filter is dipped into the stream and the water bottle begins to fill with fresh alpine water shared by the thirsty mountain trout.

The steps continue to be taken now as the odometer rolls over with each mile. Climbing more and more as it passes through the hundredths of a mile, rest areas become more easily accessible despite the barren highway that is the trail. Covered in sweat and parched with thirst, the forgotten danger of predators is a distant memory where the focus is now on every step, every breath, and the cold, clear, deep blue of the alpine lake that inspired the Google images.

A ridge in the path shows a break in the ascent where the goal lay just above the hump. Arriving after a breath-taking three-step pace, the false summit of a small trickling lake still points to the path continuing to a final cirque blended in the splendor of treeless granite. Trout are now in place, sporadically rising to just about anything that floats to the surface.

A tempting stop to set up the rod, but a deep breath shouldering the backpack for the last time and the remaining few hundred feet of climbing from the trail makes the final sweat workout in the sun worth it. A deep blue lake, perched high in the mountains, greets you after a dip in the summer sun. Where the ice melt from the long winter provides windows of dry fly action for hungry trout, making the lake look like it’s raining on a cloudless day.

Check out the Ridge 2.0 Universal Taper line, the ideal taper for targeting high alpine trout.

A smile slips across your face and a quick walk to the shore whips your backpack without a care in the world. The rod tube opens, the top compartment of your pack unloads reel, tip and flies waiting to be rigged, and buzzing midges remind you what to tie on.

The slow entry into the nearly frozen lake stings the feet of some young ones
bubbles. The drag of the reel screams as you pull the line to cast and the sound of the line hitting the water almost echoes around the granite, silently waiting for a sound to be sent back to your ears.

A subtle twitch on the fly elicits a quick twitch from the eager trout. The rod bends and the fight of the small trout is fast. A smile and even a laugh tear across your face after all the effort of miles and sweat it took to get to that moment was for a six inch trout that was fooled by a fly nearly 1/5 its size. What makes the fish great is the beauty of its spots, speckled in all the right places and rivaling the beauty of the landscape it lives in.

A quick release from your wet hands allows the fish to swim back and join
others that begin to come in handy in almost every cast. Each fits easily into the measurements of a ruler, but all with a color palette more impressive than any artist who has ever lived.

The sun slowly descends below the horizon as the clock ticks past many school nights. But the alpine splendor on the granite wall that rises into the sky from the lake demands your attention far more than any TV show can keep you hooked. The slow shutter of the camera is the right click of technology for a place like this, not that of the remote, tuning into a show that distracts us from places like this.

A small collection of leftover firewood glows in flames and slowly crackles
wood keeps you company. Trout continue to feed well past daylight with the sound of them leaping out of the water, inspiring casts for the next day. The light pollution from the campfire isn’t nearly as dazzling as the clear night sky almost calls for a night settled outside the tent. Every half hour through the night, the mercury falls as each star shines.

The next day bursts before any desire to get out of the sleeping bag. But the unraveling of the tent is greeted with a dark orange hue, lighting up the granite in the lake’s reflection, revealing an array of trout darting over early bugs buzzing on the surface.

A quick spark of the camp stove brings the water to a boil and the coffee is served in the meantime
gazing at the lake that sparkles brightly every minute the sun rises above the horizon. The breath can be seen with the warmth of the coffee and the frost wrapped around the tent and fly rod slows down the enthusiasm to start your casts. But the solitude of the moment and the sad return to the car and life later in the day ignites even the most reticent to tie a fly.

More and more small trout come to hand with a cast-to-cast rhythm. Each with it
Its own signature move to keep you entertained for the next time, wondering what lies next to the cirque to the nearby valley or even a different range altogether starts the inspiration for the next trip.

The rod is the backbone for the entire operation. The reel is like a backpack, keeping everything organized and out of the way until it’s time to pull up and drop. Rod guides are like the compartments of a backpack. The line is like the path on the way to the lake, guiding you on your way to your cast. And the fly is the golden ticket, the entrance fee and the persuasion to lure whatever lies and waits. Since these are just tools to get to the places that keep you inspired, map Google, read, look at photos and experience it all for yourself, without a soul on the page.

The connection between backpacking and fly fishing is through the solitude of being indoors
nature. Water is the fuel for the engine and the path is the path to your desired location. No need to break the bank and fly across the planet to a far off place. You don’t have to book plane tickets and a lodge to find that fantastic fishing you’ve been dreaming of. Many locations are outside your home or just a few hours drive away. And with a little creativity and a little desire to get away, solitude and tranquility are not far behind.

Thank you Air flow to make this part possible. Click here to learn more about the new Ridetech 2.0 Universal Taperideal line for high country trout fishing.

Article and photo by Sean Jansen, an avid angler and writer based in Bozeman, Montana. Follow along with his adventures at @jansen_journals.

Check out the Backcountry Gear guide below:

Backcountry Fly Fishing Gear Guide





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