I still fish alone in some pretty bad mountain gorges by myself although my old “rock hopping” days are limited and jumping several feet from one boulder to another takes second and third thoughts. Many of these places take 2-3 miles of strenuous hiking / descent before the fly is cast.
A police whistle, flashlight, extra sweatshirt, rain jacket, and a dab of survival food is most always present.
My wife has been in most every “bad” place I go into. When I leave, she either knows exactly where I am or is given the name of a close fishing friend that does.
There was a Morganton fellow in the early 1960’s that fell in Linville Gorge and broke BOTH LEGS ! He was solo. It was 3 days until he was rescued. He did survive and I met him 2 years after the incident. That is not my idea of fun !
Going solo can be right peaceful. You are on your own clock and pace. Sit down and take a nap on a rock or stop, take some wildflower photos, or just sit and absorb moments in front of nature’s offerings.
Although I am not ready to be fish food yet, at least if I croak in one of those beautiful places, it is where I want to be.
One thought on “Fly Fishing Solo”
Stumbled on these today and after reading several of your tips felt compelled to comment. First it appears we are the same age (8 in 1957.)
I’m probably a little older as I was born in Feb. 1949. I mention this mainly because I have found that my opinions on certain subjects have a direct correlation to my age. Fly fishing solo being a perfect example.
I honestly prefer fishing solo for several reasons.
Not having any fishing buddies my age, I end up fishing with guys at least 20 years younger with much less experience, who freely admit that they always pick up a trick or two when on the stream with me.
Thats fine and I enjoy sharing any knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. But I find myself feeling more like a guide and not really concentrating on fishing myself. (I know you can relate to that.)
The other issue I have is quite honestly these younger guys I fish with can’t keep up with me. Not much interest in hiking in to less pressured water and after a couple hours they are ready for a break.
I live in Michigan and do a lot of night fishing. I have found it allmost impossible to night fish effectively with these guys. Now I enjoy going out with a buddy or two but i love going out at night by myself. No pressure to quit early, no flashlights suddenly lighting up the stream, and when alone I tend not to fish those holes a quick hike down the trail from the campground.
So that brings me to the point of age. My wife is always nervous when I take off alone. I typically camp for 3 or 4 days in primitive less frequented spots and she knows damn well I’ll be fishing a stretch off the beaten path until 2 or 3 and then walking out alone.
What drove me to comment was how you ended your piece. I dont know how many times I’ve said the same thing. If its my time to go then I guess they will find me sitting on the bank leaning up against an old cedar with my fly rod across my lap and a smile on my face.
Thanks for your insights and dedication to the sport.