Time on the road is something no angler can avoid. While the idea of driving four hours just to get to a fishing spot sounds crazy to a lot of people, I’ve learned to really enjoy these road trips. It usually means cramming into a car with some of your best buddies and more than likely at least a few dogs. When you are stuck in the car with some of your closest friends for long periods of time, it is inevitable that there will be a ton of laughs. There will always be the “Sleeper” who can’t keep eyes open that everyone else messes with, at some point in time there will be times where you are forced to listen to whatever the 1 or 2 radio stations has on usually resulting in impromptu car karaoke of a top 40 hit anywhere from the 1960’s to Present day. If the idea of myself singing a random Dixie Chicks or Def Leppard song can’t make you laugh then I’m not sure what will. While we all really are in the car for one reason, to get to the water, there are a few things from dive restaurants along the way to gear that will make your life easier in the process. Here are a few things I think are very important when preparing to master the Art of the Road Trip.
Restaurants Along the Way- My first essential to perfecting the road trip has nothing to do with gear. On these road trips, there is no way to avoid getting hungry and needing to fill up with gas. If you don’t already, I suggest you start taking advantage of your surroundings and try some new restaurants along the way. It’s about a 99 percent chance that if you stop for food in a Colorado mountain town it is going to be really good. From breakfast joints, to burger stands, breweries and BBQ joints, you really can’t go wrong. My buddies and I have found our favorites along just about every river drainage in Colorado and trust me, you will begin looking forward to meals from these places along the way that will take your mind off the long drives.
Yeti Ramblers- If it’s the 18 oz., the 36 oz. or the 64 oz. these things are a must. Whether you want to keep coffee hot, water cold, fill one up with some small town green chili to go, Yeti Ramblers just make life easier on the road.
Gear Bags- If any of you are like me, then you have learned this lesson the hard way. There is always going to be someone who forgets something on a trip. Whether it’s waders, wading boots, a rain jacket it always happens and chances are you are going to be stuck suffering because you don’t want to be the one who everyone else goes out of the way for on the trip. A good road trip gear bag is the answer to that problem. Get into a habit of packing everything you, even if it means creating a fishing trip checklist that you go through prior to hitting the road. Having a system with a good gear bag will keep you organized and eliminate you as the forgetful one. The gear bag I personally use is Fishpond Cimarron Wader/Duffel Bag. This bag has tons of room, with a separate zipper compartment for your waders and boots.
Various Fly Rod and Reel Setups- Who knows where the road might take you. There are always unexpected events that happen on these road trips. There may be a small creek along the way that you never expected to fish, a camp spot at a new lake or an accident might happen where a rod might break. These are all pretty normal type of things that happen along the way so be prepared for any type of fishing situation you can think of. When I hit the road I always have, my 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 weight rods ready to go. You might not have to always bring 5 fly rods, but it is nice to have the versatility to be ready for whatever the road throws at you.