Fly Fishing Air Travel 101

So you’re hopping on a big jet plane headed to a new, exciting fishing location! Regardless of your destination, be it that you’re sneaking a few fishing hours while on a family vacation or traveling on a true fly fishing adventure, you’re going to need to bring your fly fishing gear with you. Traveling with fly fishing gear can be easy as long as you follow a few simple rules:

Carry Your Fly Rod, Reel, and Essentials Onto the Plane

Especially if you are traveling specifically to fish, the last thing you want to happen is for your luggage to get lost or delayed with all your gear in it. The best way to prevent this is by carrying your rod tube, a reel, a box of flies and some rigging material on the plane with you, that way you know it will make it to your final destination with you. Throw any back up gear or gear you can do without in your checked bag because you can always re-wear or wash clothes, you can’t fish without a rod!

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Do Your Research

Prepping for any trip takes a lot of research regardless of the destination or activities. You should do some basic research on the gear you will need to fish at your destination. What size flies and leaders are recommended? Are there fishing spots walking distance from where you’re staying? And most importantly, is there a fly shop you can run to for advice if you’re being frustrated by the fish? All of these are important questions to consider and research before you pack your bags and head to the airport, so you can go into your trip well informed and ready to make the most of the fishing time you will have on this adventure!

Pack Just the Bare Essential Flies and Leaders

Save weight in your bag by packing just the essential gear you need for your fishing escapades. A handful of leaders and a simple range of tippets will allow you to keep those leaders going throughout the whole trip. We recommend keeping all that organized with a simple leader wallet in your pack. Also, try to minimize the number of flies you bring (as best you can). We know its easy to get carried away and bring hundreds of flies, just in case you run into something interesting. Instead, try to bring along just 2 fly boxes with 2-3 of patterns you have confidence in and have researched.

Make a List and Check It Twice

Prepping for a trip can be chaotic, no matter the length or intensity of the trip. One of the best things my father passed down to me regarding trip preparation was to create a packing list and stick to it. Not only will it help you keep your gear organized but it is a quick reference for you to check right before you walk out the door to head to the airport because you don’t want to get to your destination and realize you left your fly reel or fly boxes sitting on your desk.

Bring a Back-Up Rod

Trust us nothing is worse than having your fly rod break on day 2 of a 3 day fly fishing trip, that’s why we recommend bringing a spare rod, just in case something happens so you don’t lose out on fishing days while you wait for that rod to be repaired. Instead of checking this rod, tuck it in your checked bag just in case you, or your traveling companion needs it.

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Dad, Thanks for Everything.

5 thoughts on “Fly Fishing Air Travel 101

  1. Trip to the Wild June 15, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Have you every had a problem with airport security confiscating your hooks because they thought it was sharp and dangerous?

    • Dan Zazworsky June 17, 2019 / 4:26 am

      While that thought has passed my mind every time I have flown with them, I have only ever been asked what I was going to be fishing for.

      -Dan

      • Trip to the Wild June 17, 2019 / 9:47 pm

        It’s always nice to have a fellow fishermen check your bag.

  2. Gary D June 17, 2019 / 12:18 pm

    I have Able pliers that I use. Have you carried them on a plane or packed them in your bag?

    • Dan Zazworsky June 17, 2019 / 3:58 pm

      I have done both actually and have had 0 problems. The only thing the airlines seem to have an issue with is knives, which you should always put in your checked bag if you are bringing one along! Other than that, I would just check their policies and TSA guidelines. – Dan

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