Some of the best things that happen in life aren’t planned to a T, or happen simply because you are in the right place at the right time. The best fly fishing trip of my life occurred on a spring break trip that two buddies and I threw together the week before we left (but that’s a story for another time). The memories that we made on that fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants trip are stories that to this day are still brought up after 4-6 beers together. To borrow an old cliche, “Its not the destination, but the journey along the way” that makes a fishing trip great. So here are a few reasons why sometimes it’s best to say screw it and jump in head first into a last-minute, loosely planned fly fishing trip!
Flying Blind is Just More Fun
Just like how opening wrapped gifts is more fun than one that isn’t wrapped, when you’re flying blind, anything cool that happens is waaay cooler simply because you didn’t know it was going to happen. Its all about the surprise and the anticipation of what could happen, the next fishing spot you hit could be a honey hole, filled to the brim with big fish, or a dive bbq joint that you find on the side of a country road, each discovery along the way makes the journey so much sweeter.
The best and worst thing about any unexpected trip is just that, it’s unexpected. With little time to get pumped up for the trip and research fisheries, any fish that you catch is worth celebrating, whether its an 8-inch native brook trout in an unnamed mountain brook or a 24-inch meat eating brown trout. On our trip along the Appalachian, we camped in mostly National Forests and National Parks (#PublicLandsProud amiright?), which can be a crapshoot, you can either be packed into a large campsite with loud neighbors, or find yourself tucked into a valley with no one in sight, its all part of the fun!
You Meet Remarkable People Along the Way
When you’re traveling, you get the benefit of stopping and checking out any location you want, whether its a dive bar in a one-horse town or a bbq shack along a highway, you never know who you will meet along the way. You will meet all sorts of people on the water and at the local watering hole, find new spots to fish, and/or new people to fish with, it’s always a learning experience when you go for it!
It’s a Bonding Experience
No matter what goes down on the journey, one thing is almost guaranteed, you will have a special bond with the fishing buddies you take this trip with. Getting stuck in sticky situations, camping together, crushing celebratory beverages, it all will result in bonding you with your fishing friends for life.
At the end of the day, short-notice trips are an adventure. They’re about as close to exploratory fishing as you can get without helicoptering into Kamchatka or fishing an unnamed atoll in the South Pacific. To you and your fellow adventurers, you are venturing into the fly fishing unknown, into a new fishery with its own intricacies, nuances, and secrets, figuring out the new water is half of the fun!
You Get to Test Your Fly Fishing Skills
Pushing your boundaries is something that many talk about but few get to practice. Flying blindly into a new fishery will put your fly fishing knowledge and skills to the test. It will force you to learn to read new water, watch fish behavior and adapt. Having to adapt and overcome fishing obstacles will pay huge dividends when you return to your home waters, maybe you’ve learned a new way to fish a certain fly, or find a new approach to the way you fish, you can take the skills and tactics you learn and apply them directly to how you fish back home.
At the end of the trip, you will be glad you decided to jump into the unknown and pursue the tug we all dream about. Friendships will be forged, new skills learned and stories will be told for years to come about the time you decided to say “Are you guys silly? I’m still gonna send it!”
Make sure you are ready at all times for an impromptu trip of the lifetime by signing up for a Postfly Box subscription and keep your fly fishing kit ready for anything!
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!