Guide Confessions: What to Pack for Your Fly-Fishing Adventure

It’s probably the one decision about this trip that takes the most time. I’m not going to go into the minutia on this — our website does that — but I will supply some basic guidelines that will give you confidence in your apparel and equipment selections.

Comfortable Clothes. First and foremost—your boots, waders, base layers and jackets must be comfortable. You’re going to live in this gear for 10-12 hours a day, every day for a week. So make certain these core elements don’t leak, and that they fit properly and comfortably. It will make all the difference in your trip.

Waterproof Gear. If you’re coming in August, chances are good it’s going to rain. So make sure your waterproof shell is actually waterproof. Also, just about everyone brings a daypack to carry cameras, sunglasses, beverages and hats. Folks, get a daypack that is waterproof. Simms makes a great one that is small, compact and completely waterproof. When it’s raining, and we’re drifting in the river with water collecting in the bottom of the boat, a waterproof daypack is worth every penny. Trust me on this one.

Fishing Equipment. We like 6 and 8 weight fly rods. You’ll need the 6 weight rod for the beefy rainbows you’re gonna catch. They’re also ideal for roll casts and easy line mends. A medium fast fly rod in an 8, or even 9, is ideal for the salmon you’re going to catch. But if you don’t have these rods, don’t worry; we do! Alaska Rainbow Lodge is an exclusive Sage Authorized Outfitter. Our equipment is stellar stuff for these waters, and if you’re spin casting, we have every piece of gear you’ll ever need. Your guide will match the hatch with dry flies or nymphs, but if you want to bring your own, go to our website for pattern and size recommendations.

Around the Lodge. Here’s my recommendation: dress comfortably. This is a five-star lodge, but the dress every evening is very, very casual. The truth is, people tend to over-pack on these trips. And they end up wearing about half of what they bring.

Luggage. Another reason not to over-pack — you and your gear have to fit on our floatplanes. We ask that you keep your luggage to two medium-sized duffel bags. So choose wisely.

I hope this helps you when you’re planning what to pack and how much to pack. If you ever have any questions, please call the lodge.

Thanks! See you in AK!