What to Bring on a Float Trip Day

When getting ready for a float day, you need to approach it like you’re preparing to spend an entire day out in the wilderness. And even though it may be warm and sunny to start the day, in most places where float trips take place, the weather can shift dramatically. Anglers need to be ready for just about anything when doing a day float on the river.

  1. Fly Rod and Reel with backing and floating fly line.  9 foot, 5 and 6 weights are the standard for most trout destinations where float trips are offered.  When conditions allow, 3 and 4 weight rods are recommended for experienced anglers who enjoy smaller, more technical dry fly fishing. 
  2. Good quality rain gear   This is the number one item and is considered a must have. Not only will a good raincoat keep you dry but it will also keep you warm.
  1. Medications  Tylenol or Advil if you have back issues or sore knees. If allergic to wasps and bees, an Epipen should be in your pack where its easy to access. 
  2. Extra Layer   An extra long sleeve shirt and a lightweight Patagonia puff jacket are always the first things that go into my pack for a float trip. Hopefully it stays at the bottom of your day pack and you don’t ever see it until the day is over and you are unpacking from the day.
  3. Polarized Sunglasses   Polarized shades let you see on the water and will also protect your eyes from poor casts.
  4. Waders   Good quality breathable waders will not only keep you dry but also warm. For shoulder season trips in the spring and fall, waders are essential to your comfort and enjoyment.   

7. Boots   Rubber soled wading boots. No studs or cleated boots as they rip up the drift boat.

8. Flies and Tippet   Bring some of each, especially if you like to tie flies. But be prepared to use the guides’ flies and tippet as most guides know exactly what works and when, and they will have what is needed for the body of water you’re floating that day.

9. Hat   Keeps the sun off your head and face.

10. Gloves   A shoulder season addition to any day pack.

11. Sunscreen   Minimum of 30 SPF and probably better with 50. Make sure it is waterproof. The sun can really fry you in canyons and the reflection and glare from the water magnify the suns rays, even if you don’t feel it.

12. Fishing License   Make sure your fishing license is somewhere in your pack or waders where its easily accessible.

13. Bug Spray   In most cases you won’t need it when on the water but you just never know.

14. Camera   Remember to bring a camera or your iPhone. It’s always when you don’t that a trophy fish makes an appearance.