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Fly Fishing and Backpacking the Bob

The Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Those of use who have the good fortune of living in the West might take for granted the public lands at our doorsteps—we literally have millions of acres of American lands spread out before us that offer some of the best fishing and hunting on the planet.

And a lot of that acreage is designated as wilderness, which means it’s largely untrammeled by man and generally left to governed by the laws of nature. That doesn’t mean we can’t visit and partake of the wilderness experience, but it does mean that once we choose to do so, we have to play by some different rules.

The guys at Backyard Angling spent a few days last summer fishing perhaps the Lower 48’s premiere wilderness area, at least where fishing is concerned. They hiked several miles into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in northwest Montana and chased cutthroats and whitefish well off the beaten path.

While they didn’t hammer any really big west slope cutthroats, they enjoyed the wilderness area for all it had to offer—the short film above chronicles the trip, and it’s fun to see summer in the Bob as winter grips the Rockies today.

It’s a charming little film—nothing fancy. But it’s a good reminder that American public lands are out there waiting for folks to come experience what makes them unique. It’s not so much about the fishing, or the hiking or the camping … it’s more about the conglomerate of “all of the above,” mashed together into a complete experience. An American experience.

Our public lands are our nation’s true national treasure—and they need more advocates like the guys who shot this little film. They’re not making more wild places, and the more people we have to stand up to defend them, the better.