We’re close to backcountry trout season here in the West, but we might have to wait a bit longer this summer, given the copious runoff we’re seeing in the region. Nevertheless, wandering off the beaten path—parking at the end of the road and then wearing out some shoe leather—is my favorite kind of trout fishing in the Rockies.
Those lucky enough to live in the shadow of the Appalachians are blessed with some great backcountry fishing, too, in destinations like Great Smoky Mountain and Shenandoah national parks, and the new Katahdin Area Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Those in southern Appalachia can start backcountry fishing in earnest in late February and March, which gives eastern “creek freaks” a leg up and a longer backcountry season.
The video above features angler Maddie Brenneman of New Mexico, a great place to seek out off-the-grid trout (and a place where the fishing starts a bit earlier than it does here in the northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana). Brenneman has her local creeks dialed in, and she gets the point when it comes to chasing backcountry trout. The farther you walk, the better the experience (and, usually, the better the fishing). If it’s been a while since you wandered away from the blacktop, remember what it was like when, wherever you looked, the viewscape was unspoiled and all you could take in was the splendor of backcountry.
Get out there and fish.