5 Considerations for your Fly-in DIY Adventure

Imagine you and your group on a secluded pristine remote lake with next to no pressure and no one around for hundreds of miles.

There are few things in fishing that are as incredibly fun as venturing forth on a Do It Yourself fly-in outpost camp adventure! Picture it, you and your group on a secluded pristine remote lake with next to no pressure and no sign of civilization for hundreds of kilometres. Just you, the lake, fish, wildlife, and the bugs! Most outpost camps are well equipped enough and anglers simply need to worry about their personal effects, fishing gear, food, and bringing a great attitude. But in the bush, things happen and though the camp may be well equipped, there are a few things anglers could consider packing along “just in case”.

You’re in Their Home

There is nothing quite the deafening silence of being dropped off on your own private secluded outpost camp for a week’s fishing. When the plane’s drone slowly fades over the horizon, the lake and the land come alive in nature's music. Bugs, birds, frogs, and also significantly larger mammals call that lake home. For most animals you’ll encounter in the wilds of Ontario, there shouldn’t be any contact, however, black bears are curious, smart and hungry constantly on the search for food. Guess what? That steak you just cooked for dinner is just called a bear to your camp. Not saying you shouldn’t cook yourself a mean steak, what I mean is, in general, be bear prepared. Bear bells and most importantly a can of bear spray can be of great assistance should you round a corner and surprise a curious bruin. The chances of this happening are very small but having a can of spray in camp may just deter a bear from coming in contact with or becoming a regular visitor.

Water is life

There is little arguing that without water, we’re all in a heap of trouble. Many anglers choose to boil their water upon arrival at their outpost camp to supply the week. Personally, this is what I do, however, I come with a backup plan. Carbon filter technology today allows for the portability of clean drinking water without actually carrying clean drinking water on your person. Portable water filters, ones you can literally fit in your pocket exist and have changed the access to clean drinkable water game for the better. Products such as Lifestraw allow you to literally suck water out of a swamp. Through its filter system, within the straw, what you pull into your mouth is clean, safe drinking water. These systems are perfect if you get lost, can’t get a fire going to boil water or just find yourself having run out of water on a day of fishing.

Flint and Steel

Soggy matches, gasless torch, soaking wet everything – These are familiar situations when you are out adventuring. Not having access to fire during any season in Ontario’s North can present any number of problems including the inability to obtain potable water, not being able to cook your meat, hypothermia or eating raw marshmallows (oh the horror). Prepared anglers carry with them, in a dry bag an old-fashioned flint and steel as a backup when their gear gets soaked or they run out of matches. Shaving the flint with the backside of your knife into your tinder box and then striking a spark into the box is a foolproof way of getting a fire going in a pinch.  Want to take it up a notch? Get a candy tin, go to your clothes dryer filter and pull all that lint your filter has caught and stuff it in your tin. This is one of the most volatile substances which will catch a spark and ignite almost immediately. In an emergency, dryer lint is money!

Satellite phone

This may be the best rental you’ve ever invested in as an adventurous angler – a piece-of-mind device, also known as a sat phone. Things happen on fishing trips, good and bad, and with a satellite phone, you have the peace of mind to have someone handle any situation from civilization, to call for backup, call for help or call in a “we’re okay” every so often. Whether you buy one or rent one for the week you’re away, satellite phones provide a safety net for you and your loved ones back home. Just remember to teach everyone at your party how to use it and of course, tell them where it’s located.

Toilet Paper

One of the more overlooked must-have items in one’s quiver is a few extra rolls of toilet paper. I like to keep one in my backpack and one in my duffle bag- one for fishing and one for camp. You never know when you might run out. Keeping it in a dry bag is of utmost importance. Obviously to keep it dry, but to also keep it away from furry nesting creatures like squirrels and mice. Toilet paper may be an item that you never need to use, however, should the need arrive, you’ll be thanking the lucky stars you had the foresight to include it in your “bag of tricks”.

Stuff happens in the bush; that’s what makes DIY adventures so appealing to many anglers. However, your trip can be made (or broken) in the preparation and packing process – long before you wet a line. Consider these few items to bring along on your next adventure in Ontario’s North country. They just may save the trip!

About Mark Melnyk

Currently, Mark is the host and producer of The New Fly Show. With a passion of fly fishing, the shows goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. 

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