As the seasons change, it’s easy for us at Talus Outdoor Tech to make the smooth transition from sliding on snow to rowing on rivers. Now that the commercial ski season is over, (although we hope to seek out more backcountry turns while the mountains are still white) we’ve spit-shined the boat and we’re ready to hit the water.
This is what I mean by boat. I love the Aire 13ft R-series with an NRS full fishing frame. It’s outfitted with 9ft oars so I can pack the whole thing in a plane or a car. It’s the perfect boat and frame combination for most whitewater and fishing adventures.
So as I continue to take inventory on my gear for two upcoming epic trips on the Smith River and the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River, I thought it might be helpful to other river rats to share my thoughts on some of my favorite stuff. Enjoy!
ColdAvengerPro’s River Gear Picks ’09
Tent: Sierra Designs Alpha 3 Convertible
I love my tent. I can take it anywhere in any weather. I sleep in it on the side of rivers in the summer and at the top of Montana’s Mission Mountains in the wintertime.
Sleeping Bag: Sierra Designs Wild bill 20 This bag is perfect for summer nights on the Middle Fork of the Flathead when you don’t know what to expect from Mother Nature and the River Gods.
Dry Bag: Jack’s Plastic Welding, 4.5 cu/ft Outfitter Dry bag
Fly rod: Winston BIIX 9ft 5wt
A lot of people love to throw littler rods up here, but I love this rod because it’s easy to throw a big bug across the river as well as be delicate with tiny flies.
Reel: Galvan Torque T-5
Looks so good! Oh, and it is good. It’s got a lifetime guarantee, and the drag system is like buttah.
Camp Tables: NRS Roll-A-Table I always float with at least two of them for multi-day trips.
Cooking: Cabela’s 5 Piece Starter Kit Cookware
I use a really simple cooking style on the river. It’s always “good enough for the girls I go with” and no one has ever been disappointed. The key is to stick with open flame instead of a gas stove. This Cabela’s starter kit works great, is pre-seasoned and affordable.
River Meals: Dutch oven cooking is the best. In the Dutchie I like to make chicken Catalina, enchilladas, lasagna and stir fry. Lunch is chicken salad wraps. (Secret ingredient: red grapes and mega-giant tortillas from Food Services of America if you can get your hands on them!) Breakfast is Dutchie cinnamon rolls, Yuppie Scramble, yogurt, fruit and granola and cowboy coffee. Stay tuned to “View From Our Goggles” for detailed recipes. (minus a few long-kept guide secrets)
Misc. Must-Haves: Stream Machine Water Gun, Action Packers and Ammo Cans, Burlap Sacks, Multi Cases of PBR, Gentleman Jack to share.
If you aren’t into your own self-guided adventure, check out a professionally guided trip like the ones at www.glacierraftco.com
Stay Out Fishier!
John B. Sullivan III aka ColdAvengerPro