We love packing what we need and heading into the backcountry for a few days. We also love experiencing wild fish on a pristine stretch of water. One of our memorable personal trips last summer was combing these two passions on a jaunt along the Salmon River in the Mt Hood National Forest. Beginning on the glaciated flanks of Mt Hood, this wild and scenic river carves its way through the Cascade Mountains and stands of old growth forest. A well maintained trail parallels the river for 14 miles, allowing us to camp creek side and fish close by.
The gin-clear water was a refreshing break from the hundred-degree temps of last August. The classic series of runs and pools were a treat to fish. More of a creek than a river, it was perfect size water for our 12-ft Tenkara rod. And even though wet wading was certainly an option, we decided to pack in Patagonia’s new Middle Fork Waders. At just a pound and a half, these full-featured waders stuff to the size of a water bottle. Waders and boots definitely allowed us more time in the water to pursue the native cutthroat and rainbow trout. They also help make room for our sons backcountry construction toys so he could set-up his ‘work site’ while the parents fished.