Emergency Fishing Kit: What should it be?

roadside assistance

Tim Romano

Yesterday looked like it was going to be the first true day of spring skiing for myself and Ellie, my wife. We had driven two hours up to Vail, Colorado had spent the night and had gotten up early to get first tracks in the new snow. After three runs Ellie felt terribly ill and so nauseated that she couldn't ski anymore. We're figuring she came down with a very quick onset of stomach flu.

What you ask, does this have to do with fishing? As we were walking back to the car we walked right over Gore creek. The water was clear, there was very little ice and there were large trout sipping dry flies right in town. I quickly inventoried everything we had in the car. Cooler of food? Check. Change of clothes? Check. Ski equipment? Check. Fly rod or reel? Nope.

I decided on the way home that starting today I'm going to keep an "emergency" rod and reel in the trunk permanently. Ellie could have gone back, gotten in bed and I could have salvaged the day casting dry flies at rising fish.

My question to you is what does the emergency stash consist of? It has to be something big enough for a battle, but small enough to have fun on most species. What weight rod and what small assortment of flies should I be keeping in my emergency kit?

TR