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Remote Cayoneering Fly Fishing, Southwest United States

Photo Courtesy of Randy Wiberg






Trout Bum lifestyle, resources, gear and guide services.

Welcome to Trout Bumming. Trout Bumming is an adventure lifestyle involving travel and fly fishing. It is the lure of far away fly fishing locations and the dreaming, preparation and finances required to achieve such an adventure. For the modern day Trout Bum who feels the strange pull to adventure up new rivers, lakes and streams elsewhere, you will be right at home here. We provide advice, resources and gear on how you too can plan adventurous fly fishing trips on a budget. As you dig into our site you will find it filled with useful links for the Trout Bum lifestyle. 


Be warned, the Trout Bumming lifestyle is not for everyone, as it can be all consuming and addictive,  requiring more fly fishing equipment purchases, further travel and the need to touch/photogaph other species of caught fish.  But for those who love to plan adventures themselves, wade new rivers with bigger and more fish, surrounded by amazing nature, you will find a clan of like-minded Trout Bums here. 


 In 1986 John Gierach coined the term “Trout Bum” and introduced his book by the same name, which became a great success and started the use of the term worldwide. A few that have latched on to the term include Trout Bum Diaries, numerous Trout Bum fly shops, guide services, bakeries and blogs. Even the Orvis company jumped into the game creating quality clothing for Trout Bums.


As for the word Trout Bumming I’d like to think I coined the term for fly fishing adventure travel back in 1979,  while living from a motorcycle, fly fishing across the USA for a year. But, I may not have and unknowingly stole it from someone else, and if so I profusely apologize.


So what is Trout Bumming?

As a retired game warden with many years of writing police reports I was always required to answer the following questions:  who, what, when, where and why.  Below perfectly describes the activity of Trout Bumming.



Those participating in Trout Bumming are conservation minded, amazed by all things nature, especially fish, is responsible and ethical, yet struggles with materialism usually related to fly fishing and other outdoor recreational equipment, as well as awesome yet functional 4x4 vehicles, has many cool looking hats for fishing, participates in other closely related outdoor passions and goes through several of the phases listed below. The modern day trout bum is:


  • The child discovering fly fishing usually within the family structure while being dragged along on trips with those who are already practicing the lifestyle knowingly or unknowingly . . . TroutBumming.
  •  The teenager to early 30's guy, relishing in his new independence, eking out any kind of living that takes him to new places to fly fish. During this phase it usually involves living out of a vehicle, tent and bag, relishing the upcoming motel stay and surviving with a camp stove on snack ramen, potatoes, rice and beans. Oh and secretly kills a fish for a dinner every few days, yet feels guilty and saddened by this secret sin by not practicing catch and release continually. But  of course, all of this is done to extend one’s cash flow for gas to the next dreamed trout fishing location . . . TroutBumming
  •  It is the bit older responsible man raising a family many times working a job he hates for those he loves and uses his thin personal precious time to get away once in a while from the hectic busyness of family/job responsibilities, and the never ending depressing bills of life, yet still plans and dreams for those precious planned fly fishing adventures . . . Trout Bumming.
  •  It is the older fellow who has time and usually disposable income to plan extended Trout Bumming adventures to places he always dreamed about. He is still obsessed with cool looking fishing hats although now they are usually wide brimmed to prevent sun damage, and often he has progressed into the “giving back stage” which propels him to share his passion of the Trout Bumming Lifestyle with others. Sharing the lifestyle gives him great pleasure, all the while relating to many of the above observations, EXCEPT he never kills a fish intentionally and so does not struggle with the guilt of doing so himself any longer. Yet does struggle with his attitudes towards those who commit such horrific sin, especially bait fishermen . . . Trout Bumming.



Trout Bumming is an adventure lifestyle involving travel and fly fishing on local waterways but more often the lure of faraway fly fishing locations and the dreaming, preparation and finances required to achieve such an adventure . . . Trout Bumming.



The pursuit of Trout Bumming is often all consuming within one’s mind, stealing one away from moments at work for a stare at a new fly reel on the work computer, or glances on a smart phone checking out a fly fishing blog post that just arrived, and it involves the purchase of new or needed, obliviously justified fly rods and related equipment, the collection of worn out, yellow stickied fly fishing catalogs, bookmarked websites and blogs, maps and travel guides, hiring a fishing guides reserch in the targeted area, hidden bank accounts intended for financial support, carefully buried backyard cash stashes, and the reoccurring dreams that one can’t get out of his head for that intended upcoming Trout Bumming adventure . . .Trout Bumming.



It involves all parts of the USA, but often the western states and sometimes other friendly nations. But,  always depends on one’s income level or the ability to stash and save or the willingness to live as close to a bum’s lifestyle all the while pursuing the intend goal of adventure fly fishing travel . . .Trout Bumming.



The why remains a mystery that is hard to define. It reverts back to the dawn of time where one wondered what was over the next hill, across the flat world ocean, the call to the mountain man to venture into unknown unexplored places in the early 1800s, the “go west young man” after the Civil War and finally to the modern day fly-fisherman, feeling the strange pull to adventure up new rivers, lakes and streams elsewhere. We call all of this . . . Trout Bumming.


For those who identify themselves with the activity of Trout Bumming, we have created a line of logoed gear and clothing that you may find useful. It will further identify your crazy obsession to others who will relate or may indeed look down on you for your Trout Bumming obsession.




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