Who doesn’t love the peace a river brings, the freshness of the outdoors, and the gentle quiet that you can only find in backcountry areas? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy all that nature offers to the dedicated fly fisherman. With all the excitement of what swims in the depths, you might forget to consider what prowls the earth along with you. Bears, mountain lions, and wolves can pose serious risk to the fly fisherman who is going solo on his latest trip. Before stepping into your waders, consider carrying a revolver with you in defense of predatory animals. Because when it’s just you vs. a wild animal, you need a level playing field. You’re in their territory and your visit may not be so welcome in their eyes. Fending off a vicious brown bear with only a fly rod just isn’t going to do you any good.

Hemingway packed heat into Horton's Creek.

Hemingway packed heat back in the day. Thank you Chris Struble for the photo.

Assuming you’ve taken the necessary steps to completing your state’s requirements for a concealed-carry permit, shop around for a hefty-caliber revolver—the larger the better. It is recommended that calibers .44 Magnum and up are best suited to drive a bullet through thick, furry hides. Once you’ve selected your weapon of choice, check out a chest holster that not only securely holds your revolver but also accommodates for wear inside your waders.
If you’re unaccustomed to drawing a revolver from a holster, find your nearest gun range and practice drawing until you are comfortable. While there, improve your aim. Remember that no visit to the range is ever wasted as long as you take the time to hone your skills.
Before setting out on your next fly-fishing adventure, don’t forget to consult your Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations in regards to firearms and always keep your concealed-carry permit close by. No one is ever really alone in nature. Fly fishermen may only be after fish, but there may come a time when sharp-toothed predators are after you.

Contributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s.

Thank you Laura for your contribution. Look for more from her in the future.