View Full Version : Flying to flyfish

07-25-2007, 10:20 AM
Ok all you recent air travellers to flyfishing destinations, give me a little help if you would. I am taking a trip to Alaska in September and flying in to Anchorage on a commercial airliner. I seem to have a hard time getting a straight answer from web sites and the expected sources about what kind of fishing stuff is ok for carry-ons. I have a slight paranoia about my luggage being lost and screwing up the first couple days of a relatively short trip to a place I have not been to previously. I would therefore like to carry on as much of my flyfishing stuff as possible and put more reproducible items like clothes in my checked bags. Other that sharp tools and liquids like floatant, what things do they exclude from carry-ons ? Hooks ? Lines and reels? Anything else I haven't thought of that commonly comes in a vest ?

Thanks in advance.


Anne Vitale
07-25-2007, 11:42 AM

I flew into Anchorage from San Francisco last September, right after the ban on large containers of liquids went into effect. Although I had all of my fishing gear in checked baggage, I had a friend who was carrying 6 reels in her carry on. I kid you not, she had 6 fly reels in her carry on. Since the inspector couldn't figure what they were by simply looking at the x-ray image, they asked her to open the bag and show her what was in there. Once they saw that all she had was fishing reels, all fully loaded with line, they let her pass. My guess is that they will be more concerned if you had a bottle of drinking water in there then any fishing gear. But I would play it safe and check in your flies. Especially if you have some big ol' 2/0 salmon flies.


07-30-2007, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the response Anne. I guess I will leave the flies/hooks in checked baggage. Worst case scenario is I have to buy some flies up there until they find my bags. I will hate to buy flies when I have spent so much time tying for this trip, but hopefully they won't lose my bag. I am impressed that your friend has 6 reels. I have been flyfishing for 40 years or so and I don't think I have 6 reels total !


Anne Vitale
07-30-2007, 09:24 AM

My friend is 76 years old and has been fly fishing since she was in her early 20s. So I guess she has had time to accumulate at least 6 reels. However, I spoke to her the other day about bringing all those reels to Alaska and she cleared up a couple of things about that. First of all she didn't have 6 reels, she had 4 reels and two spools. One of the reels was for her her spey rod. The other three reel/spool combinations covered 5 and 8 wt floating and sinking line combinations. On a trip to Alaska where one did not really know what one would run into, I guess it made sense to her to be prepared. God only knows what the TSA agent thought when he saw a bag full of round looking thingies in the X-ray monitor :eek:

I'm off to BC in a couple of weeks and share some of your concerns.[-o< [-o<

Good luck on your trip. More then likely you, your main gear and your flies will get there together. \:D/ ....Anne

07-30-2007, 05:32 PM
I have carried on rods, reels, lines, flies, every place Ive gone. I had trouble coming back from mexico with the flies once. There are so many mixed experiences out there, there really isnt a right answer. I am thinking about fed exing my stuff to florida this fall prior to my arrival.


Adam Grace
07-30-2007, 05:45 PM
Jay is right, there's so many different policies or decisions about ff'ing gear when it comes to air travel, but every time I've traveled (carrying on my rods, reels, and flies) I have had no problems. But shipping your gear to your destination is a great idea, depending on how much it costs. Good idea Jay!

08-03-2007, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the response gentlemen. I had actually considered shipping some mailorder cigars directly up there up there so we did not have to pack them. I had not considered shipping my equipment up , but I suppose that is a posssibility. It is good to know you have had flies in your carryon. Some things I just don't want to take a chance on having to reproduce.