Fishing and Camping

There are a lot of activities that go along well with fishing, and for me, camping is one of the best. The smell of coffee, pancakes and sausage in the morning is tough to beat, and if I follow it up with a day of fishing I’m a happy man. The smell of a steak grilling on that same pit is the perfect end to the day.

The fall is my favorite time for a fishing and camping trip, and it’s a perfect family outing. The temperatures are perfect, the fishing is hot enough to hold my kids’ attention, and we can add some mountain bikes or a canoe to have as action-packed a weekend as it can get. My daughter plays soccer and my son plays football and we have to pick the weekends in advance; they both get Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day weekends off, which helps them refocus on the remainder of their sports seasons. It’s among the most affordable of vacations.

Before I was married and had kids I looked at camping very differently. Most of the time my buddies and I would find the most remote of areas where not many anglers would go. We’d spend half a day hiking in to a pond or a river and fish in areas that did not get a lot of pressure. Sometimes we’d find trophy bass in small to medium-sized ponds while other times we caught a number of small and gorgeous brook trout. Add a landlocked salmon to the mix and we were off to the races. Black flies and mosquitos were common but we didn’t care. We’d have a weekend out in the middle of nowhere with excellent company, great campfire food, and fun fishing.

Car camping is becoming more popular these days, and a lot of states have camp sites that are either on the water or near the water. There are bathhouses with shower stalls and running water. There isn’t a need to boil water before brushing your teeth, it’s all spring fed. When you’re tight on time or have family members that prefer a degree of creature comforts they’re a perfect way to get outside. Most of them are situated on good stretches of water to fish, and you can walk to them from your tent. Water-front property was never so inexpensive.

Going in the fall also means that most of the bugs are gone and the cooler temperatures resurrect the fishing. Water temps drop into the +/- 55 degree range which means that the fish metabolize one stomach full of food per day. They need to eat, and that makes for an action-packed day with kids. And if the bite isn’t going on in the middle of the day then pull out a canoe or a bike and explore the woods. You’ll be so busy that your kids won’t text their friends or get on Facebook. With no AC adapters in the wall of a tent screen time is reduced while family time is resorted. Fishing and camping is a great way to reconnect with your family, so plan a trip this fall. You’ll be glad that you did.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at