Retro Blog Post Saturday February 21st 2009

Top 10 Fly Fishing Rides of all Time

Ed Note: A blog post written by Squeeky in February 2009. I like this one. Still pertinent today 8 years later. Some spelling errors, per usual. Enjoy this for what it’s worth!

Just one fella’s take on the best fishing vehicles of all time. Everybody will have their own opinions on this, but will agree on the criteria. The primary requirement is will it hold a fly rod within the vehicle. This narrows the selections greatly, because the interior must accommodate a 9 foot long rod. You can of course break the rod in half, but true trout bums will scoff at this additional and unneccessary task. Trout fishing folks are not opposed to bunking down in the back of their ride, so a large boat like vehicle is dual purpose. Having a ton of room inside is a plus. Coolers, gear bags, rods, fly boxes, piles of technical clothing, and scattered bags of beef jerky, empty beer cans, and spilled McDonalds fries. The list could be much longer, but ten should suffice. Here’s my list.

  1. Late model Suburban. I know it’s not old, but is the best fishing ride of all time, and it might as well be new, so it runs most of the time. A no brainer, large, 4WD, A/C, heated seats, DVD player for killing time in between hatches, leather does not absorb river water from your waders, and put many strung up rods in and still have room for the dog. Pro: Perfect rig. Con: Car payments.
  2. Subaru Outback. Hurts me to say this, but I did own one, as it is kind of the beginner Suburban. It gets great mileage, all wheel drive, runs forever. Enough room to have rods in it, although they rest on the dash. All Subaru’s qualify and will not let you down. Pro: Always runs. Con: Junior league.
  3. Early 80’s land yacht station wagon. Like the Crown Vic, Country Squire, any American wagon like your mom used to drive. Bombproof car, really cool with drift boat behind it. Find the wood panelled version, that’s the best one! Pro: Acres of room. Con: Carry a gas credit card
  4. Horse. When you trot on up to the bar, you will be the coolest guy in town. Old west style, tie off to the hitching post and roll on in to swoop up the river cowgirls. Pro: Eats grass. Con: Poops
  5. 68 Dodge A100 Sportsmen Van. Super cool style that was unfortunately left behind in the 70’s. Full wrap window somewhat curved, but with clean lines, barn doors in the back, 3 speed maunual on the tree, and bench seats for your fishing crew. Pro: Very cool. Con: No parts brother.
  6. Any $1000 mini van. Cannot deny this ride. Cheap to run, automatic so you can stare at the river while driving, sliding doors, you can find parts everywhere, oxidized paint always included, am/fm tape deck. Pro:If it breaks down, leave by side of road. Con: Your mom wants her mini van back.
  7. Honda Trail 90. This may qualify for the secondary fishing vehicle, perfect addition to the A100 Sportsmen Van, and awful pragmatic. Rig a rod holder, a basket for the Budweiser 6 pack, and beep the horn while flipping off bait flingers. Pro: Gas sipper. Con: Highway drives are a bitch.
  8. 90’s VW Syncro Westfalia. This is the 4WD version produced for a short time. Pop-top, hook-ups for water, power, heat, stove, toilet, sound system of your choice, awning for shade, it is home on the river. The trout hunters dream vehicle with lots of room and all the ammenities. Pro: Has everything. Con: Still really expensive.
  9. 64 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. A fine vehicle in its own right, huge engine, constructed of Pittsburg’s best steel, as comfortable as cars come, big enough to house your entire quiver of fly rods, a trunk large enough to set up a tent in, or put your sleeping bag on the dance floor sized hood. Has to have a hitch towing a classic wood drift boat. A plus if the color of the car and boat match. Pro: You will atract fly fishing chicks with a Cadillac. Con: With all the groupies, who has time for fishing?
  10. The truth is any vehicle that gets you to the stream is the right ride. As fishermen we seem to adapt to many situations and even a Geo Metro will suffice. Who cares if fly rods we use are longer than the entire car. Pro: You already own it. Con: If it is a Geo, your buddies will never let it go!

Vehicles that will never make the list…

  1. Hummer H3. This is the beginner’s Humvee. Officially known to trout guides as the Bummer. “Dude, how much did you have to pay for that Bummer?”
  2. Chrysler PT Cruiser. I’ve never liked that car, just looks silly to me. A bad idea pursued through production. A strong candidate for “group think,” with nobody speaking up at design meetings and saying…”Are you people crazy, that is not an attractive car!” I call people that drive them PT Losers.
  3. VW Bug. Cute, efficient, terrible trout ride.
  4. Bicycle. Just not practical. Have you ever had the displeasure of peddaling uphill into the perpetual wind present on any trout stream?
  5. Late model Volvo’s. Keep that at home with soccer mom. Bad joke…Q: Do you know the difference between a porcupine and a Volvo owner? A: The porcupine has the pricks on the outside.
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  • Honda Pilot. Fits even 10Ft rods, okay they rest on the dash, but they are in there and in one piece! Lots of room for cooler and gear for all four seasons you will encounter in a week long Montana fishing expedition. Pretty much bullet proof performance, well stay on the well defined two track and carry a saw for tree removal. Not bad on the gas mileage, more money to spend on extra rods, reels, fly lines and even food. With the gas savings you could even tip the guide and buy them a beer.
    Cons!? Yes, there are cons. Kids will automatically jump in your vehicle thinking it’s their Mom picking them up from soccer practice. Your friends with trucks will call you names, but will most likely toss you a beer to heal your bruised ego.
    Great post. See you in the paved lot.

  • Richard Cook
    June 7, 2017 2:05 pm

    Great list for fishing vehicles, just like to add (1) honda trail, will also pack elk, (2) late model volvos I totally agree, now late 70’s early 80’s were bulletproof. Slept in it, packed out my biggest whitetail buck with it, no pricks in the old ones, maybe a hippie or two, but they have to enter through the back, right? LOL. Great article

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