Road Trip Planning Tips

Erica Nelson - Trip Planning, Packing and Organization

Erica Nelson is a self taught angler that is passionate about sharing her learning journey.  Founder of the AwkwardAngler Podcast, Brown Folks Fishing Ambassador, co-founder of  REAL Consulting and co-created of the  Angling for All Pledge.  In this weeks blog, Erica walks us through planning tips for your next fly fishing adventure. 

map out and plan fishing stops along the way

Road-Trip Mindset – The first thing Erica asks herself is “do I just want to get to the destination or am I prepared to allow time to tour and fish”?  Often times Erica makes a 3 hour drive into a 9hr day.

Check In With Your Road-Trip Buddy – Make sure that the individual(s) that are road-tripping with you are into fishing and not just getting to the destination?

Planning Tips

  • Make sure to add pre, during and post fishing time to your day.  Add this additional time to your scheduled drive time.
  • Questions to ask yourself?
    • Do I need wader up while I get there?  How much time will this take?
    • Is there hiking time?
    • What is the fishing time?
    • Time to take waders off?
  • Create Lists
    • Packing Lists
    • On the Road Lists
  • Check the Weather
    • Be prepared for all seasons.
    • Bring emergency equipment.
      • Water Bottle
      • Extra Water
      • Non-Perishable Food
      • Additional Clothing
  • Freeze Items the Night Before
    • Water bottles
    • Meals
    • Lunchmeat
    • Etc.
  • Charge Batteries and Phones the Night Before
  • Check for Fishing Licenses and Additional Permits Required
  • Download Maps Ahead of Time
    • Don’t count on having cell coverage.  Download or load your maps ahead of time.
  • Land Acknowledgement
    • Know your route and acknowledgement who’s land and water you’re fishing on?
    • Who are the ancestral caretakers of this land?
    • Utilize the Land Acknowledgement App.  
  • Research what land and waters you can fish?
    • What’s legal and not legal?
    • Utilize the Land Management Resources Below

Land Managment Resources

Today, there are four main federal land management agencies in the United States. 

“Understanding land management is key to any type of outdoor recreation, whether you’re snowmobiling or rock climbing, horsepacking, or going for a hike.  In part, it’s important to know the fundamentals of how we manage and regulate usage.  More than that, this topic is a gateway into discussing issues that impact our environment and communities across the country and understanding their historical roots.” NOLS BLOG

Read NOLS Blog “Intro to Federal Public Lands in the US”.

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. READ MORE

NOTE – You might be required to hold an additional park fishing permit in additional to your state license.  Be sure to research this before you fish.

MIssion – “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” READ MORE

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.  READ MORE

Stop by a local office for more information for maps and location information.

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation’s 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres (780,000 km2) of land.

Mission – “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”  READ MORE

Indian Affairs (IA) currently provides services (directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts) to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. There are 574 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages in the United States.  READ MORE

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the oldest agency of the United States Department of the Interior. Established in 1824, it is responsible for the administration and management of 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates held in trust by the United States for American Indian, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Their missions is to: “… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.” 

Software mapping out public and private land.  READ MORE

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, Free Campsites has you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

The community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. They give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

Connect with Erica Nelson

Erica Nelson is based in ancestral lands of the Ute Tribe, currently known as Crested Butte, Colorado.  She started fly fishing in 2016 in Wyoming. After borrowing a fly rod and watched some YouTube videos. After many tangles and lost flies, Erica leveraged Tinder to get pro tips from all those guys holding fish.

She then started her Instagram account @AwkwardAngler to meet more people who were willing to teach and answer questions, and eventually found a mentor.

Erica is a Brown Folks Fishing ambassador, community that cultivates the visibility, representation, and inclusion of people of color in fishing and its industry.   She is co-founder of  REAL Consulting and co-created of the  Angling for All Pledge.  

“I have observed that, there are many barriers to becoming involved in fly fishing.  Learning how to fly fish isn’t easy or accessible for all, and my goal is to increase awareness and education around this, while infusing my dry fly humor.”

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