Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit

This article was first written and published before the election, as a satire prompted by the hyperbole coming from the extremists on both sides. The clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right both said the same thing: The World Will End.  Shakespeare had it right: "A pox on both their houses."

The following is still mostly satire but the kit is real and is available for sale. I do know there are people who would like to have a compact, all-around fishing kit, whether for a bug out bag or just to have for a camping trip where they might want to do a bit of fishing.


As Will Rogers would have said if he'd lived to be 137, I only know what I read on Facebook. Everything you read on Facebook suggests the World As We Know It is going to end. (Astronomers agree, although they give different reasons and have a slightly longer time frame.)

Thomas McGuane wrote "If the trout are lost, smash the state," but what if the state is lost? What are we to do? I'll tell you what you should do - Prepare! A while ago, there was a commercial on TV that said "You may not be a prepper now, but you will be." I think it was hawking freeze dried foods with a 25 year shelf life. I don't know about you, but if all I had to look forward to for the next 25 years was freeze dried foods I'd give in and let the zombies get me.

I have something better to offer: The Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit! Fish are fresh. You don't have to add water. Heck, they're swimming in the stuff!

Fly-Fishing the 41st: From Connecticut to Mongolia and Home Again is a great read (if you can drag yourself away from Facebook). In it, James Prosek introduces the concept of Schwarzfisching. It's been a while since I've read the book (before Facebook), so I may be a little fuzzy on the details, but as I recall, schwarzfisching is a fancy German word for either trespassing or poaching, or maybe a little bit of both with a hint of Huck Finn and a dash of Alfred E. Neuman (What, me worry?).

In the post-apocalyptic world there won't be bag limits. Posted signs will only be suggestions (or maybe warnings - I remember seeing a sign in Colorado that said Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be prosecuted.) With no State left to prosecute, I'd guess survivors will be shot again.

In a situation like that, it would be highly advantageous to not look like you're going fishing, or were fishing. I can help you with that. When you actually ARE fishing you're on your own. Stay low, move slow, wear camo.

For post-apocalyptic schwarzfisching, I would recommend a Daiwa Keiryu-X 30. The Nissin Pocket Mini collapses to a shorter length, and can be hidden in a deep pocket, but I think I would favor the more robust Keiryu-X. It won't fit in your pocket but you can easily slide it up your sleeve, so as you are walking in or walking out you can appear to be just lost in the woods instead of schwarzfisching.

For line I would highly recommend fluorocarbon. In a post-apocalyptic world, resupply will be impossible. Fluorocarbon will last longer than you will, so that's one less thing to worry about. For the same reason, choose fluorocarbon tippet.

However, consider also a Horsehair Line Kit, for the instructions if nothing else. Horses may again run wild and free, so the hair may be found from time to time, but the technique can be used with any fiber to create a line. (Not included in the Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit.)

You'll have to tie your own flies or turn over rocks for bait. Plan on doing both so get some split shot and bamboo line winders also. Buy lots of hooks. Lots and lots of hooks.

Also, you won't want to lug around a vise, so invest in a pair of Spring Creek Clamps and a pair of nippers so you can tie flies without a vise. It really isn't difficult.

You will need some thread. Any color would do, but Henry Ford had a point when he said of the Model T "You can have any color you want as long as it's black." Dr. Ishigaki ties his signature fly with black thread, and if it's good enough for the good doctor it's good enough for me (and you).

Tying flies with found feathers is strictly illegal, thanks to the Migratory Bird Act of 1918 (Title 16, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, Section 703, Paragraph (a) of the U.S. Code), but hey, if the state is lost, who is going to arrest you?

Tying without a vise is a bit slower, but without Facebook to distract you, you'll have lots of time.

Flies and keiryu line (on line winder) not included.

I'd suggest a Tanago Tackle Box to hold your flies, hooks, split shot and  line winders. You can coil your tenkara line and slide it into the back of the ziplock bag I use for the Tip Grip (included free with each kit). Your line, tippet and tackle box will easily fit in your pockets, so you won't need a big bulky vest or sling that screams "Hey look, I'm going fishing."

So there you have it. Everything you need to live in a world of post-apocalyptic fishin'.

Since time is short, I have put together a limited edition Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit. It contains a Daiwa Keiryu-X 30 schwarzfisching rod, a spool of Yamatoyo size 4 line, a spool of Varivas 5X fluorocarbon tippet, a box of 100 Daiichi 1150 size 12 hooks, a pair of Dr. Slick Spring Creek clamps, a pair of Dr. Slick angled nippers, a spool of black Uni-Thread, a package of Dinsmore split shot, a pair of bamboo line winders and a Tanago Tackle Box. (The partridge in a pear tree is not included, but you might want to look under pear trees for loose partridge feathers.)

Update: The Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit was originally built around the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF, which was a robust, compact rod that could handle almost anything. Daiwa discontinued it (what do they know that we don't know?). I have substituted their replacement rod, the Keiryu-X 30, but that rod is a bit more expensive. What the heck, the money won't be any good in a post-apocalyptic world anyway, so what's a few more bucks. The entire package is now $245 (a savings of $1.75 from buying all the items separately).

Post-Apocalyptic Fishing' Kit - $245

Seriously, though...

The idea behind this page was the "end of the world" wailing from both sides before the election, but seriously, there may be times where you need to catch fish for food. I heard an account not long ago about an accomplished fly fisherman who planned on eating fish on his backpacking trip. The only problem was that he didn't catch any fish!

A Daiwa Keiryu-X rod would be a good rod to take on a backpacking trip - especially a long trip (even as a back-up) on which you definitely plan on eating fish to supplement your diet. It is a workhorse rather than a racehorse - not as sleek and sexy as the high end tenkara or keiryu rods, but it is a robust rod that is less likely to break and will handle any fish you hook.

I often hear fly fishermen say "if I just wanted to catch fish I'd fish with bait." Well, if you are cold, wet and hungry, you might really, really want to catch a fish. Take bare hooks and split shot, and if your flies aren't producing, plan on turning over rocks to find nymphs or caddis larvae. You might want to take a package of Mummy Worms as well. The package is small and light, and has a 6 month shelf life without refrigeration. The Boy Scouts have a motto that is worth following: "Be Prepared."


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Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)

Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin



It is amazing how stressful fly fishing can be when you are cold, wet, and hungry. Fishing for food is not as much fun as fishing for sport.

John V, Utah