I drink a cup of coffee in bed every morning, and another one or two at work to satisfy my craving for caffeine; it also helps me to grind through the working day. I love my coffee, and few things beat a double espresso made from freshly ground coffee beans, but then there’s fishing coffee…

I don’t consider it a luxury, a kettle, cup and any form of ‘quick-coffee’ (whether it’s instant or plunger) are bare essentials in my backpack. It is certainly not fancy coffee, but damn it tastes good! Perhaps it is the fresh (or sometimes stale) river water that is used to make it that enhances the flavour? Maybe the scenery and sound of moving water or splashing fish, adding a relaxed ambience to the sips, make it ‘taste’ so much better than coffee in bed or at work?


Watching the sun set with a cup of fishing coffee in hand.


One cup of fishing coffee is never enough and the second one in the morning is usually downed to hit the water with the first rays of sunlight.


While coffee on a normal weekday is mostly used for a kickstart to the day, and associated with stress, fishing coffee is different; it brings back fond memories. It reminds me of: The time spent hiking with good mates in the mountains, where we encountered ruins and odd signage on the long walks to pools that seemed to be in ‘the middle of nowhere’; gulping down the last few sips in the cup to hastily tie new tippet on to get a crack at the first fish of a new day, often a fish seen gliding past us in the camp pool; or the perfect finish to a fishing day, helping to spark up deep conversations in camp after long hours of fishing.


Coming across isolated, old ruins on hikes in the mountains make you realise how tough life must have been for subsistence farmers in the ‘early’ days…


“Trespassers will be shot, the wounded will be followed”



The result of a good call made by a mate while discussing our game plan over a cup of fishing coffee in the morning hours of a slow trip.



Whether targeting yellows, rainbows or browns on long hiking trips in our mountains, coffee always goes along.


Sipping on a cup of fishing coffee while watching a fish finning in camp pool beats any mug of coffee during the hustle and bustle of daily life.


Success in the late afternoon, after a long day ‘on the water’, is celebrated in camp with a good cup of fishing coffee.

Fishing coffee is the best cure for a tough day on a river, but it can also be a great celebratory drink when many or a special fish came to hand. I must admit that fishing coffee has been so good on some trips that I tried it again on the first morning back in the real world. I’d use the same ingredients at home that I carried in my backpack, but it never tastes the same.

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