Bucket List Trip: Winter Steelhead Fishing in the Olympic Peninsula

Posted by yellowdog on Oct 18, 2017 4:36:40 PM

With the fall season hanging in the air and winter just around the corner, this time of the year usually means hanging up rods in exchange for hunting rifles and bird dogs. But even though the trees are dropping their leaves, by no means does that signify the end of the freshwater fishing season. Steelhead fishing, albeit a sometimes cold and wet endeavor,  has proven addicting for those who’ve reeled in one of the giant fish. Every angler should try their hand at steelhead. It’s hard to fathom a 10+ pound rainbow trout taking a fly, but it’s definitely possible. 

Olympic Peninsula Steelhead

Steelhead are the cousins of their strictly freshwater relative, the rainbow trout. They live part of their lives in the ocean and migrate into freshwater estuaries come spawning time. The fish come from the ocean, so naturally, they’re ocean sized. Only about a 4-hour drive from the Seattle airport, and with 10 to 15-pound fish straight from the ocean, the Olympic Peninsula is the winter steelhead mecca. But that’s not to say that 20 pound prize steelhead can’t occasionally be found as well.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Extraterrestrials in Chile: Fly Fishing the Cantaria Beetle

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 27, 2017 11:59:09 AM

We love fishing large fly patterns – mice, hoppers, streamers, salmon flies, if it’s big, we want to cast it.  Aside from breathtaking mountain ranges, friendly people, and delicious food, Chile offers anglers a chance to catch trout on beetle patterns.  But unlike the beetles of the western United States, the Cantaria Beetle of Chile can reach sizes up to 2 ½ inches!  If you’re like us and get a rush from big fish taking big flies, then you’ll want to put Chile on your angling bucket list.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Barrancoso River at the Edge of the World

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 25, 2017 11:26:02 AM



“It’s one of the best small pieces of water in the world for high densities of giant fish. Very little compares to it.”  My eyes were probably the size of dinner plates when John Hudgens, longtime fly fishing guide and Yellow Dog’s in-house expert on Argentina, said that to me.  For a guy who has fished across the globe, such a strong statement seemed a little over the top.  But as I came to find, it was spot on.  The reward for anyone who’s up for an adventure to the end of the world is some phenomenal fishing.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

6 Must-Have Fly Patterns For a New Zealand Fishing Trip

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 22, 2017 11:49:28 AM

New Zealand Trout Fly Patterns

As a rule, the trout of New Zealand are usually more concerned about how you present the fly rather than what you present, so it is imperative that you practice for accuracy and delicacy before you embark on your journey to NZ. As such, there is no reason to bring every trout fly that you own. In fact, doing so can sometimes prove to be a hassle as you enter the country and pass through Customs, which is notoriously stringent when it comes to anything that has come into contact with foreign water and/or soil. Many of the guides and all of the lodges that Yellow Dog works with in New Zealand offer packages that include not just flies, but tippet and leaders as well so that you can leave your gear at home. 

However, if you must bring your own flies (and it is totally okay if you do), we always suggest that anglers follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly) principle and only bring along a handful of patterns that they trust the most—in a range of different sizes. Basic, minimalist, general – these are all terms that should guide you as you pick out which flies to bring with you.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Lago Yelcho: A Premier Chilean Patagonia Stillwater Fishery

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 20, 2017 8:03:11 PM

Fly Fishing the Lago Yelcho in Patagonia, Chile

Do you like fly fishing on lakes?  I’ve heard from people more times than I can count that fishing a lake is just not nearly as fun as a river. I even admit I was in this party for a time as well. However, as I learned the nuances of lake fishing, and started having some success, I became a believer.  What sealed the deal for me was Lago Yelcho.

Chile as a fly fishing destination has grown in popularity through the years and offers trout anglers the chance to land trophy-sized fish in a beautiful setting. Patagonia, Chile is home to some of the best trout fisheries in the world.  These fisheries include both rivers and lakes and Lago Yelcho ranks among the best of them.

Ready to get excited about lakes? Let’s go!

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

A Definitive Guide to the Top New Zealand Fly Fishing Lodges

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 13, 2017 4:59:57 PM

Yellow Dog’s New Zealand program has experienced considerable growth and expansion over the past two years, going from one lodge and one independent guide to eight lodges and three independent guides. We also partner with dozens of resorts and providers of tourism products (from wine tours to boat cruises), which allows us to create completely customized trips to a country that has so much more than just fishing to offer. However, each of the New Zealand fly fishing lodges we work with have been highly vetted and represent a wide range of options in terms of fishing programs, pricing, and more. To help you identify which lodge or lodges might be a good fit for you, we have summarized each of them below:

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Pursuing Trophy Brook Trout in Southern Patagonia

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 12, 2017 9:46:00 AM

“What an awesome fish!” Kevin Eddy, my fishing buddy, yelled to me as he ran down the rocky bank.  Both of us knew it was big; now it was a matter of landing it.  As Kevin ran down the sides of the river, he looked minute in the middle of such a vast place. The jagged Andes mountains surrounded us, and the gin-clear river meandered like an Anaconda stretching across the harsh landscape - slow, tactful, powerful.  Nowhere have I felt smaller than fishing in Patagonia, Argentina.  “Keep your rod tip up!” Kevin yelled as he neared me, “let him run!”  We both looked at each other and knew that there were no browns this high on the river - I was using a large heavy streamer making a rainbow unlikely, which meant it could only be that one big brook trout we both so desperately wanted. 

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

When the Bamboo Blooms: A Fly Fishing Phenomenon

Posted by yellowdog on Sep 8, 2017 1:23:22 AM

I was born in Montana. I've spent my entire life fishing and exploring the different waters in my great state, and only a handful of times have I lived anywhere else - once when I was in college on the East Coast, and the second time when I worked in Patagonia, Argentina.  I need more fingers to count the number of times I've heard, "Imagine Montana 80 years ago." Images of the Maclean brothers tromping around in the Blackfoot River come to mind.  Rugged peaks stand guard over endless miles of untouched water chocked full of trophy-sized fish.  Those images of Montana naturally drew me to seek out places of equal grandeur and adventure.  I think for any Montana boy, fly fishing in Patagonia, Argentina holds a certain lore, a place of unimaginable wilderness with pristine rivers and giant trout. 

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Hunting & Stalking Monster Brown Trout in New Zealand's Backcountry

Posted by yellowdog on Aug 25, 2017 9:28:08 AM

You finally make out the silhouette of a brown trout that your guide confidently calls a ten pounder in the broken blue water immediately in front of you. Several minutes pass as you both silently observe this trophy trout as it feeds. This is your opportunity to capitalize on your good fortune.

You cast your line out on the water and set your small caddis imitation right in its feeding lane! You are ready, and as if on cue, this burly brown trout waves his tail and pokes his nose above the surface as he engulfs your fly in his impossibly large mouth. You heed the advice of your guide by saying “God Save the Queen” just after the fish eats your fly and before you set. That forced delay gives the fish time to chomp down on your fly and as a result, you connect.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

John Hudgens: Why You Should Seriously Consider Fly Fishing Chilean Patagonia

Posted by yellowdog on Aug 24, 2017 9:32:56 AM

Few fishing destinations on earth have a more geographically diverse landscape to explore than the country of Chile. Situated south of Peru and west of Bolivia and Argentina, the country extends for over 2,880 miles as a long, skinny stretch of land along the western coast of South America. With its inspiring landscapes and inviting culture, Chile is a Yellow Dog favorite and considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for freshwater fly fishing.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing