We fly fish all over the world. A lot.
For nearly twenty years of exploring new saltwater flats or returning to the same steelhead run year after year or stalking a trout sipping a dry fly in a Patagonia spring creek, there are things our team of travel experts do before, during, and after each and every trip they take.
Whether you’re thinking about a trip to Mexico or the Seychelles or closer to home in the US West, or if are still unsure where your next trip will take you, here are 15 simple, easy bits of advice to make your next fly fishing trip great.
Prior to any trip planning or booking, contact us and book with Yellow Dog. Our services are always 100% free, and sometimes less, than booking direct. Our in-house team is one of the most experienced on the planet and for each destination we service we have dedicated support staff. We’re here and responsive at no cost to you.
Is it better to rent or to buy? Many shops and lodges offer rod rentals and we work with Rent This Rod—a great all-inclusive service that many of our existing customers use. If you only need a 9-weight for one week, rent it rather than buy. The money you save will buy you an extra day with your guide or if you really like a rod or reel then you can purchase that upon return and use it on your next trip.
Expect your Yellow Dog pre-trip call prior to your tip. Our pre-trip called is an added feature every customer enjoys prior to their trip. Our first-hand knowledge may help with any last-minute planning. You can always check things on the Internet, but our first-hand knowledge can’t be beat.
Make a pre-trip packing and gear list. Create a detailed and well-thought-out gear and equipment list. Save this list and make it your “go-to” reference list whenever you plan a fishing trip that will take you far from home. Our personalized and detailed pre-trip information will help immensely.
Get all your documents in order. Passports, visas if required, boarding passes, trip insurance, and more. Yellow Dog’s team can help with making sure you know what you need, but, we can’t help if you arrive at the airport and your passport is expired.
Your “Go-To Gear List” should include the following: Fishing equipment and tackle: rods, reel, lines, leaders, backup gear, spare spools, etc. Personal clothing: fishing shirts, warm clothes, rain gear, and head gear. Personal: toiletries, necessary medication, books, etc.Documents: passport, drivers license, and photocopies of everything. Sunscreen and insect repellant – don’t ever leave home without these things! Optional items as binoculars, alarm clock, writing materials and other things
Pack little cotton towels. These are great for wiping down gear at the end of the day or wiping up excess bug dope or sunscreen so you don’t get that goop on your fly line. A few years back, on a trip to a remote island in the Bahamas, my cotton hand towels were lifesavers, keeping the salt mist off my glasses and gear.
Carry-on the important things. Whenever a flight is involved, try to carry on your rods, reels, flies, sunglasses, a pair of shorts, sunscreen, and other important items that will allow you to fish for a day or two in the event that your checked luggage is lost or delayed.
Label your gear. Make sure that all of your checked and carry-on luggage is labeled with your current ID information. Use luggage tags on the outside, and include identification on the inside as well, in the event that a luggage tag is yanked off or destroyed.
Consider shipping gear before you go. If you’re flying to a US domestic destination and it’s possible to ship your gear before you fly, consider it. Given high baggage fees and increasingly unreliable airline baggage services, shipping your gear saves you hassle and worry. This is NOT advised for international travel.
Apply sunscreen right after you shower. When heading out for the day, put sunscreen on just after you towel off from your morning shower. You don’t have to waste time applying sunscreen at the boat ramp on the flat when tails are flapping; and the sunscreen has a better effect.
Use flight time to rest. If you’re traveling on an overnight flight, you want to be rested and ready to fish for day one of your trip. Put down the cell phone and turn off your laptop and TV. Skip the drink cart because alcohol leads to fragmented sleep. Finally, create a calm environment and try to mimic your bedroom’s calm, dark space by bringing an eye mask, neck pillow, and ear plugs on board.
Keep local fisheries healthy. The spread of invasive aquatic species can be an area fishery’s death sentence. Do your part by inspecting, washing and drying your gear before and after a trip.
Attitude is everything. Your fifth-grade teacher had one thing right: a positive attitude goes a long way. The same is true for a great fishing trip. Fishing travel is rife with variables. Flight schedules, weather, guides, logistics in remote places, and more can all affect a trip. Your attitude in taking curveballs is paramount to a successful trip.
Know your ability and practice, practice, practice to get better. Think seriously about traveling across the globe if your 30-foot cast won’t cut it on the gin-clear streams of New Zealand. If you’ve always wanted to catch a trophy bonefish but can’t cast 40 feet and further on a consistent basis, you should practice more. And if you aren’t a strong wader, perhaps a steelhead trip isn’t a good idea. Before you make any trip, research the necessary skills and be honest in your assessment of those skills.
We know these things from our experience on the water and around the globe. By doing a few extra little things, you can make your next fly fishing trip a great one.