Saltwater Fly Reels 101 With Ian Davis

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 2:49:12 PM



Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis recently wrote up a piece for Outdoor Empire, talking about his favorite saltwater reels and the reasons why a quality reel will more than pay for itself. Here’s what he had to say: 

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Topics: Fly Fishing Gear

5 Basic Fly Fishing Photography Tips

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 2:27:10 PM


It’s spring — high time to get out and play. Slowly we’re creeping toward summer, that glorious season where waders are stowed in favor of wet wading, iced rod guides are a nightmare from seemingly ages past, and sunburns are sated with bountiful cold brewskis after a long day on the water.

For the working guides, this is the time of endless work and little sleep; for the recreational angler it's late night sessions after the work days ends. For most of us, time is of the essence and every minute on the water, camera (or rod, for that matter) in hand has to count.

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Topics: Photography

Parent's Guide: Introducing Your Kids to Fly Fishing

Posted by Carter Lyles on May 30, 2017 2:20:55 PM

Teaching Your Children to Fly Fish

Do you want to have an activity that you and your kids can do together?

Maybe you simply just want your son or daughter to get outdoors, or you're planning a family trip? We've had many families plan fly fishing vacations with their children in the past, including this family whose son scored a grand slam!

Ready to get started? Let's go!

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Topics: Other

12 Tips For Taking Better Fly Fishing Photos

Posted by yellowdog on May 30, 2017 12:04:00 PM

We recognize that there are a lot of great fishing and outdoor photographers out there, and over the years, we have studied and learned a lot from some of the best in the business. Shooters like Brian O'Keefe, Denver Bryan, Terry Gunn, and many others have been delivering great fishing images for years, and their talent and consistency is amazing.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Top Family Freshwater Fly Fishing Lodges in the US

Posted by yellowdog on May 30, 2017 12:03:44 PM


In the fourth installment of our Yellow Dog recommended “family-friendly” destinations, here’s a look at some of our favorite freshwater locales in the U.S. Any of these locations can provide the family vacation of a lifetime (and a little — or a lot! — fishing on the side). 

We actually rank and rate each of our destinations based on exactly how “family-friendly” they are, taking into consideration such factors as the availability of non-angling activities, specific programs and services for non-anglers, separate non-angler rates, and more. We combined all of this information with the realities of exactly how good and how diverse the fishing is as well. In the end, we’re able to offer a number of lodge and destination options that can easily cater to a mixed angling / non-angling couple, while at the same time offering a great overall fishing experience. 

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Ambassador Tips: Wil Flack

Posted by Wil Flack on May 30, 2017 12:03:29 PM

Permit and steelhead addict Wil Flack has been living, guiding and working in Belize for the past 15 years. Wil owns Tres Pescados Fly Sho on Ambergris Caye, and recently opened the Belize Permit Club further to the south in Hopkins.  

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Top 3 Best Saltwater Family Fly Fishing Vacations

Posted by yellowdog on May 30, 2017 12:03:09 PM



Run through the checklist for your next family vacation. Warm locale. Activities for the kids. Near the water (of course). Solid food options. Quality beverages. Empty beaches to relax on. A bit of adventure, a bit of R&R. And, of course, opportunities to chase after a few fish. 

In the past few weeks we’re outlined our favorite family locations in the Bahamas and in Belize. If you’re looking for a different location in the saltwater, here are a few more of our favorites in the Yucatan and Costa Rica:

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: Fly Weight and Color

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 12:02:53 PM


How many times have you stared at the bins in a fly store, wondering what to purchase for that upcoming saltwater trip? Or laid out all your boxes at home and deliberated which patterns should make the voyage into your luggage and which should stay behind? 

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: The Loop Cast

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 12:02:37 PM


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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

The Facts On Global Rescue

Posted by Jim Klug on May 30, 2017 12:02:21 PM

Here at Yellow Dog, our hope and expectation is that every trip that we book and arrange for our clients will be problem-free. And in the end, 99% of these trips are! That said, we recognize that things happen that our company, our customers, and ourselves cannot always control. For that reason, we strongly recommend that our clients purchase basic trip insurance for all angling packages, as well as purchasing a Global Rescue policy for medical evacuations. This is especially relevant with destinations that are far off the beaten path.

When we’re packing our bags, we like knowing we have benefits like this from Global Rescue:

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Topics: Travel Essentials

Yellow Dog Saltwater Lessons: Line Management

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 12:02:06 PM



 One of the most critical things a saltwater angler can learn is how to properly manage fly line in the boat. It’s all too easy to get your line tangled, to stand on a loop of line, and to hook the line around various objects in the boat. 

In this video, Ian Davis talks about how best to manage your fly line, avoid tangles, and be ready for fishing! He covers how to properly stack the line so you’re ready for a quick cast, and how best to be prepared when your guide calls out, “Cast, 40 feet, nine o’clock.” (Tune in next week for an explanation on how the clock system works!) 

Get your fly in hand and let’s go.

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Saltwater Lessons: Using the Clock System

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 12:01:34 PM


Last week we talked about line management in the boat. Now we're ready to tackle the big one — just where do you cast?

You flew eight hours to another country. Made it past the cranky guy in customs. Rode in cars and boats and finally arrived at the lodge. After a celebratory drink, a big dinner, and a good night’s sleep, you’re finally ready for your first day of saltwater fishing. Once you’re out on the bow of the boat on a flat, the thought suddenly strikes you. How are you supposed to see a fish so you can cast to it?

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: Footwear

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 12:01:15 PM


Jumping in between the boat and wading? Finding the best footwear for your needs can be a tough chore — you need something on your feet that’s comfortable, offers good movement and feel in the boat, and solid protection in the water.Watch our most recent Saltwater Flats Fishing Lessons video with Ian Davis for his tips on the best footwear for saltwater flats fishing. 

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Tipping Your Guide | Yellow Dog Refresher

Posted by Greg Bricker on May 30, 2017 12:00:58 PM

Gregg Bricker | Freestone Fly Fishing Outfitters, Montana

It goes without saying that guide gratuities can be an unnecessarily awkward subject.  In the fishing world, tipping your guide after a day on the water has become standard practice, and many anglers are unclear about what amount is appropriate. It is totally reasonable to tip for your guided fishing services, the same as if you were in a restaurant – 10% -20% depending on the level of service.

As is the case in any service scenario, tipping is simply recognition of a job well done.  Did your guide pick you up early and stay late?  Did your guide work hard or simply “go through the motions”?  Did you catch the best fish of your life?  Did you catch the most fish you ever have in a single outing?  Did your guide go above and beyond to connect with you so that you “clicked”, and feel that you started developing what could become a mutually beneficial long term relationship?  These are the questions you must ask yourself when considering how much to tip your guide. 

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Yellow Dog Ambassador Tips: Jako Lucas

Posted by Jako Lucas on May 30, 2017 12:00:23 PM


Our Ambassador team consists of five of the most interesting, accomplished, and adventurous anglers in the game. In addition to hosting and leading trips, working with Yellow Dog clients, assisting with consumer shows and events, and promoting Yellow Dog’s full range of offerings, these talented individuals also work with the Yellow Dog team in an advisory capacity, helping develop and explore new destinations, evaluating existing operations and working with the Yellow Dog team to expand our full range of services. 

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Recommendations On Selecting The Right Saltwater Fly: TARPON

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:59:43 AM

For tarpon, you will obviously want to apply different standards, and a basic selection of 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0 flies in a variety of colors will cover the majority of situation encountered just about anywhere in the Caribbean (outside of the Florida Keys!)

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Saltwater Fly Fishing

Always Wash Your Gear After Your Fly Fishing Vacation

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:58:53 AM


Here at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, we preach to all our valued clients how vital it is to wash all your gear after a trip. This will prolong the life of your expensive fly tackle.  You must make sure your gear is ready for your next fly fishing vacation. This does not take long and I have found doing all this also reveals breakage and other issues with my tackle! I was just buffing one of my rods two days ago after a recent hosted trip to Los Roques, where I set-up our 22 guests with demo gear. As I got to the tip of one of the rods while cleaning it, I noticed there was a minor abrasion, flexed the tip, and it easily snapped off. It is much better to figure this out right after a trip, so that you have plenty of time to remedy the problem. There is nothing worse then pulling out your rod from it's case on the first day of a new trip, and the rod tip is cracked. Also, inspect all your lines for cracks, and I will often re-tie all my knots for my butt sections.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Yellow Dog Ambassador Tips: Jeff Currier

Posted by Jeff Currier on May 30, 2017 11:57:59 AM


With over forty years of experience fly fishing the world, Jeff Currier has quite possibly fished more countries and caught more species on a fly rod than any person alive. He’s an active lecturer, published author, a well-known artist, and the subject of numerous films, articles and media projects. Jeff is constantly traveling and developing new techniques for catching the most exotic fish imaginable in places where even the most avid adventurers are hesitant to go.

An IGFA World Record holder, Jeff has fished in over 55 countries and caught over 375 species of fish on a fly. The oldest member of the Yellow Dog Ambassador team, Jeff can now die happy having watched the Cubs finally win a World Series.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Yellow Dog Ambassador Tips: Oliver White

Posted by Oliver White on May 30, 2017 11:57:41 AM


For the next feature in our series of tips and tricks from the Yellow Dog Ambassador team, international angler Oliver White shares his secrets for successful angling travel.

Oliver has been the subject of numerous films, TV pieces and magazine articles, including multi-page spreads in Forbes, Men’s Journal and Cat Aficionado. In addition to overseeing the operations as a founding partner of Abaco Lodge on Abaco and Bair’s Lodge on South Andros in the Bahamas, he regularly hosts and arranges fishing trips all over the world. Along with a small group of friends and the backing of Costa Del Mar, Oliver founded the non-profit Indifly and their flagship Rewa Lodge and arapaima project in Guyana. Currently Oliver is working on his first book with Stonefly Press, cranking out regular articles for Fly Fisherman Magazine, and still finding time to live the dream.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: Stripping The Fly

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:57:06 AM


On a recent trip down to the Yucatan, Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis teamed with filmmaker Christian Ihrybauer to create a series of instructional videos for saltwater anglers. Whether you’re a seasoned international angler or looking to prep for your first saltwater trip, this series of short films will set you on your way to a successful trip.

In the second video of the series, Ian works with Capt. Miguel Encalada of Grand Slam Lodge to show the different ways to strip your fly in varying conditions. The pair covers tactics for bonefish, permit, and tarpon. Long and slow? Short and fast? Learn how to maximize your odds while fishing for saltwater species.

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Traveling With Kids? Bring Travel Consent Form

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:56:25 AM


Many countries require parents traveling with their (minor) children and without the other parent to carry a “Travel Consent Form” — a signed and notarized acknowledgement from the other parent agreeing to the travel. Regardless of your destination, we highly recommend carrying this form. 

In a recent article, USA Today lists several sites that can help you obtain the form, and notes the following TSA requirements for children: 

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Topics: Travel Essentials

Recommendations On Selecting The Right Saltwater Flies: Color, size, weed guards

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:55:13 AM

Of the many questions that we receive here at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures regarding destinations, fishing equipment, techniques and travel, we probably get more about fly patterns and fly selection than anything else. This is especially true when people are headed to the saltwater flats for the first time or to a new saltwater destination. With that in mind, we’re happy to make a few general recommendations and suggestions when it comes to tying, selecting or purchasing your saltwater fly selection for the flats.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Saltwater Fly Fishing

The Ladies of Yellow Dog: 3 Things We Always Pack

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:54:45 AM



Many traveling anglers have the gear thing down. They know what to pack, how to pack it, and how best to ensure everything goes from point A to point B with minimum fuss. Gear basics are gear basics for a reason. 

But once you’re at your destination, often you find yourself reaching for some creature comforts. Those little things that make life a little more pleasant during long days on the water. We have a gang of travel-savvy ladies here in the office, and asked them what three pieces of gear they always remember to pack that — at first glance — might not be the most obvious. While these tips are geared toward lady anglers, guys… you might find some good tips here as well. Or, for bonus points, read through and pack some luxury items for your next trip with your girlfriend or spouse.  

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Topics: Yellow Dog Staff, Travel Essentials

Three Things We Pack: The Guys of Yellow Dog

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:54:25 AM


When we ran a piece several weeks ago about what unexpected things the ladies of Yellow Dog always pack for trips, it generated a volley of emails and comments — you wanted a guys’ version! Well, here we are: the goods the men in the office won’t leave home without (with a little bit of humor on the side). 

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Topics: Yellow Dog Staff, Travel Essentials

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: Power Distribution and Wind

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:54:00 AM


 Wondering where and when to apply power in your cast? Struggling to manage your backcast in breezy conditions? Can the wind direction severely influence the outcome of your fishing day? Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis teams with Tara from Grand Slam Lodge to talk about how to best manage your application of power in the windy conditions we all too often encounter in saltwater fishing situations in part three of our Saltwater Fishing Lessons series. 

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Recommendations For Traveling With Saltwater Flies: PAcking tips and tricks

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:53:38 AM

Here’s a great solution for traveling with saltwater flies for domestic and international travel. While T.S.A. regulations do not technically prohibit bringing fishing flies in your carry-on luggage, we know that if one security agent decides that they have a problem with you bringing flies or your fly boxes on board in your carry-ons, what can you do?  And if you do check all of your flies, and your bags are lost or delayed, then you’re really in trouble – especially if you’re traveling to a destination that does not sell or provide flies. With that in mind, we recommend a very easy and simple solution, and we’ve used this system all over the world for years.

Take a small assortment of flies (maybe in a small box or a zip-lock bag) and load enough flies for a single
day of fishing; maybe 12 - 18 flies total. Create a very basic assortment that will allow you to fish for a day if your checked luggage is delayed by the airline. Then, pack the rest of your flies in your checked luggage where they will be safe and problem-free. If everything arrives, then you will already have a “go-to,” shirt-pocket selection sorted and ready for wading the flats on day one. 

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Saltwater Fly Fishing, Travel Hacks

5 Reasons To Purchase Trip Insurance For Your Fly Fishing Trip

Posted by Bryan Gregson on May 30, 2017 11:53:19 AM

Kimberly Franke, Yellow Dog’s in-house Travel Insurance Specialist and favorite Aussie, knows that canceling an angling vacation is no joke. She explains, “It can take years to plan your ideal fly fishing adventure, but only seconds for it to be ruined.”

Yellow Dog’s plans can cost as little as 6 to 8% of your total package price. Well worth the investment. Kimberly provides the top five reasons for purchasing trip insurance with your next fly fishing package:

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Topics: Travel Hacks

Yellow Dog Travel Tips | United Airlines Baggage Restrictions

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:52:47 AM

Yellow Dog Travel Tips: What’s the Skinny on United’s Baggage Restrictions?
Earlier this week, we divulged sage Yellow Dog advice on packing a fishing-savvy carry-on. However, United Airlines recently adjusted their luggage policies for carry-ons and checked pieces. Mary Pat Harris, Yellow Dog’s Travel Specialist, extensively researched United’s policy to clarify restrictions. Here are the specifics on checked and carry-on pieces:
United Checked Baggage
 United accepts one item of fishing equipment per customer as checked baggage. An item of fishing equipment consists of the following:
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Topics: Travel Hacks

Yellow Dog Saltwater Lessons: Fly Selection by Species

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:52:08 AM


Ready to chase after your first bonefish? Really have the itch to score a permit on your Yucatan trip? Hoping to hook into a tarpon? The species you are chasing will determine the fly you are using, and when chasing classic saltwater sportfish species: bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, and barracuda, it pays to come fully loaded.

In this episode, Ian talks about his favorite flies for each species, rounding out a general fly selection for fishing the flats. He also reiterates a few basic tips on how best to choose flies pending on your location and water.

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

5 Quick Tips To Get On The Water Quickly

Posted by Bryan Gregson on May 30, 2017 11:50:43 AM

 Time is often precious in the morning, especially as the summer draws on here in Montana. Late summer conditions leave early morning fishing as the best option on many of our western waters but the same also holds true for saltwater angling. Your guide has likely spent part of his evening prepping the boat, lunch, and all tackle to make sure you can get out on the water on time. In certain angling situations, every minute counts and could be the difference from being the first to the most ideal flat or the first boat on a particular float that day. If your guide wants to get an early start, it is likely for a good reason! Give yourself the upper hand on the water by showing up a few minutes early.

Here are a few quick tips to ensure you are prepped for your day on the water!

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

Packing a Carry-On (And T.S.A Friendly) Fishing Bag

Posted by Bryan Gregson on May 30, 2017 11:44:52 AM

Here at Yellow Dog, we have had our fair share of luggage nightmares. It is not a regular occurrence, but when it does happen we’ve learned you can still make the best of the situation with some preemptive planning. How you pack your carry-on bag can make or break your trip if you ever find yourself between a rock and an airline (hard place). Here are a few suggestions for packing your carry-on bag that we hope you find helpful when packing for your next fly fishing adventure:

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Topics: Travel Hacks

10 Tips For Crossing Time Zones

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:44:10 AM


At any given time, members of the Yellow Dog team are winging their way around the world, crossing multiple travel zones and facing long days on the road. Whether we’re hosting a trip or exploring new lodges, we need to be ready to work as soon as we land. Every team member has their own tips for bearing up under travel, but here are a few classics.

These tips offer solid advice for those who find themselves crossing the skies frequently:

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Topics: Travel Hacks

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: Wading vs. Boat

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:43:57 AM


 Are you getting more “bang for your buck” fishing on foot, wading the flats, or throwing flies from the boat? Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis shares a few thoughts to help you make the most of your time on location:

  • Every foot of elevation another mile on the horizon
  • You can see so much see so much more water from the boat, and then get out and wade once you’ve sighted fish
  • Perhaps most importantly: “Don’t guide your guide!”

Watch the video to get Ian’s full thoughts on fishing from the boat v. wading. Thanks for following along with our Saltwater Flats Fishing Lessons!

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

Recommendations On Selecting The Right Saltwater Flies: Weight

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:43:23 AM

There are a number of factors to consider when tying, buying or selecting fly patterns for the saltwater flats – especially when it comes to permit and bonefishing. In addition to selecting the right size and color (see Part 1), the weight and sink rate of flies is crucial. When fishing just about anywhere in the Caribbean, your permit and bonefish fly boxes should contain flies with at least three different sink rates: Unweighted, slightly weighted, and heavy.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Saltwater Fly Fishing

Trip Insurance and Booking Flights With Miles

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:42:53 AM


For all of our frequent fliers out there who may be purchasing flights with reward points or frequent flier miles, travel insurance is still an option. In some unique cases, a plan may include a specific benefit dedicated to covering the cost of redepositing the miles or rebooking fees, but one would not be able to include the face value of the miles in the trip cost.

So what is insurable when using frequent flier miles to fly? Non-refundable fees and taxes associated with the miles. Most flights are a little more than we expected, when you add in baggage fees, state and federal taxes and other miscellaneous fees. All of these are insurable. 

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Topics: Travel Essentials

The Yellow Dog Essentials Kit

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:40:59 AM


Every year, the Yellow Dog team spends weeks on the road — sometimes even months — exploring new destinations, visiting our partner lodges, and doing a bit of fishing on our own time. Over the years, we’ve dealt with our fair share of stubborn gear that likes to break at just the wrong time

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Topics: Travel Essentials

Building a Travel First Aid Kit

Posted by Jess McGlothlin on May 30, 2017 11:34:00 AM


Things go wrong; it’s a fact of life. And when you’re on the road, there’s not always a friendly neighbor drugstore to run into for basic medical supplies. Yellow Dog team members always carry basic first-aid equipment with us in the field. Here are some things we won’t travel without: 

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Topics: Travel Hacks

9 Tips For Your Next Saltwater Fly Fishing Adventure

Posted by Ian Davis on May 30, 2017 11:33:14 AM


If you've found your way to this website, then you probably know that Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures is a destination angling booking company that sends hundreds of anglers a year all over the world in the pursuit of fish. And over the years of booking trips and fishing the world ourselves, we have learned one very important lesson about destination trips — especially those that involve international travel to distant waters. The more time you spend preparing for your trip prior to departure, the more you improve your odds for a successful and enjoyable saltwater adventure!

Here are a handful of great tips and suggestions that will really help when you’re planning your next adventure.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Saltwater Fly Fishing

Yellow Dog Saltwater Fishing Lessons: The Backcast

Posted by Ian Davis on May 23, 2017 1:27:58 PM


Sometimes fishing conditions dictate having to release on our back cast. Confidence in your ability to manage a solid back cast and release on your back cast immensely increases your ability to match a fish’s movement (and sometimes manage in extreme wind conditions!). Watch our most recent Saltwater Flats Fishing Lessons video with Ian Davis for his tips to a solid back cast.


Shot on location at Grand Slam Lodge in Mexico.

Contact us today to learn about Grand Slam or to book your next adventure.

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Topics: Saltwater Fly Fishing

The Yellow Dog Difference

Experience grounded in passion. Expansive knowledge of the best fishing destinations in the world. Fueled by adventure. Helping you maximize the potential of your fly fishing expeditions. Let’s do this.