Tips for Fly Fishing Adventure

Tips for Fly Fishing Adventure
John Frazier from Simms doing his thing down at Turneffe Flats Lodge in Belize.

Not to generalize too much, but conventional light-tackle anglers here in Texas seem to be homebodies meaning they fish mostly somewhere along the Texas coast. Sure, some might venture beyond state lines occasionally but by comparison, fly anglers are evidently gypsies at heart. Always champing at the bit for a new adventure, and adventure now days means travel, both far and near.

When most people think of traveling for fishing, it means breaking down the rods and packing them as compactly as possible to get past the TSA and avoiding the annoying extra baggage fees that airlines now impose. But, as the fly-fishing world becomes more inundated with do-it-yourselfers, travel has become as much domestic as international. Whether traveling across county or international lines, successful trips rely on good planning and preparation.

In regards to international travel, especially your first time, I highly recommend booking through a reputable sporting-travel agency such as Traveling Angler at Fishing Tackle Unlimited or Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. Another great one is Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company. The best way to approach one of these trips is to go on a hosted trip. The host can tell you what you need and what you do not which, incidentally, makes preparation much simpler. Although, I will tell you that, it is important to research the various hosts you might use. The same as any other service, not all hosts are created equal.

As for booking guides in other states, I will gladly tell you it is no different than choosing a host for an international trip do your homework.

Just because someone is a social media magnate, it does not guarantee they are a great guide. Some people can tolerate a lot of B.S. to catch a fish or two, others cannot. Guides tend to pick and choose what they want their potential customers to see. They do not necessarily show you all the tears and heartache it might have taken to achieve the success of the one photo or video they posted to Facebook or other media. I can tell you with great certainty, I guide a lot of individuals who travel long distances to fish with me and, as a guide I'm not for everyone.

I have my quirks as many others do. Sometimes you can research and eliminate certain guides, sometimes you just have to go for it. The important thing is to spend some time looking around and asking questions. Guided fishing is not cheap whether you go with a great, good, fair or crappy guide. Add to that a plane ticket, rent car and hotel, and well...

Now let's talk domestic travel. It comes in two forms. The day-tripper and the do-it-yourselfer. We'll start with the day-tripper. Actually, there is not much to say about this type of fly angler other than he usually, not always, resides in one of the more urban areas in Texas and books a day or two at a time. If you are one of these people and are coming from the Houston area; plan around the traffic, stop by Prasek's coming down US 59, and bring me some summer sausage and bread and butter pickles. And have your rods put together before I meet you at the dock. Sorry folks but, I could not help myself. Moving on.

As for the do-it-yourselfer, I would say, sell your boat and go on more guided fishing trips. In all seriousness, this is not about the do-it-yourselfer that fishes in Texas but rather the one that likes to pack up and head either east or north. Notice I put east before north. The ones that head east, well they are my kind of people. You see, if you go east you are either going to Louisiana or Florida in search of something that is either big or pulls hard. If you're are going north, well you are nothing more than a silly trout fisherman. LOL!

Okay, I have had my fun. In reality though, the do-it-yourselfer faces the biggest challenges when it comes to preparation. All they have is past experience to go on and that may not cover all the situations that might be encountered. This happens to be where I am most experienced.

For more than twenty years I have traveled to both Florida and Louisiana for extended stays and here is what I have learned.

First and foremost, a solidly built and well-maintained boat trailer is a must. In addition, you need to have spare hubs, miscellaneous other trailer parts, and tools (especially an assortment of jacks) to get you back on the road should Mr. Murphy decide to rear his nasty little head. I also recommend being a member of the AAA roadside assistance program.

Also, your tackle is an integral part of your trip. Protect it at all costs. I have several Schedule-40 PVC rod tubes made up to transport my spare one-piece rods that will not fit in the rod tubes of my skiff.

Last but not least, if you are traveling to a somewhat remote area or on a tight budget, have some Yetis loaded with ice, food and water. Banking on finding a restaurant, grocery, or even a decent convenience store in a tiny coastal village might not be as easy as you expect.

Well folks, those are some basics. Hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. More importantly, I hope you get to experience an adventure this year.