Several decades ago, the term fly-fishing denoted hooking trout. But recently the definition of the sport has changed, and today fly fishing is typically associated with landing bonefish in the Bahamas, tarpon in Florida, Pacific salmon in Alaska, Atlantic salmon in eastern Canada, or brook and rainbow trout in lower Canada.
No wonder that fly-fishing has become extremely popular as the sport doesn't require any special skills buy offers an intimate contact with divine nature in some of the world's most pristine areas. Plus convenient lodging close to prime fishing locales, the intrigue of the hunt, the practice of catch-and-release, and the extensive instruction add appeal to this popular and exciting activity.
Even though there is a real plethora of fly-fishing locations, it might be helpful for the beginner to know the best spots in North America and the Caribbean to fly fish, along with where to stay in the vicinity. For convenience fishing areas are arranged according to the type of water and include rivers, multiriver settings, lakes, remote "fly-out" areas and saltwater flats.
This river is particular known for its arm-length catches: huge and average-size rainbow, brown, and rainbow-cutthroat hybrid trout are abundant here. During the season the area is really crowded with fly-fishers so consider going there off-season, after Labor Day or in the early spring to catch four- and five-pounders which are pretty common or even eight- and nine-pounders.
RIZUTO'S SAN JUAN RIVER LODGE
Navajo Dam, NM 87419
doubles cost $75
Set amid the high-country plateaus of northwestern part of New Mexico, the upscale lodge featuring eight 450-square-foot rooms with queen-size beds is located three miles downstream from Navajo Dam. There is a nice restaurant no far, fly tackle shop, and guide service. Reservation minimum a month in advance is required.
This premier fly-fishing destination for large trout in North America boasts highly productive waters teeming with migrating brown trout in fall and winter. Average catch reaches 17 inches, though catching 22 inches is also possibility.
BIGHORN RIVER LODGE
packages at $850, including lodging, meals, and guided fishing
This beautiful well-appointed lodge located 12 miles downstream from Fort Smith, Montana, offers accommodations for up to 12. The rooms feature large bedrooms with private bath. The lodge serves gourmet low-fat, low-cholesterol dishes and fresh baked breads. The property features a fly shop, plus private professional instruction is available as well. Visitors had better book six months in advance.
Here even the beginners can expect catching larger-than-average rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and all five species of Pacific salmon. Rainbows weigh from 2 to 10 pounds plus, coho salmon reaches 20 pounds and king salmon - 70 pounds. Alaska's most experienced guides will provide expert advice in Alaskan angling techniques. Fly-fishers can spot American bald eagles, moose, beavers, caribou, and Alaskan brown bears.
Bristol Bay, Alaska
packages start at $2,200 per person, including lodging, meals, guided fishing, and airfare from King Salmon, Alaska.
The lodge can accommodate up to 45 guests. The property features a main lodge that consists of separate heated guest cottages for one to three, as well as small lodges for groups of 6 to 12. The hearty food served includes salmon, prime rib, steaks, and chicken. There are fly-tying facilities. Consider booking ahead during preceding winter season.
Due to a variety good fishing streams in the area even beginners have the chance to experience fly-fishing in different waters and situations. Five main streams offer wade or float fly-fishing for brown, rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout.
FIVE RIVERS LODGE
13100 Hwy. 41 North Dillon, MT
packages start at $1,195, lodging, meals, transfers, and guided fishing including Maximum 32 people can stay in suites with twin or king-size beds. The premises have executive meeting facilities, with fax, personal computers, and darkroom. Book six months in advance.
10 miles of private water rivers, spring-fed ponds, and alpine lakes are perfect for guided catch-and-release fly-fishing for rainbow, brook, cutthroat, and brown trout.
Kremmling, CO 8045
packages start at $1,300 per person, double occupancy
This charming lodge facing Colorado River is an excellent choice for those who arrive in the hopes of experiencing superb fishing. Visitors can expect gourmet cuisine. Fly-fishing instruction is available for beginners. There is an air shuttle service available from Denver or Kremmling airports. Reserve six months ahead.
Some Alaskan and Canadian fishing camps offer "fly-out" fishing options. The lodge, nestled on a lake features facilities for floatplanes, and transports guests in the early morning to fish in remote areas. At dinnertime the guests are taken back to the main camp.
ENCHANTED LAKE LODGE
from $4,900 a week per person
Despite the fact that the lodge is located in the wilderness right on Nonvianuk Lake guests can count on great comfort in separate cabins for up to 12 anglers and delicious hearty food. Offering tours in search of rainbow trout, arctic grayling, arctic char, lake trout, northern pike, and the Pacific salmon, the lodge is known as Alaska's premier fly-out fishing destination. Book minimum one year ahead.
Local lakes boast trophy-class northern pike, lake trout, walleye, and arctic grayling.
HATCHET LAKE LODGE
Five day, four night packages start at $2,300 per person, including lodging, meals, guided fishing, and round-trip airfare from Minneapolis.
Experience all the luxuries of a world-class fishing resort set in the wilderness of a remote island located not far from the Northwest Territories border. Guests can fly-out to 14 lakes in the vicinity, though many guests prefer to stay and fish right at the lodge. The property serves great meals. Reserve at least six months in advance.
Deep Water Cay is the world's most fertile bonefish flats, ideal for saltwater fly-fishing. This area is just perfect for the wading angler.
DEEP WATER CAY CLUB
1100 Lee Wagener Blvd., Suite 352, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33315.
packages begin at $1,255 per person based on double occupancy, including lodging, meals, and guided fishing
This intimate luxurious resort located at the east end of Grand Bahama Island features air-conditioned guest cottages with well-appointed rooms. Guest can expect mouth-watering cuisine as well as professional bonefish guides. Book six months ahead.