By Mike Hodge
So you’ve scrimped and saved and finally gotten enough days off from work to take that fly-fishing trip of a lifetime. Now what?
Time to plan for that bucket-list trip. Assuming that excursion is to foreign soil, you need to get with the program and get organized. If you can, start at least a month or two from your departure date.
Assuming you’ve already booked your lodge and airfare, let’s go over the basics. You’ll need a passport. If you have one, make sure it’s up to date.
There’s medical prep. Make sure you bring your personal medications and get immunized, if you need to. That, of course, depends on where you’re going.
File an itinerary with the embassy of the country you’re visiting. Not every foreign country is welcoming and if they’re not, you want someone official to know your whereabouts.
Before you start packing, ask the lodge what you should bring and what you’re responsible for. Don’t assume. Ask.
A couple non-fishing necessities spring to mind.
1) A satellite phone. You can’t always count on cell service.
2) A small wall charger, since some hotels may only have one outlet.
3) Batteries. You can never have enough.
4) Condiments. Ketchup and mustard are a given in U.S. restaurant. No so in other countries.
5) Toilet paper/Kleenex. Not as prevalent as you might think.
6) Last, but certainly not least: Trip insurance (in case of a last-second cancellation); and medical evacuation insurance (Global Rescue) in case emergency care is needed. Global Rescue is included in the Blackfly Lodge package price, rare for most lodges, but certainly comforting for Blackfly Lodge guests.
The above items should get you started on your preparation. But what about the fun part of the planning? The fishing stuff? What kind of fly-fishing gear do you need if you go to a foreign country?
Let’s start with rods. Bring two. There’s always a chance one could break. Go with a four-piece setup, if possible. It’s easier to carry on board an airplane.
Bring two reels with the appropriate line and leaders. Take both with you, already rigged, on the water.
As for flies, better to bring your own, because they may not be available, at least at a reasonable cost, at your destination. Check with your guide for particular patterns to bring.
As for clothes, study the weather and prepare for every possible scenario. If it may rain, it probably will.
All of this planning is easier, of course, if you’ve visited your intended destination previously. If not, you’re going to need guidance. And there’s no better staff to accommodate your needs than the anglers at the Blackfly Outfitter in Jacksonville.
Owner Vaughn Cochran and Blackfly travel ambassador Matti Majorin have fished world-wide and can answer your questions about preparing for that fly-fishing trip abroad. They know where to go, where to stay, where to fish and what to expect. For more information, visit our Destinations and Fly Advisor pages. Or you’re welcome to call us at the Blackfly store: 904-997-2220.