BEFORE YOU ARRIVE | YELLOW DOG FLY FISHING TRAVEL TIPS
5 things to do BEFORE your trip by Greg Bricker
Most anglers have lives outside of fly fishing, and anymore, a number of us feel there are simply not enough hours in the day. Your time is valuable, and perhaps the limited amount of time you get to spend on the water even more so. Whether you are preparing for a two week fishing trip, or simply a day on the water with your favorite guide, be sure to do the following to make more effective use of your fishing time. While they may seem simplified and obvious, these things are often overlooked, and can really impact your trip.
Get Your License
The first day of your fishing trip is not the day to get your license. Most guides and outfitters expect you to arrive with some degree of preparation, and an unplanned trip to a licensing agent may interfere with his/her plan for the day. Many lodges and guides in exotic destinations will happily assist you in obtaining all necessary licenses and permits that are required for their fisheries, but for day trips within the lower 48, try to have your license before your trip. Most states offer online purchasing for fishing licenses and these processes are very user friendly and efficient. Nothing throws your guide a curve ball quite like finding out that you don’t have a fishing license after arriving to the boat ramp.
Check Your Gear
Again, the boat ramp is not the time to pull the rod (the one you haven’t used since last season) out of the tube, and realize that the reel seat is broken, or the tip is broken off. Inspect all of your gear before you arrive, this takes 5-10 minutes, and you will avoid any unexpected surprises. It happens time and time again, an angler pulls the rod out of the tube, only to find it broken and useless. In most cases, guides will have extra rods, but these should not be relied upon. Take the time to visually inspect all guides and ferrules are functioning, be sure the reel seat will hold the reel, and finally, check the reel(s) and lines; be sure everything is in good working order.
A brief conversation with your guide or outfitter, either by phone or email, shortly before your trip is essential for success on the water. Managing expectations is absolutely huge for both guides and anglers alike, and having pertinent information before the trip helps to insure that expectations are both known and realistic. A reputable outfitter/guide will be very transparent when it comes to revealing recent reports on conditions, techniques, and catch-rates. In turn, it is important for the guide to fully understand exactly what you are hoping to achieve. They cannot exceed your expectations if they do not know what your expectations are in the first place.
Check The Forecast
Know what you need, and what you don’t. In the age of instant information, weather forecasts can easily be found for every spot on the globe. Take the time to do some research and make sure you are properly equipped. Also many lodges and outfitters have taken to providing many, if not all of the items you may need, so be sure to know what you are expected to bring for your destination. Streamlined, efficient packing will also make travel easier, so pack smart and eliminate unnecessary frustration or lugging around extra weight and gear.
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