As we head into the spring season, there is a great deal of optimism and excitement in the travel world. The planet is gradually reopening, and people are once again ready for adventure and exciting new experiences. This is especially true for anglers, many of whom have been relegated to fishing home waters or focusing on nearby domestic options for the past 18 months.
With vaccines readily available in many countries and international travel protocols and restrictions continuously being relaxed for those who ARE vaccinated, there has never been a better time to plan and prepare for your next angling adventures. The coming tsunami of bookings and trip reservations promises to make things very interesting concerning future availability, and the theme for the near future absolutely needs to be, “Start Early!”
From our perspective here at Yellow Dog, the difference between 2020 and the first couple of months in 2022 has been night-and-day, and we’ve literally seen things go from zero-to-100 in a matter of months. As we work our way through the upcoming season, we have never been busier with leads, inquires, and new reservations, and we expect that things will remain incredibly hectic for the next several years.
As a traveling angler, there are some essential factors to consider for the near future and some key pieces of advice for “doing things right” when it comes to planning destination angling adventures for the months and years ahead.
- Roll-over trip dates will make things interesting (and challenging)
When the pandemic hit, the world of international angling came to a screeching halt, and over the next 12-16 months, tens of thousands of trips to all corners of the angling universe had to be canceled. The majority of these canceled trips had to be rolled ahead and re-booked, which meant that destinations already in high demand with limited availability are now booked to capacity for the foreseeable future. The days of “waiting until school starts” to book a winter saltwater trip or trying to schedule a “last-minute deal” to a top-tier lodge are gone. In fact, it may be several years before the demand once again balances out with what’s available. Start early with your planning if you care about prime dates, the best guides, and setting yourself up for angling success. Yes – we may be able to find some options for the near future (it is always worth calling Yellow Dog!), but your options will be significantly better if you start early.
- The overall global demand for travel and experiences is higher than ever
No surprise here. When you ask people to literally stay home for more than a year, the pent-up demand for traveling and exploring is naturally going to go through the roof. And while the product market (think Amazon and other retailers) did exceptionally well when everyone was stuck at home in 2020, as the world reopens, we already know that people will be turning to services, experiences, and travel like never before. If 2020 (and much of 2021) was the year of home exercise equipment, shelter dogs, and yoga pants, 2022 will be the year of international travel. Get ready.
- Ease of Covid restrictions and borders reopening
This is happening at a rapid pace, and despite the doom-and-gloom and sensationalistic, chaotic tone of (all) the 24-hour news networks, the stats in many parts of the world are encouraging. No – the pandemic is not over, and YES – Covid remains a challenge in many parts of the world. However, the fact is that opportunities for vaccinated travelers are continuing to increase and improve on a regular basis. Much of the angling world is already open and available for those that are ready and comfortable in getting back out there.
- More people are getting vaccinated
Think back to April of 2020, when the streets were empty, schools and businesses were closed, and everyone was hunkered down at home without any outside contact. The vague promise of “some sort of vaccine” in a year or so seemed like a far-fetched dream. Fast forward to today, and here we are, with multiple vaccines available and the opportunity to conquer a global pandemic and resume our everyday lives. The greatest scientific minds, funded by the greatest country on earth, have given us a path forward, yet suddenly, this issue has become contentious? This is not about politics. It’s about science. We have a fast-track forward and a way to put this pandemic behind us, and if people can turn off their agenda-driven news feeds, do their own research, and actually think for themselves, we can put all of this in the rear-view mirror sooner rather than later. But don’t let me try and argue the case, because the fact is that regardless of your own politics or your personal opinions if you’re a world traveler or someone who truly appreciates the wild places that fishing takes us (Argentina, Belize, Seychelles, Cuba, Iceland, the Bahamas, Christmas Island, Bolivia … the list is long …) your travel life is going to be difficult, limited and in many places impossible if you are not vaccinated. That is the reality for international travel in the months and (likely) the years ahead.
- Rested fisheries
If this doesn’t get you excited as an angler, then nothing will. When you relax pressure on fisheries used to seeing significant and constant numbers of anglers, it is incredible how quickly you can see the results. While this decrease in travelers and visitors has, of course, been tough for the lodges, guides, outfitters, and everyone else who depends on destination angling for their livelihoods, the fisheries, eco-systems, and resources themselves have all benefited from the break. From Ascension Bay to the flats of Seychelles, from Bolivia to the wild rivers of Kamchatka, these fisheries have not fished this well in years. Sound enticing?
We cannot stress enough how difficult prime availability – access to the best dates, lodges, and guides – will be moving forward. We always want to take excellent care of our clients, and we will always do everything we can to set each Yellow Dog trip up for success by focusing on all of the “key ingredients” for great fishing and great overall experiences. However, the way to help make this happen in the months and years ahead is to get started early.
It is never too early to start planning your next adventures, even if they are one, two, or even three years out! The more lead time we have, the more we have to work with great options and availability.
THE WORLD IS REOPENING… LET’S GET STARTED!