At Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, we’re constantly pushing the limits of what we consider surreal fly fishing opportunities.
From the far-fetched land of the Himalayas to the remote jungles of the Amazon, we’ve discovered that creating phenomenal fly fishing experiences has no limits! Through the years, we have had the opportunity to fly fish for some of the most exotic gamefish species on the planet.
Our travels have taken us to places that most likely would never be on anyone’s radar as a prime fly fishing destination.
It is easy to say that no one here in our office appreciates containment to a couple of locations. We’re always asking ourselves, “what else is out there?” Today, we’re sending clients around the world to explore the most fascinating and peculiar fly fishing destinations.
We’ve compiled a list of seven super exotic fly fishing trips.
You have to try at least one of these trips before you die! Push your limits.
1. African Waters Tigerfishing – Tanzania, Africa
Tanzania is located on the eastern coast of Africa, facing the Indian Ocean. It is situated between several countries which include: Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Malawi.
While Tanzania is mostly recognized for its incredible safari trips and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, it also presents a unique fishing experience.
The discovery of Tanzania’s Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers significantly changed Africa’s sportfishing scene.
To put this significant discovery into perspective, over the last half-century in which anglers have targeted tigerfish on the fly, no one had ever landed a fish that was over twenty pounds.
After the discovery of these two rivers, the record was shattered back in 2008 with eight fish over twenty pounds in a single season.
Tigerfish resemble striped bass in appearance; however, they have very large, sharp teeth to shred food and prey.
Anglers target them with large black whistlers, Clousers, and Puglisi baitfish patterns. These fish are very territorial and aggressive and perfectly compliment Tanzania’s wild landscape.
It’s not every day that you can cast a fly rod on a river dotted with elephants!
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: KEITH CLOVER and ROB SCOTT – Pioneering African Waters
2. Golden Dorado in the Jungle – Bolivia, South America
Deep in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia, the Secure, Aguas Negras, Pluma, and Itizirama rivers twist and turn through the rugged peaks and jungles.
These four rivers sustain healthy populations of golden dorado, a fish known for its acrobatics and sheer power. Golden Dorado is the apex predator in these rivers and roams the waters with a sense of pride.
While many larger predators do not threaten golden dorado, they can be easily spooked and challenging to catch.
Large, dark streamer patterns tied with bulky deer hair heads that can push water work well for these fish.
Nowhere else in the world can you wade a mountain stream and have thousands of butterflies dot the banks.
To give a sense of the remoteness of this operation, no motorized boats are allowed on these rivers. Instead, anglers fish out of wooden canoes that resemble what the natives of the region use.
The Tsimane program has provided traveling anglers with comfortable accommodations, making a rugged trip to the jungle far more comfortable.
This is a must-fish destination and should be on every angler’s bucket list!
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: MARCELO PEREZ – Bolivian Golden Dorado and a Life of Adventure
3. Fly Fishing for Arapaima – Guyana, South America
The country of Guyana, located beneath the Caribbean Island chain and next to Venezuela, is similar in size to Idaho.
Over 80% of the entire country is covered in lush, tropical rainforest, which en masse holds more than 15% of the Earth’s freshwater.
Besides the ornate rainforests, many waterfalls, and unusual mammal species present in the country, there is a fishing opportunity unlike any other.
In the Rupununi Area of Guyana lurks an ancient fish armored with scales that resemble a mythical dragon. The apex predator in its waters, Arapaima, can reach lengths of fifteen feet and weights of up to seven hundred pounds!
Twelve weight fly rods and casting heavy streamers are required to hook and land one of these monsters successfully. Arapaima fishing is not a numbers game, and landing only a handful of these majestic creatures in a week is normal.
Arapaima is recognized for its bulldog-like fighting style, and powerful head shakes like that of tarpon.
While this fly fishing trip isn’t for everyone, those that choose to combine a remote adventure with a fishing vacation will find it truly remarkable.
Anglers will stay at the Rewa Lodge in rustic but comfortable cabanas, among a host of howler monkeys, tropical birds and frogs, and several other mammal species that aren’t found on any other part of the planet.
This is a true wilderness adventure guaranteed to exceed your highest expectations of a “remote” fly fishing trip.
4. Fly Fishing for Golden Mahseer – Northern India
This fly fishing destination is definitely one that is not considered by many anglers. Deep in the Himalayan Outback, a fish decorated in golden plates prowls the depths of the timeworn rivers. When held against the sunlight, the scales of the Golden Mahseer reflect different hues of colors, like looking through a kaleidoscope.
Golden Mahseer fishing is similar to fishing for Atlantic salmon and steelhead. Many scenarios call for sinking tip lines (200-250 grains) that will allow you to get streamers deep within the water column. Swinging flies with spey rods is also common for hooking mahseer.
The fishing is generally done by wading the banks and casting into large pools and deep runs.
Anglers who choose to venture to the Himalayas in search of golden mahseer will discover comfortable accommodations with the Himalayan Outback Operation. Lodging is found on riverfront white sand beaches surrounded by stunning peaks towering above.
The fishing, scenery, and local food will give any angler a lifetime fly fishing experience, but it’s the gentleness and purity of the people who will have you coming back.
5. Fly Fishing the Amazon for Peacock Bass – Brazil, South America
A fly fishing trip to the Amazon River will leave you in awe as you venture deep into the Amazon rainforest in search of trophy peacock bass.
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest globally, with nearly two-thirds of it in Brazil.
Native tribes who are totally disconnected from the outside world are used to seeing anglers and English-speaking guides and welcoming them.
Anglers can catch three different species of peacock bass (temensis, butterfly, and spotted) as well as many other abnormal gamefish species such as pirarucu, pirahna, aruana, and payara.
What establishes peacock bass as a world-class gamefish is their ferocious ability to strike a topwater fly. In some cases, peacock bass will hit a topwater popper so hard that they will actually launch several feet out of the water.
Several fly fishing operations on the Amazon River target trophy peacock bass. They include a shallow draft yacht operation, on-the-water lodging, and a relaxing riverfront lodge.
Large peacock bass can tear line off a reel on the first couple of runs, leaping out of the water while thrashing its head back and forth, putting even the most capable fly fishing gear to the test.
6. St. Brandon’s Atoll – Somewhere in the Indian Ocean
St. Brandon’s Atoll is located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of eastern Africa just north of the island of Mauritius.
This is truly one of the most untouched and pristine saltwater flats fisheries on the Earth.
What landed St. Brandon’s Atoll on this list wasn’t just that it’s so remote but the vast number of different species available to target on the fly.
Besides the massive schools of bonefish, epic giant trevally fishing, and indo-pacific permit, anglers can also target bluefin trevally, golden trevally, emperor fish, parrotfish, barracuda, and more.
Because of the never-ending fishing action and scenery, there is never a dull moment at St. Brandon’s.
If you’re an angler searching for true trophy bonefishing, then look no further. A typical (there’s actually nothing typical about this place) week on the Atoll will give you countless shots of large bonefish with chances of catching bones that are up to three feet in length.
Just the thought of miles of the most pristine flats in the world, schools of hundreds of large bonefish, and giant trevally crashing onto the flats in pursuit of prey will make anyone twitch. This is why St. Brandon’s, as well as other places in the Seychelles such as Providence, Farquhar, Astove, and Cosmoledo, is widely considered the pinnacle of saltwater fly fishing. We would have to agree.
Fly fishing on St. Brandon, surrounded by incredible scenery and totally detached from civilization, it almost feels like you’re in a dream.
7. Fly Fishing for Taimen – Mongolia, Asia
Eight hundred years ago, the fearless leader Genghis Khan, responsible for the deaths of up to forty million people, was the ruler of the Mongols. Mongolia is a bit smaller in size than the state of Alaska and has an ancient and rich history that extends throughout Asia.
But it’s what is in store for fly anglers in this destination that has helped put Mongolia on the map for many passionate anglers.
On the Eg and Ur watersheds, located in northern Mongolia, lies a species of fish that resembles a giant trout.
Hucho Hucho Taimen, which translates to “River Wolf,” is the perfect name for this merciless fish. Taimen are known to eat ducks, mice, and even large prairie dogs (try tying that fly).
Taimen are found in relatively shallow/fast water and can grow up to 40-50 inches in length. While that’s truly trophy taimen, the average size of most fish caught falls between 32 inches and 10 pounds! When fishing for taimen, each angler is assigned a “beat” or section of the river to fish. Anglers can expect long fishing days, and a few fish landed, but the fish you do catch will be monstrous.
Skating large dry fly patterns or using a heavy sink tip line and swinging streamers is the most productive way of catching taimen. To some people, just being able to see a taimen strike a dry fly is worth their weight in gold. The takes can be violent, sudden, and somewhat scary the first time.
If you’re the kind of person who loves skating large dry fly patterns or swinging streamers for big fish, then you’ll love this adventure!
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: CHARLIE CONN – Fishing for Taimen and the Draw of Mongolia