We recently touched on some of our favorite operations for novice fly anglers looking to go on their first saltwater fishing trip. Very similar to prospecting for saltwater fly fishing lodges, when looking for freshwater destinations, there are several important factors to keep in mind. Is the fishing technical? Is it mostly wading or floating? Are the fish spooky or aggressive? And lastly, but perhaps the most important – how is the lodge and operation? Are the guides friendly and forgiving? Yellow Dog offers a handful of trip options for beginners, so check out some of these:
Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho
The American West is home to some of the most storied and fabled trout waters in the world. The long and rich history of angling in the west is overflowing. When searching for a freshwater angling vacation the go-to locations are Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. These western states offer the easiest and most convenient trip packages for a beginner.
Lots of accomplished anglers have cut their teeth on western trout waters. Easy access to the water, paired with abundant lodging opportunities makes Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho perfect destinations. The main thing to keep in mind is that all the programs, more or less, fish the same. At the end of the day, trout fishing in western Montana is not all that different from trout fishing in Idaho. The real difference is with the accommodations. There are options for no-frill lodges all the way to five-stars. It depends on what you prefer. Be sure to contact Jake Wells who oversees the entire U.S. West and start planning a trip that caters to you. He earned his chops working on the Henry’s Fork and has fished throughout the U.S. scouting Yellow Dog lodges and locations.
Note: Some programs include gear (as is the case with all Montana outfitters) so for the first- time angler who doesn’t want to spend a significant amount of money, this is the perfect option.
Deschutes Angler has a variety of world-class fishing and guiding options. The Deschutes River is a beautiful high-country fishery that offers anglers rainbow trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, bull trout, and mountain whitefish. The river is great for dry flies and also has the famous salmonfly hatch each May.
The knowledgeable guides will walk beginners through the intricacies of river fishing as well as casting techniques and fly presentation. For someone looking for fishing in a beautiful setting, Oregon offers it all. Jake Wells is the program director for Oregon. Be sure to contact him with any questions.
Alaska is home to huge rainbow trout, grizzly bears, and salmon runs so thick you can almost walk across their backs. Yellow Dog has quite a few different operations in Alaska each unique and offering a different experience. From high-end, fly-out lodges, to remote tent camps, to overnight float trips in the Alaskan bush – we only provide the very best operations and only ones with great fishing, and personalized service. Camille Egdorf oversees all programs in Alaska and can answer any question you may have about the fishing or accommodations.
Kulik Lodge is situated on the banks of the Kulik River which is one of the top trout rivers in the world. If the home waters aren’t enough, clients can choose to do fly-out trips with professional guides and experienced pilots to fish the world-famous rivers in Bristol Bay and surrounding areas. Trophy rainbow trout, arctic char, arctic grayling, lake trout, northern pike, and all five species of pacific salmon can be found fishing out of the lodge.
Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is nestled at the base of the Tordrillo Mountains on the breathtaking Judd Lake and nearby the outlet of Talachulitna River. With access to helicopters and floatplanes, fishing from the lodge to the close by lakes and rivers is easy. From Anchorage, the lodge is only 40 minutes making it convenient to get to and hassle-free. If you’re a skier or snowboarder be sure to find out more on the Cast and Carve program – salmon fishing and skiing or snowboarding all in one trip. Anyone looking to get into freshwater fly fishing should be sure to check out all that Tordrillo has to offer.
Egdorf’s Western Alaska has been running trips out of their wilderness tent-camp operation since 1982. The program is focused on a fly fishing experience in a pristine wilderness setting, and anglers can expect almost nonexistent crowds with some incredible fishing. Since the camp is situated on the Nushagak River, anglers can easily fish for all five species of pacific salmon: chinook, sockeye, chum, coho, and pink salmon. Prolific numbers of rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and dolly varden all can be found right out front of the camp. The Egdorf’s operation places you in the middle of the finest fisheries found on earth.
Intricate Bay Lodge, found on the banks of the Iliamna Lake in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska, has created a program designed to provide an intimate experience in one of the most productive fisheries. The lodge is located on the Copper and Gibraltar rivers offering easy access to nearby fishing. And with a floatplane, guests can take easy flights to fish other world-class waters. Not only just a floatplane, but the lodge also owns jet boats and rafts for further explore the rivers. The home waters of Intricate Bay see annual salmon runs that are unprecedented anywhere else in the world. After the salmon runs, rainbow trout, arctic char, and dolly varden make their way into the rivers. Intricate Bay prides itself in developing programs catering to individual angler’s needs.
The best way Canada fishing can be described is: variety. Canada is home to legendary steelhead waters in British Columbia; rivers chocked full of trout in Alberta and lakes full of pike in Saskatchewan. For beginner anglers, the rivers of British Columbia and Alberta are home to healthy numbers of trout, a diversity of species, and consistent dry fly fishing with incredible hatches. Breathtaking views surround anglers, and with almost a total lack of crowds, the fisheries of Western Canada are some of the best in the world. Contact Shaun Lawson with any questions about planning a Canada trip. He’s spent significant time exploring all the lodges and fisheries that Yellow Dog offers in Canada.
Miminiska Lodge is located 235 miles north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Access to the remote lodge is by floatplane or private jet only. Sitting near the Albany River in the Arctic watershed, anglers can enjoy a virtually private experience on Miminiska Lake where giant brook trout, northern pike, and walleye all call home. The world-class lodge offers a luxury wilderness experience unlike many other places on earth, and both beginners and families will be left wanting to return in subsequent years.
Dave Brown Outfitters is a superb operation out of Fernie, British Columbia that caters to beginner trips. Offering a variety of different lodging options, at all price points, Dave Brown’s an excellent option for focused anglers, couples, larger groups, and families. The lodge has access to more than a dozen of the finest trout streams in southern British Columbia and western Alberta. Anglers can find large fish, a wide range of species, and healthy numbers of trout that will rise on dry flies. Beginner fly fishers will be happy with the almost total lack of crowds, and for someone just diving into the world of freshwater fly fishing – there couldn’t be a better setting.
It’s never too late to take an adventure or learn a new passion. Yellow Dog ensures every angler is fitted with a lodge and operation best suited to them. With over 187 different lodges, Yellow Dog can always find an operation that caters to your individual needs and preferences. With a boots-on-the-ground approach; every program director at Yellow Dog has been to and experienced the lodges and destinations they offer. Give us a call to chat with any one of the angling and traveling experts in the office to start planning your next trip.