Anglers have been exploring distant waters for decades. From the first exploratory fly fishing trips in the jungles of the Amazon to un-mapped atolls for fly fishing for Giant Trevally in the Seychelles, the quest to fish further and further afield is deeply rooted in the souls of many anglers. For some this thirst for adventure is rarely fully quenched, because the next best fly fishing trip is the one yet to be taken.
With over 200 destinations for the best fly fishing trip, it is hard to determine which trip is the best. What might be “best” for one angler isn’t for another. Each trip we create is often custom-tailored to each individual angler. This unique ability to only sell what we know–and we know a lot–means we can probably create “the best fly fishing trip” for anyone wanting to fish any of our destinations.
So, whether it is close to home or across the world sight-casting to New Zealand brown trout or seeking a double-digit bonefish on a Bahamas fly fishing trip, opportunities exist to experience Eight of the Best Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Planet.
1. The Seychelles
Far off the eastern coast of Africa and thousands of miles northeast of Madagascar lie hundreds of Seychellois islands. Throughout these islands are dozens of atolls and saltwater flats, offering unbelievable wading and amazing fly fishing opportunities for an incredible number of different species. Giant Trevally are the draw here, but these fisheries offer so much more– you will find bonefish in extraordinary numbers, several different types of trevally, milkfish, triggerfish, bumphead parrotfish, permit, and dozens of other reef and flats species.
The quality of fly fishing guides in the Seychelles is at, or above, the level you would expect from the best saltwater lodges throughout the world. Guides here are passionate, knowledgeable, safe, and hard-working. The array of lodging options runs from off-the-grid eco-lodges to full-scale resorts. The remoteness, exceptional quality of guides, and variety of lodges make a trip to the Seychelles one of the best guided fly fishing trips on the planet. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Devan Van Der Merwe, general manager for Alphonse Fishing Co., discuss fly fishing throughout the Seychelles on the WAYPOINTS Podcast.
2. Kamchatka, Russia (Currently Closed Due to Ongoing Conflict)
Anglers have been fishing Kamchatka for decades. Because of this, the knowledge of the rivers and fisheries here is substantial. But, there is simply so much water here, a fly fishing trip to Kamchatka is one of wilderness fly fishing for large rainbow trout.
With a peninsula larger than the landmass of California and only one passable and maintained road heading into this region’s interior, it is safe to say fly fishing here is a true backcounty wilderness fly fishing experience. And, the native fish here grow big…and eat with aggression. If you have ever dreamed of fishing some of the most remote, untouched rivers on earth for large, aggressive, surface-feeding native rainbow trout, then this trip should be at the very top of your list.
Guides here are experienced and safe. From fixed-based camps to float fishing trips, amenities here are ideal for anglers who desire all the comforts without the fluff—the fly fishing for massive trout is what makes Kamchatka one of the best guided fly fishing trips on the planet. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Will Blair, Kamchatka fishing enthusiast, discuss fly fishing the legendary waters of Kamchatka on the WAYPOINTS Podcast.
3. The Bahamas
Recently, destinations for fly fishing in the Bahamas have expanded their options for permit and tarpon, but, The Bahamas is known for bonefish…and the abundance of world-class, historically significant bonefish guides make a trip to The Bahamas one of the best-guided fly fishing trips in the world. Throughout the islands of The Bahamas, lies a network of pristine water and a gigantic network of unspoiled flats. Throughout these islands are some of the planet’s most talented, knowledgeable, and hard-working fishing guides working out of a diverse selection of lodges—from mom and pop guesthouses to luxury resorts to angler-centric lodges.
With over 700 islands in The Bahamas, bonefish swim in many places. And some of these bonefish are big. An angler desiring to catch a double-digit bonefish will surely find opportunities in The Bahamas. Whether it is the massive expanse of the west-side of Andros or the logistically easy flats of Grand Bahama, a Bahamas trip to fly fish for bonefish is equal parts adventure, a lesson in the history of fly fishing for bonefish, and relative ease of travel due to its proximity to the U.S.
Wild steelhead, trophy pike, and plenty more wild trout rivers and creeks to fish in a lifetime. If you were to use only one word to describe fly fishing in Canada, that word would definitely be “variety.” From the legendary steelhead waters of British Columbia to the trout-rich rivers of Alberta to the pike-filled lakes of Saskatchewan, a fly fishing trip to Canada is a must.
Serious and slightly more experienced anglers may be interested in the challenge of wild steelhead in British Columbia – home to the world’s most famous steelhead rivers and the largest trophy sea-run rainbows on the planet. One of the single most overlooked aspects of Canada’s fly fishing scene is what they offer the trout angler. We know that the words “world-class” and “best” get thrown around a lot, but we’re not kidding about their trout fishing – we’ll leave it at that!
Canada, as a country, takes their fishing seriously as well. With well-planned and highly managed fisheries, anglers can expect quality fishing from steelhead, native cutthroat, and backcountry trophy pike. As one of the largest countries on earth, Canada has endless lakes, rivers, and coastlines to fish.
Deep in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia, the Secure, Aguas Negras, Pluma, and Itizirama rivers twist and turn through 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 Golden Dorado is not threatened by any larger predators, they can be easily spooked and a bit of a challenge to catch, making them an ideal quarry for fly anglers.
Using the local knowledge of life-long resident guides, a dorado fly fishing trip is one of the best-guided fly fishing trips on the planet. Deep in the Bolivian jungle are destination fishing lodges catering only to anglers pursuing aggressive dorado. But, the fish are not the only draw—the jungle itself is alone worth the trip. 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. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Bolivian golden dorado fishing enthusiast, Marcelo Perez, discuss Bolivian golden dorado on the WAYPOINTS Podcast!
6. Montana and Idaho’s Specially Permitted Float Fishing Trips
Montana’s Smith River and Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River have many great things in common—they all flow through beautiful canyons, they are home to abundant populations of wild trout, and they require a specially regulated permit for any fly fishing trip. Because of the remote nature of these rivers and their restricted permits, they are all some of the best guided fly fishing trips on the planet.
A trip on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon is the epitome of great food, fish-eating dry flies, and an exciting yet safe river. For non-anglers, this trip is a perfect blend of relaxation, scenery, wildlife, and great service. The outfitter and guides pride themselves in their knowledge of the canyon’s history and geology.
Montana’s Smith River is pristine, protected, and isolated. Smith River flows for 60 miles through a beautiful limestone canyon. At the end of each day, spacious two-person tents are pitched, the camp is set up, dinner is cooking, and drinks and appetizers are ready. And, we haven’t even talked about the fishing yet. The quality of the professional guides here matches the consistently good fishing for wild brown, rainbow, and westslope cutthroat trout. While fish numbers and action tend to be great, by the morning of the second day most folks find the fishing a close second to the beauty of the river. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Jake Wells, Yellow Dog’s U.S. West program director, discuss planning a trip out West.
This island country is the largest island in the Caribbean and it may only be ninety miles from the United States, but it is a long way from any other fly fishing trip around. Home to the Big Three—tarpon, permit, and bonefish—a fly fishing trip to Cuba is equal parts consistently good fly fishing for saltwater species, cultural experience, and spending time with some experienced and passionate saltwater flats fishing guides.
A trip to Cuba is also about visiting the country and seeing a destination that in many ways has not really changed much since the late 1950’s. The fishing can be exciting and productive, but a visit to Havana and some of the more rural areas of the island to experience the sights, the sounds, the people, the great old cars, the music, and the overall culture that Cuba has to offer is what makes these trips special.
A fly fishing trip to Cuba with Yellow Dog is 100% legal and by booking a trip to this unique country with Yellow Dog you can be assured we will work to make a Cuba fly fishing trip as seamless as it will be enjoyable.
With majestic volcanoes, expanses of backcountry rarely explored, and generations of experienced fly fishing guides, Patagonia is a land filled with amazing fly fishing trips. In fact, choosing which country—Chile or Argentina—provides an exciting component to planning a trip.
Patagonia is one of the premier freshwater fly fishing destinations in the world – a productive, one-of-a-kind region in South America that is home to dozens of lodges, experienced and professional guides, and more rivers, streams, and lakes that can possibly be fished in a lifetime. The options and choices are endless, which is why deciding on where, when, and how to fish Patagonia can at times be overwhelming. But, whether you choose a fly fishing trip to Chile or a trip to Argentina, your experience will surely be one of the best guided fly fishing trips in the world.
The Patagonia region is a vast area of land that stretches more than 260,000 square miles across the bottom third of Chile and Argentina, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It is a freshwater angler’s dream come true. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Travis Smith and Rance Rathie, owners of Patagonia River Guides, discuss the inside information on fly fishing in Patagonia on the WAYPOINTS Podcast.
9. New Zealand
Considered a bucket list trip for many anglers, a guided fly fishing trip in New Zealand is a lot more attainable than you may think. Sure, this is the land of heli-fishing and sight-fishing to enormous brown trout during an “epic Mouse Year,” but, first-time anglers to this island nation, paired with a correct New Zealand fly fishing guide, can discover why New Zealand is a destination for all abilities of anglers.
This might have been one of the last states to enter the Union, but it is the largest in terms of fishing options. Covering over 371 million acres, Alaska contains one-fifth of the total landmass of the Lower 48, more than half of America’s national parkland, 80% of America’s national wildlife refuge land, and more world-class fishing water than a person could possibly explore in a lifetime. From high-end fly-out lodges to remote tent camps to overnight float trips in the bush, our Alaskan fly fishing operations are the very best at delivering great fishing, personalized service, and a fantastic experience. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Camille Egdorf discuss Alaska trip planning and how to do it right on the WAYPOINTS Podcast.
Yellow Dog got its start in Belize over twenty years ago. Belize is home to some of the finest saltwater flats on the planet. The entire coastline of this beautiful Central American country hosts a broad range of species and a variety of different fishing scenarios. Whether you’re looking for a fishing-focused adventure, a first-time saltwater experience, or the perfect couples or family vacation; fly fishing in Belize truly offers something for everyone
The Big Three—tarpon, bonefish, and permit—of the Yucatan and the exciting fishing off Baja, Mexico is an exciting destination with a massive amount of variety. The diversity of species and fishing scenarios make the Yucatán and Baja the perfect destinations for first-time flats anglers, offshore anglers, intermediate anglers to experienced anglers, and any non-angling companions. Want to learn more? Click here to listen to Shaun Lawson discuss the realities of fly fishing in Mexico on the WAYPOINTS Podcast.