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Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices

May 03, 23
It’s been almost 18 years since Yellow Dog opened its doors and began booking fly fishermen and women to destinations across the globe. After close to two decades booking anglers we’ve heard and seen just about everything and there are always a handful of questions that arise when booking specific destinations. We’ve compiled a list of some frequently asked questions in addition to some “best practices” when it comes to booking. These are our recommendations but keep in mind that there ALWAYS exceptions.

Alaska The land of the midnight sun and some great fisheries, Alaska is a destination the continually brings back anglers year after year. Since it’s such a high-demand location we suggest booking 8 months to a year out. Prime dates such as August book out well in advance and booking a month or two before your desired dates is near impossible.

Argentina The main thing to remember with Argentina is that it requires, generally, three days of travel time. Make use of your time and tack on a day trip in Buenos Aires on the way in or out of the country. We even suggest booking for longer than a week if at all possible. This way you’ll be able to fully appreciate and see all that Argentina has to offer. Be sure to book 10-12 months out so that you have your first pick of the best dates.

 Bolivia Since Bolivia doesn’t have a lot of fishing programs and lodges like other countries, anglers need to book at least a year out.

Brazil Brazil is another niche fishing country and doesn’t offer a lot for different lodges. However, don’t let that deter you as the fishing is fabulous but be aware that availability can be scarce. Book 8 months to a year out to ensure you get your choice pick on dates and lodges.

Canada Make sure to book at least a year out so that you have your pick of dates. Booking a year out will open up more opportunities.

Chile Similar to Argentina, Chile requires typically two days of travel. A week-long trip will take eight days in total. Book 10-12 months out and consider adding on an Antarctic cruise or another activity to maximize your time in South America.

Guyana Keep in mind that the season in Guyana is only 4-5 weeks long. You should book a year or more out as a short season means only a select number of anglers can actually be hosted.

Iceland Anglers from all over the globe want to fly fish in Iceland. It’s a high demand location and space fills up quickly. Be sure to book eight months to a year out to get your pick at choice dates. Furthermore, there are no day trips in Iceland. Maybe that will change sometime in the future, but at the moment there are no day trips in Iceland.

India All trips to India are customized and planned for each angler. Make sure to book your trip ten months to a year out.

Mongolia Mongolia should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a country that offers so much with its people, food, and of course the fishing. Book a year in advance to get your spot secured.

New Zealand Think about booking your trip a year in advance. Not only will it give you a better chance at booking your dream lodge during the best dates, but it will give you an opportunity to reserve other activities that you want to book on the front end or back end of your fly fishing trip. Russia Due to the logistics of fly fishing in Russia, (which Yellow Dog handles all of), we suggest booking 1 to 2 years out. This is also a highly sought-after destination which means it’s always best to book sooner rather than later. 

Tanzania Only four anglers are hosted in camp on a trip. For this reason, it’s relatively difficult to get your first choice at dates. Book at least a year out to increase your chances of getting your spot reserved.

Pacific Northwest Anyone who wants to chase steelhead and trout needs to make the pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest. If you book six months to a year out, it should give you adequate time to get your first choice at prime dates.

U.S. Rockies The U.S. Rockies offer lots of options for fly anglers. Concerning booking it’s a pretty flexible destination in regards to lots of great options. Maybe you know where you want to go but don’t have dates lined up or vice versa. That’s not a problem because chances are if you don’t get your first choice at a lodge or date we can set you up with a similar situation. With that said, it’s good practice to book 6 to 12 months out. It should also be noted that if you are going on a trip such as the Smith River, Middle Fork of the Salmon, or into Yellowstone Park with an outfitter, special permits are required. Because the permits are written long before the season, guests are picking a pre-arranged trip and should book a year or more in advance.

Bahamas The Bahamas is one of Yellow Dog’s most popular destinations due to its incredible bonefishing. It’s suggested to book 6 to 12 months in advance.

Christmas Island As people want to escape winter for warmer weather, January and March are considered the peak season and prime time at Christmas Island. Book 9 to 12 months in advance to make sure you can escape the cold! Another thing to note is that the plane to Christmas Island only takes one flight a week, so anglers are committed to one week.

Belize Belize was the country Yellow Dog was built on, and it’s still one of our most popular destinations. If you’re thinking of booking or are set on booking a trip to Belize, it’s best to reserve your spot 6 to 12 months in advance. Cook Islands The Cook Islands have been growing in popularity over the years as a premier bonefish destination, and we suggest that guests book trips 12 to 18 months in advance.

Costa Rica Even though it’s entirely possible to plan a trip last minute to Costa Rica, we suggest booking eight months to a year out.

Cuba Trips to Cuba have a minimum of three-day packages. Anglers should book a trip at the absolute minimum six months in advance.

Dubai Dubai is another destination that is rapidly growing in popularity. With only one outfitter in Dubai, space fills up quickly. Book 10 months to a year out to ensure you have a spot.

Guatemala Maybe the most famous destination for bluewater sportfishing, Guatemala is in high demand. Anglers should book eight months to a year in advance.

Honduras Honduras has some terrific saltwater fly fishing, and people should keep in mind that to secure your first choice of dates it’s recommended to book 6 to 12 months.

Mexico Is Mexico safe? That’s overwhelmingly the question we are asked all of the time. Our response to the question is always the same. Mexico is safe for tourists. The number of Americans traveling to Mexico is staggering, and there have been virtually zero instances of someone being targeted by violence. Be sure to book 6 to 12 months out to ensure you first pick at dates and lodges.

Seychelles and St. Brandon’s Atoll These are incredibly popular destinations in the Indian Ocean. Strict fishing regulations limiting the number of anglers means excellent fishing but finding open space can be somewhat tricky. Be sure to book a year to two years in advance.

Day Trips If you can plan your day trip 4 to 6 months in advance, then you’ll have more opportunities to fish the water you want.

Louisiana Booking trips 8 to 12 months in advance is not uncommon, and most anglers end up just booking the same dates the following year after their fishing trip. The season’s year-round so we always recommend going when you can. If you have a two-week window to work with, then this will open up more opportunities and you won’t lose your dates to someone else booking. What’s even better is to bring a couple of different dates, e.g. three or four, Wednesday to Sunday time frames. Hopefully this guide will answer some of your questions and enable you to book your trip at the time that’s right for you.

One important aspect to touch on is that many lodges have first right of refusal. This means that the lodge gives anglers- usually ones that are just finishing their trip- the option to book the same dates the following year within a particular time frame. So even if the lodge doesn’t have open space at the time you want, you can still be placed on a waitlist, and something could always open up.

Examples of destinations that do this are Alaska, Iceland, Argentina, and Chile to name a few. One last piece of advice that everyone should consider is that summertime is historically slow for booking agents. People are outside enjoying the weather and not thinking about travel. But many times this is the best time to book trips as more availability is typically open. If you have questions or concerns about a trip be sure to email or call us, better yet, stop by the office and we’ll chat over a cup of coffee.

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