Yellow Dog: Yellow Dog’s ever-prompt and ever-thoughtful responses to our (many) questions and requests was a huge bonus. I have dealt with quite a few outfitters and booking agencies on such trips over the years (and have also worked as both earlier in my career), and I know firsthand that such exceptional customer service and destination-competence is a much-appreciated rarity in today’s world. It was certainly not wasted on me. Based on my experience with the Cosmo and Alphonse trip – and the staggering amount of prep work required to make them happen - I would absolutely use Yellow Dog again (and plan to).
COSMOLEDO: This ecosystem literally took my breath away. I would rise before first light every morning to lay alone on the deck of the Lone Star and simply watch the stars… I simply could not take my eyes off the heavens. And after spending the first day out on the stunning flats and beaches, I felt as if I had seen something I wasn’t supposed to see… like I was intruding on a place that God had set aside all for Himself to remind him of how superlative His handiwork is when left untouched by man. I was humbled to tears.
As for AFC, they are absolutely on top of their game. All of our guides on Cosmo (Cameron, Dave, Olly, and Alex) were super-competent, very friendly and encouraging. There was no pretense, or sign of impatience regardless of our abilities (or lack thereof). They worked their butts off, yet always had time to chat, share a story, help with gear and tackle, tie knots, instruct on tactics, etc. Although they have to rewind and put-on new smiles every Saturday with new clients, we quickly felt a genuine bond with each of them. The fishing was outstanding… but what elevated the trip to the “epic” status was that group of guys.
ALPHONSE: To our (happy) surprise, the team on Alphonse carried-on the exceptional level of customer service that we experienced at Cosmo… but on a much larger scale. Again, in all my various travels around the world (and in the hi-end safari biz), I have never experienced this level of customer service to this degree amongst every employee we dealt with at Alphonse. From their Leisure GM (Gordon), to the Fishing GM (Devon), and everyone in between, they were flawless. I’ve never experienced that before at any resort. And I know firsthand how incredibly difficult that is to pull-off. Really remarkable performance.
Alphonse Fishing Company: In general, the AFC team have taken thoughtful customer service to a new level - from the comments above, to things like having cold drinks and snacks awaiting us on the Alphonse and Astove runways as we transited through en route to Cosmo; or and taking the effort to capture their clients fishing experience on film. Another example: My wife, Charlyn, had no interest in SCUBA diving. But after talking to the Alphonse team (Lucy, Byron and Talia), she felt so comfortable with them that she decided to give it a try… and LOVED it. It was like having our own personal team of experts to dive with!
My 2-cents for what it is worth… AFC and Yellow Dog are operating in rare air at the moment in terms of sublime fisheries and top-end customer service. Companies are often seduced into letting the quality and beauty of a fishery or destination carry the water for them, while they let service slip. Please don’t lose sight of how critical customer service is in distinguishing yourselves amongst the herd.
If you want to experience this incredible destination for yourself, be sure to contact Jim @ yellowdogflyfishing.com (Jim Klug) or call 888-777-5060 for more details.