Episode 20 - Will Blair: Fly Fishing the Legendary Waters of Kamchatka
Will Blair is one of the godfathers of fly fishing in Kamchatka. Since 1997, Will has helped pioneer some of the top fisheries on the Kamchatka Peninsula, developing and offering what is arguably one of the best rainbow trout fishing experiences found anywhere on the planet. Yellow Dog is proud to partner with Will and his remote Two Yurt and Ozernaya programs, along with the incredibly-unique “Rainbows from Above” customized fly-out program. Because Will knows this mysterious and wild area like no one else, we tracked him down with a long list of questions in-hand. We discuss the factors that make a trip to Kamchatka so special, what gear to bring, the seasonality of the fisheries, species, travel logistics, and the stories you might tell upon returning from one of the greatest rainbow trout destinations in the world. If you’ve ever thought about a trip to Kamchatka, then you will certainly enjoy this exciting episode: the Season 1 finale of the Waypoints Podcast.
Episode 19 - JIM BARTSCHI: An Industry Icon Talks Fly Rod Design, Travel and the State of Destination Angling
Jim Bartschi is the President and head rod designer at Scott Fly Rods in Montrose, Colorado. With close to 30 years at Scott, Jim has devoted his entire career to the fly fishing industry – building and testing some of the finest rods on the planet. Jim served for two terms as a board member of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) before being re-elected in 2018 to a third term. In 2019 he became the organization’s Chairman. Jim is one of the most hard-working, straightforward, and innovative individuals that we know, and this episode in one of our all-time favorites. Bartschi and Waypoints host Jim Klug discuss fly rod design and recommendations for the traveling angler, the differences between US-made fly rods and imported rods, whether lifetime rod warranties are a good thing, why fly rods break, the current role of retailers in our sport, the state of travel and destination angling in today’s world, and much more.
Episode 18 - Charlie Conn: Taimen Fishing and the Draw of Mongolia
This episode of Waypoints features Charlie Conn, an accomplished international angler, explorer, guide and conservationist. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minnesota (1994) with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Charlie moved to Livingston, Montana to work for Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop. He first started guiding in Mongolia in 1998 and has been guiding and working there ever since. With 22 years spent chasing taimen all over Mongolia, Charlie has learned a thing or two about these amazing fish, and in this episode he talks techniques, tackle, reading water, and seasons. He also shares some amazing stories from his years spent in Mongolia as well as some of his secrets for a great taimen adventure.
In 2010, Charlie was the driving force behind the creation of the Taimen Fund – a project that was started by the Tributary Fund. As a seasoned guide in Mongolia, he was inspired to help protect taxmen and address the challenges taimen face in Mongolian waters. The Taimen Fund became a stand-alone, non-profit organization in September 2013, and Charlie has served as the organization’s Executive Director since the very beginning.
Episode 17 - MARCELO PÉREZ: Bolvian Golden Dorado and a Life of Adventure
Writer, architect, explorer and founder of Untamed Angling are only a few of the titles held by Argentinian dorado aficionado, Marcelo Pérez. Marcelo learned to fly fish on the Paraná watershed at an early age, and has since developed his passion for golden dorado by exploring, establishing and writing about new destinations in the Bolivian jungle and throughout South America. In 2001, Marcelo founded Untamed Angling with the launch of La Zona project in northern Argentina. He then went on to establish destinations that included Far End Rivers in Argentina and Desroches Fly Fishing Adventures in the Seychelles before launching the Tsimane Lodge operations in Bolivia in 2005. In this episode of Waypoints, Jim sits down with Marcelo to discuss his life of adventure and talk about the seasons, gear, preparation, travel logistics and insider information for Bolivian golden dorado.
Episode 16 - TOM BIE: Travel Writing and the State of Fly Fishing Media
Tom Bie is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Drake Magazine, fly fishing’s grassroots journal that over the past 22 years has become a powerhouse in the industry. After working as past editor for Powder, Skiing, and Paddler magazines, Tom started the Drake in 1998 while living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In this episode, Jim and Tom discuss travel writing, our sport’s literary pioneers and legends, and the impact of modern social and print media on the sport of fly fishing and the natural resources we depend on. On a deeper level, Tom reflects on why we’re drawn to fishing and how our travel and adventure stories are written about, shared and enjoyed.
Episode 15 - NICK BOWLES: Fly Fishing the Desert – Queenfishing in the UAE
Acrobatic queenfish, manmade reefs, massive skyscrapers and indoor ski areas are only a few of the things that make Dubai one of the most unusual destinations in the world of fly fishing. Nick Bowles, founder and owner of Dubai’s first fly fishing operation and outfitting business, Ocean Active Fly, walks us through his journey of establishing fly fishing in the UAE. Nick also discusses adventures in Oman and Yemen in pursuit of three different species of permit, milkfish, GT’s and many other unique species. A stop-over in Dubai en route to other Indian Ocean destination has become an essential add-on trip for anglers looking for something completely “different,” and Nick and his team are the very best at what they do. This episode with Nick provides listeners with great stories of fishing in the Middle East and inside information to consider Dubai as part of their next angling adventure.
Episode 14 - KEITH CLOVER AND ROB SCOTT: Pioneering African Waters
Since 2004, South Africans Rob Scott and Keith Clover have been pioneering some of the most exciting fishing opportunities in Africa, opening and establishing fisheries in Tanzania, Cameroon, Gabon, Lesotho, Sudan and of course South Africa. As the founders of “Tourette Fishing” (recently re-named and rebranded as “African Waters”), they have done more to promote adventure fishing opportunities throughout Africa than anyone. Over the years they’ve built a dedicated team of professional guides and opened numerous locations focused on sound fishery management protocols, community projects, and stringent conservation practices. Rob and Keith sat down with Jim to talk tigerfishing, the history of their operations, and why Africa is the “next frontier” for adventure angling and travel.
Episode 13 - TUCKER LADD: Gear and Equipment for the Traveling Angler
Tucker Ladd is the owner of Trouts Fly Fishing, a Denver, Colorado-based fly shop and outfitting service. Tucker has spent his entire professional career in the fly fishing industry, where he has worked as a fishing guide, fly shop employee, and now a shop owner with two locations. In 2005, Tucker’s dream of owning a fly shop was realized when he purchased Trouts, the same fly shop where he had learned to fish as a young man. Over the past 15 years, Tucker has grown Trouts into the industry-leading fly shop that it is today. In this episode, Tucker and Jim discuss key pieces of gear for traveling the world, packing and purchasing tips and techniques, flies, pre-trip preparation, the best travel luggage, common gear and packing mistakes to avoid, and more.
Episode 12 - ALEC GERBEC: Understanding and Explaining Tides for the Saltwater Angler
Alec Gerbec has guided for years in some of the world’s finest fresh and saltwater destinations. He spent eight years working in Bristol Bay, Alaska at Enchanted Lake Lodge and four years guiding in the Seychelles – one of the most tide-dependent fisheries in all of fly fishing. As Alphonse Island’s head guide for three straight seasons, Alex developed a deep understanding of tides and the effect they have on all flats (and even bluewater) species. In this episode of Waypoints, Jim and Alec talk about the “angling-related science” and terminology of tides, and how different moon phases, tidal flows, and water conditions can impact a saltwater fishery.
Episode 11 - ARNO MATTHEE: South African Angling Legend
Arno Matthee is an absolute legend in the world of adventure angling and exploratory travel. He grew up in South Africa, where he cut his teeth on yellowfish before heading to the outer atolls of the Seychelles when that fishery was still very much in its infancy. He spent years guiding and exploring the Seychelles, spending close to 100 weeks on motherships on Cosmoledo, Providence, Astove and numerous other locations. During his time on Alphonse, he literally “cracked the code” when it came to catching milkfish on the fly, developing patterns and techniques that are still used to this day. Since that time, he has become obsessed with giant tarpon – fishing and exploring the flats, coastal areas and rivers all throughout western Africa. Arno now resides in Gabon – home to what he will tell you are the largest tarpon on the planet.
Episode 10 - Checking in on Abaco and Grand Bahama – October 2019 Updates Post Hurricane Dorian
On the first two days of September 2019, Hurricane Dorian – a Category 5 storm – hit the Bahamian islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. For two days, the islands were pummeled by sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, with maximum gusts in excess of 220. It was the strongest hurricane on record to affect the Bahamas, and – parked over the islands for two days – it destroyed everything in its path. In the four weeks following the storm, a lot has taken place, but in many areas and in many communities on both Grand Bahama and Abaco, the recovery efforts continue, and the rebuilding has only just begun. To discuss the ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts to date, host Jim Klug sits down with two guests: Doug McKnight, the Bahamas program director for Yellow Dog Flyfishing, and Dillon Gruber, Associate Director of the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation. We talk with Doug and Dillon about what YDCCF and others from throughout the fly fishing industry are doing to assist post-storm, and we share live reports from several lodge owners on both islands, including Rob Neher of East End Lodge, Greg Vincent of H2O Bonefishing, and Oliver White of Abaco Lodge.
Episode 9 - KIMBERLY FRANKE: Trip Insurance and Evac Coverage for the Traveling Angler - Deciphering the Ins-and-Outs
Kimberly Franke is the founder and principal for Kanna Travel Services, a Montana-based, full-service travel agency that specializes in trip logistics, flights ticketing and insurance solutions for adventure and sporting travel. A strong believer in outstanding customer service, Kimberly and her team offer in-depth solutions and travel coordination through a thoughtful approach that ties your fishing adventures and your travel logistical together in a seamless and easy way. She one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry when it comes to “insider advice” for flights and is also incredibly experienced when it comes to knowing the ins-and-out of trip insurance policies, coverages, and plans. Kimberly studied business and design at Curtain University in Perth, Western Australia, and over the years has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, New Zealand, India, Belize, Australia, FijiandNorth America. A native Aussie from “WA”, she has adapted well to the Montana lifestyle.
Episode 8 - Wil Flack: Feeding Permit–Tips and Techniques for Chasing the Black-Tailed Devil
Permit and steelhead addict Wil Flack has been living, guiding and working in Belize for close to 20 years. Wil owns Tres Pescados Fly Shop on Ambergris Caye as well as the Belize Permit Club further to the south in Hopkins, Belize. In this episode of Waypoints, Wil shares with us his opinions, advice and hard-earned knowledge on all things permit, including how to prepare, how to present, how permit behave, the best times of the year and best overall conditions for permit, and much more. Whether you’re already a hardcore permit junkie or someone who is looking to plan and prepare for their first permit adventure, this show will provide an incredible amount of relevant information. As a guide, Wil has been putting his clients on to permit all throughout the waters of Belize. As an angler, Wil has fished all over the world, including Tahiti and French Polynesia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Fiji, Venezuela, the Bahamas, Kanton, Australia, Hawaii, Japan and throughout the US West and Canada. He was featured in the 2013 Confluence Films project, Waypoints, searching for jungle payara and eating barbequed jungle rat with his friend Oliver White.
Episode 7 - Shaun Lawson: The Realities of Fly Fishing in Mexico
Shaun Lawson is Yellow Dog’s program manager and director for our Yucatán, Baja and Canadian programs. Shaun grew up on the Henry’s Fork River – literally. His father Mike opened Henry’s Fork Anglers in 1976 and Shaun spent every summer on the river from the age of three on. Shaun brings a ton of industry experience to the position, having guided throughout Montana and Idaho for more than 20 years. Shaun also worked as past fishing operations manager for Idaho’s South Fork Lodge, one of the top lodge and outfitting operations in the business. There are very few people in the entire fly fishing industry as knowledgeable and experienced as Shaun and we are super excited to have him as a part of the Yellow Dog team! His friendly demeanor is often overshadowed by his sheer stature, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more inspired and outgoing angler on any river.
Episode 6 - DEVAN VAN DER MERWE: Fly Fishing Throughout the Seychelles
Devan Van Der Merwe is the general manager for Alphonse Fishing Company in the Seychelles. With more than a decade of guiding and working in the Seychelles, he knows the region and the out-island fisheries as well as anyone alive. With responsibilities that include the management of five different island operations and close to 50 fishing guides, Devan is a wealth of information when it comes to planning a trip to this amazing part of the world. During a recent visit to Bozeman and the Waypoints studios, Dev shared with us an amazing amount of information about where, when, how and the what-to-expect when it comes to fishing the Seychelles. If you’re considering a saltwater trip to the Indian Ocean, this episode provides an incredible amount of inside information on how to arrange the best trip possible.
Episode 5 - JAKE WELLS: Planning the Perfect Trip to Montana
Based in Bozeman, Montana, Jake Wells is Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures’ program director for all U.S. West programs, including the largest of those offerings – Montana. Originally from Virginia, Jake moved to Idaho in 2005 and started his career in the fly fishing industry at Henry’s Fork Anglers, one of the most well-known destination fly shops in the Western United States. After leaving Idaho at the beginning of 2013, he relocated to Utah and worked as a sales representative for some of the top brands in the industry. Jake is an unbelievable source of knowledge on all things having to do with fly fishing, and he now travels all throughout Montana and the Western U.S. pursuing his passion and helping others to do the same. In this episode of Waypoints, Jake shares his knowledge and advice on planning a trip to Montana, including information on when to go, where to fish, chasing hatches, finding the best guides, and avoiding the more popular (and at times crowded) waters.
Episode 4 - BRYAN GREGSON: Photography Tips and Tricks For the Traveling Angler
Professional photographer Bryan Gregson has established an incredible reputation in the world of fly fishing as one of the most accomplished and well-traveled angling photographers in the world. After starting his photography career in the winter action-sports industry, Bryan turned his lens to capturing fly fishing around the globe. He is the humble recipient of numerous awards and large-scale assignments and has worked with Patagonia, Volvo Cars, Scott Fly Rods, Hatch, Trout Unlimited, Scientific Anglers, The Drake, Yellow Dog Flyfishing, and dozens of other brands, conservation groups, and publications. In this episode of Waypoints Bryan shares years of experience and his favorite tips and techniques for how to pack and travel with camera equipment, how to select the right gear, and how to get the most out of your travel photography. Whether you’re an advanced shooter or an iPod owner who simply wants to up your game with better images, Bryan’s advice is incredibly helpful.
Episode 3 - CAMILLE EGDORF: Alaska Trip Planning and How To Do It Right
Camille Egdorf is a Montana native who grew up splitting time between her home in Hardin, Montana, and her parents fishing camp in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Camille currently resides in Bozeman, Montana where she runs the Alaska program for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures. Seeing the world is her passion, and being able to share it with others is her life’s calling. Camille has spent every summer since she was a little girl at her family’s fishing lodge on the Upper Nushagak River in Alaska. She began guiding at a young age, enveloping herself in fly fishing and the great outdoors. In this episode of Waypoints we discuss the secrets of doing Alaska the “right” way – finding the best lodges and guides, picking the season, and setting yourself up for a successful trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Episode 2 - MIKE TAYLOE: What To Do When the Shit Hits the Fan - Straightforward, No-Nonsense Advice and the Emergency Action Plan For the Traveling Angler
Mike Tayloe is the co-owner and Director of Operations for Finns West, a unique company in the fly fishing industry that provides Wilderness First Aid courses and Emergency Action Plan development for fly fishing lodges, outfitters, guides and staff. Tayloe has combined his successful professions as a paramedic and fly fishing guide to provide a much-needed and often overlooked service for the fly fishing and adventure travel industry. Tayloe has worked and consulted in destinations that range from Mount Everest to Antarctica, and currently spends his winters in Chilean Patagonia guiding on Cape Horn. In this Podcast we explore the ways that anglers can better prepare for travel, avoid health and medical problem in the field, and better react when problems arise.
Episode 1 - BRIAN O'KEEFE: The Dos Equis-Man of Fly Fishing Discusses A Life of Fishing Adventure
Fly fishing legend and industry veteran Brian O’Keefe has traveled to some of the wildest and most remote angling destinations in the world, including Sierra Leone, Tonga, Bikini Atoll, the Seychelles, Kenya, Cuba, Kashmir, Nicaragua, Venezuela and more. Brian sold his first fly fishing photograph when I was 16 years old, and since then has been traveling, photographing and fishing all over the world. His photography has appeared in many of the finest publications in the industry, including The Drake Magazine, Outside Magazine, Field & Stream, USA Today, Fly Fisherman, Outdoor Life and many more. With this episode, Brian sat down with host Jim Klug to talk about his lengthy career in fly fishing, and to share some of the favorite stories from a wildly-entertaining life of travel.
Introducing WAYPOINTS Overview - With Jim Klug
Founder and Director of Operations for Bozeman, Montana-based Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures (www.yellowdogflyfishing.com), Jim began working in the fly fishing industry at the age of 14. Over the years, he has worked as a guide, sales rep, travel coordinator, and as past National Sales Manager for Scientific Anglers. He’s guided extensively in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon, and has fished throughout the world in over 50 different countries.