Hosted Travel Reports
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My 6 weeks in steelhead mecca British Columbia has finally come to an end. I had another great group of guys for my few weeks of hosted trips. Everyone caught bright chrome steelhead, coho and sockeye salmon on the swing. Doug Rohn and I also experienced the most amazing dry fly steelhead day I have ever seen, raising over 20 fish on a remote part of a sacred steelhead river. We stayed at two excellent lodges, Stan Dolls Wilderness Lodge and Brian Niska's Skeena Spey Lodge. I will return to both operations next year, as I think they are the absolute best of the Lower Skeena guide and accommodation options. Contact me if you are interested, as there are limited spots during the prime weeks I have booked there.
Heading to the Grande Ronde to start my mulit day float trips for Scott Odonnell's new Speywater Lodge. We have some openings for both my floats and lodge days. Contact me for details. Also booking Trinity trips for November, and Southern Oregon winter steelhead trips for December and January. My Olympic Peninsula days are filling up quick for February into April. I now offer accommodation options for that include meals and can offer attractive guide and accommodation packages, which are extremely rare up in that part of the world.
Doug with a chromer
The home water of Skeena Spey Lodge
Ted Jablonski was the top rod of the week
Mega chrome jumping dry fly fish
BC steelhead are epic
Doug after releasing another skated up fish
Skeena mornings are amazing
Mike striking a perfect pose with a perfect fish
classic admiration shot
Another trip to BC is in the books. I was up there for 5 weeks doing my annual hosted trip and exploration. Amazing experience, as always. I will be putting two hosted trips together for next year. Please contact me for details.
Heading to the Grand Ronde tomorrow. I have two spots left available for my last multi day wilderness float on the lower river, one of the coolest steelhead experiences in the lower 48.
Then I will head to the Trinity in early November.
Darcy Bacha with a superb dry fly steelhead, he only fishes the dry fly. epic
Dean Bell with another mega BC steelie
Just another perfect BC swing run
April Vokey's film crew, I will be appearing on an episode of her new TV show
Master angler and guide for my NZ trip, Dean Bell
A good way to explore BC
Giant BC steelhead eat dry flies pretty good
I just finished up another fantastic hosted week in steelhead heaven British Columbia. The rivers here have no dams on them, and only native wild steelhead reside in these dramatic rivers.
We stayed at Stan Doll's Skeena Wilderness Lodge in Terrace. Stan has been guiding the Lower Skeena and its fantastic tributaries for over 40 years, and has a huge amount of commercial guiding rod days to offer his clients. We fished 4 different amazing rivers over the week, which is a very unique thing to be able to do in BC.
Dennis, Murray, Doug, and Mike all hooked acrobatic dime bright steelhead over 20lbs. Landing them was another story! A good amount of steelhead and coho salmon were landed, chrome bright bars of silver. I got a few on dry flies, epic. We also worked on spey casting skills throughout the week, and everyone progressed quite nicely.
Good buddy and BC speycasing legend Brian Niska is opening up a sweet new lodge right on the Skeena River in October. I have been staying there before and after my hosted trip. Next year I will most likely be hosting trips at both lodges in late August into September. Contact me if you are interested. If you are a serious steelheader, this trip is an absolute must.
Mega chrome BC resident
His Holiness in the morning mist
Love the river siesta
Murray aka "the Dalai Lama" with a chromer
Mike bates battling a huge steelhead on an amazing river
I have 3 spots open for my annual trip to the ultimate steelhead destination of British Columbia. Check out the details of this trip on our Hosted Travel link. If you are a steelheader, you absolutely need to do this trip. We will be fishing the sacred waters of the lower Skeena system during prime time. All projections point to a stellar year in BC this year.
I just gave a presentation in Squamish BC at Brian Niska's Cast and Blast. It was one of the most enjoyable fly fishing industry events I have ever attended. Canadians are incredible fly tiers and anglers, as well as some of the nicest people you will ever run across on Earth. Shoot me an e mail if you are interested in the BC Steelhead Experience, one of the finest angling opportunities the world has to offer.
My mega BC steelhead journey has finally come to an end. Fall and clouds finally arrived, which provided epic dry fly fishing my last 3 days there with steelhead buddies Darcy Bacha and Eric Jackson. We hooked over a dozen fish each day primarily on drys, which is ridiculous. We went skunk 4 days prior to that, so we were certainly due. That is steelhead fishing...rewards only come to those that are dedicated. Rain is still badly needed for the smaller rivers to become fishable.
Special thanks to all my friends up there who helped to make my trip truly epic. You know who you are, and cant wait to see you next year for an even longer period of time.
My hosted trip to Z Boat will most likely be the 2nd week of September, and looking at the following week at another location. Check our website soon for details.
I head to the Ronde now until mid November. I'll be on the Trinity for almost a month after that so book it while you can. Should be a great year there...
It has been in the mid 80s with cloudless skies for the past week, which is not exactly steelhead weather...but I'll take it. I have spent the last 3 Septembers in BC, and it seemed to always be cold and rainy prior to this season. I had a great week of angling despite the perfect summer weather, fishing with other hopelessly addicted steelhead bums on the famed tributaries of the Skeena. The low and clear water on a particular river has provided the opportunity to sight fish to steelhead over 20 lbs...truly amazing. They are pretty difficult to catch in this situation, but we managed to land some absolutely amazing specimens this week, and lost quite a few others.
Jim from steelhead camp with a lovely hen
traveling in style, with cold beer in hand
Truly mega steelhead over 20lbs
mist on the river...classic steelhead moment
Sunshine and chrome...good combo
Katie and I just got back from a great trip to the Bow River in Alberta, Canada. We took a group of 14 anglers to North Bow Lodge, which is located right on the Bow River about 45 minutes from the airport in Calgary. It was a great group of people. I had fished with most of them before and we made some great new friends, too.
The lodge is right on the river in a prime location. You can walk right out and fish a lot of water on foot right in front of the lodge. The lodge is located in the middle of one of the most popular floats on the river. Our group was guided for three days by the guides from Country Pleasures Fly Shop in Calgary. Most of us floated in drift boats, but two of the guides used jet boats on the lower end of the river. Katie and I fished with three different guides and got to experience three different sections of the river, from downtown Calgary all the way down past the lodge.
Our group persevered through some challenging weather. Fishing was great the first morning, but shut down in the afternoon as a storm rolled in. The next day we had about an inch of rain, which was enough to blow out certain sections of the river for part of the day. Conditions were the best on our last day. There was still a fair bit of color in the water, but the fish were feeding and most of the people in our group did well.
The Bow River is a big river like the Lower Sac and you can fish it many different ways. The great thing about it is that you can do very well on dry flies, hopper-dropper, and streamers. Our group did very little nymph and indicator fishing. Katie and I caught fish primarily on big grasshopper dries, but also had action on small dries, nymphs under dries, and on streamers. Our average fish was about 17". The biggest fish landed in our group was a 22" rainbow. Some in our group caught rainbows up to 21" on small dries! Bow River rainbows fight incredibly hard.
Another whole facet to our trip was seeing a river that had just been through a 100-year flood this spring. Calgary was in the news in June and July because of the extensive flooding on the Bow River. The Calgary Stampede was nearly cancelled. Needless to say, the river took a beating. We floated through town where the damage was the worst. The river shifted hundreds of yards in places, destroying parks and bike trails and footbridges over the river. On the lower river there are massive piles of sediment, many new channels, and many collapsing banks. It will take a few years for the river to get back into balance again. The fact that our group still hooked many 17-21" rainbows just two months after the flood is testament to the quality of the fishery. It will only get better over the next few seasons.
Many thanks to Stu & Michele at North Bow Lodge and to Mike Gifford at Country Pleasures Fly shop for helping us to put this trip together! The lodge was great, everyone enjoyed the food, and many in our group are already planning a return trip!
Guide Jason Eggleton holding a Rainbow caught by Katie
This was a typical fish for us
Katie was top rod the first day
Andy and Tim with guide Mike Guinn
Katie's hopper was well-chewed by lunchtime
Andy and Tim with guide Mike Algar
Andrew & Katie at the boat launch
Katie's big fish on day 3
The Bow is a great river for wading, too
The view from the upper deck at North Bow Lodge
Jason with Bernard's big fish
Catherine always catches big fish
The whole group on the deck at the lodge
I just wrapped up my hosted week at Z Boat lodge on the Lower Skeena River. Brad and Kim have a terrific operation here, with stellar guides and accommodation. We had a typical week of steelhead fishing, with some amazing moments fishing the lower Skeena and its tributaries. Thanks to Paul, Dennis, Pete, Bruce, and George for joining me in one of my favorite places on Earth. Great times were had on and off the water that made a truly memorable trip. I will book two weeks next year in September. Spey Casting legend Brian Niska, one of the best casting instructors I have worked with will be taking the operation over next season.
I am fortunate to be spending a total of six weeks here in BC. Overall returns are low, but I have managed to hook epic fish on the hallowed waters of the Dean, Kispiox, Bulkley, Morice, Skeena, and Copper. Pressure is very low this year, and the weather has been superb. Its also nice to be around such amazing anglers who share my love of speycasting for steelhead.
I will be on the Ronde for the whole month of October until mid November at Speywater Lodge, which is totally booked. Then I will head to the Trinity to join the Confluence crew Andrew, Gino, and Randy in late November until Christmas, and still have available dates.
Dean River guides April and Steve from Blackwells Lodge
Dennis and Greg, and epic chromer
Dennis and Greg, again
The Gooch, again
The crew on Z Boats deck overlooking the mighty Skeena
Paul in the moment
Fish on in a 200 yard perfect swing run
epic dog pic
Pete Notz in the first spot he fished
Our Bow River Trip starts tomorrow! Katie and I fly out of Redding first thing in the morning. We are really looking forward to a great fishing trip with some of our best clients. Check back next week for photos and a write-up of the trip!
I snuck away on another epic trip to Mexico a few weeks ago to chase the famous rooster fish of Baja. Much more technical fishing than the juvenile tarpon of the Yucatan, but a must do for the ultra keen angler. The operation that I used was superb in every aspect, with excellent guides, pristine beachfront accommodation, and the best authentic Mexican food I have ever had. I am putting a trip together for next April or May along with two other Tarpon Tours that are in the books. Flights to Mexico are affordable, the package deals are the best value in the saltwater industry,and the fishing is some of my favorite in the world. Contact me for details.
Jeff from Alaska with an epic rooster
Guide Justin spotting cruising roosters
I hosted a group of 5 keen anglers in late April on an incredible fishing trip to two unique lodges strategically located in the Yucatan. We had an awesome trip both on and off the water. Our group hooked well over 100 juvenile tarpon ranging from 10 to 50lbs. We only used floating lines and focused on sight fishing for the acrobatic, aggressive, hard fighting tarpon that we stalked in beautiful mangroves and open water. We encountered massive schools of rolling tarpon in the open water on calm days, and if it was windy we headed into the sheltered mangroves. Truly epic fishing, all out of really cool panga boats with awesome casting platforms. Most of the tarpon were hooked within 40 feet of the boat.
The food and accommodation were superb. The guides were great, and the price of the trip is hard to beat in the industry. I will be hosting two trips back there next April and early May. Contact me for details and very limited availability. I will be posting a highlight video to Youtube in a few days and share some photos on my next report.
Katie & I will be hosting a trip to the Bow River in Alberta this September. The Bow River is near Calgary and is famous for big rainbows and browns. I have fished the Bow in early September in the past and had fantastic fishing. It is typical to do a variety of dry fly, streamer, and nymph fishing throughout the day. 20+ inch wild trout are common on the Bow. The dates for the trip are Sept 5-9, 2013. We will be staying at North Bow Lodge, a comfortable fly fishing lodge right on the Bow River. We will have four nights of meals & lodging and three days of guided fishing. The price is $1695 per person excluding airfare to Calgary.
We have our date set for the mega steelhead trip to British Columbia next year. It will be the prime week at Z Boat Lodge of Sept 1 to 7. We had an amazing trip there last month and am stoked to get such a prime spot for next season. Contact me for details.
Dennis and Stroh on the Skeena
A giant Skeena system specimen
My hosted trip to the steelhead mecca of British Columbia was amazing. Everyone landed native steelhead on skated drys and light tips, with fish reaching up to 18 lbs. Jeff Thompson rose over 20 steelhead one day! Everyone had moments of glory. For the totally committed steelheader, you need to put BC on the top of your bucket list and come next year. I have the prime week of September 1st booked at Z Boat Lodge on the lower Skeena, and possibly a few spots in mid august. Thanks to Dennis, Stroh, Bob, and the Jeffs for coming on the mega steelhead trip.
I am looking forward to the Trinity and upper Rogue this fall...early reports from the Confluence team are good. I will be there from mid november until mid december. We also have a few spots left on the Ronde where Ill be until then.
Dax Messett will be hosting a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico April 14-22, 2013. There is just one spot left on this six-person trip! This is the best place on earth to catch good numbers of baby and juvenile tarpon. Check out our Hosted Travel page for more details.
Sightfishing for bonefish and GTs in barefeet on the flats is one of my passions in angling. Christmas Island is the mecca for this experience. There are 2 spots left for my Christmas Island trip for the week of April 24-May 1st of this year. This is one of the finest saltwater trips you can take on Earth. Great for beginning to elite saltwater anglers. Also one of the best values in the industry for destination travel. Contact me for details about this fantastic angling adventure.
Starting in 2012, Confluence Outfitters will be working with Flywater Travel hosting trips to the finest international travel destinations that the angling world has to offer. Our waters in California and Oregon provide superb angling opportunities, but the beauty of fly fishing is that it provides a good excuse to travel to some of the coolest places on Earth. The confluence team is well traveled, and would love to host you to some of the finest angling venues that the world has to offer. Check our website soon for our upcoming hosted trips.
a perfect bonefish flat
destination travel is not all about fishing
Bonefish are insanely cool
Well, I just got back from an eventful 2 week trip to Eleuthera, which is a small island of the Bahamas. We had superb fishing, snorkeling, and lounging with cocktails on deserted white sand beaches until we were rudely interrupted by Hurricane Irene. Luckily, no one was injured, but it was sad to see the destruction inflicted by Irene on this wonderful island community of incredibly friendly people. It makes me look a little differently at high water steelhead conditions. Life is short, book a trip, and go fishing! Steelhead trips are booking up fast, so call Marisa and book a trip with the A team.
I will be doing a hosted saltwater trip to Christmas Island next year, for easy bonefish in a hurricane free environment. If you have never fished the flats before, it should be on your list. Contact me for details.
A nice bonefish, pre hurricane
main st. post hurricane
sight fishing in the flats...epic
Another amazing season in New Zealand is in the books. Dick Galland, founder of Clearwater House on Hat Creek brought a group of extremely keen anglers down. What a superb group of skilled Nor Cal anglers and just all around gentlemen. Jeff, Alan, and Gary were all an absolute pleasure to fish with, and fantastic anglers. Dick is simply one of the most relaxed, beautiful casters I have had the pleasure of watching in NZ, a venue he and I hold in the absolute highest regard. Dick played a major influence on my guiding career and initial interest in New Zealand, so it was very special for me to spend time on the water with him in Trout Heaven.
Much needed rain unfortunately led to some challenging conditions in the Southland when Dick's group arrived. My home dry fly river was blown! We adapted to the situation, and enjoyed some excellent spring creek dry fly fishing, especially Gary who hooked 6! I then joined the group over in Te Anau, to fish with kiwi guide legend and friend Dean Bell. We had some terrific fishing and weather over there to wrap my season up. What a wonderful way to end an idyllic season for me in NZ. I get it more dialed every year. Thanks to Dick and his crew for a memorable week.
Book early for next season in NZ. I have some incredible package deals available, and will be taking limited bookings from Jan-May for 2011. Join the search for moments.
After a week in Australia with Leah, I will be back at Clearwater Lodge for the opening weekend. I'm always excited to be in that part of the world that time of year. I have the first week of May open for bookings. I also have June rather wide open, which is my favorite time to dry fly fish the Fall River and other intermountain venues.
Gary with a stunner
ultra keen angler Jeff Thomson
Special friend, special place
I just completed two incredible backcountry missions. The first was a solo exploratory mission where I got dropped off at a river in the middle of nowhere via boat. Beautiful rainforest river, no people, but no fish either! That's the game.
The next mission was a different story. I was being filmed for a movie coming out in July by Gin Clear Productions called "The Source". We searched, we found, we pillaged on drys for 3 days on multiple backcountry rivers. We got some stunning footage, and I am excited to see the final product later this year. It will be avaiable in most fly shops worldwide, and featured in the "Rise Film Festival" throughout Europe, Australia, NZ, and the US.
Finally some rain and cooler weather, which sould trigger some mayfly hatches and sea run brown movement. Life is good.
Johannas from Auckland
Nick Reygart...one man film crew