Fly fishing vacations and holidays
- advice for travel

fly fishing holidays, trips and vacations advice
fly fishing brochure

Fly fishing vacations - advice for the traveling angler

fishing trips, guided rtips , vacations and holidays
Netting a Cains salmon NB

Whether your fishing vacation or holiday is in Scotland, Alberta, New Brunswick, Gaspe, Norway, Spain, Ireland or anywhere else there are certain things that you must not forget before setting off on a fishing trip. At home my car arrives on the river bank stuffed with all manner of fishing tackle, rods, reels, lines and flies of all shapes and sizes, everything is at hand. I can look at the water, assess the conditions and choose what I think is best. A very comfortable feeling that is suddenly missing as I plan and pack to fish abroad, what tackle will I need? How do you prepare for a trip away from home and without your four-wheeled tackle bag?

Let's start with the obvious you will probably need to take a rod. Sometimes however this is unnecessary because the outfitter will provide suitable rods, reel and lines or arranging to hire them is easier than risking your own tackle abroad. If you do take your own equipment, be prepared to have it lost, broken or stolen, it happens. You must have it adequately insured. My customers coming to Scotland on guided trips can have the use of rods, reels, lines other sundry items and hire waders for a small fee. This saves them lots of hassle and luggage. Rods that break down into short lengths are much handier for carrying than standard rods. I use a 15 foot 5 piece rod and a 13 feet four piece rod for double handed work and a 9 foot 4 piece #5 and a 9 foot 6 inch 4 piece #8 for single handed fishing. With these I can cover all situations from delicate dry fly for trout to heavy salmon fishing with fast sinking lines. Most airlines are happy for these to be carried on board and although I am always concerned should they refuse, it has not happened yet.

Reels and lines should be chosen for suitability and versatility. My usual choice is to carry at least two identical reels and perhaps several other lines or spare spools already loaded with line. For salmon fishing the use of shooting heads for sunk line work greatly reduces the burden. For flies I take whatever is appropriate, sometimes I even take some materials in case I decide to make a few in my hand if need be. Fortunately it is nearly always possible be beg, borrow or steal flies at the local. I like to take a selection of tapered leaders and a few spools of monofilament to make up custom leaders. Then come the sundries and I have never been the type of angler who likes to drape himself with gadgets and so in my pockets I take a pair of polarized sunglasses with amber lenses and fitted with a "Croakies" strap which is just enough to keep them floating - should they fall off! Glasses without a retainer are sure to be lost. Glasses are essential for safety and comfort. A good pair of sharp scissors or scissors pliers for cutting nylon and a small Swiss knife for odd jobs, both attached to me by short pieces of old fly line. And finally a hook hone to ensure that my fly remains sharp. Something to flatten barbs is useful and if the neither the Swiss knife or the scissors pliers is man-enough, a pair of artery forceps that double as a terrific hook remover, usually will. Lip balm, sun block, insect repellent and/or insect proof clothing and a small first aid kit are essentials.

Clothing requirements depend upon the venue. If you are heading north always take waterproof and warm layers they may not be essential every time but they can be a lifesaver. Lifejackets are often provided by the outfitter, if not take one with you and be sure to have spare cartridges the same goes for a wading staff. Folding staffs are easy to pack and carry. (If you are stuck and you need one when salmon fishing a double handed rod does the job!) Breathable waders are easier to carry and more versatile than neoprene, provided that you take the necessary layers. Boots with felt soles and tungsten studs are possibly the best all-round for river wading but they are not welcome in boats! An emergency repair kit should contain material and adhesives for patching waders or waterproofs, a backpackers sewing kit, waterproof super glue, nylon thread and at least a spare tip ring if not a few others and a roll of strong adhesive tape or Duck tape.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.