Adventure Fishing on a Budget
One of the best things about fly fishing is that it can take one to the most intensely amazing places on earth. However, a trip to outer Mongolia to catch 2 meter-long Taimen isn't something most of us can pull off everyday, if ever. However, there are benefits of the current economy. One of them is that travel, especially the lodging part of it, is cheaper than it has been in years. Here's a few ways to enjoy the world, fly rod in hand:
1. Plan trips with friends. Most lodges and guide services will gladly give group discounts. Team up with friends or fly fishing clubs to take advantage of the economies of scale.
2. Plan trips to domestic locales. There are incredible places in North America that are a fraction of the cost of International locales. Although mogul-owned international lodges, with their expensive marketing firms and stacks of pretty pictures, will tell you differently, there are places in North America, and even the lower 48 that rival any fly fishing anywhere in the world. For example, I happen to know of a spot that offers incredible New Zealand-like fishing. I can drive there, reach a state of fly fishing euphoria, and be home for dinner.
3. Plan fewer trips farther in advance. If you pick your spot, put your mind to it, start the planning early, and simply save up for a while there are few adventures that you can't afford eventually. Circle the adventure that most appeals to you, whether it's a remote and sunny salt water locale, a wind-whipped Chilean sea-run brown trout river, a British Columbian steelie adventure, that trip to outer Mongolia, or even a trip to Utah, Montana, Idaho, or Colorado, you can get there with the right planning and dedication.
4. Savor the whole adventure. No matter where you go, remember to take it ALL in. The fishing has never been, nor should it ever be, the whole of the fly fishing outing. Take in the scenery, the culture, the local craziness, and the beauty. Don't forget that fishing is fishing. On these trips, the fishing is rarely all that it is cracked up to be in the brochure. The guides are not fish-whispering magicians able to cure your tailing loop and conger browns of crocodilean proportions with a whispered "hocus-pocus". The beds don't float you on air and the food could still cause heartburn. That said, there is absolutely and undeniably no adventure better than a great fly fishing trip.