Field Notes: Summer 2023

Page 1







SUMMER | 2023

"This amazing resource offers some of the very best and most consistent..." PAGE 37


Welcome to the first ever edition of Field Notes | by Mike Fitzgerald

09 traveling truths

Insights from decades of managing, hosting, and experiencing destination travel | by Roddy Hall

17 Montana insider

Insights and perspectives from Montana fly fishing lodge owners | by Joe Koziara

29 The perfect duo

A favorite two-lodge itinerary for experiencing the best of Argentina trout fishing | by Barry & Cathy Beck

37 when conservation works

Efforts paying dividends at Turneffe Atoll, Belize | by Mike Fitzgerald

45 The old bull

Age, wisdom, and permit fishing in Cuba | by Nick Swingle


A renovated lodge and rested fishery at Christmas Island | by Lisa Kiley

61 the allure of driven shooting

The tradition, pageantry, and appeal of European wingshooting | by Mike Fitzgerald

69 appendix: destinations

"Imagine yourself sipping some of the world’s best Burgundy ..." PAGE 61


Worldwide Hunting and Fishing Destinations

contents 1 FIELD NOTES


"Although the Rio Grande is rightly famous for the huge sea-trout that run the river from December to April every year, I think the lodges have become legends in their own right..." PAGE 9


the meet



Longtime Frontiers trip hosts and photographers, the Becks travel far and wide to follow their love for fly fishing and nature photography. Based in Pennsylvania, Barry and Cathy write books, host fly fishing departures, lead African photo safaris, and operate a stock photography business. The Becks are well-known in the fishing, photography, and travel industries, and possess a stellar reputation for their skill, knowledge, and expertise born out of a 30 year career. Their most recent books include Cathy Beck’s Fly Fishing Handbook, now in its third edition; Fly Waters Near and Far, a coffee table book of photographs, and a soon-to-be-released book on Alaska. Read "The Perfect Duo" on Page 29


Roddy Hall started his career in the outdoor world in the mid 1990s, as a fishing guide in the UK and Ireland and running a small pheasant shoot. Roddy then joined Frontiers and between 2000 and 2005 was the manager of Ryabaga Camp on the Ponoi River in Russia. He then went on to be involved with several different rivers in Russia and spent every season from 1999 to 2015 managing fishing lodges in the Kola Peninsula. Roddy has also spent many seasons exploring the fishing in Southern Africa, where he lived for many years, and also regularly takes groups to destinations as geographically diverse as Argentina, the Caribbean, Iceland, and the Seychelles. Roddy now lives in Northern Ireland with his wife, two children, and numerous animals. Read "Traveling Truths" on Page 9


Professional photographer, filmaker, trip host, and Frontiers Director of Marketing, Nick Swingle has nearly 30 years of fly fishing experience. Over the last two decades, Nick has traveled the world to fish and photograph in various countries including the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain. His writing and imagery have been published in a variety of outdoor magazines and online platforms, and he is an award-winning filmaker. As a recovering management consultant and adult-onset hunter, he lives with his wife and two bird dogs in southwest Colorado. Read "The Old Bull" on Page 45




As son of the Frontiers founders, Mike Fitzgerald, Jr. was brought up in the outdoor travel business. With 40+ years of extensive international fly fishing and wing-shooting field experience, he has an intimate knowledge of all of our sporting venues. Today as President, he is still quite involved with sales. Mike loves to travel with his fly rods, shotguns, and cameras. He is also passionate about conservation, having held Board positions with American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Outside the office you will find Mike playing the bass in two bands, working with his bird dogs or sneaking off to Montana to ski. Read "When Conservation Works" on Page 37 , & "The Allure of Driven Shooting" on Page 61


Coming from a family of fly fishermen, Lisa Kiley has been fly fishing since she was a kid. She also discovered at a young age her deep passion for world travel. After booking corporate travel for many years, she began selling destination fly fishing trips in 2018. Lisa has traveled and hosted fishing trips all over the US and to international destinations such as Christmas Island in Kiribati and Belize. As part of the Frontiers Team, Lisa specializes in Christmas Island, Atlantic and Caribbean flats fishing, and Iceland and European trout fishing. Lisa's free time is spent traveling, fishing, and eating fine foods. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, family, and their dog Duke. Read "The Original Remote Flats" on Page 53


Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, Joe’s love of nature began early and has since progressed to his current quirky habit of stopping along roadways to stare at “nice looking water”. He has had the pleasure of fishing throughout much of the US and in destinations including the Bahamas, Christmas Island, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Seychelles but is most often targeting smallmouth bass from a canoe. Read "Montana Insider" on Page 17




As we head into the summer months ahead, what are you looking forward to most in “The Field” – a big brown trout head coming up in a back eddy to eat your salmonfly, the heart rush on the bow of a skiff when a school of large tarpon come porpoising in your direction, the roll of an Atlantic salmon breaking the water on your drift as the line comes tight, or the first sights of waterfowl flocking into the decoys at sunrise in South America?

In this inaugural edition of Field Notes, we take a hopeful look at the future afield through the lens of recent staff travel and insights from discussions with lodge owners. Part of our optimism stems from new experiences, such as our first foray in Cuba with the Zapata live-aboard program. We are thrilled to revisit classic destinations like Christmas Island with a newly renovated lodge; and old favorites like Patagonia with a dual-lodge itinerary. We get a charge out of seeing firsthand the positive impacts of conservation working well from the bow of a skiff in Belize.

This hope and optimism is in stark contrast (and intentionally so) to the dismal travel


years of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. The rivers, lakes, and fields are calling all of us to reconnect with nature domestically and internationally. Demand, however, has bounced back in a huge manner – to the point that many segments of travelrelated businesses have had a tough time adjusting, including the airlines, hoteliers, and on-site ground operators. Everyone is struggling to provide the level of customer service expected with this rush of new demand. Now, perhaps more than ever, a travel advisor can make the difference in navigating today’s travel challenges and making the most of your valuable time and money.

During the COVID-induced interruption, we reflected on our 54 years in the travel business to articulate our way forward. The result of these reflections is a new tagline that embodies our role and ethos in serving you, our clients and lodges: “Travel Enhanced”. After five decades, deep destination expertise may seem like table stakes to some. The core of “travel enhanced” is the breadth and depth of services our staff offer to plan and coordinate everything from your doorstep to returning into your driveway at the trip’s conclusion. We are a one-stop travel company, meaning ground transfers, flights, extended itineraries, restaurant


and spa reservations, etc. are all handled in-house. Another key component is our personal touch. When you travel with Frontiers, you have a real person watching your back pre- and post-travel, and most importantly, while you are on the trip. After hours, calls are immediately transferred to the Fitzgerald Family or senior members of our teams to help you if there is a problem. We have a full Air Team who can quickly change flights and navigate the best way to get you where you need to be. In addition to solving problems, we have the unique ability to customize trips for your personal preferences. If you are fly fishing in Patagonia and then want to visit the wine country in Mendoza, see Iguazu Falls and maybe have a tango lesson in Buenos Aires, we have the staff to coordinate terrific experiences well beyond the hunting and fishing portion of your itinerary.

We call all of this, “Travel Enhanced.” Ultimately, we want to save you time and take the stress out of travel. We want travel to be meaningful at a very personal level. And we are here to handle the unexpected situations while on your expedition. Thanks for thinking of us for your future travels. Enjoy Field Notes!

Photo credit to Leandro Herrainz: Roddy with a sea-trout from the Rio Menendez in early March.

traveling truths


Head-guide Gaston greets all returning guests at Kau Tapen with a huge bear hug and the same enthusiasm that he applies to the seatrout of the Rio Grande. With decades of fishing and guiding experience he retains the love for his job that is the sign of the exceptional fishing guide; combining an equal enthusiasm for the fish and the friendships forged on the riverbank. His presence is as familiar as the river, the stark landscape, the sight of the lamb being positioned close to the fire after breakfast for the asado later that day, the effort involved in putting on waders and boots after too long a lunch and the anticipation of dusk and a pool coming alive with jumping fish.

I have been admittedly fortunate to have experienced destination fishing from multiple perspectives. In the past as a

guide and lodge manager, I would see the fishing year, the environment, and the people transition from beginning to end of the season. Now more recently, I visit as an angler, client, or trip host who arrives for a mere week and then leaves, having dipped in for a quick seven-day snapshot of the experience. From all of this time spent around waters abroad, I have come to appreciate the charming appeals and in-between moments of visiting destinations throughout the years and through all seasons.

One of the places I have visited several times over the last decade is Kau Tapen Lodge on the Rio Grande in Argentina. The Rio Grande is a long way to travel for the majority of us. Despite this, we repeat it, season after season. It is an alternative for the Atlantic salmon fisher who can use his double-handed rods and casting


techniques that help neutralise the wind. Although the fish lie in different places to salmon, often tight to under-cut banks, it is familiar enough to be comfortable and different enough to be a challenge. For others who come from other fishing backgrounds the fish and the environment mean learning a whole new set of skills. For both, the awe-inspiring take and fight of double-figure sea-trout is something that never gets stale!

Although the Rio Grande is rightly famous for the huge sea-trout that run the river from December to April every year, I think the lodges have become legends in their own right for the superb food, wine, house staff, and guides. The river meanders through a stark, beautiful landscape, crossing the border from Chile into Argentina and flowing into the Atlantic at the town of Rio Grande, always with the Andes in the far distance. Kau Tapen, on the middle river, and Villa Maria, lower down, are a significant part of the history of this fishery and the reason northern hemisphere anglers first made their way down this far south. Kau Tapen was in fact the first fishing lodge on the Rio Grande, opening in 1984. In addition to the main river is the tributary, the Rio Menendez.

Although relatively small, much more of a single-handed rod and short-cast-type of river, fish in the mid and high 20s are caught here regularly. It is a different type of fishing. You will fish multiple pools, moving quickly and learning to read where the fish will be. Mending, accuracy, and technical fishing are crucial here.

A large part of the pleasure in revisiting lodges is seeing familiar places and sometimes faces and fishing runs and pools with which we personally have history. Even re-tasting a favourite dish after a year of absence. The one mistake we risk making is the race to experience what we believe will be the best week of the season or the week we will enjoy the conditions most. From working at and traveling in these environments for decades, I discovered there is a magic to every part of the season in a fishing lodge.

I often speak to people who have fished on the Rio Grande for many seasons as well as anglers contemplating a first visit. The conversation is a familiar one focused on identifying the best week. However, after having fished Kau Tapen at various times of the season one of the things I now really appreciate is the amazing change

The awe-inspiring take and fight of double-figure sea-trout is something that never gets stale!

Adventure ideas

Since you're traveling all the way to Argentina, why not add more sporting adventure?

Fishing: Skiff fishing in northeastern Argentina with Pira or Suinda Lodges for acrobatic golden dorado and other hard charging tropical river species.

Wingshooting: Volume dove shooting with Cordoba Lodge , Tucuman Lodge , and Santi ago del Estero

Top Photo: Pre-dinner drinks at Kau Tapen. Bottom Photo: A nice male sea-trout from the Rio Grande in mid-March.

this place goes through in a pretty short time. Across the three-month season the one constant is that there will be fish in the river. Fish early season in the southern hemisphere summer, and you will have mild days and long light evenings. The fishing at dusk is superb. Large fresh fish will be continually running into the river. As the season progresses, the days are shorter and the temperature drops. Dusk comes sooner making for fewer late nights. The fishing hours during the days become more productive as the temperature drops. Then in the last two weeks or so, you will likely have ice in your rod rings. But, the fish become very aggressive at this time. This is when very large fish are regularly caught.

One of the things I have learned from fishing at Kau Tapen is that I often made incorrect assumptions. Two of the bestfishing mornings I have ever had were when the river blew out and was the color of hot chocolate. This past season my fishing partner and I arrived on our beat, took one look at the river, rising and in flood, and decided to give it ten minutes before returning to the lodge. Two hours later we had landed ten fish of which none were under 10lbs. The same thing

The river meanders through a stark, beautiful landscape, crossing the border from Chile into Argentina.
Photo: Discussing techniques as guide and angler approach a new pool.


Looking to add some variety to your Argentina fishing trip?

Here are a few ideas:

Tour the wine region of Mendoza, Argentina famous for malbec wines and boasting over 1,200 wineries complemented with active high-country adventures and culinary exploration. Each Frontiers departure is individually built from the ground up based on the wandering travelers' whims.

Visit the 8th wonder of the world -- Iguazu Falls -- on both the Argentine and Brazillian side with private tours and 5-star accommodations. It is said Argentina got the falls and Brazil got the best view.

Trekking, glacier hikes, history, and a starry sky with no ambient light -- El Calafate, Argentina is the eastern gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and an active traveler's mecca by itself. Frontiers offers multiple properties both in and out of the park with personalized itineraries for bespoke-minded travelers.

Photo: Although not a wide river in it's middle reaches, being able to cast a long line with accuracy is important to cover the water properly on the Rio Grande.

happened a few years ago, in exactly the same conditions. I was convinced then that the first fish I hooked that morning must have been a stick so unlikely was it, in my opinion, that a fish would take my fly.

Every week on the Rio Grande will bring a different experience. Fishing later on in the season will surprise you. Despite ice on the river’s edge and occasional snow you will still catch fish. With water and air temperatures far below what I considered suitable for catching salmon the sea-trout still seem to be willing. As anglers, perhaps we need the stimulation of re-evaluating what we do, learn a little, and enjoy a few surprises. As a salmon fisher with four decades experience, I usually rely on a very small selection of salmon flies. On the Rio Grande I generally never quite know what flies I am going to be using. One week it will be smaller nymphs. The next week the Green Machine and the Sunray Shadow are the flies of choice. The following season we will use only leeches.

I also enjoy the different times of the season for that moment when you feel

part of something bigger. The excitement of fishing in the first week or two, the enthusiasm of the guides to be back on the water and the feeling of anticipation everyone has for the season ahead. When I return home, I keep my eyes peeled for the weekly report as I feel I now have a stake in that season! Or the enjoyment of fishing later on in the season and hearing the stories of the weeks past, the people who have left their mark during the season. Finally, the tired satisfaction of the guides and the staff at the end of a season where they feel they have given their best.

In summary what I am really saying is visit the Rio Grande, if you have not already! And if you are a regular visitor there or any other distant fishing operation, try and experience everything their seasons have to offer, from early to late season, from ‘prime time’ when you are hitting the jackpot with fish number to those weeks when the fishing is less predictable but the experiences and conversations with your fellow fishers and guides in the evening around the fire are just as memorable as a trophy fish.



Fly fishing lodges are like any other well-run organization – a good product and customer experience starts at the top. Whether it is your first destination fishing excursion or your fiftieth, your trip-of-a-lifetime begins with the leadership and guidance of the lodge owners and outfitters. These folks have a depth of knowledge and insight into their local waters (destinations for the rest of us) that is beyond compare. We recently got together on a call with Wade Fellin (Coowner and manager of Big Hole Lodge ),

Mike Geary (Owner of Healing Waters Lodge and Lewis and Clark Outfitters), and Brandon Boedecker (Owner of PRO Outfitters and North Fork Crossing Lodge ) and discussed topics that are important to anyone considering a fly-fishing trip to the American West. Read on to see what they had to say about the current conditions, outlook for the season, conservation, challenges, and reasons to be optimistic for the future of Montana’s great trout fishing resource.


Please note: the discussion has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Q: When a guest comes to your lodge, what's something that you want them to take away from the experience?

Wade: We want people to leave better than they started, of course, but then also able to go practice throughout the year on their home waters. Then, come back and do better the following year.

Brandon: With everything that's going on in the industry, it's a little bit refreshing to actually teach somebody how to fish as opposed to putting a bobber on and going down the river. You know, there's rivers now where people think they don't have a good day unless they catch 50 fish a day. But you take those people that catch 50 fish and …I mean, they don't understand how to mend or how the fly rod works or how to cast. So, I think it's important as we move forward to be teachers as much as anything, to teach people how to fish in hopes that when they go back to wherever they're from, the East coast or something, they've learned how to cast or learn knots and they can go be independent and, then come back and learn more every year. As

we move forward, I think that's what's going to separate some outfitters from others is the ability to teach people how to fish and the whole experience.

Mike: What we all share – fishing is a joyous thing to do. So, I hope we convey a sense of fun, a sense of joy. I hope our guides do. Every fly fishing person starts at a place where you make more mistakes and have more problems than success, but that's just the process. You know, you'd be undoing knots all day long, but when you're done undoing knots, you can sit around and look at the rest of the world and tell it to go to hell for a little bit. So that's why [we say] “let's have some fun doing this!”

Q: How do you set expectations for people that may not have a lot of fishing experience or perhaps have been influenced by what they see on social media?

Brandon: Everybody wants a tug on the end of their rod, but it's kind of the whole package. It's about seeing Montana. It's about fishing. It's about camaraderie. It's about putting your cell phones down. Just enjoy the outdoors and unplug and see what happens. It's important for all of us, I

Photo: Warm summer air and a few sippers make for a great excuse to hop out of the boat.

big hole lodge overview

Craig and Wade Fellin’s Big Hole Lodge is clearly defined as one of the great fly fishing destinations in North America. The wild trophy trout fishing possibilities are unmatched in the West, along with the unpressured fishing experience of Southwestern Montana. This Orvis-Endorsed Lodge is nestled in a magnificent wilderness setting in the Pioneer Mountains with a beautiful trout stream at its doorstep. Our returning guests have raved about the well-prepared meals, the attractive accommodations, and the exceptional guides.

Getting There: Accessed via Butte Airport (approx. 45 mins); or fly to Helena, Bozeman, or Missoula (all about 2 hours away), rent a car, and drive to the Lodge

Itinerary: Sunday-to-Saturday, 6n/5d of fishing

Fishing: With multiple rivers accessible, you will fish a wide variety of water, practicing small stream tactics and long-reaching casts on larger water for brown trout, rainbows, brookies, and cutthroats. Much of the fishing is conducted by floating; however, you will wade the smaller water.

think, to emphasize the experience as much as how many fish you're going to catch. Mike: In the spring, we had three schools, and it was cold. The fishing was difficult. You know, guys come in and say, “oh, caught six fish”. Well really under those conditions, that was really an accomplishment. And we see that on the Smith River. You know, there's some days where people catch two or three fish that's really a hell of an effort. I do believe that for guiding, guides work harder the days you catch fewer fish than the days that (the fishing is) easy. Wade: I think each of the three of us, and my dad included who's not here right now, but there's so much knowledge that we have wrapped up in, in our little southwest Montana corner that I think would be not only very useful, but from a marketing standpoint, marketing the right way to fish. Like, why don't we just tie San Juan worms all day long? Why do we spend all this time on this little, teeny dry fly? And when is that useful and what is the moment that I get to take that out of my box and put that on a trout. So, trying to also get away from the daily, just post whatever's the first photo in the phone and be more intentional and meaningful.

Q: What are some of the things that you’re most excited about for this season in particular?

Wade: Yeah, we're looking forward to having water through the year. This past winter was a lot better than the last three


winters. In this neck of the upper Big Hole valley, we're in pretty good shape. And over Mike's way around the Beaverhead and Madison ranges, there's a lot of snow. So that'll be helpful.

Mike: It seems to me there's not a problem in Montana that can't be fixed with water. So having a good water year literally lifts all boats.

Brandon: This is the time of year when the big bugs start popping. We're looking forward to salmon flies and golden stones. The main hatches that everybody wants to come to Montana and catch are about to

start. It's an exciting time to be gearing up for that. Whether you're on the Big Hole, the Blackfoot, the Smith, you know, all of them kind of start to pop. It’s a fun time to be in Montana.

Q: What’s the progression through the season look like on your local waters?

Mike: When the high water occurs, which has occurred, it's hunting around for clear water. And so, for us, sometimes that'll mean some private property where we have access to some ponds or clear

Photo: Springtime in Montana produces some of the biggest fish of the year for those willing to bundle up and get after it.
Fishing is a joyouse thing to do. So, I hope we convey a sense of fun, (and) a sense of joy.
Photo: Wide brims and wide smiles mark the heart of Monana trout season.

streams. And then the primary floating months for us are June and July. When summertime comes around again, now we're hunting for cold water. That’s when we start to lean into the private waters that we lease, which are smaller creeks and streams. By the time September rolls around, my feeling is from September 15th to October 15th is the best time to fish in Montana. I think all the rivers have kind of been revitalized. We have less people in the state. The leaves are turning. You can get a snowstorm, but if you give it 48 hours, you're gonna get some 60 degree temperature. It's just a great time to be in Montana. And our goal [throughout the season] as a lodge owner and a guide is to hunt for the best opportunity to fish you can for your clients.

Brandon: I would agree with Mike. There isn't a better time to be in Montana than the fall. Really, as far as weather, fewer people, and the fishing can be fantastic. The hunting can be fantastic. It's just, there's something special about that crisper weather that comes with September and turning the leaves.

Mike: I mean, honest to God, it is special. You know, you kind of get worn out with the season, but there are some fall days that just take your breath away. It just makes you happy to be alive.

Wade: It's spectacular. Everybody goes back to school. After the first frost, the cottonwoods stop sucking water. People can't irrigate the fields after they've frozen.

Healing waters lodge overview

Since 2013, hosts Mike and Laura Geary have owned and operated this Orvisendorsed Lodge in the scenic Ruby Valley. Everything about their lodge is designed with the comfort of their guests in mind. Healing Waters Lodge’s success is built upon the foundation of personal attention to all guests and Mike and Laura's genuine western hospitality. There are several blue-ribbon rivers that are accessible within a short drive. Their veteran guides enjoy sharing their passion for fly fishing and their love for Montana!

Getting There: Bozeman (BZN) airport is a 1-hour drive from lodge

Itinerary: Typically 3-6 night packages. If you want to stay longer, fish less and/or sightsee, go to Yellowstone National Park, horseback ride, play golf, or just enjoy the day hanging out at the lodge, please let us know. We can customize a package to fit your travel interests.

Fishing: Four major rivers are within striking distance to Healing WAters Lodge. You can float the larger rivers like the Madison, Jeffereson, Big Hole, or Beaverhead. If you prefer to wade, you can test your skills on local spring-fed streams, or the Ruby River.


North fork crossing lodge

As the only full-service fishing lodge in the fabled Blackfoot Valley, PRO Outfitters' North Fork Crossing Lodge offers a unique mingling of Montana habitat and expected angler comfort and amenities. Custom designed -- and accessorized -- private guest wall tents featuring feather beds, hardwood floors, full heat and electricity, and a private bathouse offer a veranda view of the property and Blackfoot River rambling past. This corner of Montana is fish and hatch-heavy and angler-light with an abundance of browns, rainbows, and an ever-growing West Slope Cutthroat population.

Getting There: Helena and Missoula airports are closest to the lodge

Itinerary: Typically 4-6 night packages. This lodge can be easily paired with other local lodges or non-fishing travel locations

Fishing: North Fork Crossing Lodge offers guided walk/wade and drift fishing on both private and public waters. Anglers chase browns, rainbows, and native cutthroat under varying hatches on the Blackfoot, Missouri, Clark Fork, as well as other "off the grid" fisheries. PRO Outfitters also offers exclusive Smith River departures seasonally.

So that late August into September, some of the rivers into October fish really well. You do get a recharge and, you know, pull the boats back out on sections that weren't floatable in early August.

Q: What’s everyone’s thoughts on the current situation when it comes to Montana’s conservation?

Mike: We need to start identifying what we can do and what are the avenues for progress in conservation. All of us are involved in Trout Unlimited and one of the things that makes Trout Unlimited so important, is it's able to house institutional knowledge. If they fought a mine, the blueprint on how to potentially stop a mine is already there. And in our state, we're so fortunate because we have such an active and qualified executive board that are paid to work on projects in Montana. So that's one avenue. The other one is when you work with your government agencies. And for us in this state… it seems to me the least effective way to help fish. And then I would say the other avenue for us to try to get something done is legally, [making] somebody accountable for bad behavior. It is trying to use the law to your benefit to get something done.

Wade: I think if our clientele, the folks we have in the boat and walking with us with shotguns, have an opportunity to talk to Montana, not just the reviews they sign about their experience at our lodge or


give to Frontiers at the end of their trip. But if we can get people more involved in talking to our state about what they've seen, over 30 trips to Big Hole Lodge or 30 trips to Healing Waters Lodge… We're at a Captain's for Clean Water-sized moment. There are a lot of people with a lot of experience in the game from the guide and outfitting side that need to come together and talk about these issues like Mike's talking about. What's going on in the Smith is also going on in the Bitterroot right now. They're looking at an open pit mine for car batteries. This is a mecca, like Chile

or New Zealand – Southwest Montana, central Montana, Northern Montana – this is what people think of when they think of a domestic fishing or hunting mecca. And before we have to spend millions and millions of dollars to restore things, we have an opportunity to come together and put in better legislation, enforce the laws that are on the books, and use targeted litigation to hold feet to the fire.

Brandon: I think guides and outfitters can start working on this...We've really got some work to do both on the guiding and outfitting standpoint of decreasing some

Photo: New friends and campfire camaraderie are included on all Smith River float trips.

It's about seeing Montana. It's about fishing. It's about camaraderie. It's about putting your cell phones down. Just enjoy the outdoors and unplug and see what happens.


of our traffic on certain rivers or figuring out what the right equation is. There's gotta be sacrifice on everybody's part. It's not just gonna be guides and outfitters. It's also gonna be the general public. And tactics, like, not very many people were deep nymphing or euro nymphing. Now people have the tools online. You can just train to be just a fish predator. You can go in there and just wreck fish at times when maybe we shouldn't be wrecking the fish, you know? We've got some serious work to do on some of these rivers that need management plans. It's gonna take sacrifice all the way around the horn to protect these rivers so that people can keep coming and having a good experience. Because rarely do you ever hear, wow, the fishing here is so much better than when I used to come with my dad 25 years ago. You don't hear that very often. So, it would be great to put some plans in place where the experience starts getting back to what it should be.

Wade: Right now, we have a nutrient problem in the recharging aquifer, but some water's better than no water. We can work on cleaning that water up. But if we don't have any water going back to the system because we have condos instead of cows… We have a chance now before it gets there is my point.

Mike: But we as a fishing community really need to speak up for that rather

than always be reactive. I think we gotta find a way to legally hit someone in the mouth. So, what I do like about TU and the Smith River is that they have proved to the mining community that in order to get a permit, the process will be rigorous. And really that was initiated by TU making sure DEQ checked all the boxes. That was done through a lawsuit. This is not agriculture versus recreation. This really goes upstream water user versus downstream water user. There has to be a consequence for somebody that's stealing water.

Q: Whether it's conservation working in a certain area or maybe just a certain fishery that seems to be on the rebound – Do you have optimism looking across the state or some of your local waters?

Brandon: Yeah, I think for us for sure in the Blackfoot Valley, the restoration work that's going on tributary streams and feeder streams and some of the bull trout restoration work that's going on. Talk about canary in the coal mine. It's the west slope cutthroat and the bull trout that need the cleanest, coldest water. Those projects definitely give you hope, and kind of give a model to some parts of the rest of the state on what to do. And look at what British Columbia and Canada is doing to protect their rivers. We could

Top Photo: Wade Fellin doing some field research with a Big Hole River boss. Bottom Photo: Going the Distance - Late summer hopper eaters often require you to bounce it off the bank.

learn a lot from some of their single fly barbless stuff. We have a ways to go, but I think there's hope. We've got a generation coming up of conservation minded folks that'll help us get there. So yeah, I'm optimistic about the future.

Wade: Yeah, there’s the adage, “trout don't live in ugly places”. This is a beautiful place that there seems to be less of as you drive around. Cities expand, and people left cities and are developing other areas. With all these issues we're up against, there's gonna be an urgency. From the outside at some point that will force these changes in Montana to protect these rivers. We're approaching that moment quickly. And that does give me hope. We're here at the table with a lot of experience and a lot of very invested business owners and guides and clients that can help guide this process and speak for these rivers now before it's too late. So that gives me hope.

Mike: When we see things getting done, it's at the local level. And that part is crucial. You can't go to a state council meeting where you have 13 chapters represented over the state and find the volunteer work that these people are doing on the ground, making the difference year after year, and not feel good about your community and the people that you're associated with. My message is, if you want change, you stay engaged. You become persistent, and you enjoy the people around you. You know, you fight the good fight and stay engaged.

I think it's important as we move forward to be teachers as much as anything, to teach people how to fish.
Photo: Some days just feel fishier than others, and September is often full of those days.

The perfect duo


As trip hosts, traveling anglers, and professional photographers, we have spent the last thirty plus years fishing destinations around the world. Often we are asked our favorite place to fish. To be honest, we can count on one hand the places we wouldn’t want to return to – we like them all. But if push came to shove, we both agree that it would be Argentina, hands down.

There is no doubt that Argentina offers some of the best freshwater fly fishing in the world. Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and the second largest country in South America. Bordered by the majestic Andes and Chile to the west, it encompasses immense plains, mountains, lakes and rivers. To a fly angler, Patagonia is paradise found. Here one can still find solitude, places


where you can lose yourself in cold rivers with rising trout and lakes where fish are weighed rather than measured.

There is not enough lifetime to fish all of Argentina, but it’s fun trying. For years we spent our time fishing in the San Martin area. We still can’t imagine a year without visiting San Huberto and the lovely Rio Malleo. However years ago, we kept hearing about the great fishing in the Esquel area. So one year after fishing around San Martin, we headed south to the Rio Pico area. It was the first of what would become an annual trip.

On one of the early trips we stopped to get gas in Tecka Town, the last stop for

the next three hours until Pico. There we talked to a group of anglers who had just left Estancia Tecka. They told stories of the unbelievable fishing that they had there, and it got our attention. The following March found us at Tecka’s main Headquarters lodge. The estancia is comprised of numerous properties and two charming old ranch homes that have been renovated into lodges, Headquarters and Caridad, about a half hour apart.


Estancia Tecka is a very large estancia comprised of 435,000 acres of private land. Within those boundaries are at least 150 kilometers of private water. Think about that. There is something here to

The Ultimate patagonia trout

Four full days of fishing at Argentina

Waters around Los Alerces National Park including spring creeks, lakes, and rivers.

Six full days of fishing at Estancia Tecka with exclusive access to over 80 miles of the Corcovado River and the Tecka spring creek.

Fully arranged flights and transfers by Frontiers.

For more detailed information about this, see the trip brochure here.

For other upcoming Beck hosted trip departures, see their brochures here.

the Becks during their next hosted trip, Nov 23-Dec 9, 2023:
Top Left Photo: Cathy Beck and guide, Martin Weaver, spend a beautiful day on the Corvado. Bottom Right Photo: LeFario Lodge owner and guide, Gonzalo Martinez, gives a high-five to angler, Cathy Beck.

suit any fly angler’s taste, starting with the Rio Corcovado.

The Corcovado is world famous, extending for more than 100 kilometers in Argentina. The river changes character throughout the estancia. Its upper reaches start with quick dropping runs and rapids that in season offer trophy brook trout. Later the river widens into larger pools with good insect hatches and rising rainbows and browns. While the river bottom is waderfriendly, most anglers fish from drift boats with the option to stop and selectively wade fish. The weedy small gravel riverbed reminds us of portions of Idaho’s Henry’s Fork, as do the insect hatches.

The Tecka spring creek is a smaller offering compared to the Corcovado, but it takes no back seat to the fishing. This lovely little spring creek is full of character offering serpentine bends, slower moving water, and weed-lined banks. A dry fly angler couldn’t ask for more. As you would expect, the Tecka has a healthy insect population. In the spring and summer seasons, matching the hatch and terrestrial patterns are the game.

Along with the primary waters, the Tecka and Corcovado, there are a couple of

Top Photo: An on stream azado at Estancia Tecka is always a memorable experience. Bottom Photo: A fine example of a beautiful Tecka brown trout about to be released.

lagoons and smaller streams that hold fish. The option of spending a day on Monster Lake, appropriately named for the larger trout that it holds, rounds out quite an impressive buffet of angler options. Lakes never interested us before fishing the still water in Argentina. Now we look forward to the days we spend on the lake. Casting a size 4 Chernobyl to big cruising browns and rainbows is pretty exciting dry fly fishing! Put all this together with the warm hospitality from the Ochoa family and staff, superb cuisine and accommodations, an

exceptional group of well-seasoned guides headed up by Martin Weaver, and it’s easy to see why on a scale of 1 to 10, for us Tecka rates a 12. For many anglers a week in Argentina is not quite enough.


To our good fortune, about the time we found Tecka, friends Laura and Gonzalo Martinez, had just recently finished their LeFario Lodge on the very edge of Los Alerces National Park, not far from Esquel in the other direction. Gonzalo guided for

Photo: Angler, Heidi Hellier, slightly exaggerates the size of the fish she just lost on the Corcovado.
Argentina has a mgnetic pull on us. It has from the beginning many years ago.
Photo: Angler, Walt Paskey, throws a perfect loop on the Rio Davida in Los Alcerces National Park.

us for many years in the Rio Pico area, and we were excited to get back together and visit their new lodge.

Among Argentina Waters and LeFario Lodge’s numerous lakes and river options, including the well-known Futalefu and Aryanas rivers, Laguna Larga (Large Lake) is particularly noteworthy. It is a coldwater lake with a healthy population of brown trout that cruise the shoreline and can easily be coaxed to the surface with a well placed Super Beetle or hopper pattern. These are strong fish, and you can expect to catch them in the 18 to 20+ inch class on a daily basis. Guests soon become believers in lake fishing after experiencing the dry fly fishing on Laguna Larga, only steps from the lodge. There are even a few flats that can be waded where the trout cruise like bonefish. It is not to be missed.

LeFario Lodge is warm and comfortable with obvious detailing from both Laura and Gonzalo, who designed and built the lodge themselves. From the moment you step inside it feels like home. The food is expertly prepared by the lodge chef and assisted by Laura and Gonzalo who are both seasoned chefs.


Putting an itinerary together that includes Tecka and Argentina Waters makes perfect sense. The lodges offer different environments, from the vast open plains

Photo: Cathy Beck hooks a nice Tecka brown trout.

of Estancia Tecka to the wooded forests of the national park, they fish totally different water, are within an easy drive of each other offering personally unique programs. Gear requirements are the same for both destinations, a nine foot 5-weight rod is perfect for dry fly fishing, and a faster nine foot in a 6 or 7-weight will help handle wind and larger flies on the lakes. Flies should include a selection chubby Chernobyls, super beetles, Adams and adult caddis patterns. Wooly buggers and super buggers for the lakes (olive is a favorite color), and always take a sink tip fly line.

Argentina has a magnetic pull on us. It has from the beginning many years ago. We find Buenos Aires fascinating and fun, and we love our time in the city. But it’s the wild, spacious, country away from the city lights that really pull on us. Wild rivers, remote ranches (estancias), lovely warm people, and wild, beautiful fish. Throw in amazing food, superb Malbec, and the best hospitality anywhere and you understand why it’s become one of our most popular destinations. If you’ve been to Argentina, you understand. If not, you need to get it on your bucket list. Be warned, one visit is never enough!


When Conservation Works



For decades, my drug of choice has been flats fishing. Growing up with Frontiers, I have been lucky enough to experience some of the very best flats fishing in the world, including some truly remote and pristine fisheries before they became tourist and angling destinations. The flats are an addiction for me, and it likely began with my first trip to Belize in the late 1980s.

Located south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and bordering Guatemala, Belize is nestled against the western Caribbean. A small country about the size of Massachusetts, Belize is protected by the second largest barrier reef in the world. It boasts an inordinate number of ocean wonders including more than 500 unique fish species. Belize is a premiere destination for fly fishers, divers, snorkelers, and biologists from all over the world. Because this small Caribbean nation has so much to protect, Belize has enacted some of the strongest ocean conservation laws in the world, and they continue to get stronger.

I was freshly reminded of conservation's positive potential on a recent trip to Belize with my wife, Kristene, this past January. We spent a week at Turneffe Flats Lodge , a consistent provider of world-class experiences and one of our “must visit”

Photos: The Turneffe Atoll is a Marine Reserve and part of the second longest reef in the world!

recommendations for flats anglers, divers, and other non-fishing companions. On the bow this trip, I observed similar trends as over the recent years – bigger bones, more shots at permit and tarpon, and better angling for other species like triggers, jacks, and snook. Simply put, I am seeing the resource improve firsthand.

Since 2012, Turneffe Atoll as been declared a Marine Reserve and is home to many species above and below the water. The land and seascape consist of a network of highly productive flats, creeks, and lagoons dotted by more than 150 mangrove islands. This amazing resource offers some of the very best and most consistent wade fishing for bonefish in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Combined with permit, tarpon, snook and other flats and reef species, it’s a special place for anglers. The atoll also has some of the world’s very best snorkeling and diving.

The premiere lodge on the atoll is Turneffe Flats Lodge, owned and operated by Craig and Karen Hayes. Since their first guests arrived in 1985, the Hayes have led the charge in protecting and conserving the atoll and its resources. They have designed and implemented numerous renovations

for the lodge to achieve Green Globe Certification and minimize its impact on the resource. Craig and Karen have been very involved in the establishment of the Turneffe Atoll Trust to protect the reef environment and the precious species that live there.

In 2008, Turneffe Atoll Trust worked with other lodges, guides, and conservation groups to protect valuable sports fishing species in Belize through landmark Catch & Release Legislation. Thanks to their efforts, Belize became the first country in the world to mandate that all bonefish, tarpon, and permit be released. The government mandated that “No person shall have in his possession any bonefish, permit or tarpon, or any of its product forms, save and except in the act of catch and release.” This was a huge step in protecting the flats species; and for those of us who fish there frequently, we have seen the improvement over the last +10 years.

Why were their efforts successful? Decision makers were convinced that bonefish, permit, and tarpon are too valuable to catch only once. In 2007, Turneffe Atoll Trust funded an economic analysis entitled, “The

Simply put, I am seeing the resource improve firsthand.

get involved

Want to help protect Belize's precious fisheries?

Consider supporting the Turneffe Atoll Trust and Bonefish & Tar pon Trust (BTT)

Want to know more?

Here's a glimpse into BTT's ef forts in Belize

Top Photo: Flats along the reef offer some of the best bonefish opportunities in Belize, with fish tailing and finning when tides and conditions are right. There are also the possibility of throwing at triggers, permit, and other species on these diverse flats.



of Recreational Fishing

for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon in Belize for 2007.” This analysis demonstrated that these three species generate BZD $56 million per year for Belize’s economy and provide 1800 full-time jobs. The economic study was repeated in 2015 showing that the economic impact for Belize from these three species had grown to BZD $115 million per year.

Following hard-fought victories for catchand-release, along with banning trawling and off-shore oil drilling, the Turneffe Atoll Trust set its sights on gillnets. Along

with the Belize Federation of Fishers and other conservation organizations, the Trust funded the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries to pursue a ban of all gillnets across Belize. This commercial fishing gear not only kills precious sportfish but also turtles, manatees, and other marine mammals. On November 4th, 2020, Statutory Instrument 158 of 2020 was signed into law by the Minister of Fisheries. The ban on gillnets covers Belize’s entire marine territory. This means that more than 36,000 square kilometers of the Caribbean are now fully protected from gillnets, all forms of trawling, and offshore oil activity.

Not knowing which rod to have in my hand on a flat, or the chaos of switching rods when a different species appears, is simply thrilling!

Another contributor to Belize’s conservation success was the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (BTT). BTT used scientific methods develop a strategic plan for Belize and Mexico comprised of three components: science, education, and conservation. The science component generated information. The information was then used in education and awareness programs to inform various sectors (communities, education, management, and conservation) using diverse mediums and materials. Together the science and education components continue to improve the understanding of conservation and its importance. The

overall goal was to help improve the quality and sustainability of the flats fishery in Belize and on the neighboring Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.

As compelling as the science, data, and accomplishments may sound, for many anglers the proof must be in the fishing. I have been on the bow of a skiff in Belize frequently over the last three plus decades. The country’s commitment to protecting this resource has certainly passed the eye test for me. How can I tell? Increases in average sizes and average numbers of opportunities are two key indicators.

Top Right Photo: The interior lagoons of Turneffe Atoll are known for schools of feeding permit. Bottom Left Photo: Even on cloudy days, the shallow flats near the reef can offer good bonefish opportunities.
Photo: Turneffe offers world-class diving and excellent snorkelling, along with other eco-tours and activities.

Another one is the incredible species variety. When fishing at Turneffe Flats, I need at least four rods rigged in the boat at all times for bones, permit, tarpon, and snook, plus targeting other species like jacks, barracuda, triggers and snapper. Not knowing which rod to have in my hand on a flat, or the chaos of switching rods when a different species appears, is simply thrilling. No wonder I am addicted!

The conservation work in Belize is not complete. With such appealing resources, tourism development continues in the country. There is a risk of loving these resources to death, so to speak. That said, Belize continues to be one of my favorite flats destinations, with many of our Frontiers clients visiting repeatedly as well. It is wonderful to visit a conservationfocused resource that in many ways continues to improve.

the atoll adventure

More than Fishing: In addition to world-class angling, Turneffe Flats has some of the very best diving in the world as well as the incredible Atoll Adventure -- ideal for non-fishing companions. This unique marine ecotour is very flexible and can be tailored to fit the interests of each group. Options include:



Biriding (over 60 species)

Wildlife and eco tours (dolphins, manatees, reptiles, etc.)

The lodge offers dedicated boats and master guides to assist your exploration of the largest coral atoll in the Caribbean at 30 miles long and 10 miles wide.


The old bull

"The years teach much which the days never knew."

The Georgiana, 100 feet of ageless beauty, made the three-hour voyage uneventfully from Playa Larga to its mooring location in the Zapata national park. The other anglers unpacked and readied their gear. Rick sat by relaxed, making small talk and staying well-

hydrated. Recently retired, Rick was the elder statesman in a group of six American anglers. Although his recent physical cleared him fit to fish, the doctor gave direct orders to not smoke. Orders that Rick had no intention of heeding while in the cigar mecca of Cuba.


Rick plucked his three rods from their tubes, quickly but carefully attaching one ferrule to the next. One of the other anglers was giving an impromptu lecture on leader diameters while struggling with the blood knot of his new butt section. Rick strung his lines and applied fresh commercial leaders. He left the lines dangling naked, leaving the terminal decisions up to his guide tomorrow. The other anglers scoured boxes and bins packed two-knuckles deep with countless patterns. Somewhere in the bowels of plastic and foam, they believed, was their odds-on favorite to unlock the jaws of fish and the hearts of the guides.

Marcos went over his mental checklist. It was his habit during the nearly four-hour run on the lithe Dolphin skiff to meet the Georgiana . Thirty years of guiding the Cienaga de Zapata had honed his preparations. Even as a young boy, Marcos had always been prepared. International sanctions and limited resources have a way of sharpening one’s focus and ordering priorities, whether Marcos liked it or not. It was a visiting Italian, whom Marcos encountered coincidentally on the island at age 12, that first introduced him to fly fishing. After teaching himself how to cast with a fly line attached to a spinning rod, Marcos later introduced fly fishing to his hometown and the Zapata peninsula. Along the way he taught himself to cast with his other hand, followed by casting with both hands, passing the rod seamlessly between the two without the rod or line ever the wiser.

Top Photo: After the day's fishing, the routine was stories, cocktails, then dinner in the open-air top-deck lounge. Rinse and repeat.

meat, cheese, fruit, juice, fresh bread, and eggs made

Bottom Photo: Each meal was an impressively expansive spread of food. Breakfast consisted of to order.

Zapata cuba program overview

Getting There: Accessed via international flights to Havana + ground transfer to Playa Larga (overnight in Havana not required)

Itinerary: Saturday-to-Saturday, 7N/6D of fishing from single and double Dolphin skiffs

Best For: Intact groups up to 8 anglers looking for an exclusive mothership experience pursuing grand slam and other saltwater flats species in a pristine environment

Key Features:

Bow Time: Plenty of bow time with shorter boat runs and built-in single skiff opportunities

Beauty: Pristine natural beauty with world-class birds and no other fishing pressure or development

Variety: Strong variety of species including tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook, Cubera snapper, and barracuda

Wading: For anglers that want to wade, there are plenty of opportunities to fish for bonefish, permit, snook, and even tarpon from foot

Legality: Partnered with Fly Fishing the Run and Blue Sanctuary, a humanitarian organization with a longstanding presence in Zapata, Cuba


Aboard the Dolphin skiff, Marco’s mind wandered. It was April, and his thoughts drifted to the tarpon season around the corner. The wind direction for the upcoming week was not ideal. He would need to coach the newer guides on where to find clear water and leeward flats for the clients. The full moon tides were strong. The mornings would be for permit fishing to match the high tide. The guides would need to find shallower flats to look for tails and nervous water during the lower sun angles. He raised his hand to his neck.

Good, he thought, as his fingers soon felt the soft fabric of his favorite buff.

The sun rose over the mangroves, casting slivers of orange light across the breakfast table of the Georgiana. The jet-fuel coffee was the consistency of a soft-bottomed backcountry lagoon. Rick noted quietly as one of the other guests went back for his third cup. After a surprisingly lavish spread of fruits, ham, cheese, and madeto-order eggs, Rick and the other anglers made their way to the stern where their guides and skiffs waited for the first full day of fishing.

Photo: When the wind cooperates, Zapata has wonderful white-sand, turquoise blue flats along the outside edges. Permit, tarpon, cubera snapper, and schools of bonefish can all be found on these ocean flats.

Marcos lifted the Pelican case onto his skiff. Turns out his angler today was also the photographer. The plan was to follow one of the other skiffs for the morning to capture a few images and video clips. Marcos decided to follow Raidel, a friend and seasoned guide on the staff that knew some of the same spots.

The two skiffs slowed their engines. Rick felt something. Was it excitement? Nerves? Perhaps that muy fuerte coffee. Surely just one cup was safe, right, he thought to himself. “There!” Raidel’s voice broke the silence. Rick scanned the water. “Huh? Where?” Raidel brushed the question aside with his next set of instructions while tying the boat to the embedded pushpole. “Get ready. We wade.”

More than a hundred meters away, Marcos and the photographer watched the scene unfold. The distance was intentional. Marcos knew how fickle these permit could be, especially when their tails were wagging above the surface. While the angler made a few casts, Marcos carefully watched Raidel’s body language for clues. Then the

Top Photo: It's common, though not gauranteed, to find tailing permit in Zapata's backcountry lagoons. Bottom Photo: Marcos re-rigs after a permit refusal.

"There!" Raidel's voice broke the silence. Rick scanned the water. "Huh? Where?"

Other destinations to consider for pursuing a grand slam? Turneffe (Belize), Grand Slam (Mexico), & Palomet a Club (Mexico)

Other destinations great for private / exclusive bookings for intact groups? Mars Bay (Bahamas), Fin Chasers (Mexico), & Pesca Panama (Panama)

related trip ideas

Photo: Rick and Raidel leave the skiff behind to pursue a feeding school of permit on foot.

Rick looked down. The curved black dorsal stared back at him. It seemed surreal to be holding his first-ever permit.


twosome turned and slowly walked toward the boat. The opportunity had passed. Or so Marcos thought, until Raidel quickly spun around away from his skiff. The school of permit had not spooked hard, just gently pushed away and continued to feed. The pursuit was still on.

“Ok, cast now.” Rick followed Raidel’s words unconsciously, beginning his backcast. He could sort of make out the nervous water 20 meters away. The walk through the water helped to wash away any negative residual from the earlier missed shots. It only took one, right? One good cast. One cooperative fish. “Strip… strip… strip.” What was that – a tuft of turtle grass or some rocks along the bottom? The bottom started to move. “He’s on! Rod tip high!”

Marcos smiled as he secured the skiff to a nearby mangrove branch. This was one of his favorite lagoons and a solid producer of permit over the years. He still remembered showing it to Raidel several years ago. Sure, he kept a few secrets to himself, but Marcos also took pride in watching the other guides on his team succeed. Next to his casting, it was just about the only pride Marcos allowed himself to indulge in anymore. The Cienaga de Zapata was

his friend. It was his business partner. It was his legacy.

Rick looked down. The curved black dorsal stared back at him. It seemed surreal to be holding his first-ever permit. He was no fanatic like some anglers. But, over the course of years, maybe even decades now, of flats trips, he certainly had put in quite a bit of time. Maybe worse, he had clocked countless hours of lodge-side chatter and endured many stories of true believers chasing these mythical fish.

Rick handed the fish over to Raidel for a proper release. He stood back and reflected, trying to recall the events through the fog of war. In his younger years, Rick moved much quicker in the water. He would have already been at the skiff and perhaps even loaded up for the next spot. These days, Rick did not rush through the water. In the evenings, he meticulously drank a water in between cocktails. He was the first to his cabin each night. One part wisdom plus one part necessity. The results are hard to argue. His now-methodical movements positioned him well to pivot with Raidel and re-engage with the school for the followup shot. His mind was clear of the earlier misses. With the calm of an old bull, he made the cast.

Top Photo: A well earned cervesa and guide kudos.
*This article is based on real events and real people, but certain liberties have been taken with the facts, such as internal monologue, for the sake of storytelling.
Top Photo: A photo from a Frontiers 1987 Edition newsletter on the limiteless flats of CXI. Bottom Photo: Jonathan Kiley comes tight in the backcountry on an August 2023 trip to Christmas Island.

The original remote flats

Imagine yourself on a pristine coral flat surrounded by all different shades of blue water. You have eyes on a tailing triggerfish. You cautiously approach, attempting to get a better shot all the while trying not to spook your target. Once you feel you are close enough, you carefully aim and cast. The fly lands perfectly. You exhale in relief! You begin to strip the line. The fly crosses in front of the fish. He turns and then eats… the reel screams as the fish takes off! You continue to fight, desperately at times, as he weaves in and around the coral where dangers abound. Each corner another chance to cut the line. Each hole an opportunity to end the fight. SNAP! To your dismay, the line breaks.

This is one of many fishing tales set on Christmas Island, considered by many anglers as the original remote saltwater destination. Christmas Island of the

Republic of Kiribati (or Kiritimati as it is known in the native tongue, Gilbertese) consists of 140 square miles of walkable coral flats, making it the largest coral atoll in the world. Home to over a dozen flats species, Christmas Island has a productive yet challenging fishery. The destination is an ideal paradise for saltwater anglers of all skill levels.

Christmas Island closed its borders to international travel on February 18, 2020, and remained closed off from the rest of the world. For over three years, this fishery has rested… until recently. On May 2, 2023, flights via Fiji Airways resumed from Honolulu to the island. Anglers can once again enjoy this extraordinary fishery.


The history of fly fishing on Christmas Island dates back to the early 1980s,


when a Frontiers client returned from the island with rave reviews of the easily wadable flats and the spectacular fishing for bonefish. At the time, Frontiers Travel was the sole destination fly fishing agency in the U.S., sending hundreds of anglers per year to flats destinations such as Mexico and the Bahamas. Intrigued by the prospect of another flats fishery, Frontiers founders, Susie and Mike Fitzgerald, decided to visit the South Pacific atoll. Susie and Mike quickly fell in love with Christmas Island, not only for the fishery but also the friendly people and unique culture. With the help of Captain Rick Ruoff, the Fitzgeralds worked closely with a very special guide named, Moana, to build the Christmas Island fishing program many anglers have come to experience and love over the decades since.

The Fitzgeralds’ involvement with the island of Kiritimati went beyond fishing. Over the next few decades, Susie made many trips back to the atoll to not only fish but to donate much-needed items including hundreds of books, reading glasses, cosmetics, toiletries, and more. The Fitzgeralds sponsored the local girls and boys basketball teams and even

hosted Moana’s daughter, Tabenau, at their home while she studied abroad over a summer. Susie made such profound impact with the people that they named an island and its adjacent flat in her honor. Likewise to this day, Christmas Island and the Kiribati people hold a dear place in the heart of the Frontiers family.


Thankfully the passion and heart for Christmas Island has passed from the Fitzgeralds to others in the angling community over the years. Dan Bailey, Bryant Dunn, and other partners of Deer Stone Travel recently set out to renovate and reinvigorate the iconic Captain Cook Hotel into a new fishing lodge called, Christmas Island Lodge . Officially reopening to guests on August 15th, 2023, the new lodge will provide many modern creature comforts in its rustic setting. The new lodge has its own private launch site, allowing anglers to be the first out on the water each morning. The lodge holds a max of 8 anglers per week, which will allow all guests to have private accommodations at no extra charge. Eventually the lodge intends to offer guests single/private guides at no charge as well. With these

For over three years this fishery has rested...

christmas island lodge overview

Christmas Island Lodge , formerly the Captain Cook Hotel, is newly renovated and reopening in August 2023! Located about 10 minutes from the CXI airport, the lodge has its own private launch site, only 10 minutes from the inner lagoon, that allows anglers to be the first out on the water each morning targeting a variety of species of fish. The expansive, well-maintained oceanside property provides the opportunity to indulge in evening cocktails and appetizers while recounting fishing stories under the traditional Maneaba (local gathering place) while waves crash on the beach only steps away.

Getting There: Accessed via Fiji Air flight from Honolulu (Tuesday-only)

Itinerary: Tuesday-Tuesday due to the Fiji Air flight from Honolulu, 7-night minimum

Fishing: Christmas Island Lodge offers best-on-the-island accommodations and quick access to the inner lagoon. With 150-square miles of easily wadable flats in the lagoon, endless oceanside reefs, and incredible bluewater opportunities, CXI's diverse fishery ensures that each day will bring an exciting new angling opportunity.

Photo: Susie Fitzgerald in 1987, enjoying some offshore action in Christmas Island.

updates, Christmas Island Lodge can now provide a level of service and comfort not previously available on the remote island of Kiritimati.


From the 1980s through the early 00s, Christmas Island made its mark in the angling world largely thanks to its big and plentiful bonefish. The fishery, however, is much more complex than a single, albeit spectacular, species. Christmas Island has a multidimensional fishery with layers to discover and enjoy.

As anglers’ tastes and trends have evolved over the years, Christmas Island remains as appealing as ever, a true testament to its fishing diversity. Sure, there are still record numbers of sizeable bonefish that provide consistently good targets. There are also numerous species rarely encountered by anglers outside of the Indian Ocean: milkfish, bluefin trevally, and of course, the notorious giant trevally (GT).

There are less-heralded, often underappreciated species like triggerfish, barred trevally, and golden trevally. Finicky like permit, golden trevally are as gorgeous

Top Right Photo: The bonefish of Christmas Island are as good as advertised with an enjoyable mixture of quantity and quality. Bottom Left Photo: You'll find bluefin trevally in singles, doubles, and small schools, particularly around the reef-side flats, such as those at the Korean Shipwreck.

as they can be challenging – quite a feat to even get on the line, let alone bring to hand. Like goldens, triggerfish are another incredibly rewarding target species. With small mouths and hard, human-like teeth, hooking and then landing a triggerfish is a challenge all saltwater fly anglers should experience. Expect a few broken hooks along your triggerfish journey.


Simply put, Christmas Island is for the flats angler that wants to wade fish. Renowned for the hard sand and coral pancake flats found throughout the atoll, Christmas

Island’s typical fishing program spans over 40 flats, with names like Paris I, II, & III, Nine Mile, Smoky, Banana, and of course, Susie. Beyond the primary system of flats, Christmas Island has a robust backcountry consisting of smaller tidal flats, channels, beaches, and coral ledges. For a change of pace from stalking the flats, there are opportunities for interested anglers to go offshore and experience an entirely different form of excitement and set of challenges. Who doesn’t like fresh sashimi at dinner from your morning blue water excursion?!

Christmas Island will put your skills to the test with a smile on your face.


Like a classic car, Christmas Island might just be more desirable now then it was during its launch. The fishery has been wellrested. The renovated lodge offers new comforts. The diversity of the fishery and fishing scenarios make Christmas Island an ideal destination for expert and novice anglers and everyone in between. Whether you aim to catch your first GT or triggerfish, or hone your craft with numerous bonefish, Christmas Island will put your skills to the test with a smile on your face. Whether it’s your first visit to Christmas Island or simply your time to revisit, there truly is no better time than now.

Top Photo: Sizeable bonefish caught year after year! Bottom Photo: Triggers and trevally might get more hype these days, but bonefish remain the bread-and-butter of Christmas Island!
Photo: Vast is a fitting description for the wadable flats of Kiribati.


My father’s two passions in the outdoors were Atlantic salmon fishing and driven shooting in Europe. For many years, he and my mother would annually host a pheasant and mallard shoot in Denmark, followed by driven partridge in Spain. Mom and Dad would also occasionally lead lines on other shoots in the UK, Ireland, and the Czech Republic.

I was invited to join them on my first shoot across the pond in the Fall of 1983, sneaking away from school as a freshman in college. By the end of the first drive on the first morning in Denmark, I was hooked and finally fully understood my parents’ love of this exciting sport. I enjoyed hunts with them in Ireland and Spain, and my mother and I explored the driven shooting in Hungary.

There is something very special about European wingshooting. Frankly, it’s something that is not easily replicated in the United States. The lore, tradition, and pageantry of the field staff is complemented with incredibly fun and challenging birds, magnificent dog work, and spectacular surroundings. It’s an unequalled experience that every bird hunter should enjoy at least once!

The bird hunting tradition in Europe dates back over 300 years. Pheasant shooting has been taking place in Great Britain since the 16th century, but on a relatively small scale prior to the mid-19th century when the breech loading shotgun was made available. This enabled sportsmen to kill a large number of gamebirds within a relatively short period, which paved the way for the development of the driven shoot.

The lore, tradition, and pageantry of the field staff is complemented with incredibly fun and challenging birds.
Bottom Left Photo: High bird with many eyes watching.
Photo: A toast with the Game Keeper and hunting staff after a great day in the field.

The first driven partridge shoot in Spain took place at Ventosilla in 1894, organized by the current owner’s great-grandfather, the Duke of Santoña with HRM King Alfonso XIII. The shooting tradition was carried on by their grandfather. Today, the grandsons maintain this wonderful estate, which we represent. Over the years, the Game Keepers, breeders, and field staffs at all our estates have honed their skills and today provide exquisitely presented birds, exceptional organization, and unparalleled field service to our clients.

Some hunters are hesitant to book a European shoot with concerns ranging from difficulties recruiting a private line of guns to having the wrong field attire to the unknowns of the etiquette. Firstly, you do not have to find 6-10 friends to join you. While several of our bookings are private intact parties, most estates we represent have several open shoots throughout the season where single guns or small groups can join other hunters. Secondly, we can make sure that you have the right clothing based on the estate and weather. Lastly, we would be glad to walk you through the typical day, what to expect, and proper safety protocols prior to your trip.


Let us welcome you to Europe next season. Imagine yourself sipping some of the world’s best Burgundy as the sun sets over the French countryside after a great day in the field shooting pheasants, partridges, and mallards, or perhaps toasting with your friends the challenging Spanish red-legged partridges while enjoying tapas, tempranillos, and flamenco music. Immersed in the tradition of shooting in Europe, you will thoroughly

related trip ideas

enjoy the excitement and heritage of this unforgettable and magical field experience. The estates are also wonderful places to bring non-shooting companions, and our Elegant Journeys Team can design great itineraries for onward travel in Europe pre- or post-shoot.

explore the wonders of europe!

Before or after your driven shoot in Europe, allow our Elegant Journeys team to design a wonderful itinerary extension...

Enjoy France's wine country, Normandy, and a few nights in Paris after shooting pheasants, partridges, and mallards at Chateau de Villet te in Burgundy. Play the finest links courses in Scotland while enjoying whiskey tasting in the Highlands complementing the shooting with Eskdale in the Borders Region.

Heading to Spain for the incredible driven partridge? Plan a few days of trout fishing in the Pyrenees, visit the historical cities of Toledo, Cordoba, and Seville... or enjoy the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona with its art, architecture, and cuisine!

Top Photo: Non-shooters often join the guns for the excitement of the drives.


President & Co-Owner; Destination Specialist for European Wingshooting, General Sporting, and Elegant Journeys

the meet


Destination Specialist


Co-Owner & Director of Elegant Journeys; Destination Specialist for Atlantic Salmon and Elegant Journeys


Destination Specialist for South Pacific, Europe, and Elegant Journeys


Destination Specialist

Iceland, and Mexico


Director of Sporting

Destination Specialist


Destination Specialist for Alaska, South America, and Big Game Hunting


Destination Specialist

Europe, and Saltwater


the team

Specialist for General Sporting

Specialist for Patagonia, Mexico

Sporting Travel; Specialist for General Sporting

Specialist for Christmas Island, Iceland, Saltwater


Destination Specialist for American West Fishing, Offshore Angling


Destination Specialist for Bahamas, Belize and US Wingshooting


Managing Director UK; Destination Specialist for General Sporting


Destination Specialist for South America Wingshooting & Fishing, and Elegant Journeys


Freshwater trout


A rgentina Waters Sight-fishing at its best in the lakes region

Co llon Cura Lodge Quick access to the mighty Collón Curá River from Bariloche or San Martin

Estanc ia Arroyo Verde Clear water stalk-style fishing near San Carlos de Bariloche, northern Patagonia

Estanc ia Laguna Verde Goliath rainbow trout in Santa Cruz province, southern Patagonia, Argentina

Es tancia Pilo Lil Northern Patagonia trout lodge on a remote canyon estancia on the Alumine River

Estanc ia Quemquemtreu A traditional working estancia featuring vast stretches of the Collón Curá River

Estancia Tecka Diverse trout fishing on one of the largest uninterrupted Patagonia estancias

Est ancia Tipiliuke Walk and wade the famous Chimehuin River surrounded by extraordinary luxury

Hoste ria San Huberto Prolific hatches and pods of feeding trout under the shadow of the Lanin volcano

Northern Patagonia Lodge Superb river and lake fishing for brown and rainbow trout

Patago nia River Ranch A waterfront guest ranch situated on the banks of the fabled Chimehuin River

Tres Rios Lodge


A secluded trout fishery near the confluence of the Chimehuin and Collón Curá Rivers


And res Fly Fishing Trout fishing the remote southeast corner of BC and Eastern Alberta

I gloo Lake Lodge Brook trout nirvana in remote labrador with fly out Atlantic salmon and char

S cott Lake Lodge One of the best pike and lake trout waters in North America on the 60th parallel

Coyhai que River Lodge

Central-southern Chile fly fishing offering dozens of trout-filled waters

Estan cia de los Rios One of Chile's largest ranches offers abundant small-river trout fishing variety

Freshwater Trout

Flywise Anglers

A quaint personalized fishing & exploring experience in the Aysen region, Chile

Futa Lodge "Futaleufu" is a Mapuche Indian word meaning grand waters and it truly is

Magic W aters Patagonia Traditional Chilean family-hosted destination in the majestic Coyhaique region

Martin Pescador

River of Dreams


R io Palena Lodge

Rumbo Patagon


Unmatched trout diversity in one visit: Unparallelled beauty of Chilean Patagonia

A Chilean wilderness backcountry out-camp and trout excursion (a Magic Waters destination)

Unmatched sophistication and comfort deep inside Chilean Patagonia

Fishing off the beaten path but in the middle of spectacular scenery

Icela nd Trout & Char Extremely diverse wild trout and char fishing in dramatic scenery

Lake Thingvallavatn Some of the prettiest and biggest brown trout in the world

The M innivallalaekur Technical fishing for prized trout


Cedar Lodge

Fiordland Lodge

Fly fishing in New Zealand is an experience unlike any other in the world

Fine fly fishing and eco-tourism in the Fiordland and Southland regions

O wen River Lodge Outstanding South Island sight-fishing in Nelson Lakes region

Poronui Lodge

Tongariro Lodge

A premier luxury sporting lodge on New Zealand's North Island

Over four decades of fishing excellence in the Taupo District of the North Island

Freshwater Trout 70 FIELD NOTES

Freshwater trout


Fly F ishing Slovenia Classic freestone and chalkstream multispecies trout fishing


Salvel inus Outfitters Fine trout fishing in the Spanish Pyrenees


T he Chalkstreams The home of upstream dry fly and nymph fishing

Haddon Estate Some of the UK's best wild trout fishing


Big Hole Lodge Southwestern Montana's premier trout fishing lodge for over 30 years

Bigh orn River Lodge Iconic tailwater fishing offering big biomass and bigger trout

Blackfoot R iver Outfitters With outstanding accommodations at Blue Mountain B&B

Br ush Creek Ranch Luxury Rocky Mountain guest ranch located in the heart of southern Wyoming

Galla tin River Lodge A boutique luxury Montana fly fishing lodge with prime fishery line-up

Heali ng Waters Lodge

K ingfisher Lodge

Centrally located an hour from Bozeman near Twin Bridges in southwestern Montana

Magnificent fishing on Montana's prolific Bighorn River!

Lone Mountain Ranch The best luxury dude ranch experience in Big Sky, southwestern Montana

M adison Double R New luxury accommodations on the Madison with decades of lodge experience

Madis on Valley Ranch

Mont ana Fly Fishing Lodge

Legendary fishing on one of Montana's blue ribbon rivers, the mighty Madison

All inclusive luxury fishing lodge in Yellowstone country

Freshwater Trout

Misso uri River Ranch Wonderful accomodations on one of the West's best dry-fly fisheries!

Nort h Fork Crossing Lodge Offering the Blackfoot, Missouri, Clark Fork, Smith River floats, and more

The Ranc h at Rock Creek All-inclusive, five-star luxury guest ranch located in Philipsburg, Montana

Sage Lodge

Smit h River Montana

Float Tri p

Welcome to paradise! Nature's playground awaits you in southwestern Montana

An immersive float trip to fish the trout-filled waters of the Smith River

Soar ing Eagle Lodge Premier riverfront lodge on the San Juan River in northern New Mexico

S outh Fork Lodge Riverfront luxury on the famous South Fork of the Snake River

Sout h Holston River Lodge Best sulphur hatch in America, the south's premier fly fishing destination

Tay lor River Lodge Riverfront lodge and cabins on trophy Taylor River near Crested Butte, CO

Three Fo rks Ranch Lodge & Spa A premier fishing, hunting and guest ranch 40 miles from Steamboat Springs, CO

Thr ee Rivers Ranch Premier eastern Idaho location gives this lodge unmatched fishing diversity

The White River Inn An all-inclusive trout fishing experience on the famed White River tailwater

Yellowsto ne Valley Lodge

World-class trout fishing in scenic paradise valley in southwestern Montana!

Freshwater trout/ Anadromous


Alaska Boardwalk Lodge Thorne Bay: Southeast Alaska luxury fishing and multi-sport adventure lodge

Alaska Rainbow Adventures Providing first-class float trip options on the finest rivers in Alaska

Freshwater Trout/ANADROMOUS

Freshwater trout/ Anadromous

Alaska Trophy Adventures

Remote 160 private acres within Katmai National Park on the fish-rich Alagnak River

Alaska West Fish the famed Kanektok River from this relaxed riverside camp

B ear Trail Lodge

The Naknek River is the number one rainbow trout river in Alaska

Br istol Bay Lodge Fly-out fishing in Wood-Tikchik State Park, Bristol Bay, and southwest Alaska

Cop per River Lodge A top rainbow trout fishery feeding Lake Illiamna, Alaska

Crooke d Creek Retreat and Outfitter s

Luxury all-inclusive multi species fishing and adventure lodge in Kasilof, Alaska

Encha nted Lake Lodge Waterfront on Enchanted Lake, Katmai National Park, southwest Alaska

Goodn ews River Lodge They don't call it "Goodnews" River for nothing! Front-page worthy locale

Grosvenor Lodge

Hoodoo Lodge

Intr icate Bay Lodge & Outpost

Located in Katmai National Park between Grosvenor Lake and Colville Lake

Located on the extreme northwest tip of the Alaska peninsula near Nelson Lagoon

Fly-out to the best rivers of the Katmai from this newly built luxury lodge

Ke nai River Recon Fly or spin fish the Kenai & Kasilof Rivers. No experience needed!

Kulik Lodge Katmai National Park, southwest Alaska, between Kulik and Nonvaniuk Lakes

The Lodg e at Whale Pass Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska; serious fishing meets serious adventure!

Mission Lodge

Ra pids Camp Lodge

Multi-species luxury fly-out lodge in Bristol Bay, perfect for groups or singles

Luxury fly-out lodge with single rooms on the Naknek River

Reel Acti on Alaska Lodge Lies within the Togiak Wildlife Refuge, famous for mousing for huge rainbows

Royal Coachman Lodge This fly-out lodge sits on Nyukuk River, offering 24-hour fishing

Ste phan Lake Lodge Bristol Bay Quality of fishing from Talkeetna, Alaska on Denali's doorstep

Freshwater Trout/ANADROMOUS

Talaheim Lodge

Tikchi k Narrows Lodge


Be lla Sofia Lodge



Small water heli-fishing that's great for small groups and completely remote

Amazing peninsula lodge with every imaginable species and daily fly-out fishing

Sea-run brown trout & spring creek fishing all on one famous Argentine estancia

A unique river that offers multiple species and some big salmon

Deildara Scenic, remote and private, a fantastic river to experience.

The Kjarra Classic, iconic salmon river in the west, but physically demanding


Northern Icelands small river that offers big suprises

The Sog Classic double-handed rod fishing in a beautiful setting



Excellent char fishing with a very good chance of catching salmon

Very beautiful with bigger salmon and great run of arctic char

Freshwater JUNGLE


Chiawa Camp

Tiger Fish

Roya l Zambezi Lodge

Ngomb e Zambezi River Lodge

Located in the lower Zambezi National Park on Zambia’s southern border

Probably the biggest tiger fish on fly…

Fishing for tiger fish and game viewing on the lower Zambezi River

An adventurous tiger fishing escape on the banks of the Zambezi River


Freshwater JUNGLE


Delta Lodge

Unspoiled golden dorado fishing and eco-lodge under the Buenos Aries skyline

Don Joaq uin River Lodge Luxury dorado fishing lodge on the banks of the Corriente River

Gold en Dorado River Cruiser Luxury golden dorado fly-fishing mothership on the lower Paraná River, Argentina

Parana R iver Outfitters Monster Paraná River dorado an ideal cast and blast opportunity in Argentina

Pira Lodge Stalking golden dorado on the fly in the vast Ibera Marsh, Corrientes, Argentina

Suinda Lodge


Dorado, pira pita, and pacu on the upper Paraná River, in Corrientes, Argentina

Tsima ne - Agua Negra Lodge National park and indigenous territory Bolivia; fly fishing for golden dorado

Tsiman e - Pluma Lodge

Three unique golden dorado rivers from one premier eight-guest lodge

Tsimane - Secure Lodge Fly fish for golden dorado in the jungles of Bolivia

Tsimane - Heli-Fishing


Agua Boa



Rive r Plate Anglers

Heli-fishing for golden dorado deep in the Bolivian Amazon

Protected, clear-water and fly fish only. Peacock bass in Roraima, Brazil

Clearwater jungle fly fishing in the exclusive Mekragnoti territory

Go big in the Brazilian Amazonarapaima on the fly!

Peacock bass fishing in remote Amazon rivers via innovative shallow water tech

Rio Marie Outstanding liveaboard program for trophy size peacock bass in Brazil

Xingu Lodge

Payara and multi-species fishing in unbelievably clear water

Freshwater JUNGLE


M ongolia Fishing


Aggressive taimen on top-water and subsurface flies in north-central Mongolia

South Afri can Yellow Fish Hunt the powerful yellow fish on the stunning Orange River

Pongol a Tiger Fishing

Fly-fishing for tigers in the prolific Lake Jozini



Kau Tapen

Villa Maria


Bear Claw Lodge

Skeena Spey Riverside Wilde rness and Lodge

Ste elhead Valhalla

Tr out Creek Lodge


Deplar Farm

East Ranga

The first and absolutely foremost lodge on the Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego

Sea-run brown trout on the exclusive lower Rio Grande/Tierra del Fuego

A fine lodge in the heart of steelhead country on the Kispiox River

Catch mint bright huge kings and steelhead with top guides from a superb lodge

Exclusive access to steelhead runs on the renowned Sustut and Skeena Rivers

Bulkley and Skeena River steelhead fishing from a river front private property

Perhaps Iceland's most exclusive property with summer and winter activities

Located on the South Coast if you want the most reliable fishing, this is it!




Grimsa One of Iceland's top rivers, easy physically, situated in the west



Iceland Salmon


Laxa A Asum

Laxa In Kjos

A beautiful, remote river with bigger fish

A scenic and iconic salmon river in the northeast with bigger fish

Fascinating, productive, light-tackle, clearwater fishing in dramatic scenery

Very pretty, classic Icelandic salmon river in the west

Wonderful, classic two-rod private river in the north-west

Scenic, classic, and convenient river in west Iceland

Nordura One of the great rivers that typifies Icelandic salmon fishing

Sela One of Iceland's best and most challenging salmon rivers

The Thvera


The Malselv

Norwe gian Flyfishers Club, Gaula

Boen Gard


Covered Br idge Outfitters and Lodge

One of Iceland's best salmon rivers, finest lodges and physically easy

Good private salmon beats on a very pretty northern Norway River

Classic Norwegian big-water salmon fishing

Southern Norway salmon fishing on a historic estate

Steelhead focused full-service fishing/hunting lodge on Conneaut Creek, Ohio

Freshwater anadromous

saltwater flats


Abaco Lodge A true fishermen's lodge - waterfront digs with all the comforts of home

Andros South Legendary fishing lodge and home to some of the finest bonefishing in the world

Bairs Lodge Located on south Andros between Deep and Little Creek; beachfront comfort

Delphi Club Perfect destination on Abaco Island for fishermen, couples, or families

H20 Bonefishing Trophy bones and easy access make H20 popular with anglers of all levels

Kamalame Cay An oasis of laidback hospitality and extraordinary bonefishing

Ma ngrove Cay Club Located on the Middle Bight on eastern Andros Island - an industry benchmark

Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge South Andros Island, Bahamas; bonefishing at its best with no pretense!

North Ri ding Point Club World-class bonefishing and customized service on Grand Bahama Island since 1994

Stel la Maris Resort A relaxing venue for anglers, leisure travelers, and family vacationers


Bel ize River Lodge Accommodating anglers on the banks of Olde Belize River for over 55 years!

Blu e Horizon Lodge A completely renovated lodge located in one of the worlds finest permit waters

C opal Tree Lodge Agritourism chic: the essence and spirit of Copal Tree Lodge in southern Belize

El Pescador Resort Forbes has voted El Pescador one of the “Top Ten Eco-Resorts in the World!”

Lo ng Caye Outpost Enjoy flats fishing or just relaxing on your own private tropical island!

Tha tch Caye Resort Paradise awaits you on a private island in southern Belize

Turne ffe Flats Lodge Be pampered in paradise- a fly fishing, scuba diving, and eco-adventure resort



Christm as Island Lodge Flats fishing at its finest, in a remote saltwater angler’s paradise

Ikari House Excellent service and a diversified fishing program close to the lodge


Za pata Mothership Exclusive grand slam fishing inside Zapata National Park in Cuba


Du bai Fly Fishing Great short stop or short stay, city fly fishing...


St. Brandon's Atoll Look no further, double-digit bonefish, trevally, and permit on this exotic atoll


Asce nsion Bay Lodge Great location in Punta Allen and the famed Ascension bay fishery

Camp eche Tarpon Bay World-class baby tarpon fishing, historic old town Campeche, & wonderful cuisine

Casa Blanca The Casa Blanca experience: top-notch fishing, accommodations, cuisine, service

Fin Chasers Great flats program north of Cancun at Isla Blanca in Mar Caribe biosphere

G rand Slam Lodge Near the village of Punta Allen - great fishing and modern accommodations

Palometa Club Northern Ascension Bay’s premier fishing lodge

Playa Blanca 30 minutes south of Sister Lodge, Casa Blanca, on Punta Pajaros, Mexico

Xflats Experience Xcalak, Mexico and Chetumal Bay –fly fishing for bonefish and permit


Alphons e Island Resort If you check one destination off your bucket list, it should be Alphonse

Asto ve Island Lodge Perfect for adventure-seeking anglers; wild, remote, fabulous fly fishing

Cosmoledo Atoll Perfect, once in a lifetime adventure; remote, legendary fishery

Farquhar Atoll

P rovidence Atoll


One of the most exotic saltwater fly fishing destinations in the world

Species lover’s nirvana + rested waters for 5 years = fish on!

Bahia Honda Sight-fish for tarpon in the florida keys, with an all-inclusive, lodge-based experience

Elev en ExperienceLouisiana

Tailing redfish and black drum on the pristine southern Louisiana Bayou

Wood land Plantation Sight-fish for tailing reds while taking a step back into history in New Orleans

saltwater BLUEWATER


Croco dile Bay Resort

Si lver King Lodge

Zancudo Lodge


Paci fic Fins Resort


Pesca Panama

Tr opic Star Lodge

Year-round offshore and inshore fishing off the Osa Peninsula in Golfo Dulce

A tarpon destination on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Great fishing combined with high-end accommodations and eco-touring

The sailfishing capital of the world also has consistently calm waters

Saltwater species diversity and remote liveaboard solitude

Renowned lodge on Pinas Bay, Panama, with fabulous offshore and inshore fishing

saltwater Flats/BLUEWATER



Bird Hunters Africa Seriously challenging shooting combined with great hospitality


Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge

Flying B Ranch

South Dakota pheasant hunting at its finest

Unlimited wingshooting in scenic and historic Lawyer Canyon, Idaho

Highl and Hills Ranch World-class wingshooting for pheasant, chukar, quail, and Hungarian partridge

Rio Pi edra Plantation

Traditional bobwhite quail hunting in the heart of Georgia's wingshooting belt



Cordoba Lodge

El Monte Lodge

L a Dormida Lodge

L a Torcaza Lodge

Pica Zuro Lodge

Fiscally minded, volume dove shooting in Las Penas, Cordoba province

Located in the province of San Luis, Argentina doves and pigeons

Offers year-round dove shooting at a small venue in Cordoba province, Argentina

Decoyed pigeons easily combined with volume Cordoba dove shooting

The lodge that started it all; the first in Cordoba Province, Argentina

Sant iago del Estero New high volume dove shooting lodge in quiet rural area north of Cordoba

Tuku Lodge

Tucuman Lodge

Extraordinary volume pigeon and dove shooting in scenic Salta Province

Year round dove lodge ideal for small groups up to 12 with short drive times!




Los Crestones Lodge Mixed bag shooting less than 2 hours from the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina

River Pla te Wingshooting - 5 Feather Program

River Pla te Wingshooting

- Entre Rio s


Esta ncia La Bellaca

San Juan Lodge

Uruguay Lodge


Mixed-bag hunt from 2 classic estancias in La Pampa and Buenos Aires Provinces

Argentina's best duck and dove combos located only 3 hours from Buenos Aires


Uruguayan coastal decoyed pigeons, perdiz over pointers, and mixed bag shooting

Mixed bag: volume dove, perdiz over setters, and decoyed ducks - Flores, Uruguay

Mixed bag: perdiz over dogs, doves, and puddle ducks - Young, Uruguay

P heasant Bonanza World class upland, waterfowl, turkey, and deer hunting in Tekamah, Nebraska

Skyfall Reserve Premier Texas destination for waterfowl, whitetails, hogs, and world-class shooting



La Nava

Shooting at the home of driven partridge shooting in Spain

One of Spain's best shoots in every regard

La Flamenca The perfect option to shoot and stay in Madrid

Los Melonares A beautiful family estate with fine shooting



Chat eau De Villette Fine driven shooting in Burgundy




Grouse Shooting

Main Season

Classic estate shoots for mallards and driven pheasants pioneered by Frontiers

Most agree that driven grouse is the pinnacle of driven game shooting

The heart of the pheasant shooting season

Early Season Driven grouse, partridge, pheasants, and duckthe season gets underway



Esta ncia Santa Rita

Jacana Lodge


Migratory ducks over decoys from dry blinds & more with Patagonia Outfitters

Decoyed ducks and 5-star accommodation in famous Lincoln, Buenos Aires province

North Platte Outpost Among America's most sought-after waterfowl hunting destinations




Umdende Hunting Safaris A family-run south Africa operation with plenty of activities


AK Hunts Free range stag; Lake District of Patagonia, Rio Negro province, Argentina

Red Stag Tupungato Red deer in Argentina's wine country. Hunt in the shadows of Mt. Tupungato

Rincon de Luna Trophy stag and exotic species in the Calamuchitas Valley; southwest of Cordoba


Poronui Fine red stag, sika deer and luxury accommodations "Down Under"


Stalking (Deer Shooting) Traditional hunting areas covering the 6 main species and others


Ste phan Lake Lodge Big game hunting and fishing near Talkeetna, Alaska

Th ree Forks Ranch Trophy elk, mule deer, and pronghorn; highend, game-rich, fair-chase hunts

PRactice Your Cast. We’ll handle the Rest. From trout to tarpon to trevally, we know destination fishing best. As the leader in fly fishing travel for over 50 years and the only full-service agency in the industry, no one is better equipped to handle your trip from start to finish. 1-800-245-1950
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