Field Notes: Winter 2024

Page 1







| 2024


07 tranquil tides

Embracing the serenity of authentic and secluded fishing adventures | by Mike Fitzgerald


A new luxury lodge in Fernie offers the perfect basecamp for enjoying the beauty, solitude, and trout of the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta | by Hank Ingram

17 hiding in plain sight

Beat the crowds and experience some of the best wild fishing with an early season Alaska quest | by Tom Gilliland

23 An emerald in the rough

Recently growing in popularity with anglers, Ireland’s combination of activities, culture, and sights makes it one of the best destinations for couples and angling/non angling mixed groups | by Barry & Cathy Beck


Ask a local – your guide perhaps, or maybe the chef, or even the owner of the lodge – for their favorite time to be in Montana, and the answers will almost always veer off in the direction of the equinoxes | by Joe Koziara

39 Adventure is where you find it

With easier travel and increasing competition for fishing opportunities making it seemingly tougher to find a way from the crowds, an attitude of adventure can be the outcome | by

45 the reward of remote

Sometimes all of that travel effort to a very remote fishing location turns out to be worth it | by Nick Swingle

51 beyond the shoreline

Some of the best fishing on the planet can only be accessed by mothership, but being on a boat for up to a week is not for every traveler | by Mike Fitzgerald

appendix: destinations Worldwide Hunting and Fishing Destinations SALTWATER


"Steep pine slopes launching from the narrow valley flood plain give way to massive bald striated granite faces that can mesmerize anglers as they drift downriver attempting to keep their eye on the fly..." PAGE 11 FRESHWATER

the meet AUTHORS


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 "Beyond the Shoreline" on Page 51


Joining Frontiers in 1999 as the Bahamas expert, Hank has worked his way up the ranks over 25 years and is now the Director of Sporting Travel for the company. Introduced to fly fishing on Chautauqua Lake, NY at the age of 12, Hank followed his passion to Idaho and then onto four continents, countless countries and oceans and counting over 45 years. An avid fly fisher and gravel cyclist, Hank not only enjoys international travel but also locally re-discovering PA and the United States, wandering thousands of miles of gravel road, fly rod or bike in hand, his teardrop camper in tow, in search of abundant hatches and abandoned wildnerness. Read "Old Friends in a New Troutosphere" on Page 11



Tom has been hunting and fishing his home state of PA from a very young age. Always looking for interesting outdoor opportunities brought him to Alaska in the early 90s, fulfilling a childhood dream. He learned valuable lessons along with a healthy respect for the unpredictability of the Alaskan bush and the importance of being prepared. Tom has hunted and fished various areas of Alaska, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and most South America countries over nearly two decades as a Frontiers specialist. Experiences include Brazil for Peacock bass, Bolivia for Golden Dorado, Argentina for Red Stag, Canada for pike/trout, and Alaska for steelhead, salmon, and trout. His broad range of familiarity with destinations is invaluable in finding the perfect destination for guests. Outside of work, Tom is a dedicated archer and a diehard steelhead/trout fisherman. Read "Hiding in Plain Sight" on Page 17


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 "A Few Good Reasons for Fishing Shoulder Seasons" on Page 29


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 Reward of Remote" on Page 45



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 "An Emerald in the Rough" on Page 23


Pat lives in Franklin, WI. He has guided throughout Wisconsin and the Great Lakes area, as well as in Montana and Alaska. He has taught fly fishing schools, fly casting and tying classes around the country. He also appears as a speaker and instructor at shows and seminars throughout the U.S., and has been an ambassador, pro staff member, and technical advisor for a variety of companies and organizations. Pat has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and on numberous TV shows throughout the country both regionally and nationally including Fox, ESPN, and The Outdoor Channel networks. In chasing both fresh and saltwater fish, Pat has traveled across the US, to Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Central America South America, and the South Pacific. Read "Adventure is Where You Find it" on Page 39









Tranquil Tides


Despite an unusually warm period over the winter so far, snow is still occasionally falling here in western Pennsylvania. Many of us around the office locally are balancing the pursuit of Great Lakes steelhead and working with our bird dogs with the demands of inevitably busy seasons of travel ahead for our clients in 2024. Surely this beats some of the virusfueled challenges of the recent past. And yet, it makes for an odd combination – at once seeking both isolation and community.

Perhaps you feel similarly, not only in your own careers and families, but also as traveling outdoor enthusiasts. Part of the allure of travel is the people you meet; magic is also found in the moments alone on a flat or in a field, just you versus a fish or a bird, with only the beep of a dog on a point or the gentle instruction from a guide to break the silence.

Many hunters and anglers are experiencing crowds on their home waters and in their local woods. International destinations have their own version of this increasing demand. For the traveling fisher, there is no one-size-fits-all solution; no simple


panacea. However, it is possible for those seeking to avoid crowds or to experience destinations in a new way. Some involve creative thinking or breaking from patterns. Others may benefit from a shift in schedule or perspective.

We are wrestling with these same issues and questions right alongside you, as travel consultants and as fly fishers and avid shotgunners ourselves. This second edition of Field Notes and its articles share our processing of this paradox, of the desire for shared and authentic experiences, for community and for seclusion. Our contributing writers describe with great

passion the appeals of shoulder season fishing in Alaska and Montana, two of the most popular (and therefore pressured) angling destinations. A longtime friend and partner in the fishing industry gives his take on finding the adventure equally in the ordinary and extraordinary alike. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of motherships, historically a niche method of travel that perhaps today holds wider appeal. Lastly, we hear of the lasting impressions left by fishing the backcountry of a small island in the Central Pacific, one of the most remote flats destinations commercially available today to anglers –still a remarkable fishery four decades later.


In this issue, you will also read of tremendous fishing and travel opportunities someplace you might not expect thanks to longtime Frontiers hosts, Barry and Cathy Beck. Deeply saddened by Cathy's recent passing, this article is but one small way that we seek to honor her legacy. She was an incredible colleague and friend to all of us at Frontiers. Cathy had an unmatched passion for the sport and a need to share her knowledge in a delightfully pleasant way through guiding, instructing, writing, and hosting trips. There was no ego and no competitiveness, only a smile and a yearning to make everyone around her love fly fishing. She remains an inspiration to us all. Following Cathy's wishes, Barry will continue to lead Frontiers clients around the world hosting departures.

If fifty-five years in this business has taught us anything, it’s that travel will continue to evolve. Destinations will rise and fall as surely as the tide. Sought-after flies and target species will cycle like fashion. New will become old; old will become vintage. Amidst it all, we will continue to adventure, to experience, to chase those meaningful moments in the outdoors near and far. We hope that you will join us.



Ipicked up the phone and the voice on the other end said, “Man, you got to get up here... like now”. Let me explain.

It was June of 2023. My friend of over 23 years, Jeff Vermillion, called to inform me that he has acquired a river front property in Fernie, British Columbia. He was launching a unique fishing program in the valley with unprecedented access to guide days on rivers in both eastern British Columbia and neighboring western Alberta, many of which we will not name. Not to mention the property included a proper 6-bedroom 5-star lodge that overlooked the Elk River and was surrounded by Provincial Park. The equation of location x guide days / accommodations = an extraordinary new destination insistently calculated in my brain. “I’ll be there,” I replied.

My memory of the area was clouded. My last trip to Fernie, BC was over 15 years ago when I hosted a group of friends on the Elk, Old Man and Crowsnest Rivers in a prerunoff early season excursion. So, in July when Nick Swingle – Frontiers Marketing Director and videographer extraordinaire – and I drove across the Montana / BC border and hit the Crows Nest Highway, the sheer enormity of the area came flooding back to me. There is just something about the raw nature of the Canadian Rockies that screams wilderness solitude. Steep pine slopes launching from the narrow valley flood plain give way to massive bald striated granite faces that can mesmerize anglers as they drift downriver attempting to keep their eye on the fly. Really words cannot do the region justice. It must be seen to be believed.





The crown jewel of Fernie and Brooks Creek Ranch is the Elk River, a silver ribbon through the shadowed valley laden with eager cutthroat trout and bull trout. Elk River cutthroat are “gentlemen’s angler fish” becoming truly active as the sun hits the water, providing extraordinary dry fly fishing all day to the drifting and wading angler, and then calming themselves as the sun dips over the western peaks, just in time for cocktail hour. Ravenous for the fly however truly considerate to the needs of the traveling sportsman.

Fast forward to day three on the water - “Hey Ho”, our guide sang out as we wondered through a tight grove of river side Aspens at the terminus of a gravel service road on a barely visible lace of a foot path. “Hey Ho” he sang out again, notifying any furry forest critters that we where in the area and in search of bull trout rumored to be holding in the deep corner bends below high cliff banks of this band of water.

As we hiked – an option at the lodge but not mandatory – we crested a knoll and the entire drainage opened before us in a massive panoramic amphitheater with the

river dropping at a steep gradient towards its confluence. It was at that moment that the shear vastness of the region, the power of the mountains and its inhabitants overtook me. I felt that calm that comes after a day or two of being offline and emersed in nature with a flyrod in my hand. I get this same feeling each time I travel to fish the marshes of Argentina or the white sand flats of the Bahamas and other unnamed waters worldwide. It is a surrendering to the river and an embracing of the experience. It was the realization that whether we caught the best bull tout of the grip – and we did – or shot the best Cuttie take on the video, it did not matter. Because the day was magical and the realization, fish or no, that after a day of casting and hiking in paradise there would be meticulously mixed Manhattans – also an expertise of Mr. Swingle – and a host of good-natured ribbing among long time and new friends on a grand porch overlooking a coursing river on a warm summer evening. And that ultimately is what I crave on these adventures.

It’s not about the “most” and/or the “biggest”. Those things are wonderful,

I felt that calm that comes after a day or two of being offline and emersed in nature with a flyrod in my hand.
Keep 'em wet - both the fish and your feet. Fernie in the summer is ideal for wet wading.

and they are absolutely available in the abundant regional rivers. But in a small lodge atmosphere such as Brooks Creek Ranch, literally dwarfed at the foot of Mount Hosmer and The Three Sisters on this lonely swath of land fronted by a river that lulls one to sleep each evening, the laughs seem louder, the friendships larger and the seclusion just that much greater.

But this is just one man’s experience in eastern BC and western AB. A person often overwhelmed with commitments, responsibility, and sense of duty- at least in my mind - and slow to let the stressors melt away and the casting become more fluid. This was how “I” embraced the experience. What will your journey be?

Crystal clear water make for visual Cuttie topwater takes on the Elk River.


Water Under the Bridge: While rivers and streams in BC are inhabited perdominantly by cutthroat and bull trout, a short travel over Crows Nest Pass to Alberta, Canada offers a mixed bag of rainbow trout and brown trout on both freestone rivers and tailwaters alike.

No Bueno Hopper Dropper: In British Columbia, whether dry fly fishing or nymphing -- only one fly is permitted. You can re-rig in Alberta as two flies are permitted.

Permission to Fish: In British Columbia, anglers buy a basic license which affords them to fish and then secondary Classified Waters Permits are purchased on a daily basis based on which body of water they will fish that day.

Fasten Your Seatbelt: Brooks Creek Ranch is accessible by air from Calgary, AB -- ideal for an extension on the Bow River; Branbrook, BC, and Kalispel or Whitefish, Montana.

Among Friends: Brooks Creek Ranch takes just six anglers weekly for a 6-night/5day program -- ideal for an intact party or family adventure.

angler notes

A well fed June rainbow. You can't hide the excitement! 17 FIELD NOTES

hiding in plain sight


Jim always went to Alaska in August every year. Like a migrating caribou, his instincts took him north at that time of the summer, in this case to chase salmon. Then one year due to a work conflict, Jim only had the month of June as an available travel window. After some debate and convincing, he booked the trip. He returned with some reports that were nothing short of amazing. Turns out Jim loved trout as much as salmon. Maybe more so now. We spent an hour going over his most memorable takes, battles that were won, and battles that were lost. His excitement and enthusiasm were off the charts. He has been back every June since

and has converted a few “naysayers” to join him. Pictures don’t lie.

If images are not compelling, then consider the voice and insights coming from a (former) local. I lived in Alaska in the early 90s. I have fished from ice out until well into October. Having done plenty of independent fishing, I discover these niche times of the season and learned how to best take advantage of them. As the Alaska program manager at Frontiers, I also have the luxury of speaking directly with lodge owners and veteran guides to fine-tune the fishing opportunities and timing of our trips. The message is consistent across my


personal fishing experiences, insights from the lodges, and feedback from clients: the early season is something special in Alaska.

We have clients who specifically travel in June because of the spectacular early season trout fishing. Most comment that the opening week results in the best quality trout they have experienced to date, often catching multiple trout that topped their previous personal best! Plenty of rivers are brimming with strong and feisty, hardfighting trout, with the average size in some rivers topping over 20” inches, up to 27” inches. And, most importantly, they are hungry. As in, willing to eat just about anything. Rainbows and even lake trout will come down out of the lakes and into the rivers, chasing the salmon smolt as they migrate from the headwaters out to

the ocean. This is the first easy meal for most native species.

Coming out of their winter dormancy and early spring spawning, native leopard rainbow trout are anxious to fill their empty bellies. They spend their winters in lakes and deep river pools along with other species. A favorite style of fishing this time of year is small fry patterns or sight-fishing for large trout using dry flies and mice. Nymphs and streamers are extremely productive during June and July for trout, with many of the larger fish taken on bugger and sculpin patterns. Either way, you won’t be fishing beads under a float and can pretty much use your entire fly box. When the short fry run comes to an end, rainbows turn to dry-flies and terrestrials.


June and July are also prime time for throwing terrestrials like mice and voles for trout. A skated mouse pattern offers a visual experience that will steal your breath and burn an image so deep in your mind you’ll never forget it. There’s nothing like watching a rainbow dart from under a cutbank at Mach speed and slam a jiggled mouse from halfway across the river. It’s a level 10 experience and one of the pinnacles of fly fishing for many.


June is arguably my favorite time to be in Alaska as a trout addict, but it’s also a great time for char and grayling. Those who target grayling often catch multiple fish in just a few short hours. If that’s not enough, King salmon enter the rivers in Mid- June and will run until Mid-July. You can still get the topwater action for trout and swing flies for Kings all in the same day. There is no stronger pulling

Early season rainbows quickly pack on weight and turn into feeding machines.

A beautifully colored leopard rainbow from the Kanektok River. In Alaska, June trout are not sluggish or lacking in aggressiveness. It's true, too, that swinging flies for kings is highly productive - so be ready for the take!


sport fish than a King salmon. Battles are always epic, especially on a fly rod. The abundance of fishing riches at this time can make choosing which rod to grab and species to target very difficult.


Before the smolt migration, there is an even earlier season worth discussing: spring steelhead. In southeast Alaska, the season begins in April with wild steelhead fishing. Being a temperate rainforest, weather is warmer. Anglers are surrounded by the Tongass National Forest fishing small and rugged tributaries for truly wild steelhead. This is not the only opportunity of the year. Steelhead come back around in September and October as well. During the autumn, the small tributaries offer super exciting sight-fishing for big steelies in tight quarters waiting for their next meal.


There is something to be said for the consistent action that Alaska salmon fishing provides during the high season of August and early September. And yet, there is ohso-much-more to Alaska fishing than the popular (and increasingly crowded) peak times for pink, chum, and silver salmon. Alaska is rugged, yes, but also nuanced. There are layers of beauty and a variety of challenging pursuits with its fisheries. Each week and each month have their subtilties that should be considered when looking at potential fishing dates. Sound overwhelming? Give us a call. We would be glad to share our experiences and insights to help you plan the perfect Alaska trip.

S teelhead, the epic smolt migration, skated mice, dry flies, Rainbows, Kings, Grayling, Char, and more! Contact Tom Gilliland to plan your trip today!

what to expect on your alaska trip:

an emerald in the rough


After over thirty years, we are still looking for it. We cannot help it as trip hosts, travelers, and passionate anglers. We are always looking for the perfect destination. One that will offer some great fishing, but also something for a non-angler companion. We have couples that travel with us who are both serious anglers, but we also have a lot of requests from couples who would like to travel together but one fishes and one does not. The answer of course is to find a destination where both will be happy.

So, welcome to Ireland, the Emerald Isle. Ireland has it all. A few years ago Kristene Fitzgerald, at Frontiers, put us in touch with Andrew Ryan. Andrew has Clonanav Fly Fishing, one of the best fly shops in all of Europe. He has leases on some fabulous water including the Nire and the Suir. The Nire is a gin clear spate/freestone river flowing through the Nire Valley until its confluence with the Suir, Ireland’s second largest river. The Suir has the reputation of being one of the best dry fly rivers in Europe, and Andrew’s private section here lives up to the reputation. It’s quality


fishing and trout in the 14-16” range are quite common while it’s not unusual to land fish up to 20”. The river is about 100 feet wide and flows for 114 miles to the sea at Waterford port. Along with the trout fishing, the Suir offers anglers a chance at Atlantic Salmon as well. Trout season generally opens in mid-April and runs through September on most rivers. One can easily fish for trout one day and salmon the next. Andrew makes it easy as anglers don’t have to travel with spey rods with outfits available from his shop. We have found that the trout fishing is always better than the salmon fishing in June, but that soon changes as the salmon season progresses and the larger fish move into the river.

So, what about touring for the non-angler?

We could write a book on the incredibly diverse opportunities in Ireland. First, our tour guides are more than just someone who drives around and says on your right is this and on your left is that and keeps on going. Our Irish tour guides are some of the best in all of Europe. They are incredibly well-versed in Irish history and know all the best places to stop and visit. They are professional, personable, and fun to be with — and their Irish humor

Andrew Ryan with a healthy Nire brown trout. The famous Dirty Nelly's Pub - Bunratty Castle


Explore the Dublin Castle. It is really a Palace... Tours are available, or you can just wander around outside and look at this amazing building. The most fascinating part of the castle is underground. We highly recommend.

Experience the Guiness Storehouse. It is a mixture of sophisticated exhibits and historical artifacts, spread over a number of fascinating floors. There is a rooftop Gravity Bar where you are treated to a complimentary pint of the black stuff.

Visit the St. Patrick's Cathedral. This is the largest church in Ireland, with many religious and military artifacts. It also holds Ireland's largest organ!

Let us help! For over 50 years, we have been your concierge for a custom and seamless travel experience. We excel at creating custom itineraries specifically tailored to your wants and needs. Contact Kristene Fitzgerald , our Ireland destination specialist to create a custom itinerary fit for you.

26 FIELD NOTES v extend your stay
Andrew shows Cathy a spey cast on the Suir.
Andrew guides Cathy at Four Mile Water Bridge on the Nire.

will keep you entertained from distilleries, castles, and churches, to pubs.

It was our lucky day when Kristene connected us with Andrew Ryan. Ireland was exactly what we were looking to add to our hosted departures. We look forward to returning each year with our group, to spend fishing time with Andrew and his guides, and to each night over dinner listening to fishing stories and the fun experiences our non-anglers had touring. If you have never fished or visited the Emerald Isle, put it on your bucket list. We promise you will not be disappointed.

upcoming hosted trips with Barry beck:

A note from Barry : "Looking ahead, we have an exciting schedule for 2024. We still have a few openings and, as always, I would love to have you join me. For availability and booking, please contact Frontiers."

Mar 3-9 : San Huberto, Argentina (Trout)

Mar 9-14: Estancia Pilolil, Argentina (Trout)

Mar 16-23 : Estancia Tecka, Argentina (Trout)

Jun 15-22 : Ireland (Trout)

Jul 8-Aug 2: East Africa (Safari)

Aug 24-31 : Bighorn River, MT (Trout)

Aug 31-Sept 7 : Bighorn River, MT (Trout)

Oct 22-29 : Europe (Trout)

Nov 2-9 : Turneffe Flats, Belize (Saltwater)

Dec 2-7 : Argentina Waters, Argentina (Trout)

Dec 7-14 : Estancia Tecka, Argentina (Trout


A few good reasons


for fishing shoulder seasons

Maybe I wasn’t getting down deep enough. I had a floating line with a short leader and the water was up and off-color on a pretty, little stretch of Montana’s Beaverhead River. I swung my sling pack around to dig for the pattern I had in mind, a sparkle minnow streamer, a bit larger than the last fly, with a dark back and a heavy cone head. In the time it took me to retrieve the fly and attach it with a loop knot, the weather had changed again. The blue-bird sky and warm sun had been replaced by a large dark cloud and biting wind. Fortunately, my extra layer was easily accessed. Instead of stowing it in the larger pocket of my pack as usual, I had taken to shoving it down the front chest of my waders earlier that day, leaving it readily available for deployment. My guide for the day was Craig Fellin. If there is anything that brings confidence to a day of fishing, it’s having a legendary guide alongside you while you flail away at unfamiliar water. Craig was stoic and patient as I slipped on my jacket and resituated myself. Craig has been guiding these waters for close to four decades and had long since become acclimated to the shifting weather


of Montana springtime. He knew this water better than most people know the face of their spouse. When he pointed to a soft seem along the undercut, opposite bank, I crept into position and made a clunkybut-accurate roll cast, stuck the rod tip in the water and made a large strip to clear slack. On the second strip, a thick brown trout smashed the fluttering streamer, as if it were the first good meal to happen by in months. The off-colored water allowed for stout tippet, and the stout tippet allowed for a quickly landed trout. In the moment, the cold water didn’t even shock my hands when I dunked them before handling the fish for release- I assume the same mix of adrenaline and endorphins

that protect your ears from a rifle report when a big game animal fills the scope was at play here. I was suddenly warm again, and Craig simply smiled knowing that the entire scenario played out as he hoped it would. We continued upstream, keeping a watchful eye out for fish that might be rising to the smattering of blue wing olives. We never saw any noses poking out of the water, but we did find more than a few hungry brown trout willing to take a gamble on the chunky minnow. The weather changed, then changed again. Yesterday I got by with a thick flannel shirt. The next day I found myself in a bit of a snowstorm. Happy Memorial Day from Southwest Montana!


Invest in Your Own Comfort: They say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. Come prepared with a quality layering system and a way to keep your gear dry when not in use. The folks at The Fly Fishers know a thing or two about varable weather conditions (Hello, Wisconsin!) and can help you put together a system that will keep you warm and dry for years to come.


Hot Dam: For the earliest and latest ventures, tailwaters like the Bighorn and Missouri can offer the most consistent waterflows and fishing.

Get Schooled: A few of our favorite lodges use the early season weeks to offer a more educational experience. These "schools" will offer detailed instruction mixed in with the fishing to help you become a better angler, often at a discounted rate.

Catch a Break: Some lodges offer discounts of up to 20% off peak season rates during the shoulder season.

Be a Versatile Angler: Don't worry, no one wants you to resort to spinning gear. What we mean here is to keep an open mind and listen to your guide. Bring your dry rod, but also be prepared for nymph rigs or streamers with a heavier set-up.

When the nights are cold, the fishing can often turn on right around the time you shed your first layer.

Despite the numerous differences between the Spring and Fall seasons, there are also several similarities. These are often where the magic is found for anglers looking at the shoulder season months.


Destination fishing trips are often an investment-both in money and more importantly, time. Common sense suggests planning a trip for the best possible scenario, generally regarded as good weather, robust hatches, and overall ideal conditions to catch fish. We anglers tend to be a choosy bunch, equally discerning when pulling a fly from the box as we are selecting travel dates on the calendar. In the American West, for most part, the answer to the travel wish list is often found in the second half of June through the first half of August. Who wouldn’t want to fish sun-drenched days that start early and end late, spent casting dry flies to rising fish? This is peak season for a reason, for many reasons really. But ask a local – your guide perhaps, or maybe the chef, or even the owner of the lodge – for their favorite time to be in Montana, and the answers will almost always veer off in the direction of the equinoxes.


The local anglers will be sneaking out throughout the winter, on the warm days

sprinkled in that allow for a temporary thaw. Then with increasing regularity come March. For traveling anglers, April to June is more realistic. Most of the mainline fishing lodges in Montana and surrounding areas will open sometime in May, but a few will open in April and often have some excellent fishing for their first guests of the year. This is a time that offers a chance to shake off the winter crust, breath some fresh air, and greet the new season with rod in hand. Depending on the year/month/day, your early-bird approach may be met with the warm, fresh-smelling kind of days we dream about all winter. This past spring was so wet and lush that I heard several people likening the Montana landscape to the Irish countryside. Wildflowers will be in bloom, and the local wildlife will be welcoming a new generation of offspring. If you venture into Yellowstone National Park (and you should) you might catch a glimpse of the freshly born bison calves, called “red dogs” for their orangish-red coats.

In the rivers, the rising water temps and longer days will have the trout looking


to feed. If you are fortunate enough to encounter a hatch the fish will likely be willing to rise to a well-presented fly. Blue Wing Olives can make for a memorable day on the Missouri if the weather is right. Caddis, too, in May and with some luck you could find yourself in the thick clouds of “Mother’s Day caddis” along the Yellowstone or Madison. Streamers are also a good bet around the region. Over on the Big Hole River, Wade Fellin loves the late May weeks for chasing giant browns. At this same time, down on the Henry’s Fork, the guests at Three Rivers Ranch will be fishing rubber-leg nymphs along the banks and preparing for the start of the salmonflies. Flame-colored Western tanagers will arrive on the streamside vegetation with equal anticipation. If you hit it right, the springtime can deliver some of the best fishing of the year.


On the other end of the summer, the autumn season is typically arriving in midSeptember along with the first frost. The airports stay busy, but with an increasing number of hunters arriving to chase birds and big game. The locals are also turning their attention to the fields, so this can be another great time to find more solitude on the water. While Spring can be a time for hope and optimism, Fall is more reflective. The landscape takes on a different look, with the vibrant greens replaced by yellows and browns. It’s during this time of year that you can realize the genius in the Russell Chatham paintings that just a few months ago seemed muted


and out of focus. Coffee seems to taste better on the cool fall mornings, and as the day progresses dark beers, full-bodied reds, and whiskey go well with the season. Speaking of coffee, go ahead and have a second cup –no need to rush to get on the water before the sun hits it. The crisp fall air can change the way sound carries. Old Neil Young songs have never sounded better than when you are making your way to the river, and sun is slowly warming things up. If you are more into the sounds of nature, it’s worth seeking out a spot to listen for a bugling bull elk on a frosty morning. Most of the terrestrial fishing is done by late September, but if you search hard enough on a warmer day, you just may find

a fish willing to eat a hopper. Savor it, as it may be the last of the season. More likely is the chance at a hatch of Blue Wings. These little bugs are foul weather friends and can put a silver lining on a cold, dreary, damp fall day. Fall is also a perfect time for streamers, and most of the folks fishing in October will likely be wanting to try for the larger pre-spawn brown trout that will move to a big streamer. Still, anglers fishing multiple nymphs will have the best odds of success–they almost always do. As October progresses, more of the brown trout will begin to spawn and should be left alone if paired up or spotted on redds. The lodges we work with will be wrapping up by the time the spawn is getting into full swing.

Not a morning person? The fall season calls for later start times and provides a knockout backdrop for anglers.

shoulder season appeal:

There will be less people around. Most anglers will appreciate having less traffic out on the water, and that is what you will get during off-peak travel times. You may not have the river to yourself, but you won't have nearly as much company as you might in early July.

Unique opportunities. If you have always wanted to experience a Skwala hatch ont he Bitterroot, or the Mother's Day Caddis on the Madison, or the Salmonflies on the Henry's Fork, then the Springtime is right for you. If you are a die-hard streamer angler and want to catch a brown trout as long as your arm, then Spring or Fall will likely be the ticket. Looking at combining some fishing with some wingshooting? Late September should be perfect.

Moderate temperatures. Maybe a good thing, or bad thing, depending on your persuasion. The weather can fluctuate on a wider scale. The old joke about "if you don't like the weather just give it 5 minutes" holds true, so you pack accordingly, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. You will need waders, for sure, and a good layering system as well. Probably a good idea to have a waterproof bag on hand to hold the extra hoody, gloves, and hat. But you won't have to hide beneath a synthetic hood in sweltering August sun, and you won't have to worry about hoot owl restrictions.

Flexibility, and added value. Flights, hotels, rental cars, and lodge space are more readily available. Some lodges offer special schools during the spring that focus on learning to be a better angler. Some others offer discounts of up to 20%.

National Parks. Looking to add on a visit to Yellowstone or Grand Teton? The Spring and Fall are almost always going to offer a better experience. There are fewer crowds, and the wildlife is on the move during these transitional seasons.

Despite the numerous differences between the Spring and Fall seasons, there are also several similarities. These are often where the magic is found for anglers looking at the shoulder season months. Whether it is a matter of preference or a matter of convenience, the shoulder season might be the right choice for your next visit to the west.




is where you find it

Fishing has always been a favorite pursuit of mine, from the time I was a little kid until now, where fishing is my livelihood and has been for the last +35 years. In all that time things have sure changed. The world has become much smaller with more and better travel options and competition for fishing opportunities, making it seemingly tougher to find a way from the crowds.

While those new, unfished destinations are getting tougher to find there are still many opportunities to “get away from it all”. As the world seems to be getting crazier everyday you can still make the break from the craziness and find plenty of places to recharge your batteries and to clear your head.

Having hosted many destination trips over the last three decades with Frontiers through my fly shop, The Fly Fishers, I have watched many anglers wash their worries away over the course of a week’s time on the water. Anglers living and working in a high-pressure world being able to get a break from it, or maybe a father and son who don’t get to spend as much time together as they like because life gets in the

way. It’s interesting to watch the pursuit of fishing almost become medicinal to many.

Somewhat ironically, when I’m hosting a group the fishing trip becomes a bit of a pressure situation for me. Anglers go to escape, and I enter it worrying about who is catching fish and who isn’t. Who is having fun and who isn’t. But once I’m on the water for the day the fishing takes over and all I worry about are my knots good enough, should I keep wading down the flat or should I just wait and then there is always, am I going to get a permit to eat or should I just chase bonefish . No matter whether I’m worrying about Bill and Becky having a good time at the lodge, being on the water washes that worry away for a while at least.

More and more is being said about fishing pressure and crowded lodges. It’s no secret that competition for space at lodges is getting tougher. It’s somewhat of a Catch 22 situation. If the lodges aren’t booking and making money they go away. If they are successful space is hard to come by and anglers complain they are all getting too crowded. I understand that thinking but I don’t necessarily agree with


it. I think there are so many opportunities at destinations to get away from it all you just need to look for it.

Being in Wisconsin we have so many different fishing options – lakes, rivers, creeks – it’s an awesome place to be a fisherman. But we get plenty of pressure on our waters and I have ways of dealing with it here on my home waters or if I am at a popular lodge destination in another country.

First, I don’t go fishing to get upset. Living in a large metropolitan area we still have some incredible bass fishing within 45 minutes of both my shop and my home. There is a lot of pressure on these lakes. For me, I stay off them on weekends. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays it’s interesting how much room I have to fish. And if someone is fishing where I would like to be I just put my bass boat in another spot. It is the literal use of “too many fish in the sea”. I will go look for those other fish. Now I will admit to occasionally getting upset at the boat ramp. That is a completely different story and that’s on land more than the water.

Back to getting upset on the water, the same goes for destinations. There’s always something more exciting around the bend in my mind, why not go there. Talk to your


A permit is the ultimate flats treasure. There's nothing like getting away from it all and an airborne tarpon.


guide. Maybe today is the day you go with him and look for that new spot. If you don’t find it there was still the awesome drug of anticipation and what you might find. To me, half of the fun of fishing is exploring new spots.

I have seen this many times. It's interesting to fish with anglers on their first saltwater trip. For example, watching someone in the bow of the boat as you are navigating tight tunnels in the mangroves and it’s their first experience doing that. They take a dozen pictures or video of it with a big smile on their face and then you break out

into a lagoon with tarpon rolling. It always feels like you’re the first people to fish that spot. I never get tired of it.

So much of fishing is mental. The most successful anglers tend to focus extremely well on the fishing. I have seen some folks do very well catching fish. That’s their goal and they have a great trip because of that success. I have also watched others have just as good a time because they were more focused on relaxing than catching fish and that is what makes them happy. They catch a few fish, get away from the office and get

It's what we're all looking for.

their mojo back. It’s all about what your perspective is and what you want it to be.

Several years back, when I was guiding in Montana, I guided a businesswoman and her husband from New York city for three days. The first day started out rough. Within the first two miles of the float, she complained about everything and cussed about it like a truck driver. I finally dropped the anchor and told her, "That’s enough. If this is how the next few days are going to be let’s just end it here. I’m not putting up with it.” Her reply was, “Honey, I live near Times Square. My life is a mad dash every day. It takes me almost a whole day to decompress. I love how you are standing up to me. We’re going to have a great time!” She decompressed and we did have a great time. It was quite a lesson in how important and cathartic fishing can be.

Don’t let something you heard keep you from going on that trip you have been wanting to. Do your homework. Maybe the lodge you want to explore is busy. Go when others aren’t. Look for options when you get there. You’re fishing, how bad can it really be? And remember – adventure is where you find it.

Need help gearing up for an upcoming trip? Reach out to Pat Ehlers through his website, www. or at 414-259-8100.


the reward

Travel to the backcountry entails an open-air truck ride along a surprisingly good road through landscapes mixed with elements of ocean, jungle, and prairie.


of remote

The emotions were as palpable as the salty air in the open bed of the truck. The sun rose above the horizon. Shortly thereafter, excitement shifted towards nervous. The initial coastline and palm trees transitioned to an unexpected tropical prairie. Coffee chatter subsided as gear checks took hold of the group.

We were headed to the backcountry. Now that’s an interesting term, lobbed around liberally in some outdoor circles while never uttered for most people’s daily lives. And in our particular case, what does “backcountry” mean when the entire island itself is one big coral atoll in the middle of the South Pacific, somewhere between Hawaii and Fiji? Isn’t all of this backcountry?

The truck rolled to a stop. Crashing waves could be heard but not seen thanks to head-high brush and a small berm of dry coral. Rods, bags, gear of all ilk, along with

anglers and guides piled out of the truck like the fly fishing-equivalent of a clown car. After lacing up boots and sorting the gear, we crested the berm to see an endless length of coral flat in both directions. The flat had a width of approximately 150 meters between the shoreline and primary wave break. A soft breeze out of the East was a nonfactor for casting, thankfully.

My guide and I took a moment on the beach. For an avid fly angler, it was damn near sensory overload. The tide had recently begun its journey back in from slack low. Fish poured onto the flat. There was an infestation of bonefish in the skinny water. Schools of milkfish and trevally of all kinds surfed the waves and swam through channels to access the interior sections of the flats. Each gleaming reflection of sunlight from the water’s surface was given a scrutinizing stare by angler and guide alike for signs of the waving tails of feeding triggerfish.


Wading is the name of the game at Kiribati. As the tide fluctuates, tactics and water depth will vary, sometimes ankle-to-waist-deep water all the way to walking dry sand or coral banks looking for cruising or tailing fish.

And in that moment, it all made sense. If this were a film, the soundtrack just screeched to a stop. This was the backcountry. This is why anglers took long flights to Hawaii, overnight at a nearby hotel, and hop another flight to an even smaller island amidst the blue expanse of Pacific Ocean.

With that, thoughts turned quickly to action. Questions and doubts resolved, the brain now satisfied; muscles performed autonomically. Somehow the feet knew where to step next along the uneven coral without so much as a glance down. Ears keyed-in to the voice of the guide. Eyes scanned the water. The sound of crashing waves faded to the background. The music of fly fishing took over.

It’s fascinating how quickly an angler (and the guide) proceeds from anxious to excited to greedy. We became fish drunk in short order. After several bonefish and smaller trevally were brought to hand, the guide and I made a game of it with silly rules. The types of rules you would only dare consider when there is an abundance of riches. No more bonefish. Except wait. That one looked particularly big. I casted at it. Then it was only larger trevally and

Bonefish populations remain strong with a mix of quantity and quality fish.

With four species of triggerfish around the flats, you could spend quite a bit of time targeting these incredile and maddening fish.


Single Comes Standard: The lodge recently completed its fifth two-suite bungalow, meaning up to 10 anglers can stay and fish with single-room accommodations. Christmas Island Lodge also includes 1:1 guides as part of their Standard Package. That's right, your own room and your own guide.

Increasing Creature Comforts: Construction is underway on a new "maneaba" as the communal gathering space -- a roof-covered beachside hangout for dining, cocktails, music, and lounging. It's also the perfect spot to use the lodge's Starlink WiFi for checking email or surfing the web -- or don't! We won't tell if you'd rather treat the trip as off-grid.

Additional Package Options: For some couples, friends, or family groups, it would be better to share a room and guide at a lower price point. CIL can now accommodate that with a double occupancy package.

For more information, please contact our destination specialist Lisa Kiley .


And in that moment, it all made sense. If this were a film, the soundtrack just screeched to a stop. This was the backcountry.


triggerfish. Was that a bluefin or a bonefish? Neither. It was a parrotfish. Keep moving. Keep scanning. Don’t rush. Savor this.

The tide reached a tipping point. The angling gluttony began to subside. By then, we had retreated to the shoreline, walking higher and higher up the coral bank.

Tactics shifted. We looked for feeding bonefish and triggers in the newly created trough and amidst the whitewash. The guide directed me to take a few blind casts at likely looking spots near coral heads or deeper holes. Coming fresh off some of the best sight-fishing I had experienced in two decades of saltwater angling, I had my doubts. Belief took but a moment. Two casts later, I was sold. One of the larger giant trevally seen during the trip materialized behind my fly. Twice his tail kicked, mouth opened, and he ate the fly. Twice the feathered hook reappeared, like Tweety flying back out of Sylvester’s mouth. How a 3/0 hook can avoid finding purchase from an enclosed space remains one of life’s great mysteries.

We continued like this for a while, walking, scanning, casting. Not every spot produced. But in perhaps half of the blind-casting holes, a bluefin or giant trevally magically appeared to ambush the fly.

The high-tide excitement came with a tax. Line management was challenging. Waves entangled the line around my boots while coral banks and mangroves branches attempted to snarl each back cast. Scrambling down the bank to stand amidst the crashing waves and present a fly was physically demanding. The trevally rewards and the opportunity to extend this window of spectacular fishing felt worth it. Until it didn’t.

The radio crackled. Body sore, I felt thankful, unusually so, that the truck had arrived to pick us up. A few of my fellow anglers were already comfortable in the back. Flip flops mercifully replaced wading boots. Smiles and laughs came easily as we took turns telling stories. The sunset was especially gorgeous on the truck ride back to the lodge.


Beyond the

Eleven Experience's Outpost - privacy and short runs to the best redfish hunting in the country! 51 FIELD NOTES



When I think of my personal top best saltwater fishing experiences, it’s surprising how many were aboard a mothership. Three trips immediately come to mind…

The first was many years ago on a long-range mothership, fly fishing the Pacific outside of Magdalena Bay, Mexico. I had the privilege of joining some of the early icons of blue water fly fishing, including Trey Combs, Wendy and Terry Gunn, and a dozen other renowned anglers. We were fishing for world-record yellowfin tuna and striped marlin on the fly. The fishing was simply amazing, but what set it apart for me was the education I received on that trip from everyone on-board. It was truly special.

A second awesome experience was aboard Pesca Panama fishing Coiba Island. It was a super fun private Frontiers group I was cohosting. We caught 34 different species of fish that week, most of which were fly-caught. It is such an incredible and diverse fishery only accessible by boat. There are very few places on earth able to provide that kind of fishing experience.


The third was during COVID in December of 2020. Three of us from the office traveled to Mexico to explore the waters north of Cancun with Fin Chasers aboard a small mothership. We navigated the empty airports enroute to Mexico, which was one of the few international countries open. The juvenile tarpon fishing was off the charts, but what made it extra special was being on the flats again abroad with a fun group after months of isolation. It was very special to get away.

While some of the best fishing on the planet can only be accessed by mothership, being on a boat for up to a week is not for every traveler. When comparing a mothership to a land lodge for fly fishing, both options offer unique advantages and disadvantages:

Mothership program


Mobility & Access: A mothership can move to different fishing spots, allowing anglers to access remote areas that are otherwise difficult to reach or a very long and/or dangerous run in a skiff.

On-The-Water Experience: Staying on the water can provide a more immersive fishing experience and immediate access to fishing spots right from the ship. It tends to be a very remote and exlusive experience.

Flexibility: The ability to change locations based on weather conditions and fish movements.

Scenic Beauty: Offers a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape and wildlife, enhancing the overall experience.

Expense: Most mothership programs on average are a higher daily cost.

Limited Space: Accommodations and personal space might be more cramped compared to a land lodge.

Motion Sickness: For those prone to seasickness, staying on a ship can be uncomfortable.

Limited On-Land Activities: If you're interested in activities other than fishing, a mothership might offer fewer options.


Some anglers will trade the remoteness and immediate fishing access of motherships for more spacious and comfortable land-based accommodations despite the longer travel time to/from the fishing areas. Ultimately, the choice between a mothership and a land lodge for fly fishing depends on personal preferences, priorities, and the type of fishing experience you are seeking.

From my perspective, consider the mothership if it is accessing a phenomenal fishing resource that simply cannot be conveniently and safely reached from a comfortable landbased lodge. If budget permits, I also recommend single occupancy accommodations. Many staterooms on motherships are small and cramped when having to share the room with a friend. Lastly, book as an intact private group of family or friends. Mixing groups in a confined space can be challenging if there is one bad egg in the basket.

It's odd to see other skiffs when fishing from a mothership.


Perhaps the very best species variety of any destination on the planet, and ideal for fly fishing and conventional gear enthusiasts.


Imagine a fishing destination where you can seemingly catch an unlimited number of world-class saltwater gamefish species. This perfectly describes the Coiba Island Archipelagos, which includes the world-famous “Hannibal Bank,” located on the Pacific side of Panama. You’ll be treated to a unique saltwater fishing adventure in a truly exotic landscape of pristine ocean waters and lush tropical islands that can well exceed anything you have ever imagined. Unlike Panama’s shore-bound resorts, Pesca Panama’s floating lodge keeps you close to the best fishing action at all times.



The Georgiana is a 100-foot live aboard yacht that anchors in the middle of the 1.5 million acres of the Zapata National Park, allowing you access to the pristine white-sand flats, hidden lagoons, mangrove edges and tidal creeks where all the grand slam species can be found. Dolphin skiffs get you into the skinny water where you will pole to cruising fish and where you can get out and wade to tailing permit, bonefish, or stealthy snook. Baby tarpon to 30 pounds can be found along the beaches. Chef-prepared meals and A/C cooled staterooms with private baths await your return from the water.

Whether on foot or in a skiff, hundreds of thousands of acres of flats, cuts, and channels await you!


There are no great lodges near the redfish flats in Louisiana, and it’s a long drive daily from New Orleans. Step aboard the Eleven 61’ Outpost (4-staterooms/2-heads), your liveaboard home, while venturing out in some of the most productive marshes in the world, where you can fish hard all day, then relax in style. The waters offer endless marshes, salt flats, tidal rivers and lakes, and the largest population of redfish, including massive bull-reds and black drum in skinny water. It’s an ideal four-person charter getaway.



Perhaps the very best striped marlin resource in the world, plus great species diversity and fly fishing knowledgeable crews, this is one of the best blue water fisheries close to home. Unfortunately, there are no great lodges in the region. We can do a custom mothership experience from Los Cabos up the Pacific coast to “Mag-Bay” hosted by one of the great fly fishing guides in Central America.

Our host and one of the best bluewater fly fishing guides in the world, Lance Peterson.


The Marquesas are a chain of mangrove islands in the National Wildlife Refuge about 25 miles west of Key West. For big bonefish and tarpon enthusiasts, the Marquesas are world-class. Some guides make the run from Key West on perfect weather days, but crossing Boca Grand Channel in a skiff can be a major challenge – especially on days when the winds are up. Boca Grand Channel is the first direct link between the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf of Mexico – hence very strong currents. The best way to enjoy long fishing days in the Marquesas is by mothership. Eleven Angling is restarting their Marquesa program, which flats enthusiasts will find amazing!



There are unbelievable super-remote fishing experiences aboard motherships in Australia. From the billfish of the Great Barrier Reef to flats and shallow water fly fishing areas at the tip of the Cape York Peninsula and Wessel Islands for Indo-Pacific permit, queenfish, barramundi, GTs, coral trout, golden trevally, and others. There are also operators in western Australia from Broom up to the Darwin area in the Kimberley Region.

Contact our Saltwater Team and let us introduce you to the finest remote saltwater fisheries on the planet. Whether you want to fish with conventional gear or the fly, there are great options to consider with world-class guides and comfortable motherships!

True North in Western Australia has tremendous fishing with luxury accommodations.

the meet


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


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 for Alaska, South America, and Big Game Hunting


Destination Specialist


Destination Specialist Cuba, and Mexico


Director of Sporting

Destination Specialist Elegant Journeys,


Destination Specialist Europe, and Saltwater


the team

Specialist UK for General Sporting


Destination Specialist for American West Fishing, Offshore Angling

Specialist for Patagonia, Iceland,


Destination Specialist for Bahamas, Belize, US Saltwater and US Wingshooting

Sporting Travel; Specialist for All General Sporting, and Skiing Programs


Managing Director UK; Destination Specialist for General Sporting

Specialist for Christmas Island, Iceland, Saltwater


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

Tres Rios Lodge


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

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

S cott Lake Lodge

Bro oks Creek Ranch


Coyhai que River Lodge

Estan cia de los Rios

Brook trout nirvana in remote labrador with fly out Atlantic salmon and char

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

Reliable dry fly fishing, opportunities for bull trout; Luxurious, and scenic

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

One of Chile's largest ranches offers abundant small-river trout fishing variety


Flywise Anglers

Futa Lodge

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

"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


Icela nd Trout & Char

Lake Thingvallavatn

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

Extremely diverse wild trout and char fishing in dramatic scenery

Some of the prettiest and biggest brown trout in the world

The M innivallalaekur Technical fishing for prized trout


Cedar Lodge

Fiordland Lodge

O wen River Lodge

Poronui Lodge

Tongariro 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

Outstanding South Island sight-fishing in Nelson Lakes region

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

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

Irel and Fly Fishing


Big Hole Lodge

Bigh orn River Lodge

Brown trout and Atlantic salmon on the Emerald isle

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

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

HF Bar Ranch

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

Located near historic Buffalo, Wyoming bordering the Bighorn National Forest

K ingfisher Lodge Magnificent fishing on Montana's prolific Bighorn River!

Lone Mountain Ranch

M adison Double R

Madis on Valley Ranch

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

New luxury accommodations on the Madison with decades of lodge experience

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

Freshwater Trout

Mont ana Fly Fishing


Misso uri River Ranch

All inclusive luxury fishing lodge in Yellowstone country

Wonderful accomodations on one of the West's best dry-fly fisheries!

Missou ri Cliffs Lodge A new luxury lodge overlooking the renowned Missouri River

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 Trip

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

Alaska West

An iak River Lodge

B ear Trail Lodge

Br istol Bay Lodge

Chrome Chasers Fish & Forage

Cop per River Lodge

Crooke d Creek Retreat and Outfitters

Encha nted Lake Lodge

Goodn ews River Lodge

Grosvenor Lodge

Hoodoo Lodge

Intr icate Bay Lodge & Outpost

Ke nai River Recon

Kulik Lodge

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

Fish the famed Kanektok River from this relaxed riverside camp

Extraordinary diversity - all 5 salmon types, trout, and everything in between

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

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

Unique small venue salmon fishing and forageing in SE Alaska - family friendly

A top rainbow trout fishery feeding Lake Illiamna, Alaska

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

Waterfront on Enchanted Lake, Katmai National Park, southwest Alaska

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

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

Fly or spin fish the Kenai & Kasilof Rivers. No experience needed!

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

Reel Acti on Alaska Lodge

Royal Coachman 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

Lies within the Togiak Wildlife Refuge, famous for mousing for huge rainbows

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

Freshwater Trout/ANADROMOUS

Talaheim Lodge

Tikchi k Narrows Lodge

Tog iak River Lodge


Be lla Sofia Lodge

Tr es Valles 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

An all-inclusive salmon and trout fishing experience on the remote Togiak River

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

An 11 out of 10 on the international remote trout fishing destination scale

A unique river that offers multiple species and some big salmon

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

Parana R iver Outfitters

Pira Lodge

Suinda Lodge


Tsima ne - Agua Negra Lodge

Luxury golden dorado fly-fishing mothership on the lower Paraná River, Argentina

Monster Paraná River dorado an ideal cast and blast opportunity in Argentina

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

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

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 Heli-fishing for golden dorado deep in the Bolivian Amazon


Agua Boa



Rive r Plate Anglers

Rio Marie

Xingu Lodge

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

Outstanding liveaboard program for trophy size peacock bass in Brazil

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



Chrome Chasers Steelhead


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

April and May sight fishing for wild steelhead in southeast AK

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


A beautiful, remote river with bigger fish

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

Iceland Salmon


Laxa A Asum

Laxa In Kjos



The Thvera


The Malselv

Norwe gian Flyfishers Club, Gaula

Boen Gard


Covered Br idge Outfitters and Lodge

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

One of the great rivers that typifies Icelandic salmon fishing

One of Iceland's best and most challenging salmon rivers

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

Andros South

Bairs Lodge

Delphi Club

H20 Bonefishing

Kamalame Cay

Ma ngrove Cay Club

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

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

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

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

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

An oasis of laidback hospitality and extraordinary bonefishing

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

Stel la Maris Resort


World-class bonefishing and customized service on Grand Bahama Island since 1994

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

El Pescador Resort

Lo ng Caye Outpost

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

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

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


Za pata Mothership


Du bai Fly Fishing


St. Brandon's Atoll


Asce nsion Bay Lodge

Excellent service and a diversified fishing program close to the lodge

Exclusive grand slam fishing inside Zapata National Park in Cuba

Great short stop or short stay, city fly fishing...

Look no further, double-digit bonefish, trevally, and permit on this exotic atoll

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

Fin Chasers

G rand Slam Lodge

Mayazul Lodge

Palometa Club

Playa Blanca



Arabian Fly


Alphons e Island Resort

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

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

Near the village of Punta Allen - great fishing and modern accommodations

A boutique oceanfront lodge in the heart of Mexico's Permit Alley

Northern Ascension Bay’s premier fishing lodge

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

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

A permit fisherman's dream

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

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

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

Providence - Motor Yacht Quo Vadis


Bahia Honda

A true fly fishing wilderness experience

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

Eleve n ExperienceMarquesas

Wood land Plantation

Top-tier live-aboard fishing for permit, tarpon, & bonefish in the Marquesas Keys

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


Baja Peninsula


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

Mexican treasured sportsfishing paradise: modelo, margaritas, and marlin mayhem!

Saltwater species diversity and remote liveaboard solitude

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

74 FIELD NOTES saltwater Flats/BLUEWATER



Bird Hunters Africa


Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge

Flying B Ranch

Highl and Hills Ranch

Rio Pi edra Plantation

Seriously challenging shooting combined with great hospitality

South Dakota pheasant hunting at its finest

Unlimited wingshooting in scenic and historic Lawyer Canyon, Idaho

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

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

Sant iago del Estero

Tuku Lodge

Tucuman 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

New high volume dove shooting lodge in quiet rural area north of Cordoba

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

River Pla te Wingshooting - 5 Feather Program

River Pla te Wingshooting - Entre Rios


Esta ncia La Bellaca

San Juan Lodge

Uruguay Lodge


P heasant Bonanza

Skyfall Reserve

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

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

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

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




La Nava

La Flamenca

Los Melonares

Shooting at the home of driven partridge shooting in Spain

One of Spain's best shoots in every regard

The perfect option to shoot and stay in Madrid

A beautiful family estate with fine shooting



Chat eau De Villette Fine driven shooting in Burgundy




Grouse Shooting

Main Season

Early 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

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




Esta ncia Santa Rita Migratory ducks over decoys from dry blinds & more with Patagonia Outfitters

Jacana Lodge 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


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


Alongside her husband Barry, Cathy made significant contributions to the sport, from being the first woman on the cover of Fly Fisherman magazine to enriching the fly fishing community with their educational books, inspiring photography, and heartfelt articles. Their dedication over three decades with Frontiers transformed not just our company but also the broader fly fishing landscape, bringing joy and knowledge to enthusiasts worldwide. Cathy's exceptional skill and warm personality touched many lives, making her a beloved instructor and friend. As we remember Cathy's incredible contributions and spirit, our thoughts are with Barry and their family.

600 Warrendale Rd., Gibsonia, PA 15044

[p] 1-800-245-1950



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