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American

fly fishing destinations I S S U E N O. O N E

2021 SEASON

Where and When to Go in the Rockies and the rest of

North America

Your vacation guide to the finest fly fishing lodges, camps and outfitters in North America s s

Florida

s

s The Rocky Mountain States s Louisiana Alaska Pacific Northwest s Canada s Northern California


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America The Great Outdoors

has re-discovered

Faced with the new normal of the pandemic, social distancing, politics, and all the travel limitations, anglers are finding solace and comfort in the rivers closer to home

were filled this past summer for the first time in generations and the slow lane on the nation’s highways and freeways were lined with RV’s. National Parks that were selectively open to the public during the COVID pandemic enjoyed standing room only crowds. There was a virtual renaissance in all forms of outdoor recreation. The world of fly fishing was no exception. When faced with four walls that were closing in, veteran anglers dusted off tackle that had been ignored for decades and joined a legion of new, novice fly rodders on rivers, streams, lakes and ponds already busy with fishermen whose airline travel plans had been shattered and were staying closer to home.

OUR BACKWOODS CAMPGROUNDS

Anglers, young and old, turned a cold shoulder to international airline travel and took to the open road. Instead of Argentina, Kamchatka, Chile, or the Caribbean, fly rodders in record numbers headed to the Rockies for trout, Louisiana for redfish, or Florida for tarpon. What many found was a renewed joy and a rejuvenated appreciation for the water near home that originally inspired their passion for fly fishing. But, they still went fishing.

Call us when your concerns are in the rear-view mirror

6 FEET

COVID-19 SOCIAL DISTANCING ZONE

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The world of travel stood still this past year while fly rodders turned to their only options! Now, after more than a year of vacation deprivation, frustrated anglers have all but tossed in their passports and are making plans to fish closer to home. No passport, test, quarantine, or visa is required. Just show up! I C O N F E S S T O H A V I N G been a fly fishing addict for most of my life,

The Fly Shop’s Guide to North American Fly Fishing is a simple reminder and accept that there is little hope of recovery for me this side of infirmity. I also of those places. Little other fishing in the world compares to what we often admit to having added salt, pepper, and squeezed lemons on a few world record find near home, and when you step off a plane in Alaska or elsewhere in the fish before I ate them, and believe I could add a few lines to the Johnny Cash USA, you won’t be asked for a passport, a visa, or have to exchange your song about having “been everywhere, man” – if only it was about fly fishing. And, money. You won’t have to pass a COVID-19 test or go through customs to along with some of my contemporaries, I’m proud to have been head home. You are home. a fly fisherman before it was cool and in the movies. There’s no shortage of great fishing destinations in Alaska, 52 years ago an Having said all that, at 74 years old and, after more than a year Canada, the American West, or the coastline of Florida and of this pandemic shit, I also want to tell you that I’m not planning Louisiana. Our new magazine serves as only an introduction to American stepped on holding my breath for the next flight schedule to Tierra del those places our expert staff feels have proven to be the most onto the surface Fuego, sitting in some “quarantine hotel” for days, or waiting for outstanding. The lodges and outfitters featured were chosen someone to issue a visa, before I go fishing again. from a long list of quality operations in the Rockies from of the moon. Right now, our United States passport, once the most Alberta and British Columbia south through Montana, Idaho, In March of 2021 powerful travel document in the world, won’t get us across a Wyoming and Colorado. Some are friends we’ve trusted for foreign border anywhere on planet Earth by itself. Most generations to care for our clientele.They’re all places our we couldn’t countries require proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test travel team has visited and highly recommend. fly to Canada before they’ll wave us through customs, and our own As the grip of the pandemic loses it’s intensity, Canadian government demands a similar negative test result before we’ll tourism regulations are relaxing and anglers may be able to be allowed to set foot back in the States. Worldwide (and even in state) again consider Alberta and British Columbia trout fishing or make plans to regulations regarding quarantines, testing, and vaccinations are changing faster challenge fall steelhead fishing north of the 49th parallel. Few know that part of than a speeding bullet, and good luck finding out from Dr. Fauci exactly how long the fly fishing map as well as the team here at The Fly Shop®. the prospect of international travel is going to remain a giant pain in the ass. The Fly Shop’s Guide to North American Fly Fishing is also a saltwater primer So, I agree with Senator Lindsey Graham. “Enough is enough!” The moment on the redfishing opportunities in Louisiana, and the tarpon, snook and you feel comfortable, I suggest you stop waiting, pack up your gear, call a buddy, bonefishing you’ll find from the Florida Everglades to Key West. and plan a road trip or fishing vacation to someplace where they’ll let you wet And finally, this is a great guide to Northern California steelhead and trout. a line without a lot of red tape or trouble. Now, after what seems like a year behind bars, the post-pandemic picture is getting brighter. Get your vaccination – you’ll need it for any future airline travel. Then give us a call and let’s plan some fly fishing in North America.

Mike Michalak Owner and founder of The Fly Shop®


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American fly fishing destinations

Your vacation guide to the finest North American fly fishing lodges, camps and outfitters After months of cabin fever, you can expect a universal hunger for open spaces. Time spent outdoors is already seen as a pandemic antidote, with our rivers, streams & parks getting more attention than ever. It’s never been more important to have someone in your corner when planning any angling travel and there’s no outfit you can trust more than The Fly Shop® to ensure you all get the help you’ll need. Hook up with The Fly Shop® team this season!

Featured in this issue Rocky Mountain States 6

Montana

Teton Valley Lodge photo

Idaho

20

Colorado

26

Wyoming

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Canada & the Pacific Northwest Washington

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Canadian trout fishing

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British Columbia steelhead

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Saltwater Fly Fishing

Pat Pendergast photo

Louisiana redfish

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Florida Keys & the Everglades

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Best of Alaska Riverside camps

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Fly-out lodges

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Kings and Silver salmon

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Northern California Br ian Donaghy photo

Regional guide service

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The Golden State’s rivers & streams

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Cover photo courtesy of Henry’s Fork Lodge, Idaho


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An introduction to

Big Sky Country Back in 1962 a Montana State Highway employee named Al Guthrie coined the phrase as reference to the unobstructed skyline that seems to overwhelm the landscape at times. Ever since, it’s been part of nearly every promotional ad campaign and was even added to Montana’s license plates in ‘67. For most of us it’s like the Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity, “We know it when we see it!” and each of us inexplicably recognizes it when it shows up appear bigger. An example is when the moon is closer to the horizon it in the viewfinder or the windshield. One thing is for sure, Big looks much larger than when it’s directly overhead, yet it’s Sky Country doesn’t end at the Montana state line. the same distance away. In the same way, the sky isn’t any “Anybody that The heart and soul of Big Sky Country is the Rocky Mountain bigger over any part of the state of Montana than it is over thinks the panorama stretching from Colorado and Utah north through the downtown skyline of Chicago. But it‘s a lot prettier and Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Alberta. And in all fairness to looks a lot different. expression Big Sky Albert Guthrie and our friends living in “The last best place” At the same time, the most expensive ad campaign in the Country doesn’t who have taken ownership of the expression, those spots world couldn’t turn the skyline of Detroit, New York City, San beyond what should be considered a uniquely North American Francisco, Denver, or even Salt Lake City into Big Sky Country. include this place experience should also be considered ineligible to claim So the question arises as to where Big Sky Country starts, hasn’t been here.” citizenship in Big Sky Country. where it stops, and how it is defined? Does the magic formula Fair or not, the equally beautiful, strikingly similar terrain, and require mountains, valleys, and a lack of civilized obstruction in spectacular vistas in the trout-infested regions of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the viewfinder? The presence of a river doesn’t seem to matter; the presence or New Zealand, Kamchatka, Mongolia, Europe, and Australia should be ruled out absence of clouds doesn’t seem to matter; and a farmhouse or two, even a small for membership in Big Sky Country. community in the distance doesn’t necessarily disqualify any scene from Let them call themselves something else. automatically being part of Big Sky Country.

T H E R E A R E P H E N O M E N A in this world that make things in the sky

Shields River Lodge guests can enjoy this magnificient Big Sky Country panorama from the lodge deck. photo cour tesy of Shields River Lodge

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Hook up this season with The Fly Shop®! We’ve got a great travel team with more than two centuries of experience on the road between them. Our staff wrote the book on fly fishing travel and now we’re adding this new chapter and brand new magazine dedicated to our favorite North American waters and saltwater destinations.

H A N D S D O W N the summer in Big Sky Country is one of its most

magical times of year. It’s a season that seems made for adventure, with plenty of playtime and the opportunity to pack as much fun and fishing as is imaginable into its long daylight hours. Add to your fishing action with exploration of Glacier National Park, visiting the splendor of Yellowstone, the museum in Cody, the farmers market in Missoula or the Stampede in Calgary. There are plenty of activities and attractions to help make the most of your vacation. For more adventures, head to Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, accessible from Fort Smith, Montana, south of Hardin and within easy range of Little Bighorn and the site of Custer’s Last Stand. There’s no shortage of sights, wonders, and things to do besides fish during the summer in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and over the Canadian border into Alberta. The next dozen pages of this magazine will point you in exactly the right direction if your focus is going to be on the best of the fly fishing lodges and rivers under that big sky.

Experience. We’ve been there, and after we returned we took that knowledge and built the finest reputation in the angling travel industry. We’ll do our best to find you the right place, the best time, and at a price you can afford.

Each member of our team is a talented fly fishing expert and professional in every sense of the word. Let us put that experience to work for you!

Ethics. The Fly Shop team of angling travel specialists is the customers’ advocate in the search for the right fly fishing destination, at the best time, and we will work within your budget and get you the best possible deal. Ours is the only company in the fly fishing travel industry whose sales team is not commissioned. We’ve been proving for over 40 years that our customer’s best interests and their satisfaction are our motivation.

References. From a former President of the United States to the landscaping laborer that travels with us every year, our clients rave about the places we send them and the job that we do.

Price. There is no less expensive way to book a trip to any destination we offer. In fact, we’ll watch your costs and treat your expenses like they’re our own.

Objectivity. We’ve seen virtually every lodge and alternative destination on the angling map. When we recommend a destination, you can count on it being the best choice and we’ll tell you why. We are in your corner and our advice is fair and impartial.

Muscle.

When things go wrong, and they sometimes do, who better to have in your corner than The Fly Shop®. If you don’t think that is important, just ask the travelers who had no help during this recent pandemic navigating through trip insurance problems, refunds, cancellations, and re-scheduling

IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW more

about any of the places that we introduce in the next seventy-eight pages, or want to make reservations or check on dates, then either call toll-free or e-mail us.

photo cour tesy of Taylor River Lodge

Erik Argotti The Fly Shop’s Kamchatka, Alaska, & Rocky Mountain Sales Specialist Argotti@theflyshop.com

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Montana Lodges

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Shields River Lodge

Shields River Lodge rates in the top tier of Rocky Mountain fly fishing operations. Guests enjoy superb accommodations, a terrific location with equally excellent meals, and a variety of nearby river and stream fishing that’s just impossible to exhaust in a single week. Those daily choices for guests at Shields River Lodge include any one of a number of floats on the nearby Yellowstone River, or spending a few extra minutes exploring the angling on the Madison or Gallatin. The decisions are made easier with the expert help of Shields River’s guide manager, Greg Bricker (fishy manager at Patagonian BaseCamp - Chile), and his assembled team of talented river professionals. Each one of his hand-picked crew are special people with a collective lifetime of experience on the local water, the willingness to go the extra mile, and the ability to turn a good day of fly fishing into a spectacular one. It’s no exaggeration for Shields River Lodge to claim their pool of guides includes some of the best in the state. It is one more part of what separates Shields from a long list of other stellar Montana operations and one of the best reasons the place is regarded as one of The Treasure State’s angling treasures.

I S M O N T A N A the way most fishermen imagine Montana to be. Farms and cattle ranches flanked by grain-covered foothills that gradually climb into distant, snow-covered mountain ranges. Rivers lined with evergreens, and filled from shore to shore with wild rainbows, cutthroat and brown trout. And roadside signs casually indicating the way to world famous national parks just over the horizon. It must have been a fisherman that gave the area near Shields River Lodge the name Paradise Valley. The inspiration for the moniker probably came at the point the angler looked around and realized how difficult it was going to be in this heavenly location to decide where to go fishing the next morning. It’s the same problem facing anglers and guides today. But they can take a great deal of comfort in the knowledge that there are no bad decisions to be made.

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photos cour tesy of Shields River Lodge

The emphasis at Shields River Lodge definitely focuses on the great regional fly fishing. However, it doesn’t hurt to also have luxury lodging and gourmet dining to welcome you back home at the end of each great day on the water! E V E R Y M E M B E R O F the Shields River Lodge staff is aware there’s more

to a great fishing trip, than the fishing. While trout are the reason most guests are drawn to this corner of Montana, what happens when you return from a day spent on the water will cement the memories of each fly fishing adventure. In that aspect, Shields River Lodge has you well covered. The Lodge is an elegant classic western log building that provides more than all the comforts of home. Guests are well cared for from the moment of their arrival, and rest comfortably in their choice of 9 spacious guest suites. After each memorable day on the water, they usually gather in the lounge or on the deck and enjoy complimentary locally-brewed craft beers, or specially selected wines while Chef Don MacArthur and his kitchen crew prepare mouth-watering meals and one-of-a-kind dishes created from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Management of the lodge could not be in more capable or experienced hands than the Shield’s hostess, Lori Nuss, a rare native of Yellowstone National Park. Lori was raised in the park and witnessed visitors expectations first-hand. Her father spent his career as a District Ranger and her grandfather operated Camp Trails, the only outdoor camp in Yellowstone. A private section of Shields River is a short walk from the threshold of the lodge. It is the perfect evening target after a day-long float trip for the fisherman who can’t ever get enough time on the water. Too, the home river is a terrific way to warm up and get some extra fishing in on the day of arrival. Montana’s Big Sky Country is an unsurpassed place for outdoor adventure. If guests want a day away from the fly rod to experience all that Montana has to offer, Shields River Lodge is happy to assist with arranging activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding, enjoying local hot springs, exploring Livingston and Bozeman, shopping, museum and art gallery hopping or spending a day in Yellowstone National Park, only a 90-minute drive from the lodge. s The minimum at Shields is 3 nights, with 2 days of fishing. Packages can be tailored to any length, and include lodging, evening appetizers, delicious meals, complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks, and expert daily guide service. Private Room & Shared Guide

Luxury

Premier

Traditional

7 Nights Lodging 6 Days Fishing $9,525 $7,338 $6,463 6 Nights Lodging 5 Days Fishing 8,125 6,250 5,500 5 Nights Lodging 4 Days Fishing 6,725 5,163 4,538 4 Nights Lodging 3 Days Fishing 5,325 4,075 3,573 3 Nights Lodging 2 Days Fishing 3,925 2,988 2,613 Shields River Lodge guides carry with them superb box lunches prepared by the lodge, and provide the necessary tackle and a complete selection of flies. s Options include deluxe suites, and private guides s Not included are Montana fishing licenses, gratuities, transportation from Bozeman, hard liquor, and the 8% Montana state bed tax. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m s

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Montana Trout

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Madison Double R Ranch Madison Double R Ranch offers excellent guided fishing on all the areas rivers and streams, as well as luxury accommodations, and a Madison River location that is second to none.

T H E S M A L L T O W N of Ennis, Montana, calls itself “The trout fishing capital

of America”. They’ve got the Madison River flowing through the middle of town, and probably have far more trout than people inside the city limits. The river is arguably the most legendary trout fishery in the world. It has earned its celebrity, and lives up to its billing each and every summer. A few miles down the road, folks at Double R Ranch certainly aren’t going to argue. The Madison is the reason owners John and Krista Sampson chose the site to build their fly fishing lodge in 2018. Using the river as a cornerstone, and with decades of experience in the sport as a foundation, the Sampsons wasted no time in building a stellar reputation of their own. Every facet of the Double R operation is absolutely first class. Nothing has been overlooked, and every item necessary to ensure a great angling holiday has been built into the package. They’ll also provide all the fly fishing gear, flies, and tippet. Not enough can be said about the luxurious accommodations, the service, or the cuisine. But make no mistake, this is, first and foremost, a fly fishing lodge.

Double R’s talented gang of guides focuses on the Madison River from Yellowstone Park all the way to the Missouri, and are within comfortable daily striking distance of the Jefferson, Ruby, Beaverhead, and lower Big Hole. Guests can add all the after dinner angling they can handle on the lodge’s two private miles of property bordering the Madison. It’s a sensational stretch that includes “The Miracle Mile of the Madison” and what many veteran anglers feel is the best section of fly fishing found on any river in Montana. At the end of every busy, action-packed day the fish-tired fly rodders enjoy luxurious accommodations and spectacular, panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges from every window in the lodge. Non-fishing guests, children, and friends can find more than enough to keep them busy with horseback riding at the lodge, nearby golf, and the breathtaking sights in nearby Yellowstone National Park. s Packages are approximately $1,100 per day per angler and include everything but the Montana fishing license, gratuities, and the state’s bed tax.

The “Miracle Mile of the Madison River” is part of the two spectacular miles of river frontage bordered by this historic Montana cattle ranch.

photos cour tesy of Montana Double R Lodge

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Montana Lodges

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Ruby Springs Lodge Sheridan, Montana

Ruby Springs Lodge is a serious fly fishing retreat, and more! Guests have exclusive access to over ten miles of the shallow, easily waded, serpentine Ruby River, several of its tributaries and even a few spring-fed ponds right on the lodge property. The lodge’s guides are full-time, on-staff professionals. Most have been part of the team for years, and all of them know these waters “like rings on their fingers”. They’re patient, experienced, knowledgeable, and able to match as well with a novice as they are with an expert looking to refine his (or her) fly fishing skill set. E X P E C T N O T H I N G B U T T H E B E S T in accommodations, cuisine and

service at Ruby Springs. This is a lodge that’s made every effort to create a class by itself. It is set apart (in part) by over 10 miles of private access to one of America’s finest trout streams. With the help of a cadre of excellent guides, guests can choose their daily target destination from a nearly unlimited menu of world-class trout fisheries. The choices begin with their own exclusive “home water.” But, if that isn’t enough, there are several other spring creek and private water leases available to Ruby Springs guests, along with four more of Montana’s most famous wild trout fisheries (the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Madison) that are all within very easy striking distance of the mobile guide team.

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Ruby Springs guests can custom-tailor their cabin accommodations to match their group size and dynamic. And at the end of the day everyone can either head to the pool, the fire pit, or warm themselves by the fireplace in the tastefully furnished River Room lounge. It’s the perfect après angling spot to share the day’s fish tales, and enjoy complimentary drinks, and hors d’oeuvres before what is absolutely guaranteed to be a superb meal. s The minimum stay at Ruby Springs is 3 nights, with 2 days fishing. The double occupancy, per person packages include lodging, evening appetizers, delicious meals, complimentary cocktails, craft beer, fine wines, soft drinks and daily guide service. Guides carry delicious box lunches prepared by the lodge, and will provide all the necessary tackle and a complete selection of flies. Discovery Tobacco Riverside 7 Nights Lodging 6 Days Fishing $8,400 $8,050 $7,700 6 Nights Lodging 5 Days Fishing 7,200 6,900 6,600 5 Nights Lodging 4 Days Fishing 6,000 5,750 5,500 4 Nights Lodging 3 Days Fishing 4,800 4,600 4,400 3 Nights Lodging 2 Days Fishing 3,600 3,450 3,300 s The non-angling rate is $750 per night, per person (double occupancy) s Options include $300 per night, single cabin occupancy. s Non-angling activities (golf, horseback trail rides, yoga, massage, and more)

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photos cour tesy of Ruby Spr ings Lodge

Ruby Springs Lodge offers 7 different one and two bedroom guest cabins on the bank of a quiet section of their own 10-mile, private stretch of the Ruby River. The well-appointed cabins feature heated flooring, fireplaces, streamside screened porches, and fully-stocked beverage refrigerators. Guest numbers are strictly limited to ensure an intimate, relaxing, and private holiday for everyone. Check out the video on Ruby Springs Lodge

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https://vimeo.com/269964825

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Montana Lodges

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Trout Fishing the Mighty MO The Missouri River is home to one of the most abundant brown and rainbow trout populations in the American West. Fish numbers are impressive and the overall average size is exceptional! The 40-mile stretch from Holter Dam to Cascade is home to 3,500 - 5,500 big trout per river mile. It’s great water, and nobody does a better job on the Mighty MO than Missouri River Lodge.

M I S S O U R I R I V E R L O D G E in Central Montana is a family owned, class act that’s been connecting their fishermen with trophy-sized trout, treating them to swell accommodations, spoiling them with red carpet treatment, and putting smiles on guest’s faces for 2 decades. Joe and Lindsey Bloomquist offer a wonderful version of Montana hospitality to a maximum of a dozen guests in their two-story, traditional, rustic log lodge. Visitors can spread out and relax on the queen-sized beds and spacious sitting areas in each of the seven bedrooms. Fishermen usually start early on the Missouri. Anglers at the lodge get up with the birds and are treated to a hearty breakfast. After meeting the guides, they’re locked, loaded, and on the water by 8 in the morning. Missouri River Lodge guests don’t have far to travel and there’s little time wasted every day trailering and launching boats. The nearby, 40-mile long tailwater looks and fishes like a giant spring creek. It has a dozen different, rewarding drift boat beats, a season long procession of mayfly and caddis hatches, and some of the best dry fly fishing in the American West. Early season surface action begins in mid-April with hatches of blue winged olives that occasionally carpet the river. A variety of reliable mayfly and caddis hatches keep most of Missouri River Lodge client’s fly rods bent double all summer, until fall when trout begin to focus on an annual cloud of hoppers. And there’s always productive nymph and streamer fishing.

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The Bloomquists offer terrific fishing and a fine-tuned, dialed-in approach to this ultra-productive fishery. It’s understandably popular, and may rate as the best fly fishing value in the Rockies. s Minimum stay at Missouri River Lodge is 3 nights, with 2 full days of fishing. Packages include lodging, evening appetizers, delicious family-style meals, healthy box lunches, non-alcoholic beverages, flies, and daily expert guide service on the nearby Missouri River below Holter Dam. Length of Stay

April - October

November-March

6 Nights Lodging 5 Days Fishing $3,050 $2,750 5 Nights Lodging 4 Days Fishing 2,500 2,250 4 Nights Lodging 3 Days Fishing 1,950 1,750 3 Nights Lodging 2 Days Fishing 1,400 1,250 Missouri River Lodge guides carry superb box lunches prepared by the lodge, and provide the necessary tackle and a complete selection of flies. s Options include single lodge occupancy, and private guide rates that are very affordable and a great value for the single angler. s Jetboat trips to “Land of the Giants” on the upper Missouri and guided wade trips to the more distant Blackfoot River, Sun River, and Dearborn can be arranged for an additional $100 per person, per day. And worth every cent!


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Montana Trout

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Bob Marshall Wilderness Float Trip

This seven day fly fishing adventure takes place in the heart of one of the largest, and most beautiful mountain wilderness settings in North America.

T H E F I R S T two days of this journey to the upper reaches of the South Fork

of the Flathead River are spent on horseback. It’s a beautiful 33-mile trail ride, with a pause at the halfway point for the first of six, overnight, riverside camps. But don’t worry. The pack string of mules traveling into the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness with the guests is bringing “everything but the kitchen sink” and have every piece of modern wilderness camping equipment necessary to ensure that guests are kept warm, dry, comfortable, and well-fed. The 2nd night is spent near the river’s headwaters and, with the long Montana summer days, there’s plenty of time after dinner to wet a line while the guides and kitchen crew prepare for the next five days of camping and fishing. The isolated starting line for the float portion of the trip begins in the near-center of a million-acre national treasure, and from that point slices through a dense, old-growth forest. The Flathead River offers miles of sometimes sensational streamer fishing for large Bull Trout, and consistantly unbelievable dry fly fishing for wild cutthroats.

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The downstream raft voyage is truly a one-of-a-kind wilderness holiday. The Forest Service permits very few commercial operations in “The Bob,” and no one besides the owners of Montana Wilderness Lodge, Rich and Marcey McAtee, specialize in similar wilderness area fly fishing float trips. The fly savvy guides are able to accelerate any learning curve, but the fact is the Flathead River’s huge population of unsophisticated cutthroat trout leaves little in the way of success to chance. It’s seldom that anglers resort to anything other than high-floating dry fly patterns. The appropriate, well-mannered, and sure-footed horses are selected from the Montana Wilderness Lodge remuda according to each guests’ size, age, and riding experience. But plan ahead. These popular pack trips are limited to 8 anglers and only operated during the eight warmest weeks of the high country summer. s 6 night, 7 day Bob Marshall Wilderness Float Trips $7,100 Packages include very comfortable, modern-equipped camp, daily guides for each two anglers, delicious meals and non-alcoholic beverages. s Not included are transportation from Kalispell, Montana fishing licenses, fishing tackle, gratuities and any alcoholic beverages


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Montana Trout

Montana Wilderness Lodge

The McAtee’s modestly priced fishing lodge on a secluded shoulder of the Flathead River delivers on its promise of privacy, good food, and dawn-to-dark dry fly fishing action!

Popular daily destinations with the fly fishing I N T H E E A R L Y 1950’s, the guides from Montana Wilderness Lodge are the historic Montana Wilderness Lodge near the one-day, nine mile long float trips or day-long Spotted Bear Trailhead entertained guests for more walk and wade trips on two different stretches than half a century before the rustic lodge and of the adjacent South Fork of the Flathead. The cabin complex was fully renovated (four years ago) river is choked with a genetically pure strain of by their new owners, Marcey and Rich McAtee. cutthroat trout. These plentiful, aggressive fish It’s a hard-working family operation, and the average 12 - 16 inches, and seldom refuse a wellfingerprints of the McAtees are everywhere placed, high-floating dry fly. from the calm demeanor of the huge horse and The river is also the largest and perhaps last mule remuda to the rustic lodge decor. stronghold of bull trout in the lower 48 states. Montana Wilderness Lodge visitors can look Each July these hard-fighting predators migrate forward to the casual atmosphere and a relaxing upriver from Hungry Horse Reservoir into the stay miles from what Montana calls civilization. Flathead drainage at the same time as some Guests enjoy bathrooms and showers in each of surprisingly large cutthroats. The bulls are the comfortable, warm, two-person cabins. suckers for a well-placed streamer and fish over The place has a refreshing and unpretentious 20 inches are common. mountain charm. The food is good, and served Montana Wilderness Lodge is a wonderful family-style. Equally important, the cabins and family destination, great fishery, and super value. lodge are a stone’s throw from terrific fly fishing! s 3 night, 2 day Montana Wilderness Lodge Angling Package $1,050 per person s 4 night, 3 day Montana Wilderness Lodge Angling Package 1,500 s 5 night, 4 day Montana Wilderness Lodge Angling Package 1,950 These modestly priced, double occupancy packages include daily, full-day, guided float trips, or guided walk and wade trips on the Flathead (or the stunningly beautiful,nearby Spotted Bear River). s Not included are transportation from Kalispell, Montana fishing licenses, gratuities, any alcoholic beverages, or optional trail rides. s Options include single occupancy cabins and private guides.

B U I LT

photos cour tesy of Montana Wilderness Lodge

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800-669-3474

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Montana Lodges

2/3 Introduction 4/27/21 11:12 AM Page 1

Kingfisher Lodge

Kingfisher Lodge has been making fishing vacation dreams come true on the Bighorn River for three decades. This is one of the most fish-rich trout river on the face of the Earth and it’s questionable whether this fabulous tailwater fishery, or the lodge is more famous! T H E B I G H O R N R I V E R is home to one of the most heavily populated

brown and rainbow trout fisheries in the United States. The river consistently has proven fish counts of around 3,000 - 4,000 trout per mile that average an astonishing 14˝ to 18˝ and trophy fish well over two feet long are commonplace. The main event for Kingfisher Lodge guides are drift trips below Afterbay Dam on the Bighorn River where the tailwater runs clear and clean all year long. It’s an extremely productive tailwater fishery that’s similar in some ways to The Fly Shop’s own Lower Sacramento. The most popular months on the Bighorn are from May through October. Some of the river’s best, and most consistently reliable trout fishing each season happens mid-summer, during June and July, when snowmelt, runoff, and high irrigation flows plague many of the other rivers in Montana and Alberta. Testimony to the quality of both Kingfisher Lodge and the consistency of the fishery is the difficulty there is in getting reservations during any part of the year ‘round Bighorn season.

photos cour tesy of Kingfisher Lodge

The Bighorn tailwater is one of the most reliable and productive fisheries in America

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:45 AM Page 2

Special “Fly Fishing for Leadership” Week Using fly fishing as a metaphor, John Childress, a former CEO, veteran fly fisherman, and author, is going to be hosting a 5 night, 4 day Executive Growth & Leadership Retreat in mid-May of next year (2022) at Kingfisher Lodge. S P E C I A L program has been designed for those currently in management roles (whether it’s in the business, educational, or civic arena) who are interested in improving and developing leadership skills.

THIS

Another favorite Kingfisher target fishery is Bighorn reservoir above Yellowtail Dam. It’s scenic beauty is second to none, with majestic canyon walls soaring up to 1,000 feet above topwater action during all of July and August that is even more thrilling than the view.

Brock and Jenny Boedecker own and operate Kingfisher Lodge. Every facet of the operation has their fingerprints and reflects the commitment the two of them have to ensuring their guest’s stays are comfortable and memorable. It’s evident to everyone, after even a brief visit, that the Boedecker’s brand of hospitality is sincere. With the help of their attentive staff, and the Kingfisher’s talented team of expert, fly-savvy guides they know how to transform a good trip and a swell fishing holiday into a great one. The lodge itself is cozy, well-kept, and accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in 8 spacious rooms, all with private baths, and terrific views. Not enough compliments can be given to the about the kitchen and well-balanced cuisine. The Fly Shop staff can’t applaud Kingfisher Lodge more vigorously and give the place 4 stars for its great fishing, hard-working guides, excellent lodge staff and exceptional value! s The minimum stay at Kingfisher Lodge is 2 nights, with one full day of guided fishing. Packages can be tailored to any length. They include lodging, appetizers, fine meals, non-alcoholic beverages, and daily guide service. 2 Nights/1-day guided $745 5 Nights/4 days guided $2,305 3 Nights/2 days guided 1,265 6 Nights/5 days guided 2,825 4 Nights/3 days guided 1,785 7 Nights/6 days guided 3,345 s Kingfisher Lodge guides bring along the boat lunches prepared by the lodge, and provide the rods, terminal tackle, and a complete selection of flies. s Options include single lodge occupancy, and private guides

It will be a unique opportunity to enjoy a wonderful fly fishing experience with a small group of like-minded anglers who share the same passion for self-improvement and appreciation of the outdoors. The format promises to be an excellent opportunity to refine your leadership abilities, sharpen your fly fishing skill set, enjoy yourself, and perhaps make a few new friends. Host John R. Childress is the author of the new book, Fly Fishing for Leadership. Free copy is included. Dates at Kingfisher Lodge are Sunday to Friday, May 15 - 20, 2022 Cost of the 5 night, 4 day package is $4,250 s Included are private accommodations, all meals, hors d’oeuvres, and soft drinks, craft beer, and wine. There will be 4 full days of guided fly fishing on the Bighorn River with instruction-oriented Kingfisher guides. All the fly fishing tackle necessary, and a complete selection of flies will be provided. s Not included are gratuities, and, hard alcoholic beverages s s

For more detailed information contact Pat Pendergast at The Fly Shop ® pat@theflyshop.com or 800-669-3474

From May through the end of October anglers drifting the fabulous Bighorn River can expect to routinely connect with exceptional numbers of rainbows and brown trout!

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Idaho Lodges

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:46 AM Page 1

Henry’s Fork Lodge

Henry’s Fork Lodge has only six en suite guest rooms, two with oversized fireplaces and spectacular views of the Henry's Fork. There are eight adjacent one, two or three-bedroom cottages. All have sitting rooms, fireplaces, separate bedrooms, and majestic views of the river and Teton mountain range.

Henry’s Fork Lodge rates among the absolute top echelon with regards to location, amenities, cuisine, and service. The legendary Henry’s Fork of the Snake, their “home water’, was selected as the #1 river among the top 100 streams in America by Trout Unlimited. The guests at this splendid lodge are only an arm’s length away from some of the most famous fly fishing on the continent. One of the most classic stretches of fishing water in our sport, the Railroad Ranch, is less than two miles upstream, and the renowned Box Canyon stretch is only ten miles distant. Y O U C A N E X P E C T W O R L D - C L A S S accommodations to go hand-in-

hand with the nearby world-class fishing at Henry’s Fork Lodge. In fact, it is one of only three fishing lodges in the world included in the New York Times bestseller, “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” The magnificent timber-framed structure, specifically designed for anglers, was the brainchild of our friend, Nelson Ishiyama. His personal passion for fly fishing ensures that the lodge focus extends beyond the threshold and the bank of the Henry’s Fork to the other superb regional angling, recreation and nat’l parklands. The Henry’s Fork Lodge dining room is renowned throughout the region for gourmet cuisine. Each superb meal is a treasure of locally sourced ingredients creatively melded into a memorable culinary experience and the picnic and box lunches packed for the fishing and excursions are incomparable.

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Patrons can select from an elite list of independent guides or take advantage of the lodge’s preferential relationship with the Henry’s Fork Anglers guide staff. Self-reliant anglers may choose private transportation and self-guided excursions to the nearby Madison, Yellowstone, Teton, Gallatin, or South Fork of the Snake. Guests can tailor their Henry’s Fork Lodge holiday to include as many fishing days as they want or instead target a long, nearly unlimited list of outdoor opportunities with their friends or family. And at the end of the day everyone will find the lodge is the perfect place to unwind.The warmth of the fireplace, the tasteful, cozy furnishings, shared fish tales, cocktails, wine and hors d’oeuvres in the casual lounge (with its panoramic window views of the Tetons in the distance), and the expansive riverside porch combine to set the tone for a terrific holiday. The Fly Shop simply can’t recommend the Henry’s Fork Lodge more highly! s 4-night/3-day (lodging only) $2,280 and 7-night/6-day packages $3,990 Stays can be tailored for as few as 3 nights to as many as requested. s Packages include complimentary shuttle service to the Idaho Falls airport (about an hour away), lodging and all meals as well as evening appetizers, beer, wine, and soft drinks. s Options include deluxe suites, and the wine and alcohol consumed beyond the aprés angling cocktail hour. s The top guides in the region consider it a privilege to work with Henry’s Fork guests, and look forward to sharing their superb box lunches. s Daily guide rate ranges from $550 to $675/day email:

i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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photos cour tesy of Val Atkinson and Henr y’s Fork Lodge

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800-669-3474

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Idaho Lodges

2/3 Introduction 4/26/21 10:51 AM Page 1

Teton Valley Lodge

Headquartered just outside of Driggs, Idaho, the Berry family lodge has been outfitting fly rodders on the Henry’s Fork, Snake, and Teton River for more than a century. It is the oldest continuously operating lodge west of the Mississippi and, with 100-plus years of experience at their service, and 25 different beats on three of the most famous rivers in North America at their disposal, every Teton Valley Lodge guest can plan on having an absolutely first-class fly fishing holiday.

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Beyond a wonderful experience, most fly fishing guests return to Teton Valley Lodge like San Juan Capistrano swallows each season because there are years of angling opportunities to be found there, and hundreds of exciting river miles within easy striking distance of the firstclass accommodations and five-star dining.

email:

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2/3 Introduction 4/26/21 10:51 AM Page 2

A R E O T H E R lodges with equally superb locations in the Rockies, but none that are better. In fact, the most difficult decision guests face each morning is whether they should trailer with one of Teton Valley Lodge’s expert guides to another of the nearby target rivers, begin in the blue-ribbon home water a stone’s throw from their well-appointed cabin, or end the day at their Teton Valley Lodge riverside location. Frankly, there’s no bad choice in the puzzle. Guests enjoy tastefully furnished, private or double occupancy one, two, or threebedroom cabins tailored to each group size. Every cabin has a wonderful view of the river and the majestic Teton mountain range from a private deck, and a mini-bar stocked daily with complimentary beer, soda, and coffee. The central lodge, bar, and lounge has a casual, après-angling atmosphere and a well-deserved reputation for exceptional dining. Teton Valley Lodge is equidistant from Jackson Hole and Idaho Falls. Shuttle and rental cars are available, but with an action-packed daily fishing schedule, there’s little need for a vehicle after arrival. Many of the Teton Valley Lodge guides have been part of the staff for decades. Most are considered true experts in a part of the world where expert status isn’t gained easily. Testimony to the quality of Teton Valley Lodge’s operation is that most guests return year after year, and are welcomed back as part of their extended family by folks who have a stellar reputation for accommodations, food, guides, and service. The Fly Shop® staff couldn’t recommend Teton Valley Lodge more highly and we suggest that, if you are interested, you should make your reservations as early as possible. s 6-night, 5-day, double occupancy package $4,167 Shorter or longer trips are available THERE

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Wyoming Lodges

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:50 AM Page 1

French Creek Sportsmen’s Club This distinctly western, ultra-exclusive angling retreat is limited to a dozen guests that share access to more than twenty private miles of Wyoming’s (and perhaps North America’s) finest trout fishing! Club guests have sole access to the spectacular trout fishing on that portion of the North Platte and it’s three superb, private, tributaries. This is a one-of-a-kind fly fishing destination located on a portion of a huge, historic, 30,000-acre, working cattle ranch in south central Wyoming.

N O T E N O U G H can be said about the quality and diversity of the fly fishing

on the ranch. Without exaggeration, these trout fisheries are in the world-class category. The top shelf experience is further guaranteed by the Club’s team of fly fishing guides who are familiar with every inch of the near-unlimited angling. In fact, everything about French Creek is exquisite. When guests finish their trophy fish-filled float trip on the North Platte, or an exhausting day of fighting wild rainbows and browns on Brush Creek, they’ll be returning to the level of luxury accommodations and service you’d expect in an operation of this caliber. No more than a dozen patrons are ever assigned to the spacious log cottages that line the bank of French Creek, and parties, groups or families of six (6) or more may “buyout” the complete property to ensure even more privacy. The dining experience at French Creek Sportsmen’s Club is supervised by a resident Chef de Cuisine and every breakfast, lunch, and dinner is memorable. Fare includes Sanger Ranch’s own Akaushi beef – the cornerstone of their cattle operation. Evening meals are complemented by an excellent selection of fine wines and premium beers and spirits, sourced from on-site breweries and distilleries. French Creek Sportsmen’s Club employs an elite team of luxury hospitality professionals, and the staff builds a customized itinerary for every guest that is tailored to his or her interests. The outdoor entertainment calendar begins with a spring and summer full of fly fishing on more than 20 miles of private water, horseback riding, and unlimited access to the Club’s private gun, trap and skeet range; then adds upland bird hunts in the fall. The selections are as endless as Wyoming’s stunning landscape, and nearly everything is included in the stay. s Prices are based on time of year and the accommodations requested. Rates begin at $2,000 per person, per night for the first 4 guests and $1,250 for each additional guest. s Packages include meals, lodging, and guided (one guide per each 2 anglers) fishing, as well as transportation to and from the rivers, the airport shuttle from Saratoga, all crafted spirits, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Also included are additional leisure pursuits, such as trap & skeet shooting, shooting ammo, and horseback riding Visit the link for French Creek Sportsmen’s Club video: https://youtu.be/VA0kF1mpm68

photos cour tesy of Frenc h Creek Spor tsmen’s Club

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:51 AM Page 2

NAUT TILUS PRO GU UIDE DATA SHEET NAME:

Karlie Rolannd

BIO: I work

for TTrr outhunter o Lodge g where we aare licensed to guide g in Idah o,, Montana and YYee llo wstone National PPaa rk. We also a run trips p for Henry Henry’s ys Fork Lodge, g , our neeighboring g g high-end g retreatt nestled on the lower ranchh . TTrr out! We are primarily p y tarrgeting g g Brown TTrr out,, and Rainbow Tr Tr out. Buut,, we run into Brookies,, Cuttthroat and Cutbows.

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A spinner p I can see! nry’s y Fork RIVER/W WATER: Hands down the Hen

FAVORITE FLY: FAVORITE

Anyy and all fisshing. g I do love myy trout,, butt I also reallyy love saaltwater fishingg & steelheadd. FAVORITE TYPE OF F FISHING:

Anyy dayy I gget to spend p takingg myy familyy out. Or annyy dayy that consists of ddryy flies,, steelhead or perm p mit.

BEST DAY FISHING G:

WHEN NOT FISHING G?: :Remodelingg

the house,, baakingg & playing p y g with Grizz,, myy black lab .

WHAT DO YOU LIKE E BEST ABOUT NAUTILUS RE EELS?:

Theyy are an incredi Th d ble b reliable b reel for everyy typ yp e of fishingg I do. Tr out,, Spe p ey, y, and Saltwater Reels. Plus I reallyy digg aall the customization! y trout needs from 4wt-8wt wtt FAVORITE NAUTILU US REEL:X series. Because I t covers all my Rachel Alexander. She is getting g g after it! Neww to flyy fishing, g went all i n. Fishes for trout, Redfishh, and now travelingg the woord chasingg different species after just a few short yea y ars with a rod. Gir Girl has somme serious drive & support foor community, y fisheries andd the stuff that matters. CLIENT: MOST MEMORABLE C

WHO WOULD YOU LI IKE TO GUIDE ONE DAY?: :

J Wulff, I’d pick Joan p her braain and ask

for all the advice in the world world.

EXPERIEN NCE NAUTILUS S® NAUTILUSREE ELS.COM 305.625.3437 7

Nautilus ® X Series s


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2/3 Introduction 4/27/21 11:09 AM Page 1

Shown with Sage ESN Reel

EURO NYMPHING / MEDIUM ACTION

Greater control of fine euro nymphing leaders, tippet and flies.

H a n d c ra ft e d i n t h e U S A


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Colorado Lodges

2/3 Introduction 4/27/21 11:10 AM Page 2

Taylor River Lodge The Taylor River Lodge mission is to provide the ultimate Colorado fly fishing experience. Guests agree it’s accomplished every day of the Centennial State’s summer with a first-class combination of luxury accommodations, wonderful cuisine, genuine tender loving care, and a collection of one of the most talented guide service teams in the Rockies.

F R O M T H E F I R S T moment in spring when

winter releases its icy grip on Colorado until the snow begins to fall in October, there’s no better place for any serious or aspiring fly fisherman to be than Gunnison County, and no better place to plan an angling holiday in that part of the world than Taylor River Lodge. This angling paradise has it all. The quality of the accommodations leave no room for exaggeration. Guests choose from a selection of two large, beautifully appointed log homes and six, elegant log cabins, with spacious sitting rooms, in-room minibars (stocked daily with complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) screened porches, and magnificent views framed by Colorado’s clear blue sky, emerald green pine trees, and colorful granite mountains on the horizon. Taylor’s highly-trained guide staff help make the entire experience. Their mission is to assess each angler’s goals and comfort level and then customize every day’s adventure in an effort to make each one a “best-day-ever” experience. Taylor River’s experienced guides focus first on their home water, a several mile stretch of semi-

private river on the ranch that flows right through the lodge’s backyard. Anglers can expect to encounter complete solitude, and to connect with aggressive, naive, wild trout. Guides then turn their attention to the nearby Gunnison River and target rainbows and brown trout using top-of-the-line drift boats. The warm, inviting, log lodge has few equals in the world of flyfishing. There’s a popular, casual lounge to rendezvous with friends, or make new ones, and an experienced bartender on hand to craft and serve cocktail and listen to fish stories. Every night is a different dining experience at the lodge, with memorable, custom dishes and mouthwatering desserts created by a talented culinary team. Their delicious box lunches are daily highlights in the field. True to their mission, Taylor River Lodge has shaped a rewarding experience for every level of visiting fly fisherman, and molded an ideal holiday destination for discriminating travelers.

The minimum stay at Taylor River Lodge is 3 nights, with 2 days of fishing. Packages can be tailored to any length. The all-inclusive packages cover lodging, chef-prepared breakfast, lunch, après and dinner, expert daily guide and all gear (rods, reels, leaders, tippet, flies, waders, boots), as well as round trip airport transfers from Gunnison. s Rates vary according to the accommodations selected and size of the group, but prices start at approximately $1,150 per day, plus gratuities, Colorado State fishing licenses, and local room tax. s

photos cour tesy of Eleven and Taylor River Lodge

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:53 AM Page 1

Washington The Steelhead Ranch Steelhead

One of the top summer steelhead rivers in the entire Pacific Northwest, the Klickitat is an All-American fly fishing experience that delivers sizeable numbers of fish.

T H E G R A D I E N T of the Klickitat is steeper than its neighboring Columbia

River tributaries, and might be the reason the beauty of the “Wild and Scenic” canyon river is so stunning. That steep climb, and that the Klickitat is the only major branch of the Columbia without a dam appears to have combined to create a unique breed of steelhead – bigger, stronger, and more determined. These hard-fighting fish average 8 to 12 pounds with enough true trophies in the mix to make you plant your feet solidy after every cast. The first fish begin to show on the Klickitat in mid-summer, but it’s not until about Labor Day when the weather cools and the glacial river clears that the conditions for fly fishing become ideal. The action then shifts into higher gear as more and more fish continue to accumulate in the Klickitat until the end of November, when spawning starts and government regulations shut it all down. During the 120-day peak of the Klickitat’s summer steelhead season, the first choice of lodges for many veteran anglers is The Steelhead Ranch.

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The well-appointed, 3-bedroom lodge is located 2 hours northeast of Portland or 4 hours southeast of Seattle. The spacious mountain home is air-conditioned, and handles a maximum of only ten guests. They’re treated to fine meals timed to the fishing schedule, swell accommodations, and excellent fly fishing guides. The Steelhead Ranch couldn’t come more highly recommended and has the unqualified endorsement of The Fly Shop® and our friend, Trey Combs. s Packages include accommodations, delicious meals, boat lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, daily transportation and experienced guides for each two anglers, all the flies and terminal tackle, and (if required) fly rods, reels, and fly lines. 3 nights, 2 days $1,285 5 nights, 4 day $2,375 6 nights, 5 days $2,920 Note: Foreign travel to British Columbia is in question for the 2021 steelhead season, and the demand for alternatives south of Canada’s border is at an all time high. Interested anglers should inquire early, and plan well ahead.

email:

i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:54 AM Page 2

Washington Winter Steelhead on Steelhead the Olympic Peninsula Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is home to big rivers, giant trees, and steelhead that can tip the scales at 30 pounds. It’s the last, best stronghold of these monster fish in the lower 48 states. R A I N F O R E S T S of Washington are some of the wettest and wildest places in the Pacific Northwest and successful winter steelheading in that part of the world requires experience, timing, mobility, a little luck, and the best rainwear you can find. The return of steelhead to their natal streams and rivers on the Olympic Peninsula happens between December and April. Rain triggers their migration, and the OP receives an average of 168 inches of rain annually, with most of it dumping during the months those fish are on the move. Fly fishermen chasing steelhead in this hostile climate and often miserable weather are a unique breed of angling addicts who identify with the “walk a mile for a Camel” mentality. And there’s no place better to find that high, or guide team better able to connect them with their fix than Jack Mitchell and the guys at the Evening Hatch. Some of these skilled professionals have been with the company for decades and are considered to be among the best in the business. This gang of experts does nothing else each winter other than fish steelhead. They consider the months of February and March to be the sweet spot, and target 6 rivers within an hour of Jack Mitchell’s Quinault Lodge. Four of them are within a 30-minute drive, and all enjoy relatively independent micro-climates (pouring rain one direction might not be the case over the ridge the other way). Using Quinault as a base, guides have lots of options and are true magicians at finding clear water and locating moving fish. The nucleus of the operation is the perfectly situatied lodge (about 3 hours from Seattle). It accepts only half a dozen guests for only 8 or 9 weeks each season. Clients can average several hook ups every day, and connect with fish over the 20 pound barrier routinely. s 3 night, 2 day Angling Package $1,285 s 5 night, 4 day Angling Package $2,375 1,830 s 4 night, 3 day Angling Package s 6 night, 5 day Angling Package 2,920 These double occupancy packages include accommodations at Quinault Lake, all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, daily full-day float and wade trips with a top notch, fly-savvy guide team, and tackle.

THE

photos cour tesy of The Steelhead Ranc h and Evening Hatc h

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800-669-3474

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Washington Trout

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:55 AM Page 1

Black Bear Lodge on the Columbia River The Upper Columbia, just south of Canada’s border, is a massive, broad, and clear tailwater. It’s more like an enormous spring creek than a giant river. And it’s full of a large, powerful strain of rainbows whose ancestry traces to the steelhead trapped above the dams built downstream in the Columbia basin as far back as 1942. Judging from the way they fight, they’re still angry.

T H E S T R E T C H O F river Black Bear Lodge guides focus on is only about

14 miles long, but that short, rock-bottomed section of the Columbia produces some super-strong, powerful, double XL rainbow trout. These broad-shouldered fish are one of the better kept fly fishing secrets in the Lower 48, and there’s no more comfortable, successful, or easier way to fish this corner of the American West than with the folks at Black Bear Lodge. Black Bear Lodge is located on the shoreline of the Columbia River on the outskirts of a small Washington State village, just a few miles from an isolated Canadian Border wilderness checkpoint, and right next to the angling action. If the lodge was any closer to the river and the fishing, it would be wet. The most popular windows of the season are from the late spring through midsummer (when the Columbia mega-trout are looking to the surface, keying on massive hatches of Green Drakes and caddis), and again in the fall, when depending on water and weather conditions the fish can be targeted with a combination of dries, nymphs and streamers. Especially considering the average size of these rainbows, when they are up feeding on hatches the Comumbia might be considered one of the finest trophy trout dry fly fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. Anglers should have to have an EKG before watching such large trout rise in a surface feeding frenzy, and may require oxygen after connecting with a few of these tackle-busting trout in heavy river current. Say hello to the backing on your reel that seldom sees daylight, and prepare to get your butt kicked by the Upper Columbia River wild rainbow trout that are often just too big and too tough to be caught. Guests spend their after-angling evenings in a very unpretentious lodge with a professional host, and fish with guides who are willing to build the fishing schedule around hatches and trout fishing activity. s Packages include comfortable lodging, hearty, family-style meals, boat lunches, expert daily guide service, all the flies, and all fly fishing tackle (if needed). Spring, Summer, and Fall dates through mid-October 5 Nights Lodging 4 Days Fishing $2575 4 Nights Lodging 3 Days Fishing 1,980 3 Nights Lodging 2 Days Fishing 1,385 Mid-Summer Hatch June 1 to July 15 5 Nights Lodging 5 Days Fishing $2,975 4 Nights Lodging 4 Days Fishing 2,380 3 Nights Lodging 3 Days Fishing 1,785 Limited to 6 anglers

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Visit this link for Black Bear Lodge video: https-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHEv1Ltgh2g.webloc


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Louisiana Redfishing

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:58 AM Page 1

Woodland Plantation

Full of rich history and warm southern charm, this restored Louisiana mansion is less than an hour from New Orleans and within easy striking distance of the world’s best redfishing. It’s got great food, accommodations, atmosphere, and terrific guides!

photos cour tesy of Stephanie Plusc ht

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 11:59 AM Page 2

The Woodland Plantation is less than an hour by car from the New Orleans airport, and within easy striking distance of tens of thousands of acres of inland marshes that are home to the biggest, most plentiful, and least educated redfish imaginable. This area is recognized as one of the world’s most prolific year-round saltwater fisheries, and considered by most experts to be the redfish capital of the world. The place is almost too good to be true. They speak English and you don’t need a passport. It’s very easy to get to. In fact, you can get there in time for dinner from just about anywhere in the USA. It is totally affordable, has first class accommodations and, best of all, the redfishing rates as the best found anywhere! S I G H T F I S H I N G I N T H E S H A L L O W marshland surrounding The

Woodland Plantation is a unique, twelve month long, user-friendly, fly fishing experience. Most of the redfish are spotted in shallow water and, though casts have to be accurate, the shots are typically less than fifty feet. It’s an every day opportunity for action and a terrific destination for anglers of all skill levels. Anglers arriving in the spring, summer, and early fall can expect their days to be filled with action, fish ranging in size from 2 to 15 pounds, and an occasional “bull” (redfish that tip the scales at 20 or 30 pounds). They’re perfect targets for an 8-weight rod with a floating line. Bigger models are more common on the shallow flats from October through March and will test the strength of any 10weight. While the focus near the Woodland is definitely on the redfish, the menu also includes speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead, gar, and jacks. And, at the end of the action-packed, fun-filled day, the talented guides return their clients to one of the most entertaining and enjoyable après angling locations in America. Originally established as a working plantation in 1834, the Woodland is familyowned and the mansion was completely restored in 1998. It stands today as the only remaining plantation home in that part of the Louisiana Delta and operates as an antebellum hotel with over twenty bedrooms, each with private baths. The Woodland also has five other more modern cottages and cabin accommodations on the property that are easily tailored for smaller groups. It’s a great spot for couples, a couple of anglers, a bunch of pals, or any size group. The Woodland is everything you’d expect in a 180 year-old southern mansion. Quiet bedrooms, rocking chairs on the porch, and a swamp with alligators out back. Whiskey drinkers may find the image of the Woodland Plantation familiar, since it’s been on the label of Southern Comfort whiskey for ninety years.

The “Spirits Hall” at the Woodland Plantation is the dining room. the bar, and the social center. Like the kitchen at home, it’s the operation’s beating heart. Once a Catholic church 14 miles downriver, it was moved in1998, refurbished, and converted into the charming gathering spot for guests. The modified pulpit, ironically, is now a well stocked bar and a popular watering hole for guests and locals. The ball game is always on the television, and someone is always available to share a drink or memories from your fishing day on the marsh.

SHOP® WILL

T A I L O R Y O U R T R I P to match your schedule. Working with the Woodlands staff, we’ll partner you with one of their stable of top notch, local guides and build you a terrific, memorable angling holiday. What we recommend is three full days of fishing and a stay of either three or four nights at the Woodlands Plantation. Guests should arrive, if possible, no later than 7:30 in the evening to ensure you get to kick off your fishing holiday with a great dinner and a sampling of their marvelous brand of cajun hospitality.

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The choices of nearby canals, flats, lagoons, bayous, and grass-covered fishing grounds are endless, and it is a rare exception for guests to cover the same area of the marshland twice in a single visit. Breakfasts are available early, and the guides usually shove off every day from one of several nearby launch sites. Lunch is in the field and guests return from the angling action late each afternoon in time for cocktails, conversation, and dinner at “the church”. On the final day of fishing, anglers may choose to end their holiday with another overnight at the Plantation and leave in the morning, head to the Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport and catch an evening flight home, or enjoy an additional night or two of fine dining, music, and entertainment in “The Big Easy.” s 4 nights lodging with all meals, and 3 full days of guided fly fishing is approximately $2,000 per angler, double occupancy. Rates vary slightly depending on the accommodations selected. s Packages include all meals as well as evening appetizers, shared guide, fly fishing tackle, flies, and a superb box lunch. s Longer and shorter stays, single occupancy packages, pricing for extra or fewer days of accommodations or guided fishing, and modestly priced non-fishing rates are available upon request.

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Louisiana Redfishing

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:00 PM Page 1

Louisiana’s Outpost Mothership

Eleven’s mothership takes the live-aboard, fly fishing lifestyle to a new level. When on board, fishing the Louisiana marshland will always take top billing, but you’ll relax in style, drink in a well-appointed salon, sit down to marvelous meals in a well-provisioned galley, be surrounded by your small group of friends, and sleep in quiet comfort in your own private stateroom aboard the Outpost. Capacity of the air-conditioned Outpost is only four. The mothership features a satellite TV, spacious living area, a well-stocked bar and galley, and each two guests share a seasoned fly fishing guide aboard a top-of-the-line flats skiff. The action-packed adventure usually begins mid-morning at the Dulac marina, where you’ll be met at the dock by guides and skiffs that are ready to go fishing. There’s no time wasted during this fishing holiday. While your luggage is transferred to your staterooms aboard the Outpost, you’ll be chasing redfish in the nearby marsh, canals, creeks, and bayous. Every day ends back at the mothership with cocktails, appetizers, a gourmet dinner, and fish tales at sunset on the deck. The outstanding, seasoned crew includes a professional captain, two expert guides, and a gourmet chef who prepares Louisiana cuisine each day and packs the coolers with savory lunches and ice-cold drinks.The only additional costs are the vehicle transfer from New Orleans (or Houmas) to the Dulac marina. It’s an incredibly popular venue and you’ll want to plan this trip far in advance.

The Marshland of southern Louisiana is the redfish capital of the world. It is vast and remote, covering over 20,000 square miles and stretching from Texas to the Mississippi border. It is a labyrinth of shallow bays, canals, channels, bayous, and mud flats. It’s home to a variety of gamefish and a year ‘round population of redfish. T H E B U L L S , the really huge redfish, show up there in the fall and winter. It

is a season that has grown in popularity, but the marsh is so massive there’s no serious pressure. And now, after nearly three decades of conservation, slot limits, regulation, and protection along the entire Gulf Coast the numbers and size of the fish is incredible. What was a good fishery when George W. Bush penned laws preventing their harvest in federal waters 30 years ago, has now morphed into a rare sport fishery – one that gets better every year. Experienced flats fishermen find the redfish learning curve swift and, with a nearly unlimited resource, it is not surprising that this facet of the sport has become an increasingly popular part of the sport of fly fishing. No passport. No language barrier. No money to exchange, and the jumping off points are easy to reach in a single day from anywhere in America. There are a number of wonderful places and swell guides that cater to redfishermen swinging a fly rod. But no destination does it better, makes it easier, or packs more pleasure and action into 4 or 5 days of fishing than the mothership Outpost operates out of Dulac, Louisiana. Their 61´ Hatteras is stationed in the heart of Louisiana redfish country from October through January. It is less than an hour and a half by car from New Orleans, a short 45minute boat ride from the marina, and a dawn-to-dark experience that extends far beyond the fishing.

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The all-inclusive package for four anglers includes exclusive use of the 61´ Hatteras mothership, all the meals, and every soda, beer and mixed drink. You can pack light, because all the first-class tackle and flies are included. 4 nights lodging and 4 days of guided fishing $20,800 ($5,200 each) 5 nights lodging and 5 days of guided fishing 26,000 ( 6,500 each)

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:00 PM Page 2

photos cour tesy of Br ian O’Keefe , Steh Fields , and ELEVEN

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Florida Everglades

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:02 PM Page 1

The Everglades Outpost Mothership

photos cour tesy of Br ian O’Keefe and ELEVEN

ELEVEN’S all-inclusive live-aboard expedition in the massive Everglades National Park is one of the most unique and rewarding saltwater fly fishing experiences in the United States. Each week of March and April a small group of only four anglers aboard the mothership, Outpost, are strategically positioned in the Everglades wilderness and enjoy what is often the fishing trip of a lifetime, and always an exciting, intimate outdoor experience in one of America’s most coveted in-shore national parks. I T W O U L D T A K E A L I F E T I M E to fish all of the water in Everglades

National Park. But if you’re looking to fish tarpon and snook on the fly, hunt for fish in the swamplands and backcountry, and share a rich experience with a group of good friends, the Everglades mothership, Outpost, is exactly the solution. Eleven’s 61´ Hatteras mothership takes the live-aboard lifestyle to a new level. When on board, fishing the flats, creeks, and lagoons of the Everglades will always take top billing, but you’ll relax in style, drink in a well-appointed salon, sit down to marvelous meals in a well-provisioned galley, and sleep in quiet comfort in your own private stateroom aboard the Outpost. Capacity of the air-conditioned Outpost is four, with each guest accommodated in comfortable, private staterooms (sharing two bathrooms). The mothership features a satellite TV, a spacious living room, and a wellstocked bar, and galley. Each two guests share a seasoned Florida flats guide aboard a Hell’s Bay skiff.

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The action-packed adventure begins the first afternoon at Flamingo Marina in the Park, where you’ll be met at the dock by guides and skiffs that are ready to go fishing. While your luggage is transferred to your staterooms aboard the Outpost, you’ll be chasing tarpon and snook on the flats and in the backcountry. The rest of the angling holiday begins early, and ends late.The time in the middle is usually filled with fish.The days all end back at the mothership with cocktails, appetizers, a gourmet dinner, and fish tales at sunset on the deck. The fly fishing menu includes a daily mixture of adult tarpon laid up in the lagoons and on the oceanside flats, snook in the creeks and mangroves, and all the juvenile tarpon you can handle – wherever you cross their path. The outstanding, seasoned crew includes a professional captain, two expert guides, and a gourmet chef who prepares creative island cuisine each day (often from the saltwater supermarket) and packs the coolers with savory lunches. The only additional cost is the 2-hour vehicle transfer from Miami International to Flamingo Marina, Everglades National Park. It’s an incredibly popular venue and you’ll want to plan this trip far in advance. s

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The all-inclusive package for four anglers includes exclusive use of the 61´ Hatteras mothership, all fishing equipment, flies, necessary licenses, all meals, and every soda, beer, mixed drink, and bottle of water. 4 nights lodging and 4 days of guided fishing $19,200 ($4,800 each) 5 nights lodging and 5 days of guided fishing 24,000 ( 6,000 each)

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Florida Lower Keys

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:03 PM Page 1

Bahia Honda Sporting Club

Florida’s Lower Keys stretch for 36 miles between Marathon and Key West. The islands are like pearls in a beautiful necklace with names like Cudjoe, Sugarloaf, Big Pine, and Bahia Honda. It all begins only a half-day drive south of Miami, and ends about a half hour north of Key West. The Overseas Highway bridges connecting those gems often signifies what is only an imaginary line separating the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico. Each spring and early summer, these delicate islands are sur-

Bahia Honda Lodge is a small, one-of-

rounded to the east and west by

a-kind operation, at a perfect location.

permit, bonefish, and legions

Their packages include first-class

of adult tarpon that far out-

versions of every imaginable item in the for-

number and often outweigh

mula needed to create a successful and memo-

the folks living there.

rable saltwater fly fishing holiday. D I S C R I M I N A T I N G A N G L E R S will appreciate the fact that everything they’ll

need is waiting for them at Bahia Honda Lodge. The all-inclusive experience begins with the Key West airport reception and 30-minute transfer north to the beautiful villa on a private in an open water bay. The fee covers excellent accommodations, fine cuisine, terrific guides, first-class skiffs, whatever is necessary in the way of fly fishing tackle, an open bar, fine wine selection, and every soda, craft beer, and bottle of water. It gets even better when they’ve met the attentive lodge staff and gotten to know the team of experienced guides that have established Bahia Honda Lodge as the top-rated flats fishing operation in the Florida Keys and opens only during the April, May, and June peak season. A great deal of the success and popularity of the lodge can be credited to its strategic location in the Lower Keys. The private marina at Bahia Honda Lodge is within easy striking distance of a vast network of flats spanning both the shallow Atlantic oceanside and the Gulf of Mexico. With no need to travel far beyond their own home water, and the ability to compensate for the calendar with two separate (Gulf and Atlantic) tides, the Bahia Honda Lodge guide team has it made! This is, arguably, the very best spot for adult tarpon and permit on Earth. Guides do tailor their days to match the interests and skill levels of their clients, and the lodge rotates the guide schedules daily, ensuring the clients will gain exposure to a variety of techniques, philosophies, and even terminal tackle. Veteran clients are welcome to bring their own equipment, but it isn’t necessary. The Fly Shop simply can’t recommend the Bahia Honda lodge more highly! s All-inclusive angling packages are $1,200 per day, per person, double occupancy Stays can be tailored for as few as 3 nights or as many as requested s Non-angling packages include all dining, amenities and accommodations s Stays of 7 nights (6 days angling) or more are discounted 10% s Options include single occupancy supplements, and deluxe suites or cottages

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:04 PM Page 2

Bahia Honda Lodge is a lovely Mediterranean villa on a 16-acre estate surrounded by a wildlife refuge. Accommodations are all superb, with a choice of well appointed rooms, deluxe suites, or adjacent ocean view cottages. Guests enjoy several palm-shaded pools and verandas overlooking the marina and open sea. The lodge is limited to only 10 anglers with plenty of room for non-fishing companions, and lots for them to do in nearby Key West. Fly-savvy, expert, local guides rendezvous with guests at the lodge’s private marina, just a stone’s throw from the breakfast table. There’s no time wasted trailering, and the easy flats access translates to more productive time on the water and opportunities to set the hook.

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Fisherman Fly Tier Artist

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:05 PM Page 2

DaveWhitlock

Few others in the world of fly fishing and tying command a greater level of respect and admiration. His is a lifetime dedicated to our mutual passion. N O I N T R O D U C T I O N is necessary in the world of fishing. Dave Whitlock has been the real deal for nearly half a century. He’s in the IGFA Hall of Fame, FFF Hall of Fame and three other halls of fame. Fly Fisherman Magazine named him “One of the 50 Most Influential Fly Fishers in the Last 50 Years.” None of those accolades could have been bestowed on a person more worthy. As you might expect, his humble acknowledgment of each honor was typical of the gentleman I’ve known for 40 years and admired longer. Years ago Dave resigned his position as a research chemist, and shifted his energy to writing, photography, fly tying and lecturing.

Since Dave’s first Field & Stream article in 1968, he’s contributed a long list of articles, photos, and illustrations to the world’s top outdoor, sport, and angling magazines covering every aspect of fly fishing. He has authored and illustrated six books considered “‘required reading” by most serious fly fishermen and has made thousands of appearances at club banquets, and fly fishing shows all over the globe to instruct and promote our sport. Dave is most famous in fly fishing circles for the trout and bass flies he’s created. What hasn’t been given proper credit is the quality of illustration and distinctive art that’s punctuated everything he’s ever done.

At 85, Dave remains not only creative, but one of the nicest people in the world. Most recently he transitioned his life to focus on the selfish pleasures of solitary fly fishing, his lovely wife Emily, and his art.

September Hopper Wind E V E R Y T H I N G A B O U T T H I S recent, limited

edition print is pure Dave Whitlock.The beautifullycolored, mature brown trout in its fall coloration has been a distinctive part of Dave’s art and illustrations for more than a generation, and almost doesn’t need a signature to be recognized.

Equally iconic is the interaction of the wind and the current, the fish, and of course, the grasshopper. Dave has individually hand-enhanced each one of these limited-edition prints with art pencils, inks, and paints to enrich the colors, add to the overall effect, and further individualize them for your wall.

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The enhanced Giclee print is available in four sizes, unframed, signed, and numbered. Shipping is included 11˝ x 17˝ Edition of 200 $115 13˝ x 19˝ Edition of 250 180 17˝ x 22˝ Edition of 200 315 20˝ x 30˝ Edition of 100 440

800-669-3474

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N. California Trout Fishing

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:07 PM Page 1

Northern California Birthplace of most rainbow trout fishing in the Western Hemisphere

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Home of the most celebrated and well-traveled trout on Earth Most of the rainbow trout found in the continental United States and the rest of the world (with the exception of Alaska and Kamchatka) can trace their origin to a small hatchery on the McCloud River just north of Redding. T H E W O R L D of trout fishing owes a great debt to the McCloud

River and a few intrepid, Eastern-bred, fish culturalists who built a small hatchery on Campbell Creek (a tiny tributary of the river) and began sending rainbow trout eggs and fry by way of a San Francisco Bay hatchery to the rest of the rivers and streams on the planet. What these men didn’t know about trout has since been proven to be far greater than what they understood. They had failed in multiple attempts to send and establish king salmon in those rivers feeding the North Atlantic. But they knew enough to effectively jumpstart the distribution of their rainbows from the Campbell Creek Hatchery on the McCloud (which now lies deep below Shasta Lake) to practically every river and stream in the Rocky Mountain states, as well as Canada, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia.

It is also the genetic ancestors of those same coveted McCloud River rainbows that provided the brood stock for the monster trout found in Argentina’s Lago Verde (Jurassic Lake) – proving that all these fish need is food and habitat to flourish. In fact, most of the rainbow trout in the world (beyond Kamchatka and the Pacific states) can trace their origins to the McCloud River. That’s right. Just like all the Californians who have found new homes in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and elsewhere, resident rainbows from the Golden State are the trout filling the rivers of Patagonia, Alberta, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and nearly every other habitable, fish-friendly continent on Earth.

The Fly Shop’s Guide Service & Private Waters F I S H I N G N E A R R E D D I N G is excellent nearly every day of the year. Depending on the time of season, fly fishermen can target rainbow

trout, browns, brookies, steelhead, spotted bass, largemouth, smallmouth, stripers, or shad. Certainly we have the occasional winter storm but, on the average, our guides are out there having fun with clients more than 300 days of each calendar year. The Fly Shop’s team has been developing our Private Waters concept for nearly forty years. We’ve opened up – and continue to discover – some great fly fishing opportunities formerly held captive behind locked gates, for what are modest and reasonable fees. Most of Upper Sacramento River our current private waters fishing destinations have been 1 Pocket water wading less than an hour from Redding posted and off-limits to the public for generations.

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One of America’s finest tailwater rainbow trout fisheries

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Ultra-productive winter steelheading west of Redding

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Trinity River Fall River The largest spring creek in the American West

Hat Creek Selective trout fishing at its best, an hour away

McCloud River Breathtakingly beautiful and world famous

Pit River

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Rugged, rewarding freestone angling east of town

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Renowned fall fishing for a unique run of steelhead

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Lower Sacramento River

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Klamath River Antelope Creek Lodge Northern California’s finest angling resort

Clear Creek Ranch The longest privately owned stream in California

Circle 7 Ranch on Fall River

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The Golden State’s top spring creek

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A perfect streamside resort for a family or group

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Our most popular, productive, and private stillwater

Oasis Springs Lodge Rock Creek Lake

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Battle Creek Ranch 6 miles of a rugged, small stream jammed with trout

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Luk Lake Mid-winter and spring trout & bass fishery

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Sugar Creek Ranch Private, trophy-trout lakes near Mt. Shasta

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:08 PM Page 1

N. California The Fly Shop’s got the handle on our local Rainbow Trout fishing and our Guide Service does it all! Most of the best fly fishing in Northern California is within an hour of The Fly Shop’s front door. We are lucky to have literally hundreds of miles of local public trout and steelhead waters, and exclusive access to some private regional angling destinations. In fact, The Fly Shop® is the only guide service holding permits for Shasta, Trinity, Six Rivers, and Klamath National Forest lands, and every watershed administered by the Bureau of Land Management. We do it all, and we do it well! T H E F L Y F I S H I N G in our backyard is fantas-

tic and a day on the water with one of the guides on our team is the perfect way to learn the local water and improve your skills. Whether from a drift boat or raft, the refined techniques our guides have developed and refined over the years, along with their specialized knowledge of the waters in and around Redding, will ensure fly fishers of all skill levels enjoy a productive and fun experience.

Our guides are local experts who live here in Redding or nearby. They’re all year ‘round professionals, not part-timers, from out of the area, out of state, or out of school for the summer. Many of these guys have been with us for decades and, to a large degree, they have been responsible for putting our outstanding regional fishing on the fly fishing map.

Some members of our team focus on drift trip techniques for trout and steelhead, others pride themselves helping clients solve the intricacies of our freestone angling or spring creek riddles. They’re all skilled and passionate in every aspect of their vocation and try to ensure that every day on the water is as educational, enjoyable, and as action-packed as possible. s Full-day Guided Trips $550

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:08 PM Page 2

Guided Drift Boat Trips with The Fly Shop® Fall River

is renowned for prolific hatches, and as the birthplace of many of today’s best known spring creek patterns. It is Western selective trout fishing at its finest. Our guides use quiet, low-profile motorized prams custom-tailored for the experience.

Trinity River is home to incredible returns

of steelhead each fall and winter, and is the go-to destination for dedicated steelhead addicts and anglers wanting to tie into their first ever sea-going rainbow.

The Klamath River from the mouth of

the river upstream for about 15 miles is accessed exclusively by jet boat. Upstream there are rapids, rocks, and rugged terrain that is more appropriate for McKenzie-style drift boats. In both situations all the fly fishing is done while wading, and anglers use the boats only for transportation from one productive spot to another.

Val Atkinson photo

The Lower Sacramento between Shasta Dam and Red Bluff is a year ‘round trout fishery and the

starting line for most of the angling begins only a rifle shot from our parking lot.We’re blessed with a temperate climate, a couple of warm mid-summer months, a spectacular spring and fall, and a pleasant, brief winter. Our guides use drift boats to cover approximately 50 miles of the broad, rainbow trout-filled river. Steelhead become a target each fall and a chance to chase fish in relative solitude with either a single-hand or spey rod.

Walk & Wade Guided Trips on Nearby Rivers Hat Creek

is renowned for great hatches, selective rainbows and an experience that is a classic chess game of spring creek fly fishing. This is where a quality guide will definitely help anglers accelerate the learning curve.

The McCloud River

rainbows are unquestionably the most famous trout on Earth, and its hefty browns are a reward for the angler willing to walk into the rugged river canyon water. Spring, mid-summer and fall angling on this famous freestone river is excellent and the scenery is superb all season.

Pit River

is notorious for tough wading and broad-shouldered rainbows. It’s now open year round, with a new flow regime that makes it well worth exploring in the winter months. Ideal flows this summer season should translate into easy, season-long access to the entire river.

Upper Sacramento

is a favorite walkand-wade stream featuring classic pocket water, riffles, and pools. Nearly 40 miles of it is easily accessible from the Interstate. With all the access, it’s still simple to find solitude. The river is open year ‘round, and fishes best from May through December.

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2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:10 PM Page 1

N. California Tailwater

A once-magnificent run of Sacramento River King Salmon has all but been destroyed by Shasta Dam. Efforts to save them accidentally created one of the best tailwater trout fisheries in the American West. I C E - C O L D W A T E R from the Pit River, McCloud River, and Upper Sacramento converge in the California foothills just north of Redding. Together they form Shasta Lake, a massive impoundment held in check by Shasta Dam, one of the tallest in the United States. Its development in the 1940’s signalled the end to the massive flooding of the Sacramento Valley which had occurred every decade or so for centuries. Intended to protect communities downstream, the dam also included a huge hydro installation and served to simultaneously help insure irrigation to the most important agricultural complex in continental America. At the same time the dam all but destroyed one of the world’s largest runs of King Salmon by eliminating the majority of their spawning habitat and left a remnant population of four distinct runs of King Salmon that now struggle desperately to survive in the Sacramento. The jury’s still out on whether they’ll make it, and all the efforts to date have been very well-documented failures with one exception – in a last ditch effort to salvage what’s left of the King Salmon fishery by improving spawning conditions in the little remaining habitat below the dam, government experts installed a unique apparatus on the dam’s face to collect and send the lake’s coldest water downstream. The hope was that releases of consistently cool water (near-53 degree) from the depths of Shasta Lake would improve the Sacramento River’s quickly declining King Salmon population. It helped, but not much, and not for long. However, the unintentional by-product of the restoration effort (consistently cold water) combined with a plethora of food in the Lower Sacramento created near-optimum conditions for the resident rainbows and extended the annual growth cycle of those trout by as much as 30%. These wild rainbows started growing bigger each year. A consequence of their sizes has been exponentially more spawn, all of which began a threedecade upward spiral of more fast-growing, large trout. The Sacramento River from Shasta Dam to Red Bluff is not only a world-class rainbow trout fishery, it’s one of few in America that continues to get better each year.

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Below Shasta Dam the river is similar in size to the Yellowstone near Livingston. It is swift, broad, and deep, with limited public access and only a few easily wadeable areas. The most productive method of fishing the river from Redding to Red Bluff is drift fishing from a McKenzie-style boat. The pace makes a natural presentation of a dry or nymph awfully easy. Average Sacramento River rainbows are large, plentiful and full of fight. The terminal tackle and nymph fishing techniques developed by our guides on the Lower Sacramento are very effective and anglers can usually count on an action-packed day with our guides. Redding is blessed with a temperate climate and has terrific fishing nearly every day of the year. Weather conditions might alter what you wear or the fly fishing methods, but seldom changes the results.

Marcel Siegle photo

F L Y S H O P ’ S G U I D E S work as a team.They meet, talk and share information constantly. They compare notes almost daily about tactics and the local destinations that are most productive. They’re all local talent and they know the river intimately because they fish it nearly every day. With more than 50 miles of productive trout fishing and a number of float options, guides on the Lower Sacramento can spread out and their days are surprisingly private.

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The Lower Sacramento The river below Shasta Dam flows wild for more than 55 miles through our city limits, backyards, and parklands, below bridges and often within view of both Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen. It’s one of the top tailwater fisheries in the west, and an action-packed trout experience you and your friends don’t want to miss.

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N. California Trinity River Anadromous

Steelhead

Terrific winter angling only an hour west of Redding

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The Trinity River tailwater is unique in the steelhead world. Runs are reliable from September through March and it’s consistently clear in all but the worst of weather.

Marcel Siegle photo

A R G U A B L Y O N E O F T H E F I N E S T steelhead streams in the American West, the

Trinity River’s runs of anadromous fish were nearly decimated when Trinity and Lewiston Dams were completed in 1960. However, restoration efforts brought a combination of wild and hatchery steelhead back into the fishery by the thousands, and recent years on the Trinity have boasted some of the finest steelheading in decades. Court action by Native Americans, the Trinity Guide Association, and other concerned stakeholders have helped to restore, improve, and ensure consistent water flows in recent years. The end result is that this amazing river is getting better and better, in stark contrast to the negative direction of many other western steelhead rivers. The Trinity’s headwaters are fed primarily by a spiderweb of small tributaries which drain the roadless, Salmon-Trinity Alps Wilderness Area. That water is collected above Lewiston Dam and Trinity Lake then released systematically into the “Wild & Scenic” river which flows through a beautiful, forested canyon for 110 miles before joining the Klamath River. Like most tailwaters the Trinity clears quickly after every rain, affording a more reliable target than lots of other coastall steelhead fisheries. Even in those rare years when torrential rains blow out nearly every this amazing river river on the West Coast, we’ve had terrific, consistent steelis getting better head action in the Trinity. and better, Both wild and hatchery steelhead in the Trinity average 4 to 8 pounds, with an occasional double-digit fish. They begin in stark contrast showing in good numbers by mid-October. The run remains to the negative strong and the escapement builds through February, when multiple hookups are common. That population of Trinity River direction steelhead is primarily responsible for the fishery’s popularity. of many other The numbers of fish at the peak of the run is remarkable and western steelhead our guided Trinity River clients hook up all season long, and in every imaginable weather situation. rivers Weather plays an important factor in every winter steelhead fishery, and at 2,000´elevation the Trinity is no exception. Our guides are concerned only with clarity, and seldom cancel for weather-related issues. They’ll fish in the snow, sleet, rain, and hail, without a complaint, and work just as hard on nice, sunny days. Nasty winter days may sound unpleasant, but steelhead often throw caution to the wind in bad weather, and it can supercharge the winter steelhead season. Techniques, of course, vary with the fall and winter conditions. Our guides will swing soft hackles, small streamers, and occasionally use dry flies. It is often technical fishing, requiring some experience and, if there are no objections, our guides will use the fly fishing technique that best connects with a screaming steelhead and leave any whining and angler elitism to others. The most efficient and effective way to cover the Trinity is by drifting the relatively inaccessible stretches, occasionally fishing from the boat or raft, then selectively and methodically wading the most productive holding water. It is sometimes a sight fishing experience in the clear current. The fishing on the Trinity coincides with excellent mid-winter angling on the Sacramento, and multi-day combination trout & steelhead trips are easily arranged.

Marcel Siegle photo

We’ve been guiding the Trinity River since The Fly Shop® opened our doors in 1978, and built a reputation that keeps people coming back. Our guides’ schedules fill quickly and completely for the peak of the winter angling. We suggest that reservations be made as far in advance as possible. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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N. California Antelope Creek Ranch Lodges

Surrounded by millions of acres of National Forest in the least populated corner of the state, our ranch is safe, sheltered, secure, & has the best private trout fishing in Northern California!

A N T E L O P E C R E E K R A N C H , nestled on the quiet, north slope of Mount

Shasta, is the jewel in the necklace of The Fly Shop’s Private Waters. It is in the center of the nearly 2 million-acre Klamath National Forest, and at 5,000´ elevation, the cool summer breezes from the snow-covered Mount Shasta peak are a pleasant change from the warmth of the Sacramento Valley. Ranch weather is ideal in the spring and mid-summer, and the fall setting is spectacular. The gate to the ranch opens to angling guests from May through mid-October (or the first snowfall), and the fishing is excellent all season long. Fishermen on the ranch have exclusive access to two miles of a picture-perfect, serpentine, meadow stream and two excellent lakes that harbor an incredible population of trophy-sized trout. It’s a great spot to vacation with a few fly fishing friends or your family and enjoy terrific trout fishing in a peaceful and remote outdoor setting. There’s more than enough room on the ranch for the small number of anglers allowed to spread out with no concern about competition. This is truly social distancing!

Antelope Creek begins small, bubbling out of the ground on the shoulder of Mount Shasta. By the time Antelope Creek winds its way onto the ranch, it has multiplied in size, and each cutbank and pool is large enough to harbor surprisingly large trout. Fishing in Antelope Creek and the two ranch lakes is very productive and it improves each and every season. Arriving ranch guests are provided a complete orientation and fly fishermen are free to set their own schedule. Self-reliant anglers usually revel in the casual, no-pressure, do-it-yourself, approach to fishing the lakes and the stream – though guides can be arranged to help improve the angling or accelerate the learning curve. Driving time from Redding is less than two hours, all of it on paved freeway, highway and county road. It’s a comfortable 4 hour drive from Sacramento, and 5 or 6 hours by car from the San Francisco Bay area. Katie Falkenberg photo

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G U E S T S U I T E S are very private,

Val Atkinson photo

In keeping with continuing Covid-19 concerns, Antelope Creek Ranch has now opened the doors to the owner’s fully-furnished, family guest suites.

well-appointed, spacious apartments. Each has wi-fi, and is outfitted with fully equipped kitchens, gas fireplaces, private patios, and communal barbecue areas. Selection of any combination of the fully furnished, one or two-bedroom suites allows guests the ability to tailor accommodations to match their own group size, while insuring privacy, and a personalized level of social distancing. Prior to guest arrival, each of the suites and the ranch house are professionally cleaned and sanitized. Cohesive groups of six or more are guaranteed exclusive ranch access and when the Guests Suites are occupied, the ranch house is not available. T H E R A N C H H O U S E is available

to groups or families only as a VRBO and includes exclusive use of the entire Antelope Creek ranch facilities and angling. (Guest Suites are not available while the ranch house is occupied). The spacious, beautifully decorated, fully-furnished, 4-bedroom, streamside home accommodates eight guests and is a perfect spot in the post-virus era for small groups or family get-togethers with a focus on fly fishing. Guest suites may be added to expand occupancy to as many as twenty-two. A superb, regional chef is an option for meals. Availability is very limited. Marcel Siegle photo

in the magnificent shadow of Mount

Shasta

ANTELOPE CREEK PRICING

Antelope Creek Ranch housekeeping packages include accommodations and shared (limited to 8) private access to the trophy trout lakes and meadow stream. Guest Suites s $295 per day, per angler

s $175 per day, per non-angler

The Ranch House s $1,600 per day Minimum three-day stay

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N. California Renowned Redband

2/3 Introduction 4/24/21 12:16 PM Page 1

The McCloud River

Marcel Siegle photo

No fish is more famous in the world of trout fishing than the McCloud rainbow! R I V E R R A I N B O W S are noted for their beauty, fight and strength. At the same time they’re very slow-growing creatures and California Fish & Wildlife has angling regulations and limits help to protect them. The Upper McCloud is narrow, brushy, and an ideal spot for light rods and dry flies. Rainbows, browns, and brookies all cohabit in the shallow pocket water, and miniature pools before it cascades over two spectacular falls above Fowlers Camp. Near that point tens of thousands of gallons of water each minute pour into the river from springs beneath the lava fissures along the river’s edge. The McCloud then quickly doubles in size, becomes more fertile, and begins to harbor slightly larger trout. There are several miles of public trout fishing below Fowlers Camp before the river enters the (private) Hearst Corporation property and eventually empties into McCloud Reservoir. Below and between that reservoir and the Ah-Di-Na Campground are three rugged and roadless miles of picture-perfect pocket water trout fishing. Downstream from Ah-Di-Na the McCloud enters a five-mile corridor owned by the Nature Conservancy.

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Angling on the Nature Conservancy portion of the McCloud is monitored and strictly limited (half on a first-come/first-served basis, half by reservation) on the first half of the Conservancy water. Guides are allowed to accompany clients on the Nature Conservancy portion of the McCloud, but reservations must be made by the fishermen. The 18 miles of river below the Nature Conservancy has been completely private for more than a century, as it flows undisturbed through a terraced canyon before emptying into the massive Shasta Lake. Fishing season is open year ‘round. There’s a spectacular salmonfly hatch in the Spring, with less intense mid-season Caddis and mayfly hatchKatie Falkenberg photo es. Nymphing is the most productive way to attract wary McCloud rainbows and browns. Guided fishing on the McCloud

The Fly Shop’s guides spend a great deal of time each season on the McCloud. They’re well-prepared with the knowledge, experience and correct tackle to insure that every day on this famous river is a successful one. i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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bollibokka club T H E O L D E S T private fishing club in the American West borders seven miles of the McCloud River above Shasta Lake and has been some of the most jealously guarded California angling for over a century. Bollibokka is just 36 miles north of The Fly Shop® on the southern slope of Mt Shasta. The private property extends to the high ridges on either slope of the McCloud canyon and is surrounded by a roadless portion of the Shasta National Forest. Membership is limited to forty and allows you to reserve up to 2 weeks. The seven miles of McCloud River that makes up Bollibokka is broken up into the Clubhouse and Way Station beats. Either can be reserved by club members. The complex collectively handles 14 guests, but is limited to 10 anglers. The large, lower beat, features the historic Clubhouse, with a dining room that dates back to the late 1800’s, a farm-style residence, a private, stone cottage only a roll cast from the river, and a fully furnished guest cabin. The upper Way Station, a 3-bedroom cabin that sleeps up to 6 anglers, is perched on a rock outcrop gazing down on a classic river pool. Club memberships are perfect for individuals, groups of friends, companies, or organizations. There’s nothing fancy about the place, but Bollibokka Club’s informal atmosphere is enhanced by rustic charm, fishing legacy, and isolation. Annual Membership dues are $500 a year. Members may reserve a week or two at either of the club facilities and enjoy exclusive access to what is considerered the seven best miles of fly fishing on the McCloud River. Memberships are extremely limited and infrequently available. Inquire to get on the wait list for future memberships. Bollibokka Club is administered exclusively by The Fly Shop® More details can be found on our website.

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Alaska

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Top Trout & Salmon Destinations The re-scheduling of reservations from the abbreviated 2020 summer season is going to create a bottleneck for at least two years. Anglers interested in going to Alaska should begin making their decisions, reservations, and travel plans now!

V E R Y F E W L O D G E S and camps in our 49th state chose to open their doors to guests this past season. Like the American public, lodge operators were kept in the dark with regard to regulations and it wasn’t until early June the state government announced the lifting of mandatory travel quarantine rules. For many, that didn’t give enough time to recruit and hire a professional staff, contract for adequate provisions, secure insurance, and re-schedule clientele. At the same time, most of our nation remained understandably apprehensive about airline travel and when the opportunity to visit Alaska was finally restored, it was too late for even those fishermen willing to brave the uncertainty of domestic travel to make plans. Resident anglers and those few out-of-state fishermen that were able to finally get to Alaska’s fish-infested rivers and streams found themselves alone on the water. They were surrounded by trout and salmon left unmolested by angling pressure and experienced a quality of fishing that hadn’t been seen in decades.

There were a few (mostly fall steelhead and salmon) operations that were able to make a go of it last year. Interestingly, there have been only 3 reported COVID-related, non-resident deaths reported in Alaska. None were anglers. The challenge for fishermen interested in heading to Alaska this coming (2021) season is going to be finding space. The vast majority of pandemic-related reservations and cancellations this past summer (2020) were not refunded, but were “rolled over” to next season. Simply translated, that means most of those beds, boats, and seats in float planes are already reserved. Finding spots in Alaska next year is going to be tough. It’ll be even more of a challenge at the best and most popular times and destinations. That same rubber band of interest will undoubtedly stretch into the following (2022) season and it isn’t too early for fly rodders seriously considering going to Alaska in either of the next two or three years to begin selecting their dates and confirming destinations right now.

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Bering Sea 5 16 9

● denali anchorage ●

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bethel ●

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iliamna ●

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dillingham ●

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Gulf of Alaska

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● homer

● 17 king salmon

Bristol Bay

Canada

ketchikan ●

North Pacific Ocean

● dutch harbor

Choosing from among the best fly fishing lodges & camps in Alaska T H E P L A C E S we work with in Alaska represent our 49th states’ “honor roll” of lodges, camps, and outfitters. Ours is a terrific portfolio reflecting a wonderful cross-section of Alaska’s fly fishing geography, a wide assortment of angling options, and a broad range of price tags. Over the past 43 years The Fly Shop® has become the recognized authority on Alaska fly fishing travel. We’ve helped thousands of clients choose their Alaska destination and outfitted tens of thousand of fly rodders for their trips north. Collectively, our staff has owned several Alaska lodges, guided there for decades, and spent more time exploring Alaska’s fishing than anyone else in the angling travel world.

The people here at The Fly Shop® have personally visited every single lodge we represent, often dozens of times. We know each destination (and the people that operate them) intimately. Our team has learned, first-hand, the best times to be at these places and, because we have been nearly everywhere else in Alaska, understand the differences between the lodges we work with and the other spots that aren’t on our list. In all of this we’ve been your advocate, focused only on your best interests, and not distracted by other motivation. We offer a level of expertise, familiarity, indepth knowledge, and objectivity that you won’t find elsewhere, or for a cent less.

THE FLY SHOP’S SELECTION OF ALASKAN FLY FISHING LODGES

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Rainbow King Lodge Fly out fly fishing in the heart of Alaska’s most famous fishery.

Egdorf’s Nushagak Camp

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Dawn to dark fishing at a spot where you don’t have to move far for a true wilderness trout fishing experience.

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Royal Wolf Lodge

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Rated by our travel veterans as one of Alaska’s top fly out lodges. A perfect location with superb guides and trophy trout. It doesn’t get much better than this isolated, riverside fly-out lodge in the heart of the most prolific salmon and rainbow fishery in our 49th state.

Talaheim Lodge Helicopters, planes, and great rainbow trout fishing nobody else can get to.

Hoodoo Lodge

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Kings and silvers ‘til you drop in a river custom-tailored for fly fishing.

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CAMPS

Copper River Lodge Great guides and lodge on the 49th State’s most beautiful trout river. Undoubtedly Alaska’s number one dry fly river.

Duncan & Sons Two superb mobile camps and float on the Chosen River with trout, Dolly Varden, grayling, silvers, and kings in a remote setting.

Alaska West One of Alaska’s most popular trout and salmon camps!

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Royal Coachman

&

Big Ku Lodge A unique, small lodge with great fishing right out the door and three of the finest rivers in Katmai only a jet boat ride away.

Wilderness Place Lodge Easy access from Anchorage and a perfect short stay.

Bear Trail Lodge It’s King Salmon location is a dead-center base for silvers and rainbows.

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Sandy River King Salmon & Steelhead Camp

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Ayakulik River Camp

The focus at Aniak is mouse-eating rainbows, Dolly Varden, salmon, sheefish and pike. 2021 marks the debut of their brand new tent camp.

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Rapids Camp Lodge

Lava Creek Lodge

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Goodnews River Lodge Super-productive rainbow, silver, and king camp in the middle of nowhere.

Hidden Cove Lodge Hard-core silver salmon from dawn to dark and a no-frills lodge.

Aniak River Lodge

This kick-ass king and silver fishery only has room for 8 anglers each week.

Trotter’s Baranof Wilderness Lodge A great fishing destination for the entire family. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

Arguably the absolute top steelhead river in the entire United States. Phenomenal silvers and some of Alaska’s best steelhead fly fishing. This is Alaska the way most people imagine. One of Alaska’s premier fly fishing, fly-out lodges.

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Alaska Steelhead Company Road and heli access to some of Cook Inlet's best steelheading.

Duncan's Kodiak Camp Remote wilderness camp on the banks of a small river filled with steelhead. phone

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SINCE 1978

Alaska

We’ve been pointing the way to the great fishing in our th state

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Put our experts to work for you! If, after what happened to travelers at the onset of this recent pandemic, you still don’t think having an agent who has got your back is important, just ask the DIY guy who didn’t have anyone in their corner to help with the cancellations, lodges, airlines, and insurance, how it worked out. Then give us a call. A F T E R D O Z E N S O F V I S I T S to Alaska,

most “experts” realize they’re not experts at all. The Sourdough State is larger than Texas, Montana, and California combined. Each successive visit will drive that point home, giving one an ever-increasing appreciation for how huge the state is, how much there is to learn, and what a nearly impossible and elusive task it would be to actually achieve “expert” status. Still, the travel staff at The Fly Shop® has owned Alaska lodges, collectively guided there for more than 30 seasons, and our company has outfitted tens of thousands of fly fishermen for their trips north.

So, it’s fair to say The Fly Shop® has spent as much or more time dedicated to Alaska’s fly fishing as anyone in the world of angling travel. And it’s not unreasonable to lay claim to being closer to that elusive expert status than anyone else in the business.

There are hundreds of Alaska fly fishing operations and all of them will tell you their lodge or camp is absolutely the best. Obviously, only one can be right. The Fly Shop® travel team is, arguably, the most experienced angling travel firm in the business and knows what the “best” in Alaska is all about. We’ve been nearly everywhere in the our 49th State and that wealth of knowledge translates into a very firm grasp of the top trout and salmon fishing opportunities in Alaska and a degree of objectivity that travelling anglers won’t find elsewhere. We know what we’re talking about. We’ve been our clients’ advocate for the last 43 years. And if, after what happened to travelers at the onset of this recent pandemic, you don’t think having an agent that’s got your back is important, just ask the DIY guys who didn’t have anyone in their corner how well that worked out. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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Our experienced team has been working every day since 1978 with anglers from all walks of life to build terrific trips that fit their budgets and their interests. We know that accurate representation of Alaska fly fishing requires more than a few visits to a few lodges or camps. We’ve spent years of our lives building a tremendous wealth of experience. With that help and the benefit of that experience and objectivity, anyone choosing an Alaska fishing lodge or camp will have a better understanding of the differences between these places and end up with a better trip. The Fly Shop® travel team is the recognized authority on Alaska fly fishing. We’ve got a terrific portfolio of lodges, camps, and float trips, with something for everyone. The destinations we know intimately and represent honestly include a wonderful cross-section of Alaskan fishing geography, cover a wide assortment of angling interests and a broad range of price options. As the President says, “Here’s the deal:” Our help doesn’t cost an extra dime. In fact, none of the lodges or angling The Fly Shop® offers can be found anywhere else in the world for a cent less. It only makes sense to put our experts, and our expertise to work for you. We’ll help you choose the right place, select the right time to be there, make sure you are outfitted with exactly the right tackle and flies, and are wearing the right stuff. Mike Mercer Travel Destination Specialist

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Alaska

Well-timed trips can combine trout fishing and peak salmon action. Veteran fly rodders rate silvers, kings and (fresh) chums as very worthy opponents, and usually turn up their noses at pinks. Sockeyes are usually the first salmon to arrive. They’re the most prolific of Alaska salmonids and their numbers are legend. Because their spawn and carcasses provide most of that biomass for trout, char, and other foraging fish, and because the bear population is largely dependent on their presence, the importance of sockeyes can’t be overstated. But they’re filter-feeders, and not sportfish. Alaska is a huge and complicated state. There are places in Alaska that have few or no trout, yet where the salmon are thick, and other spots where the reverse is true. Our calendar is an excellent guide, but understand salmon don’t arrive in their natal streams and rivers at the same moment on all parts of the map. Some weeks of the short, Alaskan summer are better for trophy trout in some areas of the state, while other weeks or different rivers may offer more action and smaller fish. By the way – “smaller” fish in this part of the world are defined as two to five pounders.

Sportfishing in “the land of the midnight sun” begins in June and continues thru October. Only nineteen weeks separate the first salmon and rainbow trout from the last fall steelhead V I S I T I N G A N G L E R S quickly figure out most Alaska fishing is dependent on salmon runs. That doesn’t mean all fishing is for salmon, only that availability of trout, char, and grayling orbit around the season-long parade of salmon, and strength of their populations. Trophy rainbows are most often found in river systems that drain from or into lakes. Fish that “winter over” in rivers face a harsh life and have a relatively slow growth rate compared to trout that find winter sanctuary in Alaska’s many lakes. Like the bears, these “lake run” rainbows then trail the salmon to their spawning grounds and, as the summer continues, feast on spawn, decomposing salmon flesh, and put on the pounds. This is Alaska trout fishing at its best.

A L A S K A

F LY JUNE

K i ng S a l mo n Silvers C hu ms Pinks Rainbows Tro p hy R a i n b o w s Char G ra y l i ng P i ke S t e e l he a d

PRESENT

F IS H I N G J U LY

C A L E N DA R AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

• • • • •• • • •                • • • • • • • • •                         •  •  •  •                                  •  •  •  •   •  •   •   •  •  • • • • • • • • • • • • •                                                   •  •  •  •  •  • •   •  •  •  •  •  •  • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • • • • • • • • • • • • •    •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • • • • • • • • • • • • •                                                 • • • • •  • EXCELLENT NUMBERS • PEAK WEEK

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Alaska

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Riverside Camps

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Before Alaska produced half a million barrels of oil every day, and before industrial-scale cruises and mega-tourism, the state was a quiet frontier that drew the rapt attention of the hardest-core fishermen. Until the mid-1980’s the goal of most prototypical Alaskan fishing trips was to dig as deep as you could into your wallet, pay a pilot to get you as far from civilization as possible, set up a tent on a river, fish hard all day, and return home with a sore arm and lots of stories. T H E F I S H I N G I N A L A S K A hasn’t changed much since those days, but the camp experience has gradually been replaced by upscale lodges with daily float plane shuttles to distant streams, and prices that go hand-in-hand with those expensive options. What few isolated streamside camps and lodges remain are a reminder of the golden age of frontier fly fishing, where everything, including anglers must either be brought in by float plane or barge. High-tech equipment and improvements have exponentially raised the level of comfort. Contemporary camps and streamside lodges now enjoy lights, quiet generators, solar panels, propane heated showers, and can be called camping only by the loosest application of the term.

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The few riverside camps remaining that are permitted in Alaska’s state and federal parklands now feature enviro-friendly tents, ecokitchens, sanitation facilities and all the amenities. These fishing outposts are rapidly being replaced by luxury lodges outside the parklands and chased into history by wilderness legislation. Yet there are leaseholdings and pre-park patented lands where a spectacular wilderness and a fish-til-you-drop atmosphere still accompany home-cooked meals, enthusiastic guides, and still embody the bush camp experience. Camp operations usually don’t offer daily fly outs. They rely, instead, on a quality local fishery. Their on-the-water locations often allow more fishing time each day, require less concern about weather or flying conditions, and cater to more self-reliant anglers. Accessed only by bush plane, these remote wilderness camps are usually a small intimate affair, offering a season long tug-of-war with salmon, char, rainbows, or grayling. Anglers depend on jetboats to get to nearby, red-hot fishing in rivers and small tributaries that are all but impossible to reach any other way. These are places where you don’t have to worry about getting to your favorite beat and finding someone else wading in the center of it. The river is usually just beyond the threshold or a short cast from outside the flap of the tent, and the dawn ‘til dusk fishing is limited only by your enthusiasm and stamina. s

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ALASKA’S TOP RIVER CAMPS

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aniak river camp This terrific tent camp is a taste of “Old Alaska” and is reminiscent of when we began fishing there in the 70’s. The Aniak is located in the middle of nowhere in a state with lots of nowhere, and you are all but guaranteed to have plenty of Alaska to yourself. The Aniak experience goes beyond great angling and is punctuated daily by a procession of wildlife and bird viewing that’s hard to equal. Guests have every day jet-boat access to what seems like endless miles of solitary fishing in a classic river with side channels and tributaries that are absolutely stuffed with rainbows, Dolly Varden, grayling, and silver salmon. The remote Aniak offers guests what is possibly the best mousing for rainbows in all of Alaska! Add sheefish to the list of targets and you’ll find few other Alaska destinations with as much angling variety. Sometimes all at once. s 7 night/6 day package $6,495 duncan & sons Personalized attention to small groups of travelling anglers has been the hallmark of the Duncan family for decades. This tribe of angling pioneers has established a first-class menu of true wilderness float trips and a choice of two classic Alaskan bush camps, along with a season-long pageant of terrific rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and salmon fishing on the famous Chosen River. The Duncan’s were among the first to guide clients on this incredible fishery back in the 70’s, and their Upper Camp with its exclusive Togiak National Wildlife Refuge access and phenomenal mousing for rainbows is perfectly accented by the Lower Camp’s immediate access to ocean-bright kings and silvers. The Duncans are justifiably famous for superb guides, amazing camp food, jet sleds specially renovated for rowing and running the shallow runs and riffles of the river, and camps that stretch the definition of camping with hot showers, flush toilets and comfortable bunks. s Duncan Upper Camp 7 night/6 day packages $5,900 s Duncan Lower Camp 7 night/6 day packages $5,800 s Duncan Chosen River Float Trip 7 night/6 day packages $5,700

Mike Mercer photo

Camille Egdorf photo

egdorf’s nushagak river camp The Upper Nushagak is one of the top trout fishing river systems in our 49th state; an experience shared only by the others in camp, moose, bears, and a million rainbow trout. This is Alaska the way it used to be. An isolated tent camp, reached only by float plane, with cozy tent cabins, fine food, and non-stop fishing right outside the door. Though remote, little is sacrificed in the way of the camp’s creature comforts. Fly fishermen head out at their leisure with expert guides each morning after a hearty breakfast, for as much fishing as they can handle. Nearly every inch of the Nushagak for thirty miles in each direction is fishable and the trout-savvy guides in this camp rate among the best in Alaska. s 7 night/6 day package $6,595 alaska west This is the gold standard of hardcore trout, king, and silver salmon camps. Their expert, veteran guides and all-day access to the magnificent Kanektok River fishery have made this camp world famous. It’s a wonderful place that prides itself on constant improvement. Many Alaska West clients return season after season. Vacancies are uncommon and we strongly recommend that interested anglers begin making their plans at least a full year in advance. s 7 night/6 day package $6,595 goodnews river lodge This has been regarded as the ultimate, classic Alaskan king, silver, and chum, and rainbow camp for four decades. The Goodnews is one of the few rivers where superb king or silver salmon fishing coincides with terrific rainbow trout action, and where there are more Dolly Varden and grayling than there are mosquitoes. The river is remote, even in Alaska, flowing directly into the Bering Sea at a point nearly as far north as rainbows are known to be found. This is a super-popular package that includes the round trip charter flight between Anchorage and the lodge, and the Native Land Use fee. s 7 night/6 day package $7,550 - $8,950 w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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Alaska

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Riverside Lodges

The Fly Shop® is fortunate to represent several traditional Alaska lodges with near-unlimited access to great trout fishing that is right out their front doors. Guests enjoy angling that isn’t limited by the weather or a meal schedule, but rather how much energy they can muster during the long summer days in the land of the midnight sun. Mark Lance photo

big ku on the kukaklek Big Ku Lodge is an intimate, remote, no-frills operation that offers small groups of serious anglers the ultimate hub from which to fish the Little Ku, Battle River, the Moraine, and 8 miles of the home river before it funnels into near-impenetrable rapids. It’s the only lodge on the Kukaklek Lake shoreline and is able to access these remarkable systems by jet boat, irrespective of weather restraints that might hamper the region’s aircraft-based operations. Without daily reliance on expensive aircraft, the cost of a week at Big Ku is less than similar operations elsewhere in the Bristol Bay region.

The Big Ku package is a great value that offers a number of exciting daily options. It all starts with a speedy round trip, charter flight in a comfortable, amphibious, Cessna Grand Caravan. There’s no wasted time with connections or airport security, and guests arrive on the riverbank below the lodge only 90 minutes after leaving Lake Hood in Anchorage. After introductions and a brief orientation, anglers are encouraged to stow their gear quickly, rig their tackle, and test their skills on the nearby beats and trophy-sized trout of the Kukaklek River.

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Home water for guests at Big Ku is the fabulous Kukaklek River. The panoramic view from the living room window overlooks the river’s nearby nexus with Kukaklek Lake where tens of thousands of sockeye salmon pause briefly before moving into lake tributaries and picture-perfect tributary spawning beds. The fishing begins just a stone’s throw from the lodge’s riverside porch where the Kukaklek is broad, shallow, and easily wadeable. Single-handed rods are the rule in most of Alaska, but this stretch of river is an exception where spey or switch rod addicts can very effectively exercise their longer rods. Each morning, accompanied by a team of talented, fly-savvy guides, and using the lodge’s swift, modern, fleet of jet boats, Big Ku anglers target their choice of four of Alaska’s finest rainbow trout fisheries. The usual focus is on the eight fishladen miles of the Kukaklek between the lake and a series of dangerous, class IV rapids. It is bordered by native land leased by Big Ku, and there’s little outside competition. The rest of the menu includes the Little Ku, Battle River, and Moraine. It is a star-studded roster of the most popular fly out destinations in the Katmai watershed, and only Big Ku is capable of reaching these Nonvianuk Lake tributaries by jet boat and without using a float plane. Big Ku packages include the scenic, round trip charter flight from Anchorage to the lodge. Guests may opt to add an economical day of fly out fishing to one of more than a dozen famous nearby rivers and streams in advance, or (depending on availability) arrange a day of float plane use during their stay. s 7 night/6 days $7,650 June 12 - July 24 s 7 night/6 days 8,350 July 24 - September 25 Packages include group round trip charter from Anchorage

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copper river lodge The procession of large rainbow trout that follow migrating sockeyes into the shallow, crystal clear Copper each summer resulted in the river being the first in our 49th State to be designated as a “Trophy Trout Fishery” and the first declared catch-and-release only. Fifty years later, it remains one of the top rainbow fisheries in the state and is, arguably, the Iliamna Lake region’s most beautiful river. Copper River Lodge offers its guests an over-the-top combination of early dry fly fishing, late season trophy trout fishing, terrific guides, great equipment, and a wonderful streamside location that doesn’t require the use of float planes or weather-dependent transportation. The operation is owned by the Vermillion family, one of our sport’s most highly respected lodge management teams. Their guides, at both Copper River and Royal Coachman Lodge, are second to none in Alaska, as is the level of service, and commitment to excellence that has been their hallmark for decades. Copper River Lodge caters to only six anglers each week. It is extremely popular, and many of the guests return year after year. Space is very limited. s 6 night/6 day package $6,300 with optional fly outs.

The Top Alaska Float Trips The ninety-mile long Kanektok is a wilderness float that, even by Alaska standards, is in a class all by itself the kanektok is famous for wild-ass, big-bodied rainbows with so many spots (even on their lips) they’re call Leopard Trout, and all five Pacific salmon species call the Kanektok home. But what sets this river apart from the rest of a truly great crowd of fisheries is the quality of that trout fishing in combination with all those chrome-bright silvers or monster kings (and a phenomenal population of Dolly Varden and grayling). The river shines with fish in every category.

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Floating the Kanektok is an intimate wilderness experience that encapsulates what most folks think of as the real Alaska.The weeklong trips are front row seats to a streamside parade of birds and Alaska wildlife. The floats begin in the river’s headwaters and pass quietly through scenery that is spectacular. The fishing, as fantastic as it is, occasionally plays second fiddle to the everyday spectacle of nature and the menagerie of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. The Fly Shop is fortunate to represent the few licensed operators the State of Alaska allows on the river – restrictions that help ensure every inch, every mile, and every day of floating on the Kanektok is a near-solitary event. Every facet of these float trips is first class. s Duncan & Sons, Chosen River Float Trip 7 day/6 night packages $5,700 s Trotter’s Wilderness Float Trip 7 day/6 night packages $6,175

Dates for all the 2021 Kanektok River float trips are fully subscribed, but we are now accepting advance reservations for 2022 and 2023.

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Encounters of the Furred Kind Bears flourish in Alaska, Canada and Russia, and whether you see them or not, you’re never very far from one. Understanding them a little will help prepare you for how to act on your first date together. B R O W N B E A R S are the coastal form of the Grizzly (Ursus arctos). For all

practical purposes, whether in Alaska, Canada, or the Russian Kamchatka, they are the same critter. They are curious, intelligent and potentially dangerous animals. People have always believed that bear behavior is unpredictable. But biologists and knowledgeable bear experts disagree. Bears have reasons for doing things. It is only our lack of understanding that makes their behavior seem unpredictable. Learning how to act when they’re around is the key to enjoying outdoor experiences safely. Most bears in Alaska have been habituated to fishermen and other humans. Still, they tend to be wary of us and will do their best to avoid people. Bears of the Russian Kamchatka and Canada behave entirely different from those anglers usually run across in Alaska. The Canadian models are hunted heavily. Though they are often sighted along rivers, the encounter is usually very brief, and they try to stay as far away as is bruinly possible.

Kamchatka bear sightings on the river are very common and fall into two categories. Bears that have been hunted usually run like hell, but those that have never seen a human show no fear and can be quite dangerous. The same is true on rivers outside the Alaskan National Parks, where natives use bears for target practice. There, the most common part of a bear that you’ll see is its ass as it heads for cover. Other dangerous exceptions are the encounters with a protective mother bear around curious, slow-moving cubs, or when the furry creatures have become “food-conditioned” and learned to associate humans with hand-outs. Virtually all the problem bears in North America fall into the last category. Knowledge of bear behavior will help a person in the unlikely event of a violent confrontation. If you spot a bear and it eyes you intently, don’t panic. The animal is just surveying the situation. Once a bear realizes what sort of a creature it has encountered, it usually moves off. If it doesn’t, you should know how to behave.

Though anglers and photographers sometimes act incredibly stupid around bears, there was not one bruin-related death at Brooks River in Katmai National Park during the 20th century!

Ron Squiibb/Brown Bear s of Brooks River photo

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How to

Behave in Bear Country . . .

Bears don’t like surprises. If you are hiking or fishing in bear country, make your presence known. Sing, talk loudly, or tie a bell to your vest or pack. If you can’t whistle, use one. And, if you think all of that is dumb, think again.

Avoid thick brush. And if you can, try to walk with the wind at your back. Your scent will warn bears of your presence. Contrary to popular belief, bears can see as well as most people. But they trust their noses far more than their eyes and ears.

Stay alert and use common sense and good judgement to avoid conflicts with bears. Don’t crowd bears. Give them plenty of room. Most bears, like people, have a sense of personal space, a “comfort zone” within which they feel threatened. Generally, bears are only interested in protecting their food or their cubs. If you are on the same side, cross the stream, if possible. Once they no longer feel threatened, they’ll move on.

Act human. You are one of the few items they seem to understand is not on their diet. Stand tall, talk and do what you can to help the bear recognize you. A standing bear is usually just curious, not threatening. It’s raised up to get a better view or smell. Don’t run! You can’t outrun a bear. They can beat a horse or the fastest athlete, and like dogs, they will chase a fleeing animal. If the bear moves towards you, retreat diagonally at a walk. Wave your arms slowly and talk loudly. Blow a whistle and make some noise. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high pitched squeal. If you still feel threatened as you back off, you might drop a piece of clothing to further alert the animal that you are human.

In the unlikely event that you are attacked, fall to the ground. Lie still on your stomach, or curl up in a ball with your hands behind your neck and remain motionless for as long as possible. If you were to move, the bear may renew its attack. This might be a good time for a short prayer. Typically, a bear will break off once a perceived threat is gone.

Bear Facts . . . ▲ Male bears are called boars, females are sows, and youngsters are cubs. ▲ The oldest known Alaska brown bear was a 39-year old sow.

The oldest known boar in the wild was 27. The oldest brown bear in captivity lived to be 35 (St. Petersburg Zoo). ▲ Kodiak bears are the largest in the world; over 10´ tall standing on their hind

legs, and 5´ when on all four legs. Boars can weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Sows are 20% smaller and 30% lighter than males. Brown bears in the wild live about 20-25 years. Most die much younger. ▲ Kamchatka has the world’s largest population of brown bears. ▲ Typical bear litters are 2-3 cubs. Sows are occasionally seen with 5 or 6 cubs

in tow, and have been known to adopt other cubs. ▲ Mating season is usually during the months of May and June. ▲ Most cubs stay with their mothers for 3 years. 25% of the cubs die before

that third birthday. Their major cause of death is being eaten by adult males. ▲ In Alaska, from 1900 to 1985, only 20 people were killed by bears. ▲ From 2000 to 2017 there were 66 brown bear attacks and 8 fatalities. ▲ 19 Alaskans were killed from 1975 to 1985 by domestic dogs ▲ Bears with cubs or adolescent bears that are 3 to 5 years old are the ones

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Alaska’s Finest

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Alaska from the Air Having a float plane to get to trout in remote rivers is the ultimate Alaska experience!

A N G L E R S P L A N N I N G a visit to a fly-out lodge in Alaska have more to look forward to than just a memorable fishing vacation. Each morning of the week, the float plane lift-off exposes the full glory of Alaska, transporting anglers into a magical aerial world. The elevation during the flight to the fishing grounds is kept intentionally low to allow passengers a chance to see more of wild Alaska than is imaginable. These scenic flights to distant rivers often pass over moose, bear, caribou and wolves. Anticipation builds along the way as they pass over land and scenery leaving everyone breathless, until they’re dropped off in water full of char, salmon and wild-ass rainbows. Bush planes offer fishermen access to rivers and streams beyond the horizon and often out of reach by boats. These aerial angling taxis change the dynamics of a fishing trip dramatically and translate into more fishing opportunities and diversity. Of course, the more distant the final destination is from civilization and the more time spent in the air during the week, the higher the price tag is going to be. Many small Alaska streams are too shallow, far too narrow, and would be dangerous to land a plane on, but there are over 3 million lakes in Alaska and quite a few deep rivers, bays, and waterways. The fly-out lodges in the 49th state use this massive network of aqua-landing strips to spot their guests on the top trout and salmon streams in the region.

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B r i a n O ’ Ke e f e p h o t o

An Alaska fly-out lodge is a spectacular slice of life. It is an incredible angling epic. One of the great parts of each day’s fishing is more than the arrival, or a constantly tight line. It’s the journey.

The talented, expert bush pilots based at fly-out lodges monitor hundreds of miles of rivers, flying to the best each morning. They’ll sometimes guide clients to more than one river in a single day, and are instructed to bring guests back at the end of every day tired of catching fish. The top targets change with the calendar as a summer parade of salmon and trout peak in each of the different drainages, and it’s great to be able to take advantage of the best of the nearby opportunities with winged transportation. Even flying into a remote camp or lodge where anglers use jet boats will improve an Alaska fishing trip immensely. The round trip range of most float planes is about a hundred miles. Draw a circle that distance around the region you’re interested in fishing, choose a lodge in your price range near a hub like Iliamna, Igiugig, King Salmon, Dillingham or Bethel, and with a float plane you’ll have access to every action-packed stream, river, rainbow and salmon inside that ring. Depending on how many planes are available, the group size, and their daily destinations, pilots either stay with their fishermen, or leave them in the hands of expert guides, returning at the end of the day to pick up their fish-weary passengers and hustle them back to a cozy fire, cold cocktails and a warm lodge. Be prepared for the price tag. The float plane experience is an incredible one. They’re expensive, and worth every cent.


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ALASKA’S TOP FLY OUT LODGES royal wolf lodge’s wilderness location in the heart of Katmai National Preserve puts this place in a league of its own. Their pilots have a tremendous daily advantage with specialized HelioCourier float-equipped planes (capable of short take-offs and landings) “that can land on a fencepost” and are able to target hard-to-reach spots that are considered beyond the grasp of other more commonly used aircraft. This top-tier lodge location is second to none, and from their riverside lodge on the Nonvianuk River, deep in Katmai National Preserve, they’re not only within quick and easy range of the most famous trout streams in Alaska, their planes are often en route to the fishing before fog-bound Iliamna and King Salmon lodges have warmed their engines. The lodge has a time-tested and well-earned reputation for excellence. Their guides rate as among the best in the business and, with their specialized aircraft, serve up a steady diet of great fishing. Royal Wolf guests enjoy deluxe cabin accommodations and a magnificent panoramic view from the lodge’s cocktail area and popular social center. The kitchen is renowned for serving up four-star food to guests who return to the lodge each day exhausted from battling rainbow trout. s 7 night/6 day package June 8th - October15th, 2021 $9,250 - $11,650 The rates include the round trip transfer flight between Anchorage and the lodge! bear trail lodge has one of the most unique fly out menus in the Alaska sport fishing business. From their centrally located King Salmon base, Nanci Morris and her staff have ready winged access to all the major trophy trout targets in both Katmai and the Iliamna basin, as well as the lightly-fished rainbow and char streams of the Becharof region, and even to the famous silver rivers down the Alaskan Peninsula. There’s no down time at Bear Tail Lodge. The Naknek River, home to some of the largest rainbow trout in the state is only a short cast from the dining room table. s 4 night/4 day fishing package $7,510 s 5 night/5 day fishing package $9,175 s 6 night/6 day fishing package 10,575 s 7 night/7 day package 11,475 Packages begin and end in Anchorage, and the lodge provides any gear necessary including quality waders, boots, fly rods, reels, leaders, and all the necessary flies.

Abe Blair photo

rapids camp lodge uses two de Havilland Beavers and an Otter on amphib floats to transfer their guests to the finest of their regional streams and rivers. These are spots stuffed with rainbows, Dolly Varden, char, and seasonal salmon that can’t easily be reached any other way. Some of it sees only a few anglers each year. Daily destinations are matched to the anglers’ interests and the squadron of float planes and a talented team of expert Rapids Camp guides combine to make certain guests are far beyond the crowds, and with a constant bend in their rod. The main guest lodge has a panoramic view of the magnificent Naknek (Alaska’s most famous trophy trout river). Each morning the pilots are given instructions to bring everyone back safely, dog-tired of catching fish, and ready to sit down at the terrific indoor watering hole for hors d’oeuvres and an evening cocktail hour accented by private label wines and craft beers. Fine dinners accent each wonderful day, and the Rapids Camp kitchen is as expert as the rest of the staff, serving sumptuous meals that are beyond excellent followed by incredible desserts. In fact, no expense is spared at Rapids Camp Lodge to insure that their guests’ angling holiday is all that it can be. Accommodations at Rapids Camp Lodge are first-class in every respect. Each of the ten weekly angling guests enjoy private accommodations complete with private bathrooms, and a million-dollar view. Personal service is the name of the game here and with an excellent staff/guest ratio, assuring everyone of getting all the attention they want. The entire Rapids Camp experience has few equals in Alaska. s 7 night/6 day fishing package $11,495 s Shorter stays are available

Royal Wolf Lodge on the shore of the Nonvianuk River. Private cabins, specialized aircraft, superb guides, and one of the most deluxe, fly-out lodges in our 49th state. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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Alaska’s

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Alaska’s Top Fly Out Lodges

Finest

Pilots will often land on a nearby puddle of water and both anglers and a guide will hike to the stream. Their short flight from the lodge would have taken days or been impossible, on foot.

photos cour tesy of Rapids Camp, Western Alaska Spor tfishing, and Royal Wolf Lodge

F L Y - O U T L O D G E S U S E fixed-wing planes that usually have floats

instead of wheels. The most common models are DeHavilland Beavers and Cessnas. Both have high wings attached to the upper fuselage and are ideal for float modification. Like all planes, they’re expensive to operate. The fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs for these airborne fishing taxis are exorbitant by any standard and help explain the prices charged by all the fly out lodges. Each morning of the week, lift-off exposes the full glory of Alaska, transporting anglers into a magical aerial world. The elevation is kept intentionally low to allow passengers the chance to see more of wild Alaska than is imaginable and the scenic flights to the fishing grounds often pass over moose, bear, caribou and wolves. Palpable anticipation builds along the way. Bush pilots used to fly clients around for a while, attempting to disorient them before dropping into their “secret” rivers or streams. For years they’d change what they called these spots in an attempt to preserve their anonymity. Now the parks limit access permits in order to preserve both the wilderness and ensure the quality of the experience. Native communities often license exclusive use of whole river systems and for some it isn’t what it used to be. It’s better! As the pilot tilts the wings to circle in and drop for a landing, it’s common and easy to see schools of trout and salmon in the water below. After the plane lands, anglers anxiously disembark, tackle is assembled, and the guide will lead the way over a short tundra trail to the river. Everywhere you look spawning salmon splash, and behind them you see the long, dark shapes of trout. It’s going to be a good day.

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rainbow king lodge on lake iliamna sits at the epicenter of some of the greatest rainbow trout fishing streams and rivers in the world, and with its fleet of float-equipped aircraft can spot its guests on most of them in less than half an hour from the breakfast table. With two de Havilland Beavers, and a turbine Otter at their disposal, the pilots at Rainbow King are within easy range of more than a dozen different trout-filled rivers, and close enough to saltwater to be able to access several short coastal streams that are loaded with more silver salmon than can be imagined. Over 30 boats are stashed on a variety of rivers and streams around the area, adding to the lodge’s mobility, flexibility, and access to seldom fished, leased waters. Comfortable rooms, first-class service and lots of options. s 6 night/6 day $9,250 and includes all fishing gear (except waders) and flies email:

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royal coachman lodge has a riverside lodge location that’s dead-center in the 49th state’s most scenic and least crowded trout and salmon water. The setting is second to none in Alaska and guests enjoy superb after-hours fishing right out the front door on the fabulous Nuyakuk River. The lodge has two float planes, and from their base in the heart of Wood-Tikchik Park they are only a short flight from half a dozen other, equally spectacular rivers. Royal Coachman has a well-deserved, five-star reputation for expert guides that are also second to none in Alaska and each week is highlighted with exceptional cuisine, a great staff, and private accommodations for each two guests. This is a top-tier destination with an angling menu that encapsulates the best of the Alaska fly-out experience. It meets all the expectations of the most demanding angling travelers and testimony to it’s excellence is its popularity. Most guests return year after year and space is very limited. s 7 night/6 day fishing package $10,050. talaheim lodge is a unique fly out lodge, even in Alaska! Their pilots use helicopters to get their angling guests to some of the most seldom-seen fly fishing in streams in Alaska. These are small streams that nobody else ever sees! The rainbows aren’t giants in this part of the 49th State, but the spectacular scenery and true wilderness experience puts this lodge in a class completely by itself. The lucky folks fishing with Talaheim enjoy a spectacular combination of unforgettable angling on the Talachulitna, (their home water), and some fabulous flyout fishing in near-rivers and small streams that are accessible only by Talaheim’s specialized aircraft. Talaheim is the easiest, top-tier lodge in Alaska to get to. The fly fishing adventure begins after a 35-minute flight from Anchorage (included in the package). s 6 night/7 day package $8,600 w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m s

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Alaska Salmon Lodges

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Kings & Silvers

Fireweed signals the arrival of salmon in Alaska’s rivers, and there are few thrills in our 49th state that compare to challenging a supercharged King salmon or a red-hot silver that‘s just arrived from the ocean. These salt-fresh fish are loaded with fat, muscle, and energy. They also bring a bad attitude, are primed for battle, and itching for a fight.

W H E N T H O S E salmonids get their first taste of fresh water their osmotic balance goes haywire. They stop eating. Their stomach begins to disintegrate (to make room for developing eggs and sperm) and they’re as power-packed, and as strong as they’ll ever be in their short life span. They’re ready. Fortunately for fishermen, the arrival of the Chums, Kings, Sockeyes, and Silvers is incredibly predictable, and so reliable that many of the Inuits (the indigenous peoples of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland) actually set their oral calendar by the arrival of the different salmon species and gave names to the annual return date of each run. The timing of those runs is uniformly related to latitude, but can vary considerably from fishery to fishery. So, it’s critical to research your destinations and plan your trip to coincide with the escapement in the river you’re considering. Most salmon species travel an average of 150 miles from the sea to reach their spawning grounds, and every inch of the journey represents a loss of energy. It makes sense then, that the nearer these Pacific immigrants are caught to the ocean border, the brighter, stronger, and more powerful they’re going to be. They call Chinook salmon “Kings” for a reason. They show up incredibly strong, but ripen quickly once they hit fresh water and the peak of their run in any given watershed is only about a month or six weeks at the outside. The Coho arrival is usually staggered, fresh fish often come in on every tide for up to two months, and the window of opportunity is a bit wider with silvers than with kings. So, it’s critical to plan your trip to coincide with the escapement in the river you’re considering. The Alaska rivers with the best runs of kings and silvers are not necessarily the best for fly fishing except in the shallow water near their headwaters and in their tributaries. The directory of salmon rivers custom-crafted by Mother Nature for fly fishermen isn’t long. The best of them run relatively clear and shallow, where fly rodders don’t have to resort to using super fast sinking fly lines and ultraheavy outfits to get their fly in front of the fish. It’s an even smaller list of the isolated locations where productive fly fishing can be enjoyed in privacy. Pound for pound, Silvers (Coho) are the best fighting fish in Alaskan fresh water and rate as the most aggressive and fly-friendly of the five Pacific salmon. It’s more common than unusual to hook and land dozens of Silvers in a day.

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Silver salmon first announce their presence in most Alaska rivers and streams late in the summer. Their run doesn’t overlap with the King season at all. The best silver fishing starts in August and (in some places) continues through late September. Action lasts a little later on Kodiak Island and farther down the Alaska Peninsula than the Kenai rivers or in coastal mainland watersheds. An average Coho will tip the scales at about nine pounds and a trophy weighs in the high teens. World-class silver salmon are considered to weigh over twenty pounds and there are lots of them landed every season. That usually translates into hundreds of pounds of striking, fighting, pulling, jumping salmon each day! Chums, Kings, Silvers, and Sockeyes nearly always cohabit with significant numbers of Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, and rainbow trout. However, even in the fish factory called Alaska, it’s unusual to find significant numbers of fresh kings or silvers and large numbers of rainbow trout in the same river. i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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If you are searching for a great trip to Alaska, you should gather information on all the lodges in the part of the 50th state you are considering, with the features you’re after, and in a price range that fits your wallet. Too, it’s critical to get references from experienced fly rodders who have been there, and whose opinion you know you can trust. Dig deep, and find the best possible time to be there, and then focus on getting those dates. Either that, or give our expert travel staff a call at The Fly Shop® and relax, knowing you’ve got help making the best decision possible. We’ve already done the work, so you don’t have to!

Ian Majszak photo

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Alaska

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kings

the silver salmon experience

BURIED

A

D E E P in the lizard part of your

brain something registers that “This is the cast.” It is perhaps your fiftieth cast of the morning into the mist-shrouded river yet, despite a complete lack of action to this point, the way the line had laid out effortlessly and accurately, delivering the bright pink Intruder to within inches of the far cut bank; the well-timed mend to set the drift; the weight of the swing relaying the perfect tension to your finger…and then the sudden heaviness, followed by an alarmingly violent headshake, and you come tight. Seventy feet out in the gray morning light you glimpse an impossibly wide chrome girth wallow briefly on the surface, then turn downstream and begin to rip line at a frightening rate. You slog clumsily in pursuit, rod held high, heart pounding in disbelief at the size of the beast attached to your line. Twenty minutes later you hold the creature in the water, marveling at the sheer girth of the fish, the sea lice still embedded low on its massive flank, and the silver- purplish hues of a salmon fresh from the salt. Now you understand why they are called, simply, “Kings”.

Salmon Lodges

M E R E F I F T Y yards away the small river you are wading slides softly into the sandy-bottomed Bering Sea, and between that confluence and yourself something remarkable is taking place. Fins. Over an expanse the size of a 7-Eleven parking lot there are dozens, maybe hundreds of dorsal fins waving above the shallow pool. Silver salmon in staggering numbers, staged up, re-living the ancient pattern of transition between salty and fresh, resetting their bearings for the short journey ahead. Before casting you take a brief moment to take in the natural spectacle that surrounds you – sensing the looming mountains jutting abruptly into the sky at your back, hearing the screech of gulls hovering above this natural spectacle, tasting as much as smelling the tang of salty air. Your senses overwhelmed, exhilarated, you double haul the gaudy pink deer hair popper to the edge of the mass of fish, take three chugging retrieves and five waking salmon immediately zero in on the movement, closing on it like the chrome predatorst they are. The winner glides into the floating fly, its fleshy kype gaping above the surface in an almost comical take; you set the hook and fourteen pounds of angry, mint-bright, scale-shedding fury cartwheels across the surface. All around, the rest of the pool erupts, other salmon exploding in panic, shredding the pool in chaotic explosions. It is even better than you had ever imagined…


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THE BEST RIVERS IN THE ALASKA FOR

Kings &Silver Salmon

photo cour tesy of Ayakulik Out Camp

kodiak ayakulik outcamp Each summer phenomenal numbers of kings, silvers, and steelhead parade past this riverside tent camp on a remote, lake-fed, Kodiak Island river. The Ayakulik is a short fishery customtailored by Mother Nature for fly fishing. It runs clear and fishable in all but the worst of weather, is easily waded, and can be covered effortlessly with a single-handed fly rod. Guests will find great fishing just outside the tent flap and miles of salmon-stuffed river a short boat ride away with no competition on the river’s shallow riffles, pools, and runs. The State of Alaska strictly limits access to the upper Ayakulik, and this superb fish camp only accommodates six anglers each week. So, make your reservations early. s 7 night/6 day package $5,600 s Space is very limited hoodoo’s sapsuk river lodge The Sapsuk is shallow, clear, and chock full of aggressive Chinook in June and July. Then it’s stuffed wall-to-wall with silvers during August and September. The shallow runs and pools don’t require ultra-fast sinking lines and the river is narrow enough to fish with singlehanded rods yet broad enough to cover with powerful, double-handed outfits. This is a terrific lodge, with an optional fly-out. s 6 night/5 day King Salmon June/July fishing packages $8,050 s 7 night/6 day Silvers August/Sept. fishing packages 8,050 s Grand Slam Chum Salmon weeks (end of July and early August) $7,050 s Round-trip charter flights between Anchorage and the lodge are included hoodoo’s sandy river king salmon & steelhead lodge Plan years ahead if you’re interested, because this is, hands down, one of the finest king salmon and steelhead fisheries on the North American continent. The season is short on the Sandy. Space is very limited, and the action is out of this world. s 7 night/6 day package $8,850 (Includes round-trip Anchorage charter flight)

photos cour tesy of Hoodoo Lodge and Br ian Donaghy

hidden cove lodge This is hard-core silver salmon fishing at a no-frills lodge. The lodge is just a short flight from Cordova and jet-sleds are used every morning to position anglers on the fish-rich home river. It’s a short, shallow river with crystal clear visibility that makes it even more perfect for fly fishing. 10 to 12-pound Cohos by the thousands arrive in late-August and fishing is non-stop thru September. It’s easy to get to, affordable, and one of Alaska’s top salmon values. s 6 night/6 day package $4,250 w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

trotter’s baranof wilderness lodge is one of the most popular family fishing vacation lodges in the world. Inquire early about space at this Southeastern sportfishing Mecca because there’s something for everyone. The menu includes a mixed bag of salmon, char, and halibut fishing, whale watching, or lounging in the hot springs. The lodge and meals are superb and Baranof Lodge hosts both spin and fly fishermen. This is one of our recommended top spots for couples and families interested in an Alaska wilderness holiday. s 5 night/51⁄2 day package $6,350 s Space is very limited s

phone

800-669-3474

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Alaska’s

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ALASKA’S HOT NEW KING

Riverside Lodges

& SILVER

SALMON DESTINATION

Red Hot Aleutian Salmon Fishing Custom-tailored

for the fly fisherman, this remote operation on the Aleutian Peninsula offers wall-to-wall, dime-bright kings & silvers in shallow, fly rod friendly rivers.

We’re very proud to offer this exciting and exclusive addition to our portfolio of Signature Destinations available only through The Fly Shop® and our network of angling agents and professional fly shops.

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Lava Creek Lodge T H I S I S A C L A S S I C jet boat river camp and is rated by our staff as one of the top salmon fly fishing experiences in Alaska. Lava Creek Lodge is hundreds of miles from Anchorage and nearly half that distance from the relative angling congestion of Bristol Bay...It’s a small place, with cozy cabins that accommodate only eight fly fishermen each week near the shoreline of a remote King and Silver salmon river. Using a fleet of swift skiffs, anglers are out the door and on prime water within minutes each morning, testing tackle against a phenomenal population of bright King Salmon during June and July, and an unrelenting wave of Silver Salmon that arrive in August and September. If the weather permits, fly rodders may board a float plane destined for one of several other nearby rivers to face ocean-fresh salmon in numbers that often defy exaggeration. Both the home water and the fly out destinations are shallow, low gradient tundra fisheries and can be easily waded and navigated. Skiffs are used primarily for access, allowing anglers to reach and wade prime runs that are filled with fish. These short rivers are influenced by daily tidal pushes, and anglers can follow the fish as they shoulder upriver to pools where salmon are often stacked in the clear water like cordwood. With only eight anglers sharing the action, everyone at Lava Creek Lodge gets what amounts to daily “pick of the litter” and with no fishing competition there’s no rush to get to the best spots. Each two anglers share a cabin and are accompanied daily by skilled guides (well-schooled in fly fishing). There’s always plenty of individual attention, expert instruction, and no shortage of ocean-fresh, fish-filled water that is super-clear in all but the worst weather. Pat Pendergast, Mike Mercer and Ian Majszak photos Cour tesy of Lava Creek Lodge

Lava Creek has singled out several other exceptional, nearby, seldom-seen, salmon-rich rivers on the Aleutian Peninsula as daily fly-out targets. Often,half the guests head out each day in a float-equipped aircraft, while the remaining anglers are left up to their wading belts in home water action. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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the cozy cabins at Lava Creek Lodge are just a short distance from great salmon fishing. Accompanied by terrific, fly-fluent guides, and using jon boats, the guests are always on the water at the right time. Lava Creek Lodge has singled out several, exceptional, seldom-fished, regional rivers as bonus fly out targets. Their common denominator is spectacular numbers of Kings and Silvers. Headwater tributaries also have impressive populations of Dolly Varden and rainbows that serve as a welcome distraction from the almost constant salmon action.

Lava Creek Lodge has been completely vetted by our expert travel staff here at The Fly Shop®. We’re confident you will agree that the place is terrific. It’s an exciting combination of resident angling, exciting fly out destinations, good food, cozy accommodations, and fly-savvy guides. lava creek lodge s June/July King Salmon weeks $7,900 s August/September Silver weeks 7,900 s Mid-July to mid-Aug. “Grand Slam” 6,800 s 7 night/6 day packages begin and end on Sundays in Anchorage, and include everything but tackle, license, and alcohol. Each season fills entirely and we recommend that anglers inquire as early as possible.

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Alaska Lodges

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Alaska’s Steelhead Rivers are home to the world’s northernmost population of wild, native sea run rainbow trout

R E M N A N T S O F S U M M E R are nearly gone when the first Alaska steelhead begin to show up for their annual family reunion. All that’s left of the parade of salmon species that started in June are some Cohos, and most of them have a well-developed sun tan. The midnight sun has long since given way to noticeably shorter days, and by the time the September page of the calendar start to turn, there are few remaining trout fishermen. There’s a definite bite to the air that signals, for many of us, the arrival of the best of Alaska’s fly fishing seasons. In The Last Frontier, the best has been saved for last. Steelheading. Steelhead are found in relatively few of Alaska’s rivers. Surprisingly, they aren’t nearly as well-distributed in the Sourdough State as they are in Canada or the Pacific Northwest, where every watershed that flows into saltwater has (or had at one time) runs of both steelhead and salmon. With rare exception, the natal rivers that Alaska steelhead have chosen as their home base are short, unlike the giant systems of British Columbia. Often, they’re fed by lakes that collect mountain runoff and serve as settling basins, eventually discharging water that becomes tannic as it flows through miles of near-level tundra plain on the way to the sea. The adaptability of steelhead is on full display in Alaska, where these supercharged sea-run trout are found in clear, tannic, and glacial watersheds. These ultra-reliable fall steelhead destinations offer little chance of blowing out and putting a disappointing, premature punctuation to an expensive, wellplanned, angling holiday. They’re a rare exception to a high risk facet of our sport. THE

Ryan Peter sen photo

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In parts of Alaska, Mother Nature created just a few fly fishing phenomena that go beyond the trout and salmon fisheries that made our 49th state famous.Three or four centuries ago receding glaciers left behind picture-perfect, serpentine rivers with spawning habitat that’s ideal for redd-building salmonids. Unlike terraced rivers in other steeper terrain, these snake through almost featureless tundra prairies, where one shallow riffle and run follows another with only the occasional pool. Every inch of these rivers can, and often does, hold fish. And, as a bonus for anglers, they are exceptionally easy to wade, with veritable underwater gravel sidewalks that seldom have a boulder big enough to trip over. What most separates the few proven steelhead fisheries on Alaska’s Peninsula, the Kenai, Kodiak Island, and farther down the Aleutians from the rivers in the Pacific Northwest is their proximity to the salt. Most steelhead rivers in Alaska are less than 30 miles long, and their dime-bright, sea run trout arrive fresh at their final destination still covered with sea lice. Veteran fly fishermen revere them for their chrome armor and powerful personalities. T H E F L Y S H O P ® has been a vital part of Alaska fly fishing for nearly half a

century. Our staff has owned lodges and has guided there extensively since the late 1970’s. We helped explore of some of the State’s great trout and steelhead fisheries. That experience helped spark our interest in the giant rainbows in Kamchatka and eventually provided the stepping stone to our participation in the Kamchatka Steelhead Project. Put that experience to work for you.


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The best rivers in Alaska

to fish for Steelhead It’s a short list, with very limited availability.

H U M O N G O U S R U N S of all the Pacific salmon species found in rivers throughout Alaska are testimony to the argument those fisheries should also harbor steelhead. There’s a lot of conjecture, but scientists, ichthyologists, and anadromous fisheries biologists don’t seem to know or agree as to why steelhead don’t follow those tens of millions of Pacific salmon to their Alaskan river spawning beds in the same numbers they do elsewhere. But they don’t. There are, however lots of Alaska rivers with “trace” populations of steelhead, and even more Alaska rivers with “suspected” runs of fish that arrive long after trout and salmon fishermen have left the scene. There are just a few fully-vetted, time-tested Alaska steelhead rivers, guides, lodges, and camps. We work with most of them. The Fly Shop® team is intimately familiar with every one of these steelhead operations. We’ve been there and done all the homework, so you don’t have to.

THE

Rob “The Mayor” Toth photo

Better put those sunglasses back on. The glare from a dime-bright, Alaska steelhead can be blinding. the ayakulik steelhead outpost This cozy streamside tent camp is only a short cast from one of Kodiak’s finest and most famous steelhead rivers. The Ayakulik is a classic, 28-mile long river of cut-banks, pools, tail-outs, slick water, and shallow riffles. All of it’s easily waded, and the only way in or out is with a float plane. Guests enjoy swift, jet sled access to the best beats on the river and score routinely with brilliant, chrome fish averaging 8 pounds, and an occasional trophy twice that size. The warm Weatherport tent camp is as close to a wilderness motel as you’ll ever get and still have fabric walls. s 7 night/6 day package $5,600 Space is very limited

ALASKA’S TOP STEELHEAD RIVER Justin Miller photo

the alaska steelhead company Using an elite staff of fly-savvy guides, and a fleet of drift boats, Alaska Steelhead Company guests target three relatively isolated steelhead rivers that lie within easy striking distance of the stunning lodge on the Kenai Peninsula. Anglers return each evening to superb meals and excellent accommodations. Peak weeks begin in mid-September and first-class steelhead action continues through the end of October for turbo-charged, dime-bright fish fresh from the Pacific. s 6 night/6 day fishing packages include all the tackle and Kenai airport transfers $5,495 Longer stays and spectacular daily heli-fishing options are available. duncan’s kodiak wilderness steelhead camps The Duncan family helped pioneer wilderness steelhead fishing on Kodiak Island and now operate a very comfortable fixed camp on a short, shallow coastal stream few others can easily reach. Strong runs of ocean-fresh steelhead arrive in this small river from late August through late October. Early in the season, the chromers share the water with notoriously large Cohos, Alaska’s ever-present hyenas, (Dolly Varden & Char), and occasional rainbows. Kodiak steelhead range from 18 inches to over 20 pounds, and the number of daily hookups is legendary. Everything about these fish spells power, including the grab. This is walk-and-wade fishing at its best and it helps if anglers are in good shape. Because the river is small, no boats are used except to float guests out at the end of the week’s stay. This is a truly rewarding angling experience, best suited for physically fit fly fishermen. s 7 night/6 day Duncan Kodiak Steelhead Camp packages $5,900 plus airfare. w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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800-669-3474

hoodoo lodge on alaska’s sandy river Hoodoo’s lodge on the Sandy is considered isolated, even by Alaska standards and the only way to get to the Aleutian Peninsula river is by private charter. The river’s source is a lake that keeps the Sandy clear, shallow, and easily wadeable. With only a short run from the salt to their freshwater spawning grounds these oceanfresh fish are super-charged, aggressive, and full of fight. The ice-cold Sandy can be covered with a single-hand rod or a spey rod, using a sinking tip, or a floating line and long leader. In the fall, anglers often average between three and six wild steelhead hookups a day. The river is a steelheader’s dream come true with 15 river miles of riffles, pocket water, deep holes, classic runs, and tailouts full of red-hot fish. s 7 night, 6-day package $8,850 Space is very limited

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Wild Steelhead

in North America

It’s estimated that more than two-thirds of all North American steelhead and salmon once spawned south of Canada’s border and only six decades ago California, Oregon, and Washington were home to the majority of Pacific Steelhead. Today there are still some significant runs found on the Yankee side of the 49th parallel, but the very best of the wild steelhead fishing and the largest population of these majestic fish left in North America is found in British Columbia. I N L E S S T H A N A lifetime the populations and natural order of steelhead

migrations on the rivers south of the Canadian border has changed irreparably, and the fish that thousands of western anglers once pursued passionately each fall and winter have all but disappeared. The primary weapon of choice leading to their destruction was the concrete used to build the dams demanded by human settlement along these rivers to protect against damaging floods, provide hydroelectricity, and support industrial agriculture in areas that once were deserts. Federal, state and local agencies have funded and manufactured dams big and small, along with an interlocking network of channels, ditches, and drains to impound and divert stormwater to a level that has forever changed America’s Pacific coast landscape. The break in an annual spawning cycle that endured for thousands of years has been magnified by extensive groundwater pumping for thirsty farms and urbanites that reduced streamflow; bridge-and-highway infrastructure that ripped apart riparian ecosystems; and bulldozed sprawl that buried springs and and wetlands

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“What we’ve created is not landscape any steelhead could love,” and by the turn of the century populations of wild steelhead in the continental USA have, according to U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates, declined by upwards of 90%. What has worked for civilization has killed wild steelhead and to restore the historic anadromous steelhead (and salmon) runs would require reconstructing the conditions existing before development of cities, towns, and communities. That's not going to happen, in large part because very few of the dams (and the lakes and the reservoirs behind them) will ever be removed, and the hatcheries intended to make up for all those dams and habitat loss haven’t done the job. This reality has not stopped people from trying to revive the world the steelhead once knew. Optimistic grassroots organizations are buoyed by the passage of state and federal clean-water legislation, and encouraged by laws protecting endangered species and wild and scenic rivers. They’re attempting to protect what viable anadromous fisheries are left, and are pushing, suing, and working with governmental agencies to repair what earlier generations have screwed up. But a practical observation would indicate that it’s all going nowhere fast.

email:

i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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The steelhead battle

Canada Bound?

Though a great number of future steelhead battles are going to be fought in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Salem and Sacramento, this argument has very little to do with politics. It’s about the survival of a very special fish. S T E E L H E A D rivers traverse British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California,

much of Idaho, and Kamchatka (on the other side of the Pacific). Along with salmon, they are fundamental elements of our economy, our culture, our environment, and our identity. Fisheries biologists predict that all of America’s West Coast salmonids are in hot water. In fact one recent, ultra-reputable report concluded that, if current trends continue, 74% of all California’s remaining native salmon, steelhead and trout species are likely to be completely extinct in less than 100 years, and half will be gone in fifty. It isn’t a subject that can be casually dismissed by skeptics as scientific conjecture like global warming or climate change. This is the verifiable decimation of a very long list of salmonids that’s happened in the span of an average single lifetime. It’s never been more important than now for committed conservationists and anglers who care to do a couple of things: T H E F I R S T is to protect our own regional habitat by making a sort of environmental Hippocratic oath to do no (more) harm. T H E S E C O N D is to get behind your own favorite organization and support their efforts to protect what viable anadromous fisheries we have left in the continental United States, and, at the very least, ensure no (more) harm is done to those fisheries. Whether it’s CalTrout, Trout Unlimited, Oregon Trout, the Wild Salmon Center, The Conservation Angler or all of them. Put your money, muscle, and your membership behind the organizations that you feel best represent your interests and address your own conservation concerns. www.wildsalmoncenter.org www.caltrout.org www.theconservationangler.org www.troutunlimited.org www.savebristolbay.org www.wildsteelheaders.org www.nwsteelheaders.org www.nativefishsociety.org

“There’s one anadromous alarm bell after another going off! – Peter Moyle, Professor emeritus, UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation

Tuc ker English photo

I ’ M T H E G U Y H E R E at The Fly Shop® that they have answer most of the questions and e-mail about the steelhead fishing in Canada, Alaska, and Kamchatka. If you call about those spots, you’ll probably end up talking to me. I’ve been to every single river, camp, float trip and lodge, we represent in the world of steelhead. I’m the point man for the company on the Kamchatka Steelhead Project and The Fly Shop’s liason with the Moscow State University biologists, The Wild Salmon Center, and The Conservation Angler. Every summer for the past 13 years when the weather warms up in Redding, I’ve packed my bags, switched off my computer, and gone to work guiding in Kamchatka or Alaska, and visiting all the British Columbia steelhead lodges that are in The Fly Shop’s portfolio. It’s my job description and most of the time I love it. But this year on April Fool’s Day, I felt like one. Fifty-two years ago the United States of America put a man on the moon, and right now people can’t fly to Canada to go fishing. The place is shut down at the moment tighter than a tick on a dog’s butt. And though Prime Minister Trudeau and I share the same first name, I haven’t a clue what he’s going to do next, or when, with regard to opening Canada to foreign travelers. So, what’s my unvarnished advice on planning a Fall Canada steelhead trip? Competition for reservation space during peak weeks of the short season in British Columbia is always fierce, and opportunities are always in short supply at the top-tier steelhead lodges The Fly Shop® represents. This season might be a rare chance to cash in on a few cancellations, secure your reservation with a deposit-clad guarantee of a front row seat, and cross your fingers. If things work out, you’ll be targetting aggressive steelhead that haven’t had any real angling pressure since the 2019 season. The worst scenario would be a rain check for next year, and the unprecedented opportunity to challenge fish that probably wouldn’t have seen a lure in three seasons. Call me for an up-to-the-minute update. The international travel landscape is changing as quickly as the price of gas at the pump, and I promise to work my ass off to find you a great week of steelhead fishing. Justin Miller The Fly Shop’s Kamchatka, Steelhead, & Atlantic Salmon Destination Specialist justin@theflyshop.com


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British Columbia

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Steelhead

Scott Baker-McGar va photo cour tesy of Frontier s Far West

The men and women who chase steelhead seem to be cut from a different bolt of cloth than other fly fishermen. Perhaps more willing to work, and a bit more willing to endure than the casual angler, just for the chance. This facet of the sport may be our ultimate freshwater challenge, and the steelhead of northern British Columbia may rate as the greatest prize. THE

S K E E N A R I V E R drains the majority of Northern British Columbia and is the last major stronghold of large, wild steelhead on the North American Continent. Its upriver tributaries include the Copper, Kalum, Kispiox, Babine, Morice, and Bulkley rivers. Individually, they’re famous. Collectively, they stand alone as the finest trophy steelhead fishery on planet Earth. The summer run steelhead begin to show up in the lower stretches of the Skeena River system in July. They continue to add to the escapement count and spread throughout the entire tributary system until early November. Most fish run 8 to 15 pounds and a fish over 20 pounds in the Skeena or any of its tributaries isn’t uncommon. Most steelhead spend one to five years in the salt before returning to their river of origin to spawn. The larger models have simply either spent a greater part of their life foraging in salt water before making the round trip the first time, or have made multiple spawning runs.

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A number of superb British Columbia rivers besides the Skeena harbor significant populations of steelhead and flow directly into the salt. The Dean, Morice, Nass, and Kitimat all host outstanding populations of steelhead and deliver their share of trophy fish each season. The popular run of fall fish creates a short, but exciting window for serious steelheaders. Most lodges have a well-established clientele, and operate for only 12 to 16 weeks (at the most) each season. There’s little annual attrition among returning guests, and far more interest in securing reservations than there is space. The Fly Shop® has access to a limited number of spots every year at a few of the best British Columbia lodges. We’re in almost constant communication with the places we work with, pay close attention to any cancellations, and are very effective at placing our clientele. Call us to discuss your schedule and availability. We’ll do the rest.

email:

i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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BRITISH COLUMBIA’S TOP STEELHEAD LODGES babine steelhead lodge is situated on one of the best trophy steelhead stretches of water in the world. There are other pieces of home water that lay claim to being as good, but none that are any better! Helicopter access on the day of arrival from Smithers adds an extra half day of fishing to the weeklong fishing holiday, and guests can plan on trying to shake hands with some of the biggest steelhead on the planet just minutes after they unpack. Traditional, double occupancy cabins and a 2:1 ratio of clients to extremely talented, hardworking guides helped establish this terrific destination’s position at very the top of the list of British Columbia lodges. s 7 night 61⁄2 day fishing package $7,850 Frontiers Far West photo

photo cour tesy of Winston Rod Co.

suskeena lodge Rated by veterans and steelhead experts as among Canada’s bests steelhead lodges, its riverside location, just above the confluence of the Sustut and Skeena, couldn’t be better. The place is more than a hundred miles from even the nearest dirt road and is separated from civilization by an impenetrable wilderness. The Sustut is a classic Canadian wilderness steelhead river, unique in that it runs clear and fishable in all but the worst of weather, and is full of monster fish willing to rise to a skated dry fly. Experts call it “the crown jewel of the Skeena.” Some huge steelhead just call it home. Though they share the Sustut with another small regional lodge, the fishery is accessible only by air, and gets absolutely zero outside pressure. Veteran anglers with access to this portion of the fabulous Sustut feel that they have the most legitimate shot at trophy-sized steelhead in all of Canada. s 7 night 6 day fishing package $7,200- $7,400 bulkley basecamp Frontier Steelhead Experience has created a perfect mix of comfort, camp atmosphere, and an expert staff at their permanent camp on a private tributary of one of the Skeena system’s most exclusive rivers. The operation is ultra-comfortable, with large, heated canvas wall tents, hot showers, flush toilets, and hearty home-cooked meals, but the best feature is the location. From this dead center base, guests have an easy commute to fish the Bulkley, mainstem of the Skeena, and the Morice during this action-packed week, or can add an optional helicopter flight to any one of the most isolated stretches of steelhead water in all of British Columbia. The length of most fishing days are limited only by an angler’s enthusiasm, with access to spectacular home water within a stone’s throw of the tent flap. Every inch of the home fishery has the potential to deliver bright fish and super-sized models of magnificent steelhead during all of September and October. This is one of the premier steelhead operations in the world of sportfishing, and one that The Fly Shop can’t recommend more highly. It’s ideal for fly rodders who place more value on the quality of the fishing experience than the quality of the linen. s 6 night 6 day fishing package $6,600 ®

skeena spey lodge This steelhead destination is conveniently located just ten minutes from the Terrace airport very near the mouth of the famous Copper River. This section of the lower Skeena is prime steelhead real estate, and is located dead center in the heart of the summer run. Peak weeks on the Copper begin in late July, and the fishing is excellent through the end of October. There’s no lodge in the Skeena system that is better positioned to intercept the giants headed to the upriver Copper tributaries (Kispiox, Babine, Sustut). Skeena Spey Lodge anglers target the fish while they’re still silver-bright and power-packed. And there’s no better place in the region for an itinerary customized for fishermen with time constraints. s Call The Fly Shop for customized itinerary, 2021 prices and current availability ®

Pat Hogland photo

copper bay lodge on haida gwaii This is winter steelhead fishing at its best, and a trip tailored for fishermen who thrill to target silver-bright, salt-fresh, wild steelhead on rivers that seldom see a fishermen. These small Canadian coastal fisheries pull in dime-bright fish on every tide, and giants over 20 pounds are caught each season on these gorgeous little rainforest streams. Copper Bay Lodge is limited to only 4 anglers each week. It’s the ultimate intimate steelhead experience. Guests feel as though they have the entire archipelago to themselves. And they often do. s 7 night 61⁄2 day fishing package $5,800 w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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Trout Fishing Canada

THE

Dollar-for-dollar, trout fishing in Canada’s Western provinces is arguably the best value in the world of angling travel! The lodges and outfitters we represent in British Columbia and Alberta offer a broad spectrum of fly fishing opportunities ranging from remote fly-out lodges to classic float fishing or stalking native rainbows slurping dries on a clear mountain stream.

R I C H G R A S S L A N D S of the Great Plains, that defines so much of Northern Montana, doesn’t stop at the Treasure State’s border just because there’s a sign. It mirrors Montana and spreads far beyond Calgary, rimming by those same Rockies on its western edge and creating what Canadians call “The Prairie”. Nature has engraved fish-rich rivers deep into the soil of the western provinces that are rated exceptional by any angling standard yet, for reasons unexplained, are ignored by most fishermen. Some, like the isolated Blackwater, are so full of rainbow trout that few grow to any great size. Others, like the Chilko and Oldman are within sight of seldom-travelled, two lane mountain roads and harbor trophy-sized, football-shaped rainbows. The region is home to one of the fast-disappearing fishing experiences in North America, a place to fish for wild trout on uncrowded freestone rivers in relative solitude, and where fly fishermen can still target unsophisticated fish that don’t get a lot of pressure.

Spatsizi Wilderness Lodge photo

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The micro-climate of the Canadian Rockies is more temperate than that of Montana. The summer weather and the dry fly season is quite long, stretching from mid-June through September, and relative warmth results in a season-long, mixed bag of terrestrials, stoneflies, mayflies and caddis. Even when there are no visible hatches, one can often sight-fish to big, opportunistic trout lying in shallow, clear, Canadian water. Most of the fishing in both Alberta and British Columbia is open to the public. Fences in this part of the world demand respect, but many of the great fisheries behind a gate or on the other side of barbed wire require only a request and common courtesy to gain access. Canadian authorities manage the number of commercial outfitters, guides, lodges, fishing and foreign hunting licenses, and guided hunters and fishermen throughout the country, particularly in their coastal steelhead and salmon drainages. The progressive government regulations in the “Western Provinces” strictly limit the amount of commercial impaction allowed in the regional rivers. All that translates to no crowds and great fishing.


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Alberta Lodge

Henr y Georgi photos

British Columbia

Eastslope Adventures Lodge

T H I S A L B E R T A T R O U T M E C C A is either the most overlooked spot on the trout fishing map, or the best kept secret in North America! Wild rainbows, browns and Canadian cutthroat all grow big in the local tailwaters and nearby freestone trout fisheries. In addition to spectacular public angling, our outfitter, Eastslope Adventures, has near-exclusive access to a several mile, private stretch of one of the best trout streams from Calgary to the Montana border. The highly-acclaimed Alberta lodge accommodates only 8 anglers and lies in an undiscovered area with impressively large trout, wide open country and very little angling pressure. It is farm and ranch country, about 30 miles north of the Montana border, and the easiest way to get there from the US is to fly to Calgary and drive southwest to the lodge, or begin in Kalispell, Montana, and drive north for a couple of hours. Eastslope Adventures guides a host of productive and unspoiled trout fisheries in southwest Alberta, including the Castle, Oldman, Waterton and St. Mary river drainages. Their guides specialize in fishing dry flies to large trout while wading. Guests have an almost infinite variety of choices within easy striking distance of the cozy lodge. Anglers are able to choose a different fishery every day, or return to their favorite spot to walkand-wade, or drift both small and large rivers, casting dry flies and nymphs to shore structure and the fish lying below the cutbanks. It’s the rule, rather than exception for flyrodders to hook lots of stout fish on dries and nymphs every day. The rainbows, cutthroats and browns are impressive and deepbodied, averaging 15 to 20-inches. Local fly fishermen only consider a true jumbo trout to be one in excess of the two-foot mark. Eastslope uses savvy Canuck guides who consistently deliver the goods. They focus on dozens of rivers and streams near the lodge and target several fisheries located on private property. Eastslope operates from June through October. Guests also have the option of pursuing a Fall run of huge browns in some remarkably small Canadian streams. It is seldom that guests share the water with, or even see another fly fisherman. Eastslope is one of The Fly Shop’s favorite personal destinations and a place we can’t recommend more highly! s 6 night/5 day package $3,900 USD s Shorter and longer packages are available s Fall angling with duck, goose, and upland game packages are available.

Spatsizi Wilderness Lodge

S P A T S I Z I I S O N E of the most exclusive fly-out wilderness trips on the North American map. It is located

on Laslui Lake, more than 200 miles north of Smithers, British Columbia. This family-operated angling Eden offers exclusive fishing inside the incomparable Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park, a 3,600 square-mile chunk of raw land with more trout streams and lakes than could possibly be fished in a lifetime. The package includes the round-trip charter flight from Smithers to the lodge, and daily floatplane trips to some of the finest and most seldom-seen fishing on the continent. It is one of Canada’s great, unsung trout fisheries. s 7 night/6 day package $7,700 USD w w w . t h e f ly s h o p . c o m

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Some parting advice:

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Take the guesswork out of it and get the flies you’ll really need We’ve got more flies under our roof than any other fly fishing shop in the world, and a larger selection to choose from than in the Orvis, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro catalogs combined. Moreover, ours are the highest quality flies in the sport. They’re tied by craftsmen to our exacting standards using only the finest materials and the best hooks... from people who know what they’re talking about! But the biggest reason to call us to fill your fly box is because our flies will work. We know, because my travel team has been wherever in the hell you are going. I don’t care where you’re headed next, we’ve been there and we know what is going to work. Whether you are headed to Alaska for kings, Kamchatka for rainbows, Bolivia for dorado, Mexico for permit, or the Bahamas for bonefish, – your fly box will be filled with what our experts would choose for themselves and you’ll end up with a first-class fly selection that’s right on-target for exactly wherever you’re headed. Just what you’ll need and nothing else.

Pat Pendergast Director of International Travel Sales

Nobody in the world of fly fishing is better able to help you choose the right flies you’ll need for your next trip The Fly Shop® has been one of the sport’s largest angling travel agents for more than 43 years We’ve outfitted tens of thousands of fly rodders for trips all over the globe and been there ourselves The Fly Shop’s flies and fly selections are made by experts who have fished those destinations a bunch of times Order all the flies you want for your trip & return the leftovers! Travelling anglers can load up with all the flies they think they’ll need for a trip, and then return any of those flies – unused and in their original condition (within 60 days of that purchase) for a 100% in-store credit.

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It’s an open invitation to any travelling fly fisherman (whether you booked your trip with The Fly Shop® or not) to expand your selection or load up on the proven patterns and the flies you know you’ll need!

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email:

i n f o @ t h e f ly s h o p . c o m


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While the Middle Fork of the Salmon River boasts some of the best cutthroat fishing in the world, its salmon populations are at less than fi ve percent of their historic abundance, due in large part to dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. JEREMIAH WATT © 2021 Patagonia, Inc.

Crush barbs and pick up stream-side trash. Volunteer skills, money and time. Fight for access and vote your conscience. Even our smallest efforts build a future for wild fish, clean water and an inclusive community. It’s not too late. It’s never too early. It’s every day. We are all wild fish activists.

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Pre-sorted Standard United States Postage (800) 669-3474 4140 Churn Creek Road

Paid

www.theflyshop.com Redding California, 96002

The Fly Shop, Inc.

Printed in the USA © 2021 The Fly Shop®, Inc.

or current resident

All rights reserved.

Faced with the uncertainties of airline travel, politics, and social distancing regulations, The Fly Shop® has chosen to separate our annual catalog into different specialty magazines, each dedicated to the specific interests of our clientele. New for 2021! The Fly Shop’s Worldwide

The Fly Shop’s 41st Annual

Fly Fishing Travel Digest

2021 Retail Catalog

The top fly fishing destinations in the world of fresh and salt water fly fishing! This is The Fly Shop’s directory to the best fly fishing everywhere on Earth, from North and South America to Mongolia, Africa, Russia, and the Indian Ocean. Available in October 2021

A hundred pages of great fishing stuff. Top name brand fly rods and tackle, thousands of flies, dozens of fly reels, and the top selection of waders and fly fishing accessories ever assembled in a single magazine! Available now

The Fly Shop’s

The Fly Shop’s

New for 2021! The Fly Shop’s

Fly Tying Catalog

Northern California Guide

Bahamas Fly Fishing Guide

Jungle Fly Fishing Guide

Where and when to find some of the best saltwater fly fishing and finest lodging in the Caribbean. Available in September 2021

A travelogue covering the exotic fly fishing found in the tropical rivers of Brazil, Bolivia, and Africa. Available in November 2021

This year’s version of our annual collection of great fly tying materials and articles for the tyer. Available now

The top fly fishing rivers, streams, lodging, guides, and private angling spots in Northern California. Available now

New for 2021! The Fly Shop’s

Make sure you’re in the loop and are receiving the most recent digital or print version E-mail us, call, or visit our website and request your free copy of any (or all) of our catalogs and fly fishing guides info@theflyshop.com

www.theflyshop.com

USA call toll-free 800-669-3474

International call 530-222-3555

Profile for TheFlyShopTFS

American Fly Fishing Destinations  

Your fly fishing vacation guide to fly fishing lodges, camps and outfitters in North America

American Fly Fishing Destinations  

Your fly fishing vacation guide to fly fishing lodges, camps and outfitters in North America

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