Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Knot Tying Practice
Nobody wants to lose a fish because their knot failed! On guided trips, your guide may want to tie all of your knots but what about when you are fishing on your own? How many knots do you know? Can you execute them flawlessly time after time?
Practicing various knots for your local fishing or prior to going on a trip, so that you can execute them quickly and accurately, is a great idea. We suggest using some old fly line for your knot practice sessions. You can actually tie the knot and then pull it apart to try again. Once you have your favourite knots mastered, start adding new knots to your repertoire. Some of our favourite fly to tippet knots are the Improved Clinch Knot, Uni-Knot (Duncan Loop), Non-Slip Loop, Homer Rhode Loop Knot, Homer Rhode Double Overhand Knot and Buffer Loop.
Over the years several good knot reference books have been written. Some of our favourites include Guide to Saltwater Fishing Knots for Gear & Fly Fishing by Larry V. Notley, Fishing Knots by Lefty Kreh, Practical Fishing Knots II by Mark Sosin and Lefty Kreh, and Fly Fishing Knots, Rigs and Leaders by Trevor Hawkins. The Internet also has some very good knot instruction sites and videos. Search by specific knot name, if known, or just type 'fly fishing knots' into your web browser. Another good knot resource is your local fly shop. Next time you stop in, ask the staff to help you tie a specific knot or ask them to suggest a knot that may work best for a specific situation.
Campeche Tarpon's popular winter couples special is almost over. Book now to take advantage of this great pricing! From now to April 30th, 2018 couples can travel for only $3500 USD per couple or $1750 per person. Your adventure includes 6 nights accommodation, 4 days fishing, 1 Mayan tour, 1 City tour, breakfast and shuttle service Merida-Campeche-Merida.
See our Campeche pages under the Destinations tab for more information on this destination.
Other Specials and Offers
Many of our lodges and outfitters periodically offer last minute specials and discounts. However, due to the ever changing nature of these announcements some do not make it to this page. Please contact us to learn more!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Settling in at the Lodge
When you arrive at most lodges you will have a short orientation to learn where and how to access all the lodge facilities as well as receive information regarding your fishing program. Following that you generally have time to get settled in.
We find that unpacking and organizing all of our gear as soon as we arrive helps us relax and start enjoying our vacation that much earlier. Once you have all your gear set up and ready to go for the first morning of fishing you can enjoy the pool, explore the grounds or any nearby towns, get to know your fellow guests and hosts and start off on the right foot for your first morning of fishing.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Tipping - Best Practices
Tipping can be confusing! Your guides and lodge staff work hard to make sure your stay and your fishing is the best that it can be. However, it can be hard to know what to tip and when to tip. Unfortunately, every location and every lodge seems to have their own recommended standards. When you book with us, On The Water Fly Fishing will provide you with guidelines, specific to your destination, with your booking confirmation. Your Lodge hosts will also know what the current standards are.
Most lodges and guides prefer to be tipped at the end of your stay. However, if you are rotating through a pool of multiple guides or moving between lodge locations you may want to tip at the end of each day.
How do we keep it all straight? Before we leave home, we place the guide tips, lodge staff tips, transfer driver tips, etc. in separate envelopes (ask your bank for a few extra envelopes when you pick up your cash). That way each tip is ready to go when you need it and you can spend your time enjoying your vacation instead of sorting out tips and cash. If you feel the suggested amount was too much for the service received you can always remove some cash from the envelope. You can also add a little if you feel the service received was above what was expected. Either way let us and the lodge managers know your thoughts regarding the service you received.
One last keeping your cash organized tip - While you are separating your funds, if there is a departure tax that is payable at the airport, in cash, put that money aside and keep it with your passport - that way you won't be scrambling for cash at the airport on your way home!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Travelling Alone, With a Friend or On A Hosted Trip? Which Is Right For You?
Some people travel to fly fish in pairs, as couples, some in groups with their friends, some travel alone and some will only travel with a group on hosted trips. Which is right for you? Depending on you and your situation these may all be the right choice. So how do you decide?
Let's say that you find yourself traveling on your own. Most fly fishing lodges and destinations are more than equipped to accommodate an angler traveling alone. This can be a great way to meet new people and enjoy some time to yourself. Also, on the plus side, you have the casting platform all to yourself. One downside? You have the casting platform all to yourself. You are up 100% of the time, which for some people can be physically and mentally tiring, and this is supposed to be a vacation after all. That may sound like a 'tough' situation to be in but just ask any of us who have been alone on the casting platform of a skiff for six days straight, you do get tired!
Travelling to a fly fishing destination with a spouse or a friend can also be a great way to spend your vacation. Having a spouse or friend who shares your passion for fly fishing, and your fly fishing travel location bucket list, means you are set for adventure. As long as you both always want to travel together, that is. You may also have a group of fly fishing friends who want to travel to the same fly fishing destination as you. Again, this is great but traveling with friends can also have its pitfalls. For instance, you can't throw your best buddy out of the skiff (or out of the cabana) if you aren't getting along so if there is even a remote chance of a disagreement you may want to look at other options for travel.
We know that traveling alone, with a spouse, or with friends isn't for everyone; at least not all of the time. If you would rather travel with a group that includes a host who knows the ins and outs of the destination and the fishing program than a hosted trip is the way to go. The camaraderie of a hosted trip can truly enhance your experience whether this is your first fly fishing destination trip or your 101st. A good host will also be there to help you negotiate traveling to your destination, assist with your equipment, your casting, communicating your needs with the lodge staff and guides, and generally be available to address situations that arise and/or answer your questions.
On The Water Fly Fishing Travel has experience with all of these potential travel options and can help you to determine where your comfort level rests and what makes the most sense for you.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Time Changes and Jet Lag
Once you get to your destination, time changes and jet lag can factor into your fun and enjoyment. In some cases you may fly through the night to get to your destination or your destination may be a couple of hours or more earlier than your home time zone. Fishing mornings usually start early! Plan ahead so that you are ready for the first morning. If time allows, arrive at your destination a day or two ahead of time. The day before your first fishing day get all of your gear ready before you go to bed so that in the morning all you will have to do is pick it up and take it to the boat. Be prepared, know yourself and make sure you are ready to get out On The Water on that first morning!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Bringing Home Souvenirs: Packing Tips
How many times have you been on vacation and, while at a market or while talking to a street vendor had the thought - how on earth would I ever get that home? Let's face it this often happens to the best of us. Plan ahead! If you know you are going to a destination that has excellent handcrafted leather products, blankets, hot sauce, rum, wine. . . the list is endless, make sure you have the room to bring back anything you think you might want. Leave room in your luggage to be able to pack it and get it home safely. If you only have one checked bag when you leave home, pack an extra duffel in it to bring back souvenirs. For items like hot sauce, rum and wine we make sure that we have a dry bag with us, you'll often have one in your fishing gear but if not make sure one gets packed into the bottom of your bag before you leave home. If you have room pack some bubble wrap or bubble wrap bags that are made for wine bottles. When packing to come home, pack any breakable bottles in bubble wrap (dirty shirts also work but if the bottle breaks getting hot sauce out of them can be challenging!). Seal the wrapped bottles inside the dry bag and pack them in a cushioned area in your luggage. We have had a lot of luck with this method but if your bottles happen to break or leak at least the mess will be contained inside the dry bag!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Weather and Temperature - Plan For The Unexpected
We never thought we would experience it but then it happened - one January morning in the Bahamas we looked at each other and noted that getting hypothermia was a definite possibility. Our feet were wet from wading and we were both shivering - meanwhile our guide had a puffy jacket and toque on! Those are items that we have plenty of but that we had left in Canada! Ever since then we haven't traveled to a warm destination without an extra sweater and long underwear, just in case. But then the opposite happened and we ended up steelhead fishing in the pacific northwest in temperatures over 30°C but had prepared for fishing in much cooler weather.
What can you do to prepare? Before you travel to a destination watch the weather in the weeks before you go to see what trends are taking place to help you pack appropriate clothing but then prepare for the opposite - just in case. Its better to have a full suitcase than to not be able to enjoy yourself because you aren't prepared!
When you book with On The Water Fly Fishing we will help you to anticipate what to expect at your destination, provide you with a detailed packing list and let you draw on our experience so that you will be prepared for your adventure and can relax and have fun.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Fishing Guides, Part 3: What if you and your guide don't speak the same language?
You are planning your dream fly fishing adventure and find out that, at your selected location, the guides do not speak the same language as you. You may decide to pick a new location but if you proceed you may get more than you bargained for - you may start to learn a new language! If you are up for the challenge you probably won't be the first person your guide has not been able to directly communicate with. Guides all have strategies to work with clients and many generally know a selection of fishing specific words in more than one language. One thing we have learned in those places where we were faced with a language barrier is that charades on a bonefish flat can be fun! It's all about attitude and remembering that you are, after all, on vacation and that you were looking for something different than what you have at home. A strategy we have developed for these situations is that we will carry a translation dictionary with us. We use it to look up words and phrases, when the charades just aren't enough. We have had more than one guide also use our dictionary to translate from their language into English!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Fishing Guides, Part 2: Communicating with Guides
When traveling the world fly fishing you will have the pleasure of meeting and working with guides from many different cultures and backgrounds. The good news is you already have something in common, you both love the outdoors and fishing! Respect each others differences while reveling in your shared passions. Build a friendship with your guide - some of these friendships last a lifetime.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Fishing Guides, Part 1: Working with Guides
The most important thing to remember is this - Guides are people too. Each has his/her own personality and quirks, just like you and I. Even if all your pictures indicate that they may be in the witness protection program!
Guides can often be the key to the success of your fly fishing adventure. It is important that you get along and work well together; communication is very important. When you first meet your guide let them know how much general fishing experience you have, how much experience you have with the specific type of fishing you will be doing together, whether you cast right or left handed, what you want to get out of your fishing days, etc. Spend time getting to know each other - friends fish better together than strangers do!
Campeche Hosted Trip Report - Spring 2017
As some of you may already know, Cheryl and I really enjoy fishing for baby tarpon and have been fortunate enough to fish for them numerous times in the past, always having a great time. Our most recent hosted trip to Campeche, Mexico fishing with Campeche Tarpon did not disappoint. The weather for the most part was cooperative, sunny and hot, and despite the wind, the fishing was, overall, quite good.
What continues to impress us about Campeche, Mexico, and plays a significant part in the success of these trips, is the vast expanse of different water that Campeche Tarpons guides have access to in order to mitigate tough weather or slow fishing conditions.
For example, during the middle few days of our recent trip, the shifting wind prevented us from being able to effectively fish for tarpon in the more open 'hot spot' locations, and seemed to leave the fish in a sulky mood. This forced the guides to focus on alternative locations such as the mangrove rivers, lagoons, and the cormorant rookery area for relative cover from the wind and more receptive fish. The tarpon were not being what I would call particularly active feeders; a result of the unstable conditions brought about by the shifting wind. However, in spite of the difficult conditions, every angler was able to land at least one special fish during the trip.
In addition to numerous 'firsts' catching tarpon, some of the anglers also landed their first snook on the fly.
Besides the fishery, the other aspects which we believe sets Campeche apart from other destinations are the food, the accommodations, the local history and the people. The food is simply the best authentic Mexican cuisine we have ever eaten, the historic Spanish officer's quarters turned boutique hotel is very special indeed and the excursion to the ancient Mayan city of Edzna never fails to impress. Lastly, the guides, shuttle driver, hotel staff, restaurant waitstaff and especially Alejandro (the man behind Campeche Tarpon) are 100% committed to making sure everyone had a fantastic trip.
What People Are Saying About Our Hosted Trips
*This was such an easy adventure, all I had to do was show up.
*. . . lived up to my expectations and so did the job your guys did, you nailed it with everything.
*Cheryl and Alan treated us to a family trip, without the stress of family.
*I wouldn't have found such a quiet, unspoiled place to visit on my own.
*Cheryl and Alan really know fishing.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Casting Practice - Preparing for a Guided Trip
Everyone says it and we all mean it. Practice your casting before you go! Your guide is going to assess your ability in the first few minutes of your first morning together and following that will put you in situations that he/she thinks you can handle. So, if you haven't cast for a few months or have a new rod and don't quite have the feel of it yet you may drop the cast at your feet. Nobody wants that to be their guides first impression of them!
Here's what we do. We go to a park near our house and line up surveyor's marker flags at 10 feet intervals, from 10 to 80 feet (no matter where you are your guide will most likely give directions in feet). We take the rods, reels and lines that we are going to be using on our upcoming trip and especially any new rods that we need to become familiar with. Once you are set up, tie a piece of brightly coloured yarn or a practice fly (no hook) to the end of your leader so that you can see if you hit your intended mark or not. Practice accurately casting out to various distances. Vary your practice by lining up your distance markers into the wind, with the wind at your back and crosswind. This will help you get ready for any situation. Once you have mastered casting for distance start working on accuracy. Place a Hula Hoop and a Frisbee on the ground at spots you want to cast to and work at casting into the target. Move the target around to practice different distances and angles!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Packing Tips, Part 3
In Packing Tips, Part 1 we suggested gathering everything on your packing list and 'weeding out' anything you think you won't need just before you put everything in your luggage. That said, there are some things that we have thought 'I won't need that' and ended up sorry it wasn't with us. For starters, if you end up at your destination and it is rainy you'll most likely want two raincoats. One for fishing and a dry one (that doesn't smell salty and/or fishy) for the evenings at the lodge or walking around town. By the same token it can also be good to have a pair of light shoes for walking around in the rain. As for gear, and this especially holds true when you won't be able to borrow, rent or buy extra gear at your destination, be sure you have an extra rod, extra line and extra terminal tackle. Just in case you break something or need a replacement.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Packing Tips, Part 2
Your ready to pack your bags and head for the airport! You've collected all the gear you want to take and purchased everything that you will need. Now how do you get it all into your luggage? Here's a tip - take your packing list and get everything together, checking items off of the list as you go. Once everything is all together go through it and remove anything you probably won't need. For me this is usually some non-fishing clothes and extra sandals. Now start packing. Pack your carry-on bags first, filling empty corners with lightweight items like wading socks. Items that aren't allowed in your carry-on bags all go in your checked baggage. In today's world of having to pay for each bag you check it is often tempting to take just one checked bag but remember how much you have invested in the trip overall. If you really need two bags - take two bags!
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Packing Tips, Part 1
When packing for a fly fishing trip the key is to pack light while making sure you have everything that you will need. Based on our experience, we have developed detailed packing lists for each of our destinations. When you book a trip with On The Water Fly Fishing Travel you will receive your destination specific packing list with your confirmation. Our packing lists cover fly fishing gear, recommended flies, personal items and clothing. One thing we have learned is - less is more. After you have dragged your bags through airports and down sand trails, watched them sit outside in the rain waiting to be loaded onto a plane or boat transfer, or returned home with half a bag of unused items, you have to ask - did I really need all of that stuff? Maybe but maybe not. Alan ties all of our flies and we like to make sure we have all the current 'hot, must have' flies for the destination and also flies that we want to try out. So even when we are travelling to a destination where the flies will be provided by the guide we both still carry a number of our own flies. The same goes for gear and other equipment; you have to decide if you want to use your brand new (or trusty old lucky) reel or use one of the lodges or guides reels. With regards to clothing and personal items; decide what you need and what will probably go unused. Then pack only what makes the final cut.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Bucket Lists - Be realistic and know when to amend the plan
Create your bucket lists for the destinations you want to travel to, the fish species you want to catch, the size of each fish species you want to catch and so on. Dreaming and planning is half the fun. But know when its time to modify the list. What if you arrive at your destination to find unseasonably hot or cold weather? Rain? Strong winds? Or any other situation that is going to mean you will need to change your expectations? Instead of despairing, talk to your hosts and guide at the lodge and discuss how to change your plan to what will work! Make the most of it! You never know what can happen when you open up your options and take things as they come!
Whatever your dream adventure is On The Water Fly Fishing Travel can help you make it a reality. Please contact us now to start exploring the possibilities.
Trip of a Lifetime - What Does That Mean?
Often the media, travel companies or fishing friends talk about planning and taking a 'Trip of a Lifetime' but what does that really mean? It means whatever you want it to mean. It's your trip and your life! For some of us our trip of a lifetime may be heading off alone into a remote fishing location to fish for a rare species or for large fish that don't see a lot of fishing pressure. For some of us in may be sharing a comfortable location with excellent fishing with a friend. Or maybe it is getting away for a few hours of fishing on a family vacation. Maybe introducing a friend or family member to the sport of fly fishing at a relaxing destination. Whatever your dream is - that is your trip of a lifetime! Some of us have multiple 'Trips of a Lifetime' on our bucket list.
Whatever your dream adventure is On The Water Fly Fishing Travel can help you make it a reality. Please contact us now to start exploring the possibilities.
Fly Fishing Travel Tips: Deciding Where To Go
You know you want to experience a destination fly fishing adventure but you aren't sure where to go or what you want to do? The first step is to decide if you want a freshwater or saltwater adventure and what fish species you might want to catch. The answer to those two questions can help direct your decision but it is only the first step. Let's say you want a saltwater experience and that you want to catch Bonefish. There are a multitude of destinations to choose from! Where to go really depends on you and the experience you want to have. Are you looking to get away for a day of fishing while the family is vacationing in Cancun, Mexico or in San Pedro, Belize? Are you looking for a week or more for fishing and exploring? Do you want to be in or near a town or would you prefer a remote location? Do you want to experience the Caribbean? Central America? The Pacific? The answers to these questions can be daunting! This is where we come in. As fly fishing industry and travel professionals we know the destination countries, the lodges and the fisheries.
We can help you make your decision....just be aware that once you go down this path you will find that there are so many places to go and so many experiences to be had that your bucket list may get very, very long! Please contact On The Water Fly Fishing Travel today to start planning your next adventure!