If you're looking for some ideas of places to go fly fishing here are a few suggestions. We have been to these locations ourselves and highly recommend each of them. If you are considering traveling to any of these locations and would like more details we would be happy to shares information and stories with you. Just stop by the shop or fill out our contact form.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Sanibel is a great destination for many reasons. It's only a few hours away, is a great place to take your family, and the summer beach fishing for snook can be incredible.
All you need is a 6-8wt rod, some small, white flies, 30# fluorocarbon for a bite tippet and an uncrowded stretch of beach. The fishing is easy (just walk the beach looking for snook just along the shore), exciting and a lot of fun. This makes a perfect combination family/fishing vacation since you can easily hit the beach for a couple hours and be back in time for dinner.
When the wind picks up from the West, fishing the beach can be difficult. If there are people bodysurfing on the beach you can bet the fishing will be lousy. In which case you will be very glad you threw that kayak or canoe on top of your car to slip off of the back side of Sanibel into Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
If you go and stay on the beach try to pick a hotel without too many others around it. Beach fishing can be difficult when there are umbrellas and people all over. One good option is the West Wind Inn which has hotels to the South and miles of near empty beach to the North. Another possibility is
Blue Dolphin Cottages which lies a little North of West Wind Inn - in the middle of the near-empty beach. Prices aren't bad and the rooms are clean and comfortable - i.e. an ideal fishing base for fly fishing the beach.
The Keys need no introduction. Bonefish, permit, tarpon, reds, snook - travel the island chain top to bottom and you'll find them all. The Keys are only 6-7 hours South of Orlando and offer fishing and scenery as good as what you find in many exclusive lodges in far away corners of the earth.
Stay in one of the many hotels or inns or, for a cheap fishing fix, stay at a campground. You can trailer your boat down or go with a local guide. Unless you know the water or are willing to put in a few trips to learn it a guide is highly recommended. If you're fishing the middle or upper Keys we suggest you get in touch with Capt. Steve Lavoie, who fishes out of Islamorada (305.393.1295 - www.captlavoie.com). If you're down in the Marathon/Big Pine area Jim Bennett will show you some fish. If you book with them these guys can also offer suggestions of places to stay.
Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee
Here's an easy one within driving distance (7-8 hours) or a short hop in an airplane. The options available make the Appalachians perfect for beginners and experts alike.
Those new to fly fishing for trout will find the numerous delayed harvest streams a great place to catch a bunch of trout and build skill and confidence. More experienced trout anglers may choose to hone their skills on the delayed harvest waters, fish a wild mountain trout stream, or try their hand at one of the demanding tailwater fisheries. Smallmouth bass, which are every bit as much fun as trout on a fly rod, are plentiful in some areas.
A Gazeteer for the correct state and a fishing guide book or two will get you to where the fish are. We have some great contacts, have spent a good amount of time fishing the waters, and would be happy to make some trip suggestions. You can either get set up with a guide or, if you have some trout fishing experience, do a self guided trip.
Turks and Caicos
Part of the same island chain that makes up the Bahamas, the islands of the Turks and Caicos extend east of the Bahamas into the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Other parts of the Turks and Caicos offer beautiful beaches and some of the best diving in the world. The main draw here, however, is the miles and miles of hard bottomed flats inhabited by hordes of hungry bonefish ready to eat a well presented fly.
We have made a couple trips in the past few years to fish the unpressured bonefish of the Caicos bank with Beyond the Blue Bonefish Charters (www.beyondtheblue.com). Most fishing is wading in ankle deep water. On-the-water transportation is via airboat which allows access to miles of flats that are difficult to impossible to reach in a conventional motorboat. See our photo gallery for some pictures from one of our trips.
Travel is relatively easy from Orlando. We fly Orlando to Miami (1 hr) then over to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (35 min). You will have to make separate reservations for your flight from Providenciales to S. Caicos. The airline of choice is Skyking. There is an afternoon flight leaving Providenciales which will get you to S. Caicos in about a half hour. You can spend the layover in the small airport restaurant enjoying a fish sandwich and some good Bahemian beer.
Mexico - Ascension Bay
Ascension Bay, Mexico offers outstanding fishing for bonefish and very good fishing for tarpon as well, but it is the permit that keep people coming back year after year. Ascension Bay, located just South of Cancun, is one of the great places in the world to catch a permit on the fly.
As it is part of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve the fish in the Ascension Bay area have been protected for a number of years. Every year the permit and bonefish increase in both number and size, helping to make this a truly world-class fishery. We have fished with the Ascension Bay Bonefish Club and had a great time (excellent fishing, good guides, good food etc.). There are several other good places to stay as well.
Ascension Bay is fairly easy to get to from Orlando. You will fly into Cancun (touristy = lots of flights and low airline fares), meet your driver at the airport (if you book with Ascension Bay Bonefish Club) and drive down South a ways. You will then have a short boat ride which will take you over to the town where the lodge is located.
Mexico - Campeche
Campeche is a beautiful 17th century walled city with a rich Mayan and Spanish history located on the Western Yucutan Peninsula. The residents are friendly, the sightseeing excellent and the city relatively empty of tourists. Oh, and the surrounding waters are packed full of juvenile tarpon, snook and mangrove snapper.
If you are interested in going get in touch with Raul at Tarpon Town Anglers. They run a very professional operation and work with several nice hotels and inns. You can fly direct into Campeche or fly into Merida (1.5 hrs away) or Ciudad del Carmen (2.5 hrs away) where a van will be waiting to pick you up.
There is an almost limitless number of excellent places to go fishing around the world. We plan on hitting as many of these as possible and adding them to our list. If you have suggestions of places to go, guides to fish with or places to stay please let us know.