In the last years, many fly fishermen tend to prefer exotic waters to their home waters. Or at least they try to plan a fly fishing trip to remote destinations.
Certainly the low airfare trip costs have helped this trend to increase, together with the ease to get informations through the web. This is something that needs a little warning though, the web is not the truth, and informations have to be verified, or at least filtered.
Once you have defined where you want to go, the best way to start planning your fly fishing trip is to set your budget first, and then check offers on the Internet, trying to get as much information as possible, contacting people that have been there or the author of an article. Be careful with offers for an ultra low cost fly fishing trip to exotic destination because more often than not there is some hidden trick.
Another very important decision to make is to decide which kind of accommodation you want to stay in. For the most popular destinations there are plenty of choices. You can choose from luxury lodges to a river camp. It just depends on your attitude, and of course your budget. Once you have decided where to go, it is time to prepare the luggage. I have compiled a few suggestions about what to carry with you.
This is what I suggest as a minimum for a one week fly fishing trip to a freshwater destination:
Two pairs of warm socks, one pair of light socks, a pair of flip flops or Croc’s, two capilene mid or thermal weight trousers, two briefs, one pair of jeans, two lightweight capilene t-shirts or crew, one capilene thermal weight jacket, one capilene middle weight crew, one or two shirts, one insulation jacket, one insulation vest, one rain jacket, lightweight waders, wading shoes, two pairs of polarized glasses, two buffs, two hats. For the insulation jacket I suggest synthetic and not down, because they dry more quickly, and absorb much less water. One garment I really like is the Patagonia Nano Air, that is very breathable, keeps your skin always dry, and can be used in a wide range of temperatures.
For a saltwater fly fishing trip to the Caribbean or similar places, this is my list :
Two pairs of light socks to be worn inside the wading shoes, one pair of flip flop or Croc’s, one pair of light weight trousers, two briefs, one pair of jeans, two lightweight capilene crew, one light fleece, one or two very breathable shirts, one lightweight rain jacket, wading shoes, two pairs of polarized glasses, two buffs, two hats with long bill and neck protection, sun screen. If you are terrified by the sun, bring also specific gloves. They might also protect you from mosquitos.
To the above mentioned you will have to add your drugs, if any, and some general purpose drugs like anti-flu, anti-diarrhea, drugs against allergies, etc. This is the minimum equipment that will allow you to change, in case you fall in the water, and to have a replacement set available, while the clothes that you wash in the evening dry.
For the tackle I would suggest to always bring a spare rod and spare reel, with multi piece rods recommended especially. I always bring my flies, but if your destination is a lodge, they will have some.
Luggage wise, if you visit a lodge, and weight is not an issue, a wheeled duffle is the best choice, otherwise a waterproof duffle is what I suggest. As carry on luggage, I strongly suggest a waterproof backpack, that can be taken with you on the river to carry a change of clothes, camera, some food, spare glasses, and all the things you might need, and that you want to keep dry.
In case of a more adventurous fly fishing trip, like a camping or floating trip, it is mandatory to have waterproof luggage, and better to store the clothes in separate waterproof bags. You do not need anything fancy, a good zip lock bag for food, can be sufficient. I cannot state enough the importance of quality gear. Yes, it costs more but does the job and lasts for very long time.
This means for instance that a waterproof bag has to be waterproof, and not water resistant. A water resistant bag, after a few hours in the rain, will return your clothes soaked with water. I hope I didn’t forget anything. One more thing: do not forget to always take with you the most important thing: a lot of luck …