Fishing Reports from The Fly Shop’s Destination Specialists

Here is an opportunity to read , first hand how a fly fishing trip played out, written by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable fly fishing destination specialists in the world.

From departing your home to returning, you’ll get an inside look and feel for a destination, with all the trimmings, most of them good and some not so good.

2018 Fanning Island Journal

January 2018 - Michael Caranci

Our group of intrepid adventurers all arrived in Honolulu on various flights from the US throughout the day. We planned to meet up around 5:30 at the hotel lobby to enjoy a dinner together. Maurizio was already in Waikiki with his wife and said he’d just meet us at the airport in the morning. The rest of us — Don, David and Matt — would still do dinner and start our pre-trip excitement.

Unfortunately, just before I was to head down to the lobby, I learned from Juliette at Pegasus that there was a problem with...
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2017 Mongolia Travel Report

August 2017 - Michael Caranci

The first flight of the long travel day took off early from Redding Municipal Airport, a few minutes before 5:50 am. 35 minutes later we were touching down in San Francisco. Allan and I grabbed breakfast and coffee, then found our way to the International Terminal to settle in and wait for our next flight.

We met Ross and Brandon at the gate. At about 10:00 they started boarding, and soon we were in the air for the long flight over the Pacific. The plane was nowhere near full, which enabled me to get a row to myself towards the back of the plane..
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Ponoi River Trip - Fall 2017

Sept. 26 – Oct. 08, 2017 - Pat Pendergast

A couple of friends, (brothers) have been fishing the last week of the season at Ryabaga Camp on the Ponoi River for the last five years; this would be their sixth trip. They have been hounding me to get a pass from Frontiers (exclusive agent) for years to join them. I got the go-ahead and a couple friends from Redding were coming along as well, there would be five us total. I had been hearing and reading about the Ponoi River for better than two decades, since the days of Gary Loomis and Tim Rajeff and was pumped to finally get a chance to see and fish the most famous Atlantic salmon river in Russia.
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Yucatan Familiarization Trip

August 2017 - Eric Ersch

All flights were on time, and customs/immigration process in Cancun was efficient. Hotel shuttle was easy to find, with an english speaking man outside the terminal holding a Marriott sign. He told me that the shuttle would be there soon,arriving every 30 minutes, at the parking stall right behind him. Transfer to the hotel was quick, and the people at the reception desk spoke english. I checked in, exchanged dollars for pesos, and went to my fourth floor room overlooking the pool and courtyard.

The Courtyard Marriott is clean, modern, with hammocks...
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Mike Mercer's Alaska Trip - 2017

June 23 - July 8, 2017 - Mike Mercer

A quick and easy late morning flight on Delta delivered me from Sacramento to Seattle to Anchorage, arriving in plenty of time to check into my room at the Lakefront Anchorage, freshen up, then walk downstairs and enjoy a wonderful sweet-and- sour halibut dinner in the hotel's waterfront restaurant. If I was a drinker I would have strolled 100 feet over to the hotel's highly popular bar, after dinner, to watch sports and enjoy a favorite libation. Instead, I took a nice long walk down Seward Ave, enjoying the floatplanes taking off Hood Lake in the full daylight of 10 pm (Alaska in early summer) and burning off the giant ice cream sundae...
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Tarpon Caye Lodge - Belize 2017

June 16 - 24, 2017 - Michael Caranci

We left our house in Redding to drive to the Sacramento Airport at 1:30 pm. We hit some heavy traffic the last few miles to the airport, finally pulling in about 4:00, still with plenty of time for our 5:30 departure. We got checked in, cleared security, and didn’t have long to wait before the flight boarded. We sat on the tarmac for an extra hour waiting for some reason, grateful to have a long layover in Los Angeles. Finally, the plane took off, and an hour later we were touching down in LA.

LAX was packed with people, but after a 30-minute wait...
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Zapata - Cuba 2017

May 27 - June 3, 2017 - Michael Caranci

Travel is relatively smooth. Getting in and out of Cuba is daunting at first, but is way easier than one would think given the politics of it all. While it is still technically illegal for US Citizens to travel to Cuba for purposes of tourism, all tour packages (including fishing trips) are designed to cover the legal allowances for travel.

We were able to purchase our flights directly on-line. Because of the embargo, most travel agents (such as Alicia Regueiro from Holdy Tours) cannot actually book flights into Cuba. But a handful of US-based airlines now fly...
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999 Ways Not To Catch A Permit

ESB Lodge - May 2017 - Pat Pendergast

This was a trip I had been anticipating for 20 years. Finally, I was going to get to spend an entire week fishing Espiritu Santo Bay, THE last frontier of Caribbean fly fishing. I had fished the bay several times in the past, first with the former owner and late Tom Woodward of Paradise Lodge and more recent a few time out of the now closed Paradise Lodge with my friend Alejandro de Tomaso. But this was a full week, every single fishing minute on Esb from the new Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge, owners Dane and Chiara Emerson. And after Esb, I was headed to Belize for a week at Tarpon Cay Lodge. And finally, I would be traveling and fishing...
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999 Ways Not To Catch A Permit

Tarpon Caye Lodge - May 2017 - Pat Pendergast

After a successful and enjoyable week at Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge, four of us (Brian O'Keefe, Charles, Ken and I) are headed to Belize and Tarpon Caye Lodge via an all-day auto transfer and short flight to Placentia in southern Belize.

14 May 17 - Sunday:
We are headed to Belize and Tarpon Cay Lodge this morning. Wake up at 6:00 am. Breakfast @ 6:30 am, and a sharp departure @ 7:00 am with Chiara at the wheel of one of the lodge's Suburbans, headed to Mahujal to meet big Teresa and her driver Carlos @ 9:00 am for the 4 1/2 hour...
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Permit Pursuit - ESB Lodge

May 2017 - Pat Pendergast

I have been told hundreds of times over the last twenty five years that I must be the luckiest guy in the world…that I have the best damn job a person could ever dream of. I used to brush this off, downplaying it with some mumbo jumbo about it being great and all, but the job has its challenges and isn't always what it's cracked up to be, blah, blah, blah. Well, I am taking that all back! I do in fact have an amazing job, and feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams for the privilege to meet, help and befriend some of the most incredible people in the world.
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Fanning Island - 2017

April 2017 - Michael Caranci

The development of a fishing program on Fanning Island in the Equatorial Pacific has taken a lot of time and hard work from a lot of people. Starting with some of the people behind the scenes like Chuck Corbett and Tim Welch, and off course Ryder Thomas, Juliette Budge, and Alexander Budge with Pegasus Lodges. Jeff Jong in Tarawa. Naitiniwa on Christmas and Fanning. And our first two groups of intrepid anglers: Gary, Ed, Matt, Christiaan, David, David, Jed, Jeff, and Alex. Through the efforts of these people and more, and what we've learned over the course of the past year and especially the past few months...
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Patagonia - 2017

April 2017 - Michael Caranci

The flight from Houston to Buenos Aires lasted a bit over 9 hours. I was fortunate enough to have some empty seats next to me, so I ended up with my own row which was a real bonus. After a couple of restless hours of sleep and a couple of movies, I was touching down in Argentina.

Clearing immigrations was quick and easy, but when waiting for my baggage I noticed another, similar bag come down the conveyer belt. It was not my bag, and soon it was the only bag left. I went to the baggage counter, and they checked and quickly confirmed that my bag had been...
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2 Weeks in the Heart of the Amazon

Brazil - November 2015 - Michael Caranci

Our 3:59 pm departing flight from Redding to San Francisco was delayed due to storms and heavy winds in San Francisco. As we waited in the small Redding terminal the panoramic skies to the east were dramatic, dark and foreboding with towering thunderheads and flashes of lightning. I had just started re-reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, perhaps my favorite book of all time and fitting for our own pending journey deep into the jungle. The darkness brooding in the words on page paired with the bleak skies outside to set an ominous tone for the trip. Still, our spirits were high and the three adventurers...
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Floating Patagonia

Patagonian BaseCamp - 2015 - Mike Mercer

Our first fishing day at Patagonian Basecamp we floated the Rio Claro Solar, also known as the Rio Quinto, a modest-sized stream large enough to float, but far from big water. It's beautiful, crystal clear water, filled with downed trees that harbor big trout. Greg Bricker was our guide, and we hit it off well - an excellent instructor who taught me a great trick to improve my streamer fishing hookups (keep stripping until you come tight to the fish, and never lift the rod to strike - same as bonefishing). We floated in a self-bailing cataraft with comfortable seats fore-and-aft for anglers, and the guide rowing from the middle. It was...
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Fly Fish Mongolia Journal

June 2015 - Michael Caranci

Thursday, June 11:
The long travel day started early, awake at 3:30 am to get to the airport for my 5:40 am departure. The flight from Redding to SFO went smoothly, and by 7:30 am I was sitting down to a hot Yankee Pier breakfast and much needed cup of coffee. I had about 4 hours of layover, so wandered around the airport for a bit before finding my gate in the International terminal, where Larry was already waiting. We chatted for a bit, then found Bob and Cord, and before long we were all boarding the plane for the next leg of the journey.
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Thatch Caye/Blue Horizon Report

September 2015 - Mike Mercer

Late in the summer of 2015 we were visited by a gentleman representing an operation called Thatch Caye Resort in Belize. Most interesting to us was that they had locked up the services of legendary permit guide Lincoln Westby and his crew of guides to fish any and all anglers visiting their place. After some back and forth it was determined that we should check the place out, and I was the only one free to make the trip. I'd fished with Lincoln before, and knew I was in for a treat...

So on the 22nd of September I left Sacramento...
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