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By D. Roger Maves
Going on a fly fishing trip to a different part of the world does not only take long hours of planning; it also costs a lot of money. So how can you make sure that you’re getting what you paid for?
Listen to Jim Klug's show:
Destination Travel - How to Get Your Money's Worth
Jim Klug has guided extensively in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon, and has fished waters throughout the world, including the Bahamas, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Alaska, Canada, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, India, and more. If you want to learn about the best places to go, where you get the most bang for your buck and how to make do-it-yourself trips successful you'll want to listen the this show.
Jim Klug has a wide experience working the fishing industry as a guide, sales representative, and a travel coordinator. He has guided in several areas in the U.S. including Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon. He also has extensive experience fishing in the waters of Bahamas, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Alaska, Canada, U.S.V.I., B.V.I., Cuba, India, and numerous other countries in the world. He is an executive producer for Confluence Films, the maker of the film Drift.
According to Jim, the past six months or so has been a very interesting period in the travel business. There is definitely good news for the traveling anglers since there are good deals to be had out there. However, the industry and a number of lodges are getting beat up in the deal. These operations may only have a three or four-month window and "they’ve got to really make that hay while the sun is shining".
Travelers who are willing to do last-minute type travel are going to get phenomenal deals and discounts. Lodges in operation, domestic and international, offer deals, sales, incentives, rebates, and other programs that the industry has never seen offered before and certainly not during prime season. Travelers who are willing to get this kind of arrangement and willing to spend some money can save a ton of money on very amazing trips.
Airline tickets have been down from 20-40 percent over the last few months. Combined with that are amazing deals that lodges are offering.
Great deals are very easy to find these days with the help of the Internet. Blogs and chat rooms are good sources of information. One great thing about the Internet is that it does not have a shortage of people who want to offer their advice. However, as always, you also have to look at the disadvantages.
According to Jim, anybody can put together a beautiful and amazingly glossy photo-heavy Web site for $2000. One can be misled just from looking at the website with those nice pictures, but once they arrive in that place, they will realize that it is not what they saw online. It is always a good step to conduct a research first before booking for any fly fishing trip. Take the initiative to ask the lodge or the operator for references. If they are legit, Jim says they will not hesitate to provide information. Then you can just e-mail or call those references. You can also Google it and read the reviews that will pop up.
Traveling anglers should be careful about booking trips. Many lodge owners come up with unrealistic expectations in order to persuade anyone to book with their operation. Getting a booking agent is a good alternative since an agents’ number one job is to manage their clients’ expectations. "A third party entity can provide you with that good, unbiased, honest information and that’s the key," says Jim.
Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula are good destinations for saltwater fly fishing since they have one of the most volumes and incentives at this time. If you’re looking forward to more freshwater fly fishing, Alaska is a good place to travel especially on the months of July, August, and September.
Women anglers can try the Turneffe Flats in Belize since it is one of the best and safest place to fly fish.
Going to your fly fishing destination can be a lot of fun; however, the downside is when you’re with someone who you don’t match up with well. Sometimes it may be somebody who doesn’t understand the location system, someone that is incredibly boring, or somebody who just doesn’t stop talking. Whenever you go out with a group, it is best to make sure that you like that person.
Some fly fishing partners might not be fair about paying for meals, gas, and flies. The secret is to split down the amount in the invoice with your partner before you get to your destination. This will prevent uncomfortable situations.
Since lodges cannot give refunds at the last second, it is also advisable to get travel insurance in case something negative happens like having a sick family member a few days before you’re set to travel.
There are three lessons that all anglers should know before setting off to their fly fishing destination:
Lesson one: You will typically get what you pay for. If you invest a little bit in your trip, you will probably going to get more out of your trip as opposed to not investing any money on the trip.
Lesson two: It is going to depend on the location where you’re traveling to. If you cannot even access the flats without a 30-minute boat ride, don’t go to southern Belize and try to do a do-it-yourself trip.
Lesson three: Prepare a pre-trip packing list, whether you’re going through an agent or you’re trying to do everything on your own.
Listen to our complete interview with Jim Klug and find out more tips on destination travel and how to get your money’s worth.
Listen to related shows…
Fly Fishing and Photographing the World - Barry & Cathy Beck
Planning the Fly Fishing Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska - Bryan Whiting