Planning the 40th birthday fly-fishing bonanza

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alosa, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    I turn 40 next July and have begun the process of planning a fly-fishing trip from my bucket-list of destinations. I have two very different plans in mind depending on finances (Kamchatka/Alaska/New Zealand/Patagonia are not viable options...I'll keep dreaming).

    Option #1 - Tarpon in Boca Grande, Florida. I have family in the area, so accommodations would be free and I could shop at the grocery store and cook for myself. Besides the flight to Fort Myers and the purchase of a guided trip, I think this is perhaps the most cost-effective option.

    Option #2 - Trout bonanza in MT, WY, and ID. I've always wanted to fish the Rockies and to be surrounded by mountain vistas (especially the Tetons) while hooking into rainbows, browns, and cutthroats. I've gone through two books (i.e., Fifty places to fly fish before you die, and fifty MORE places...) and have narrowed down a trip to include one or more (perhaps up to three?) of the following locations:

    i) Henry's Fork;
    ii) Middle Fork of the Salmon River;
    iii) Bighorn River;
    iv) Madison River;
    v) South Fork of the Snake River;
    vi) Big Hole River.

    I'd like your input on my choices for Option #2. Are there rivers that I should have included here that are not listed? If you could choose three rivers from option #2 what would they be and why? Have I listed any rivers on your own bucket list?

    If I pursue option #2 (I'm strongly leaning that way as I can pursue Option #1 some other time) I would drive and could camp the entire time. I am flexible on timing of the trip, but July-August would probably be best to encounter the best hatches at altitude.

    Any thoughts are welcome, and thanks for your advice.
     
  2. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    #2, definitely #2 except I would change the order... iii, iv, vi, i, v, then ii. I would also move your timeframe forward doing as much in July as post run-off affords.
     
  3. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    Thanks for the response. I should have mentioned that items i-vi are in NO particular order, but I appreciate you 'ranking' them.:)
     
  4. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Option #1 all the way. You can catch trout any year of your life. Only the Silver King is worthy of your 40th birthday. Go in late April, May, June, or October. Jamie Allen is a very good guide, as is his friend Skip Zink.
     
  5. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  6. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I'd say head south and bow before the King.
     
  7. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    What he said.
     
  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Not really ranking them so much as driving to the furthest first and working your way back towards home.
     
  9. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    If you end up doing the Montana trip, pick two or three rivers tops. Trying to hit all the waters on your list isn't realistic. Unless your planning to take the full twomonths you mentioned. I like to spend a week on new water. It takes time to learn the nuances of a river to really get the best out of it.

    As for order. If going in the fall, I like to start high and work my way down. Have had the first snows catch me. Good fishing but makes getting around hard.
     
  10. Joe Goodfellow

    Joe Goodfellow Active Member

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    Fly into the middle fork of the salmon that would be epic
     
  11. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    So many folks have suggested the tarpon option that I'm beginning to lean that way. As I mentioned accomodations in Florida would be covered, so I would just need to fly there and high a guide for a couple of days. I've never fished MT/WY/ID, so perhaps I 'll do that another time. At least I've got my list of rivers figured out.
     
  12. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    This is rhetorical, but what's your ideal total budget - and your absolute maximum budget? The reason I ask is I sometimes see friends spend more on their 'cheap' compromise trip than they would have spent on their dream trip. With time to research and plan, you might be able to pull off a real dream trip for way less than you think.

    People often see the prices that lodges, travel agencies, tour operators, etc list in their brochures and have no idea they can do a DIY for a fraction of the price. For instance, I'm willing to bet you could probably do NZ or at least AK for the same or not much more than what you may end up spending in Florida as it's so easy to bleed cash if you're not careful - beer, steaks, Tshirts, flies, beer, dinner for your host, beer, flies, lap dance, beer...next thing you know, you've spent a ton of money and you're kicking yourself for not just going where you really wanted. And, maybe it's just me but I no longer stay with friends/ family on fishing trips because unless one of them is a rabid angler, the trip usually ends up more of a visiting trip vs a hardcore fishing trip.
     
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  13. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    Freestone: to be honest I don't have a budge...yet. Perhaps that's the first thing I should have pulled together, but I didn't want finances alone to limit what I wanted to do. Now that I've narrowed my choices, I can begin the focused research phase and figuring out what it's (realistically) going to cost. Although I value a DIY trip as much as the next person, my options aren't anywhere close to my 'home water', so I planned to hire a guide regardless if I decided to go after tarpon in Florida or trout in MT/WY/ID.

    As much as NZ or Alaska would be an amazing trip I can just see the look on my wife's face now (think various shades of red in increasing intensity until it culminates in an atomic reaction of biblical proportions).

    I understand your perspective on staying with family during this kind of trip. However, the Florida house is my father's winter residence (he's a snow bird). No one would be there during tarpon season, so I would have it all to myself.
     

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