Travel Time: Get Out of Dodge The Right Way January 19 2017

Tips for anglers traveling to a destination this winter

The hustle of the Holiday Circus is over. New Year’s has come and gone. Snow has been around for nearly ninety days. It’s time to take a trip. And…that is just what many of us do this time of year—get out of Montana in search of warmer waters and new angling adventure. Here are some useful tips and tricks to get the most from your angling travel experience.

Ship-it before you go. If you are flying to a destination and it’s possible to ship your gear before you fly, do it. Given high baggage fees and increasingly unreliable airline baggage services, shipping your gear saves you hassle and worry.

Rent it. Most shops and lodges offer rod rentals. If you only need a 9-weight for one week, rent it rather than buy. The money you save will buy you an extra day with a guide.

Road-trip planning. If you’re taking a road -trip, do it so you never backtrack. Plan your fishing to be in a loop so you save gas money and time.

Call before you go. Just before your trip, call ahead and speak with your guide, the lodge, or a local shop. Their first-hand knowledge may help with any last- minute planning. You can always check things on the Internet, but first-hand local knowledge can’t be beat.

Little towels. Pack some little cotton towels. These are great for wiping down gear at the end of the day, or wiping up excess bug dope or sunscreen so you don’t get that goop on your fly line. A few years back on a trip to a remote island in the Bahamas, my cotton hand towels were life-savers in keeping the salt mist of my glasses and gear.

Keep the local fisheries healthy. The spread of aquatic invasive species can be a death-sentence to an area’s fishery. Do your part by inspecting, washing, and drying your gear before and after a trip.

Apply sunscreen right after you shower. When heading out for the day, put sunscreen on just after you towel off from your morning shower. You don’t have to waste time applying sunscreen at the boat ramp, and the sunscreen has a better effect.

Attitude makes the difference. Your fifth grade teacher had one thing right: a positive attitude goes a long way in a leading a happy life. Same is true for a great fishing trip. Fishing travel is rife with variables. Flight schedules, weather, guides, logistics in very remote places, and more all can affect a trip. Your attitude in taking curveballs is paramount to a trips success.

And, last but most important, be honest with yourself about your ability. Do not spend a thousand dollars to travel across the globe if your 30-foot cast won’t cut- it on the gin-clear streams of New Zealand. An honest look at your own skill level is the first step in deciding where to travel and what to species to pursue. If you’ve always wanted to catch a bonefish, but if you cannot cast 40 feet and further on a consistent basis, then you should practice more before you invest money in a trip. If you are not a strong wader, then perhaps a steelhead trip or a trip to a high-mountain area is not a good idea. Before you make any trip, research the necessary skills and be honest in your assessment of those skills. If you don’t, you may spend a lot of money for boat rides and arduous stumbles in the mountains.