Having been a guide for over twenty years in both fresh and saltwater, I’ve pretty much run into almost every situation you can possibly think of. In this new series, “Guide Lines”, I’m going to focus on tips to help you become a better saltwater fly fisherman. These series of tips may be second nature to some of you, but I’m sure there are many of you that will simply say to yourselves, I can’t believe I never thought of that!
HOW TO PROPERLY PACK YOUR GEAR BAG ON YOUR NEXT TRIP
The way in which you need to prepare your gear is vastly different from a US saltwater captain and a guide abroad. Most of the US guides and captains will have the essentials needed for a productive day on the water. When fly fishing abroad, you must have the mentality that your guide will having nothing more than the boat you are floating on. Most guides that you fish with abroad simply don’t have the access to the gear and tackle that comes so easy to the rest of us. When I’m hosting a to a destination trip, I always try to pack things that I know are so difficult for guides to find. Something as simple as a pair line nippers can be impossible for guides abroad to find. I leave all that I can with them, knowing I can easily purchase these items when I return to the States.
Aside from the obvious, fly rods and reels, you must assume they have nothing. One of the most important items to bring is a good selection of flies. Don’t assume they have flies just because they are fly fishing guides at a reputable fly fishing lodge. Some lodges have small fly shops, but most don’t. You can always contact us at TIDEHEAD and we can help with our ‘What’s Working Now” fly selections for each location.
Additional items that are often overlooked are smaller items of great importance: leaders, tippet spools, pliers, line nippers, hand towel, sun block, bug spray, line cleaner, hook sharpener, extra pair of sun glasses, extra buff, extra pair of socks, first aid kit and anything you might need personally.
If you live by the rule that your guides will have nothing more than the boat you are floating on, you’ll pack your gear bag properly on your next trip. And remember, if there’s something in your gear bag you can live without or easily replace, leave it for your guide, they will be so grateful.