Fly Fishing does not immediately come to mind when we think of luxury sporting activities. Yachting, sailing, golf, or even race car driving seem more apt to attract the wealthy. This is not necessarily the case. Luxury fishing vacations have become increasingly popular. We are not talking about the hunt your own worm, find a stick and go down to the local pond to catch some mud-crusted pan fish type of experience. These are isolated fishing lodges, usually accessed via helicopter or hydroplane, that offer unexpected comfort. The price of these trips is on par with an expensive 5-star stay in any major city, as such, they are reserved for the most ardent of fishermen who go to spend days on a river and not in a hotel. The increase in the number of high end fly-fishing destinations shows that the popularity is on the rise. These trips are all inclusive affairs, where 40 year old scotch is sipped while waiting for the staff to bring you hors d’oeuvres. When the dinner bell rings the chef presents culinary delights that can rival some of the best restaurants. This is all served in a simple, yet luxurious setting; nature is on display at these resorts. The goal for these visitors is to have their days spent out on the water and their nights spent in comfort. It should be mentioned that you are at a fishing lodge, so luxury finishing like marble or granite are rarely seen. Many of these camps have no access by car, so everything must be flown in. What you get is a clean, well kept cabin that is definitely the most luxurious abode for miles around.
When compiling this list the factors that were considered were the available fish, the surrounding scenery and the accommodations. Stars like Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are all avid fans, who knows if you have several thousand vacation dollars to spend, you may just see them at one of the following can't miss destinations.
4 Los Roques Archipelago, Venenzuela
This is possibly the most attractive saltwater fly-fishing destination in the world. The waters play between shallow emerald tinged flats and hues of dark blue in the deeper pools. Every possible salt water fishing environment exists in this paradise. There are white sand beaches, crystal clear lagoons, mangrove islands and ocean-facing flats to tantalize the most discerning of angler. The islands lie 140 km off shore, and have a local population of only 1500, most of whom live on the main island. Moreover, the entire area is a national park which ensures its preservation for generations to come. There are many species of fish available in Los Roques. Most visitors want to catch the elusive Bonefish. These are found on the flats feeding on minnows, their pale skin providing a perfect camouflage against the white sand bottom. If these prove too difficult to nab, there are 80 lbs Tarpon and 35 pound jacks at your disposal. This is a Caribbean style paradise, where a day on the beach can easily replace a day fishing.
If you want to experience this area in luxurious comfort try the Posada Mediterraneo. They will arrange an all inclusive package that will allow you to get world class relaxation, fabulous gourmet food, along with a top notch fishing experience.
3 Mongolian River Excursions, Mongolia
There are few places on the planet that are as untouched as Mongolia for fishermen. The exotic environment and isolated location make it a desired destination for many of the wealthiest fishermen. Still relatively unknown as a fishing destination, it is becoming increasingly popular due to the experience it offers. The trip involves drifting down the river through a sparse and beautiful steppe landscape while hooking into trophy trout and Taimen. Taimen can become quite large, measuring up to 60 inches; a battle no fisherman will soon forget.
Luxury means a different thing when you are talking about a Mongolian adventure. The truth is Mongolians are nomads and so must you be as you drift down the river searching for your trophy. Mongolian River Outfitters provide superb quality of service and a level of luxury that is often unexpected in this barren part of the world. You will stay in traditional Yurts, which can be mistaken for mere tents but offer a lot more. These wood frame, tarp covered, abodes provide all the comfort of home within a constrained circular space. The support staff will move your equipment to each camp and make sure your items arrive at the next camp before you do. The food is also wonderful for what is essentially a luxurious camping trip.
2 Amazon River, Brazil
The amazon is the largest river by volume of water in the world. It’s drainage basin covers 40% of South America and it releases its waters into the Atlantic with such force that it creates a plume of freshwater measuring 400 km long x 200 km wide. It is easy to imagine with that type of waterway there would be great fishing spots. There are numerous places to catch the prize of the amazon, the Peacock Bass. These ferocious fighters make your heart race each time they hit your line. Although there are a ton of species in the Amazon, the Peacock is king.
Most lodges are located on tributaries where the flow is a little calmer and the water a lot clearer. The Agua Boa Amazon Lodge is one of these and leads the way in terms of luxury fishing accommodations. Whereas most trips on the Amazon involve being cramped in a house boat, the Agua Boa accommodates 12 anglers in comfort. There is a pool, a volleyball court and a soccer field for after fishing activities. The area is protected by the government which ensures privacy, you will not see another person in your area, although you may see tapir, macaws or, if you are lucky, a jaguar.
1 Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego translated means land of fire, yet this archipelago is located in the far south and has a sub-polar climate. Although not fiery, this makes for a perfect fishing climate. The main fish here is the Sea Run Brown trout. Anglers making the trek down to this area can expect to catch fish weighing in over 10 lbs. The surrounding scenery is a wind swept landscape complete with glaciers and crystal clear rivers. There are even penguins to be seen in this land. As a bonus, certain operators offer a trip to Antarctica, a place not too many people think of going to, let alone see for themselves.
This area has a few luxurious lodges because trout fishing in this location is considered one of the best in the world, helping develop a healthy tourist industry in the area. The best place to stay is the Kautapen Lodge. They have been accommodating the well to do fisherman for 30 years and offer comfortable accommodations. Capable of hosting 12 guests the lodge is roomy and provides great views of the countryside. The days on the water are long, the comforts of the lodge are always a welcomed sight.
The Kamchatka Peninsula is an vast wilderness of volcanoes, wildlife and untamed beauty. All told there are 160 volcanoes on the peninsula, 29 of which are active. This is truly a land of fire and ice. Smoke billows out of perfectly shaped craters and contrasts against the snow capped peaks of sister mountains, creating a sort of alien feel. The area is so different from what people are used to, that you almost believe you are on another planet. Beyond all this natural wonder, the trout fishing is also out of this world. Rainbow trout measuring up to 35 inches long can be caught in this paradise for fisherman. Just keep your eyes out for bears, as the population is thriving.
If you decide to go to this hotbed for Rainbows, the Zendzur Hot Springs Lodge is the place to stay. The accommodations are comparable to that of the finest lodges you would find in Alaska. The guest suites are large and comfortable, but the main attraction are the hot springs that are on the property. After a long day on the water what is better than a beer, in a hot spring while watching smoke rising from a far off volcano with images of the trophy trout you caught swimming through your mind!