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Fly fishing international waters present a certain dilemma. On one hand, you know you want some form of seclusion, perhaps a bit of international waters challenge, and on the other hand, knowing you need to compromise because international waters are not ideal for solo fly fishing. While anglers tend to be loners, generally speaking, you can't afford to be that way on international waters. Not just because you won't know your way around, but because you don't want to ignorantly break any fly fishing international laws.
International expeditions go way beyond taking a spare rod and tying exotic looking flies to catch exotic looking fishes. You have to remember that exotic locations are peppered with environmental hazards, infectious diseases, and many cultural barriers. So when planning for fun, be deliberate. Here are some things you need to keep in mind before going on a fly fishing international trip.
Tips for Fly Fishing International Waters
plan for emergencies. This includes emergency evacuations, on the off chance your boat gets stuck in the middle of a remote river somewhere. You want someone closeby looking for you. Emergencies are quite broad though. You want to plan for international insurance, get all your shots updated, but you also want to go with wearable insecticide because insect bites like mosquito bites have no vaccine. Take antibiotics and antibacterial with you in your first aid.
Local guides are a must: if you're going on your expedition with other anglers, perhaps with an international group, chances are you already have a link with a local guide from your target location. The reason local guides are such an integral part of fly fishing international waters is that they know the "lay of the land". Waters, in this case. You want to go with people who know what the waters are like, where the fishes recede, instead of tossing your fly any and everywhere - guess fishing.
Watch out for international fly fishing competitions and shows. Even though anglers are generally loners, every once in awhile, all the loners get together and hunt. If you're looking for an international adventure, note the season you intend traveling and look for international competitions. The Irish fly fair is incredibly popular, but there are many other international fairs you can opt for. The beauty of fly fishing at international fairs is that you won't have to worry about planning for emergencies or paying for local guides. Of course, the downside is that you'll have to give up precious solitude. So measure the pros and cons before opting for such trips.
Have many gear options. If you're going in blind, i.e without a local guide, you might need to pack as many spare gears as possible, because you don't know the size or type of fish you're hunting for. Tanzanian waters are known for tiger fishes that'll put on the fight of their life - so you know your fly rods have to be top-notch. Trouts may not put as much struggle, but if you end up fly fishing in waters that contain bigger than average trouts - say 40 lbs - your rod will need to be prepared for the challenge they'll put up.
You might not even need a boat. Some fly fishing international trips can be done from the shores. So all you'll need are waders not local guides or even boats. The point is to do your due diligence. Proper research will not just save you lots of cash on unnecessary expenses, it'll also help you to come prepared with better gear. You might be able to find gear at each trip, but finding waders that feet just right might be more difficult.
Summers are usually the best time to go fly fishing international waters - because you're almost guaranteed a healthy thriving habitat. Before going, your due diligence should include learning who the local guides are for each country you plan on visiting if there are fly fishing permits you need to obtain in advance, and if there are local fly fishing stores, find out in advance what sort of gear you need, so you'll know whether to bring yours or rent theirs. Your trip doesn't have to be complicated, you just have to be extremely deliberate while making your plans.
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