New places, people and cultures are key ingredients in the recipe for adventure. And what kind of fly-fisherman doesn’t crave that? When you read the “Above and Beyond” feature, you’ll notice a line referencing how we as anglers sometimes equate the “quality of fishing” expectation to the number of hours it took to get somewhere or even the lengths we’ve gone to arrive. It’s almost as though the more bruises we suffer and batterings we endure in transit, the more deserving or entitled we feel to hear the sound of our reels screaming. Well, sorry — even though you have an intense love for the fish you chase — they simply don’t care about your blood, sweat and tears. Our traveling war wounds have nothing to do with catching. Sure, spending double-digit hours on a commercial jet crossing an ocean builds anticipation and adds excitement to your purpose. And obviously, that second leg to a remote island riding shotgun in a non-street-legal puddle-jumper, piloted by someone who doesn’t speak your language, quickly transforms from a white-knuckle, cold-sweat hell into an experience you wouldn’t trade for the world — as soon as the rickety wheels touch down, that is. However, getting on an airplane doesn’t guarantee squat. Does getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road? Still no. But come on, does it get any better than loading down a truck with an obscene amount of fly gear and setting out on a mission? Traveling via highway in lieu of the friendly skies offers its own unique advantages. No excess baggage charges, you know the person sitting next to you doesn’t smell (or so you hope), you leave when you want, and if you don’t feel like eating an insultingly small bag of peanuts to hold you over, pull over and fill your gut with whatever you want. Behind the wheel, you are in control.
The very best road trips inevitably come about the most haphazardly. You know, the ones that arise as a challenge when your buddy throws down the late night spur-of-the-moment inquiry: “road trip?” You can’t say no. Remember, though, just because you think you are being “hard-core” for pulling an all-nighter and departing for the Keys at 2 a.m. to be on the water at first light, doing so has absolutely no bearing on whether or not your quarry will cooperate. Don’t forget — fish don’t care. Conventional fishermen shouldn’t consider us elitist; they should, however, know we are different. To us, catching will always be the gravy on top of the overall. Keep that in mind on your next fly-fishing trek, whether you get your passport stamped or not. No matter how near or how far you travel by boat, plane or car — our oceans are riddled with adventure and life experiences.
Check out our “Hit the Road” feature. It includes five must-fish destinations that don’t require a passport.