I have travelled extensively over the past 20 years to fish for Atlantic salmon in Norway, Russia, Iceland and, of course, Scotland. I have also fished for sea trout in Argentina, Pacific salmon in Alaska and British Columbia and a variety of saltwater species throughout the Caribbean.
Over this time, with the benefit of first hand experience of these types of destinations, I have gathered a pretty good idea of when a particular river or region is likely to be fishing well and what represents good value for money.
And, to give you an idea of how critical the correct information can be consider and compare just two of the salmon Rivers on the Kola in Russia. The Varzuga, peak weeks 3rd and 4th week in May. Any earlier bad risk of heavy and dangerous ice, any later and the run is mainly through and you face terrible mosquitoes in a densely wooded region with little or no respite from the wind. Same weeks on the Yokanga, barely 100 miles north east, the river will probably still be frozen solid. Best weeks there (for the big fish) 3rd and 4th week in June. On the salt water flats your friend or enemy is the tides. Get the wrong tide week at a particular lodge or grounds and the week that “just became available due to a cancellation” turns out to be useless.
Another way in which I can help is advising you on what trip might suit you. Different destinations have different skill levels and fitness requirements, so the holiday you fancy might not always be the one that will suit you. Also the price of a holiday can often conceal the value of the fishing element contained within it and because this is the major variable, a cheaper week offered elsewhere is not necessarily better value.
So, if you join me on one of these trips you will already be benefitting from my knowledge and experience, as I don’t go if its not going to be good! That doesn’t mean to say I guarantee to get it right every time as of course the weather can be unpredictable but at least I know when not to go and for what reason. I will also be able to advise you on what to take so that you are properly equipped when we get there.
When we do get there I will not only organise the fishing, but will also be able to offer advice on tactics for the prevailing conditions. Sometimes destinations have good experienced guides but not always. Then I can always help anyone who is struggling, but please note that unless advertised as such, on most of my overseas trips I am fishing a full rod myself and so I am not there as a guide or in my official capacity as an instructor.
Finally if you do decide to join me on one of my trips please be prepared to abide by a few basic rules in terms of beat rotation, fishing times, and so on, all of which ensure that everybody enjoys a fair division of the fishing. I am quite strict about this as I have been to too many places in the past where the greed or bad behaviour of just one or two members of the party have utterly ruined the week.
And now for your information…
Expectations About The Fishing: Where stated, catch averages are worked out from the historic performance of the week concerned divided by the number of rods fishing. When working out your expectations please remember that an average is just that. Some, whether by luck, skill or effort, will catch more, others will catch proportionately less. As I once wrote “Disappointment is only a measure of reality divided by expectation. If you lower your expectation you will never be disappointed!”
Booking: For all my overseas trips you will be asked to book direct with whichever company handles that destination and your contract is with them not me, so that you are protected by their ATOL license and will, in the unlikely event of the Company going bust, be at least repatriated through this Government protection initiative. Please note however that when you book with them, as well as enjoying their protection you will be signing up to their terms & conditions of business. If you have any queries about their terms please do not hesitate to ask me, but as a minimum, before paying anything please be aware that most companies make the payment of deposits non-refundable and balance payments subject to strict cancellation rules.
Finally let me state the obvious but a reminder none-the-less. International travel, travel by small aircraft, helicopters, boats and fishing in very remote areas carry a higher than normal degree of risk. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are medically fit for the type of activity the holiday or trip involves, that you inform me and/or the agents in writing if you have any condition we should be aware of in order to be able to minimise these risks and maximise your safety and enjoyment. You must also obtain adequate holiday, travel, and medical insurance cover and whilst I and/or the agents will try to assist in the event of a claim we accept no responsibility for the actions of any Insurance Company and/or underwriters.