S4:E34 Taking an Exotic Fly Fishing Trip

Steve has fished in Alaska, but other than that, neither of us has gone on a fly fishing trip outside North America. We’ve recently been wondering if it is time. But where to start? We decided to interview Toby Swank, who owns one of the premier fly fishing shops in Bozeman, Montana, and has conducted hosted trips to places like Mexico, Belize, and New Zealand. In this episode we interview Toby on what fly fishers should expect when taking an exotic fly fishing trip. For more information on Toby’s fly shop, you can visit Fins & Feathers.


Great Stuff from Our Listeners. Have you been on an exotic fly fishing trip before? Would love to hear your stories. Please post your highlights below- and we may discuss your comments at the end of one of our next episodes!


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6 Replies to “S4:E34 Taking an Exotic Fly Fishing Trip”

  1. My wife and I have taken only one exotic fly fishing trip, to Belize, and I really want to stress what Toby mentioned: the other people on the trip can make or break your experience, be sure to do your research. One member of the group on my trip just dominated all the talk: he knew everything about fly fishing, politics and how other people should be living their lives and he wasn’t about to wait to be asked before sharing his wisdom, pausing only long enough to guzzle some more rum before telling us how to live life. It got to the point that we were spending a lot of time in our room just to avoid him. It really made the trip unpleasant and we were kind of relieved to be heading home at the end of the week. In the future, I’ll only do a trip like that if I know everyone in the group, or at least someone I know can vouch for the other members.

    1. Wow, that is a powerful story and illustrates Toby’s caution. Thank you so much for posting,


  2. Hi Guys a few years back I took an escorted fly fishing trip to Slovenia and wow was I amazed at the scenery and the rivers. I knew the guide who escorted us but not the other participants and while we had a great time it became apparent that some of us were expecting a little different type of fishing during the few days in that beautiful country. It also should be noted that there is a difference between an escorted trip and a guided trip, you will not necessarily have the full attention of the escort. I didn’t know what to expect although I had seen photos of previous Slovenian trips and personally I would have preferred to spend more time on smaller rivers. I also would have enjoyed more local culture, but it was a great trip nonetheless.

    I guess what that escorted trip did for me was make me think about what would make my ideal trip; a local guide for a couple of days, staying in a small Slovenian hotel or Farmstay and almost all my fishing on smaller rivers. Nine months later I did just that; renting a car from the airport and driving to a super Farmstay at the junction of two rivers. I hired a local guide who I had met on the previous trip and we visited several small rivers well away from the popular rivers. The Farmstay was comfortable and the food was excellent, no choice just local Slovenian cuisine, the owners spoke very little English but again that only added to the adventure. I am not saying don’t go on an escorted trip but be sure of what you want from the trip and maybe next time you may feel comfortable enough to organize a trip yourself tailored to your exact needs.

    1. Wow! This is really helpful and insightful, Brian. I wasn’t familiar with the category of an “escorted” trip, but it makes sense. I love the description of your trip to Slovenia–the fishing, the cuisine, the scenery. Terrific!

      1. Thoughts on one of the “Great Stuff” section: My husband and I have done many adventure trips (not fly fishing though). Our honeymoon was a horseback riding trip across the south of France. There was an obnoxious fox hunter from New York who spent the the entire week being a jerk. He finally got his comeuppance when, trying to jostle past me up a narrow mountain trail, my horse raised his tail and pooped down his leg into his boot. I’ll give him this, he had a sense of humor! He said, “at least it’s warm!” (We’d been riding for several days in the rain.) After several other trips, we concluded, “there’s a Herb on every trip.” It gives us a more philosophical approach to the self-seeking attention grabbers. And FYI, don’t be shocked if Herb turns out to be a six-year old! It’s happened. Love the podcasts.

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