It’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of our surroundings, to be consumed by the daily tasks and responsibilities that demand the focus of our attention. Spending too long in this bubble day in and day out can be both mentally and physically draining. Our minds and bodies crave tranquility and rejuvenation, planting a strong desire within us to return to our origins in nature in search of this revitalization.
Every nature-lover has an activity that brings them outside and satisfies this innate connection with the outdoors. For some, it’s hiking or camping; for me, that passion has always been fly fishing. You get to spend hours reveling in beautiful surroundings, waist-deep in pristine water and breathing in that crisp mountain air. Fly fishing brings people into direct contact with nature in ways that other hobbies can’t, which is one of the many reasons I fell in love with the sport over 35 years ago. It also demands patience and focus—two traits that are very familiar to me as a serial entrepreneur and the founder, funder, and chairman of CAbi.
Anglers explore every river, lake, and stream to discover the most serene spots to engage in the mental and physical sport of fly fishing. These enthusiasts are no stranger to the irrefutable beauty of the great outdoors, both within the United States and in remote destinations scattered across the globe. There are over 4.5 million fly fishermen in the world, and these are some of their top recommendations to add to your list:
Alphonse Island, Seychelles
This island is a fly fisherman’s paradise located just 1,000 miles off the eastern side of Africa’s coast. The luxurious Alphonse Island Resort is not for anglers with a strict budget, but many say the cost is worth the experience. This section of the Indian Ocean is inhabited by bonefish and other exotic species like giant trevally and milkfish. Milkfish are notorious for being difficult to catch, but Alphonse’s guides have mastered this skill and offer up their insight to the fly fishermen who visit their destination.
Marlins, tuna, and dorado are plentiful in Ixtapa, but its real appeal is its sailfish. On a good day, an angler will have dozens of opportunities to catch a sailfish, which is why this fishery has become reputed as the go-to source for sails. The more experienced fishermen who frequent Ixtapa say their total number of releases exceed thousands to date.
Jupiter Inlet, Florida
Some anglers tend to favor certain fishing styles and, therefore, certain types of fish. These preferences are dependent upon their enthusiasm for either freshwater or saltwater fly fishing. For saltwater fly fishermen, Jupiter Inlet is one of the most diverse spots around. Spinner sharks are plentiful in winter and there is an abundance of blackfin and Mahi in the summertime. There are also bluefish and Spanish mackerel for fly-rodding fanatics.
Madison River, Montana
Montana is a mecca for freshwater fly fishing, offering up unparalleled creeks, reservoirs, and rivers where any angler could happily spend an entire day. The Madison River is one of my favorites, and it also happens to flow directly behind my ranch. It is known for its “50-mile riffle,” which runs the length of Ennis to Quake Lake. Here, browns and rainbows are the draws for most anglers. The length of each fish averages around 16-18 inches, with some even extending beyond 20 inches!
Whether you hop in a car and drive across state borders or fly halfway around the globe to visit one of these destinations, these immaculate locations provide a unique fly fishing experience that many anglers don’t often get to experience. But more than that, they offer fishermen a momentary escape from the chaos – a time to bring themselves back to nature and refresh both their bodies and minds.