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Alaska: Talk about a cheap Alaska fishing trip! Get a load of the one Jerry Swanson at Kaufmann’s Stream- born is offering out on Kodiak Island. How’s $895 for six days of semi-guided fishing for fresh silver salmon? Swanson works with a local guide who grew up on Kodiak and knows its rivers and fish runs well after many years of exploring them on his own. This trip is based from a bed and breakfast. The guide spends two days guiding anglers and orienting them on the area, the various rivers and the fishing. Anglers fish on their own the next four days. The package includes six nights of lodging, breakfast each day and dinner the first three nights. You’ll need a rental car to fish the last four days, using maps and directions provided by the guide.

Obviously, this trip is for independent anglers who do not need close direction or instruction. These trips take place from mid-July to about August 19. The same guide also takes anglers in the fall on fully-guided trips on several estuaries and rivers. Again, the quarry is silver salmon up to 10 pounds. The fishing is from a pontoon boat and by wading. This trip is based from a cabin right on the river. The cabin houses up to four anglers. Trips are from September to early October and include airport transfers, six nights of lodging with the final night in a bed and breakfast, all meals and five days of guided fishing. The price is $1,495 per person.

Both of these trips generally book out each year and have a high rate of repeat bookings. Swanson says this time of year is the best time to lock in a slot for the following season.

Czech Republic: Olivier Lauzanne at Planet Fly Fishing in France tells us he is offering trout and grayling fishing on the Otava River. The area is three hours from Prague at altitudes of 2,000 to 2,600 feet. Planet Fly Fishing has exclusive access to 19 miles of varied waters on the Otava, which have what Lauzanne calls a high density of browns, rainbows and grayling. He says the river features sections of fast and slow waters. The lower section offers nine miles of water clear enough for sight casting and dry fly fishing. Grayling are prolific and average between 12 and 14 inches, but can run up to 20 inches. Some browns, rainbows and char are also present. The middle stretch covers 7½ miles and offers dry, wet and streamer fishing for 12- to 16-inch char and 20- to 22-inch rainbows. The upper reaches of the river, consisting of about 4½ miles of water, contain mostly brown trout, which are small (about 10 inches) but abundant.

Accommodation is in a nearby country lodge in Sumava National Park. The season runs from April to October, with the best times from May to July and September to October. A fully-guided trip for six nights and five days runs 991 Euros ($1,335 US); an unguided trip for six days and seven nights is slightly less at 900 Euros ($1,212 US). That includes accommodations, fishing licenses and transfers.

Dubai: This is a place you have probably never thought of in terms of fishing, right? Dubai, located on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the seven emirates, or federated countries, that make up the United Arab Emirates. Thanks to oil and gas revenues, Dubai is a modern state with a high standard of living. Luxury hotels line its coasts and innovative skyscrapers and other construction projects rise up next to Old World mosques. Seems Roxtons works with a boat captain here to offer fly fishing for sailfish.

According to Roxtons, Dubai is one of the finest sailfish locations in the world. From September to April, when the air temperatures are coolest, schools of sardines invade the warm shallows of the Arabian Gulf to feed on the prolific plankton blooms. Sailfish follow the sardines. Roxtons claims that fish over 120 pounds are common, along with good numbers of king mackerel, queenfish, cobia and dorado. Fishing is conducted from one of two 30-foot boats that cruise in relatively shallow depths of 60 to 70 feet about 40 miles from shore. They fish with both conventional tackle (which they provide) and with fly tackle. Fly anglers should bring their own equipment. Fishing days run a full 10 hours from departure to return to the marina. Roxtons’ packages start at £2,260 per person ($4,500 US) for three days of fishing, based on double occupancy and including international flights.

Dubai is a popular vacation destination offering non-angling companions all kinds of activities everything from shopping in local bazaars and scores of designer boutiques in ultra-modern shopping malls to desert safaris to camel trekking to sightseeing to water skiing. Air service to Dubai is on Emirates Airlines, which has received various international industry awards and recognitions for superior service.

Morocco: Here’s another place most anglers don’t think of as a fishing destination. Planet Fly Fishing has managed to blend the romance of Casablanca with the excitement of marlin fishing in this North African destination. The captain and crew they are booking reportedly hold a number of IGFA fly rod records for billfish and specialize in getting fly fisherman on marlin. Anglers reportedly raise four to 10 fish a day.

The fishing at this location takes place 10 to 40 miles offshore from the nearby city of Mohamedia, where white and occasionally blue marlin migrate in large numbers. Fish typically run 55 to 100 pounds. The season spans from August to October, with the best fishing from August 15 to September 15.

Accommodations on this trip are in a 4 Star hotel in Casablanca, where non-angling companions can enjoy various activities, including sightseeing, shopping and spa treatments. A standard package for five nights and four fishing days runs 2,670 Euros ($3,600 US), and includes flights from Europe and transfers to the hotel. Planet Fly Fishing can arrange for tourist packages as well.

Florida: Kayak fishing has become a big deal in northeast Florida, according to guide and angling artist Vaughn Cochran of Black Fly Outfitters in St. Augustine. What makes kayak fishing so popular is the low cost and what Cochran describes as a highly satisfying fishing experience. Low cost indeed $135 for a ½ day; $185 for ¾ day; and $235 for a full day.

Fishing is for tarpon, redfish, sea trout, flounder and bluefish. Guides accompany anglers to explore the countless creeks, rivers, tidal flats and estuaries from Amelia Island at the very northern end of eastern Florida to Pellicer Flats just north of Palm Coast. Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jacksonville or St. Augustine is included.

You can book a kayak trip here anytime, but if you want to catch big tarpon, they cruise the beaches here from late June to early October. Cochran provides the kayak, safety gear and fishing tackle.

Scotland: Here’s a useful trip planning tool if you’re headed to the United Kingdom. Fish Scotland is a comprehensive web site that helps anglers with every aspect of their fishing trip to this destination. The site breaks the country down into fishing regions and provides a list of waters, river rules and regulations and beat costs. It also provides information on guides and accommodations. The site also has a search mechanism that helps you find available rod slots on specific rivers and beats. You can even sign up, for a fee, to receive e-mail alerts about specific availabilities.

The web page is well organized, allowing you to make general searches or drill down to the nitty-gritty details of a specific beat, the necessary equipment, fishing tips and even where to stay. The site is divided according to the kind of fishing an angler is interested in trout, grayling, salmon, pike or sea fishing. Each section provides detailed updates on water levels and conditions, a brief review of the fishing season so far and daily/weekly catch reports. The sections also offer a list of local angling clubs and tackle shops for advice and guidance.

The guide listings on the web site include the names of the available ghillies, along with their rates, telephone numbers and their e-mail and web addresses. If you have any questions, there’s a phone number to reach a live person for information and advice.

Brazil: J. W. Smith of Rod & Gun Resources tells us he is dedicating some peacock bass rivers in the Amazon to fly fishermen only this year. Fly angling clients on these rivers will cast to fish without competing against the attention-stealing equipment of baitcasters. Smith did not want to name the specific waterways, but he says they are clear-water rivers that lend themselves to fly fishing. He says one of the camps will be located on headwaters near clear springs that offer plenty of sight-casting opportunities.

Smith plans to run 10 weeks of fishing on these rivers during the peak of the season from January into March of 2008. Each floating camp is limited to eight anglers who will have seven days of fishing. At press time, Smith had not finalized his pricing, but says it will be in the neighborhood of $3,850. At this writing, he had plenty of openings. Smith, by the way, is working with an airfare wholesaler and anticipates flights from Miami to Manaus to run about $950 for his clients.

(Postscript: Do you have news appropriate for this column? Agents, subscribers and outfitters are all welcome to contribute.)

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