What are the factors that make best fishing lodges so good?
At one time or another, we've all had the desire to gather a few friends and reserve space at the fishing lodge of our dreams. Generally speaking, it's done in the summer months, involves some traveling, and requires planning before you go.
There are fishing lodges all over the world, but in America we have some of the best fishing in the world right within our own borders.
Fishing lodge hosts work hard to offer great accommodations and access to the best sportfishing, but it's never a guarantee. No lodge owner can control the weather or the fish, so it's up to us to be patient when our well-though out trip comes with some of these difficult factors.
All the same, there are all-inclusive fishing lodges, luxury fishing lodges, and fishing resorts that offer more than just a boat, a guide, and a rod and reel. A fishing lodge is a place where you go to stay in comfort during the night and fish during the day.
In that way, we can all agree that if it is a lodge, your comfort should be job one. Here are the characteristics that the best of the best share.
Whether it is a fly fishing lodge in Montana, a bonefishing paradise in the Bahamas, or a king salmon and steelhead fishing experience in Alaska, we all want to be comfortable. Part of our expectations as a paying lodger is to have a room and a roof over our head each evening.
That being said, a hot meal three times a day should go without saying. In fact, those outfitters that can cook up a few caught fish as a shore lunch add an extra piece of awesome hospitality.
Yes, a hot tub, room service, and a beer fridge in your suite is great, but really it's the basic hotel accommodations that you'd expect, and that you should look for when booking.
2. Fishing Packages
A variety of styles and species is a great thing for a fishing lodge to offer. Perhaps one day you would like a fly fishing excursion for northern pike from the shore, and the next a float trip for grayling. Some lodges even offer horseback riding to get to your next fishing adventure.
Some anglers may be just as content to stay right in the compound and fish from the dock or the shore while others could board a float plane and fly 50 miles into the backcountry to fish waters that have barely ever seen a hook.
Do they offer wade-fishing trips, float trips, or even boat or kayak rentals to try your own luck? There's a just a few of the things you can ask your outfitter when you get him or her on the phone.
3. Earned Respect and Recognition
Only you know who you can really trust when the chips are down, but there are reasons why the best lodges continue to have high ratings and get good reviews. Sure, there's always one disgruntled guy that got skunked who couldn't wait to plunk down a bad review, but he probably doesn't know a Palomar knot from a paddle boat.
Did the reviewers have good things to say about the guides, the hosts, and the service? What happened when the weather was rotten? Was there entertainment or maybe some non-fishing activities for family members? The best fishing lodges will have all of these contingencies covered and more.
4. Veteran Guides
The best fishing, especially the best trout fishing needs an experienced hand to make it the most successful that it can be. Even at that, every professional guide was once a youth angler, just like you and me, it's just that they began to realize that they were quite good at finding and catching fish and only ever wanted to share that talent with everyone.
Guides hired by the best lodges have been fishing, learning and re-learning to fish that same area for a lifetime, and have the credentials to prove it. These same folks don't mind sharing their vast knowledge with anyone who wants to learn and be successful. Experienced anglers, novice anglers, and especially youth anglers can all benefit from a great veteran fishing guide.
Good fishing guides are one of the main reasons why so many people love to hire an outfitter and stay at their lodge.
World class sportfishing can be had in plenty of places in the U.S., but the best fishing lodges are located in precisely the best spots for water access, high quality utilities, and scenery.
From Table Rock Lake to Washington, anglers have found some of the most amazing places to fish ever discovered, and along the way some enterprising folks made a wise investment and bought some property right alongside of it all.
The big decision simply depends on what your expectations are, where you would like to go, and what kind of fish you really had your heart set on catching.
Ultimately, the fishing getaway of your heart's desire should be based on what you want to catch, not the deluxe lodging. Many fishing destinations, whether freshwater or saltwater, offer great angling, but it's the extras that can help ti[ the scales in your decision making.
Fishing lodges were born of the desire to make angling better and more comfortable for everyone, but it stands to reason that some of us would prefer to do it on our own.
For those whose life's ambition it is to find great fishing with a great place to stay while doing it, look for lodges with these things in common and start planning to come back every year for more.
Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our writers and editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.