Our Man In Canada
April 29th, 2002

Snowbird Destinations - Tico Trout

Expatriate Canadian Rainbow

By Rory E. Glennie

Trout and Beyond:

Fly-fishing for rainbow trout in Costa Rica is an oddity for sure, and probably presents one of the strangest places on Earth to find trout. World record tarpon, sailfish, snook, and guapote are the usual target for visiting fly fishers. However, trout fishing is a powerful attraction and is offered as one of the components in a "Costa Rican Grand Slam." That is when you try to catch a sailfish, a rainbow trout, and a tarpon, all in the same day. Should you wish to try this, here's how it goes: sailfish in the Pacific Ocean in the morning, trout in the mountains midday, and tarpon on the Atlantic side in the evening. A helicopter gets you from one ocean to the other with a stop in the mountains in between.

Some notable rods have tried that feat, but the obstacle to success tends to be catching a trout. Seemingly, saltwater specialists have a hard time getting their mind wrapped around the small stream stealth tactics needed to entice a wily rainbow. Few have accomplished the Grand Slam, as the expense involved limits the number of participants, but it is quite do-able.

Little Angler

For the truly adventurous fly fisher, an excurion to the trout streams in the Mountains of Death can be undertaken as a do-it-yourself project. From what I could ascertain, the foreign fly fisher has little to fear from the myths and legends surrounding this ill-named region. Once you are down into the lush verdant valley, rock hopping along the cool trout stream, all eerie notions of disappeared souls quickly vanish. However, it's best for the first timer to hire an experienced fly-fishing guide for the trip into the hills. Besides assisting with fishing, he can provide you with a colourful running commentary on the area and its abundant wildlife and flora, including the gorgeous, long-tailed mystical bird of royalty, the rare Quetzal. ~ Rory E. Glennie

We thank the Canadian Fly Fisher for re-print permission!

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