A Fly Fisherman’s Breakdown of World Cup Groups


If you’re anything like me, you have a list as long as a 15-foot spey rod of global fly fishing destinations you want to fish someday. With the World Cup upon us, it occurred to me that many of the countries on my fishing wish list were now playing soccer in Brazil. So today, I thought I’d look at the World Cup groupings from a fly fishing destination perspective to see how they stack up.

Some countries in the World Cup are more renowned for their fishing than others, but several proved challenging to find fly fishing examples, especially the African nations. Regardless, I found a place to fish in each country. For those countries with endless opportunities, I listed my preferred species and in-country destination.

As for the groups, you can make a case for several, but I chose Group B (Chile, Australia and Spain) and Group D (Costa Rica, England and Italy) as the Groups of Death. Group E just missed out on a vote with France, Switzerland, and Honduras. Group F may have two of the strongest countries in the tournament with Argentina and Bosnia, while Group H may offer adrenaline junkies the biggest rush (South Korea).

With this exercise I’m reminded that if you put your mind on fish mode, you can always find fish. If I missed a more desirable fishing option in each country or if you have thoughts on the groups, leave a comment.

Group A

  • Brazil – Peacock Bass Fly Fishing on Rio Agua Boa (Link: Agua Boa Lodge)
  • Mexico – Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula for tarpon (Link Yellow Dog Fly fishing)
  • Croatia – Grayling and trout near the Adriatic (Link: RodTrips)
  • Cameroon – Nile perch anyone? Here’s a dude catching one in North Cameroon (Link: video)

Group B

  • Netherlands – Northern Pike fishing and the red light district in one day. Magic. (Link: video)
  • Chile – Fishing for big browns in Patagonia (Link: video)
  • Australia – big browns in the outback of Tasmania (Link: video)
  • Spain –the Pyrenees, browns and Basque food (link: Orvis and RodTrips)

Group C

  • Colombia – Crocodiles, piranha and peacock bass (Link: Costa)
  • Ivory Coast – Where there’s marlin, there’s opportunity. (Link: video)
  • Japan – Trout fishing and sushi (Link: Fly Fisherman)
  • Greece – Browns, stoneflies, and Baklava (link: video)

Group D

  • Costa Rica – Crocodile Bay and dorado, roosterfish or sailfish (Link: Yellow Dog FlyFishing)
  • Italy – Browns, grayling, a nice Chianti and some fava beans in Tuscany (Link: video)
  • England – Browns on the River Avon. Chalkstream, mayflies and pints (Link: video)
  • Uruguay – Golden dorado in Luis Suarez’s home country (Link: Black River Outfitters)

Group E

Group F

  • Argentina – Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego (Link: Esquel Outfitters)
  • Iran – Yep, there’s trout there. Who knew? (Link: video)
  • Nigeria – Marlin fishing – it can be done. (Link: video)
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina – Trout and grayling, an underappreciated fishery? (link: video)

Group G

  • Germany – Altena in northwest Germany for trout, steins and lederhosen (Link: Casper Reininga)
  • USA – Lots of choices, but I’ve always wanted to fish bonefish and tarpon in Islamorada (video: Ted Wilson)
  • Ghana – Blue Marlin on a fly in Ghana. Potential (Link: video)
  • Portugal – Trout, carp and barbell in gin clear rivers (Link: video)

Group H

  • Belgium – Browns, rainbows and grayling plus great chocolate (Link: video)
  • South Korea – Lenok trout fishing in the demilitarized corridor. Unfortunately there are still 1.2 million landmines in the area (Link: article)
  • Russia – Mice fishing Kamchatka fishing on Russia’s eastern peninsula for huge trout. (Link: The Fly Shop)
  • Algeria – You could be Algeria’s first fly fisherman (Link: random surf fishing video).



Father’s Day Inspiration

roll wafflesI’ve been considering a new blog and it hit me this morning about the time my wife and kids delivered me cinnamon roll waffles that Father’s Day would be the perfect day to kick it off. While timing for this new blog has been in question, my topic was never in doubt.

Fly fishing.

It’s my only response to the classic career question, ‘What type of work would you do for free?’ I had an instant connection on my first fly fishing trip to Utah’s Green River three decades ago even though it took another year to catch my first fish on a fly. Today my family and career are my clearest priorities. My wife also knows that fly fishing is anything but free. Aside from a family trip somewhere near fishing and an annual guys fishing trip or two to the Deschutes, I fish far less than I want. In recent years I’ve also found myself thinking less about the sport and knew something had to change.

I used to read everything I could about fly fishing. I’d watch videos, visit fly shops for the latest gear, check water flows and fishing reports, practice knots or tie flies. I still do these things, but in shorter drifts around my always gratifying fishing trips. And I know I’m not alone.

My ever-shrinking circle of fly fishing friends who double as parents have expressed the same time-constrained frustrations. We all look at our gear and garage-guarded boats and hope for more time on the water. I hope this blog helps pass the time between fishing days and reminds those that feel a part of their life has been missing. I also hope it helps inspire us to fish more often and grow a new circle of cohorts.

So to the fathers that fished today, I bet you’re jealous I had cinnamon roll waffles this morning.

I also look forward to hearing about your fishing days. You’ll be hearing about mine soon.

To my dad and our one time fly fishing together on Hat Creek. I must have scared him away because we haven’t fished together since. I still love you.