1. Whether You’ll Weather the Weather
Wind from the east, fish bite the least. But how can you predict weather when planning a distant fishing vacation? One method is to consult long term weather forecasts and histories on the Web. Monthly and seasonal climate outlooks show average temperature and precipitation levels, so you can at least choose a vacation month that historically has sunny, calm weather. Monthly and even weekly forecasts may be useful if you are flexible enough to change your schedule on short notice. Fishing into the teeth of a 3-day gale just because you’d planned those dates six months earlier is futile. Try to build in some fudge factor.
2. Sit, Stay. Good Boy
The best way to maximize fishing time is by hiring a lodge/guide to handle the dirty work while you cast and reel. They’ll plan the meals, wash the dishes and fuel the boat, even fillet the fish and freeze/pack them for you. There’s the inconvenience of cost, but if you can afford it, what a way to fish!
Second easiest is to rent a cabin and eat at a local café. Cook for yourself and you save more money, but burn more time. Many of us want to build campfires, erect tents and cook over the Coleman. Especially in the Far North, summer days are long anyway. You’ll get tired of fishing at some point. Roll north with a pickup camper and you’re ready to camp/fish anywhere. Pulling a trailer limits you somewhat. So does an RV.
Again, research travel routes thoroughly before setting out. Virtually every state has a toll free number and website for road reports. In really remote, hard-to-reach areas, tenting may be the only viable option. If you choose it, purchase and test-drive your gear before the trip. It’s no fun arriving on site in rain and wind to discover you can’t figure out how to erect the tent. Trial-camp in your backyard if you have to, but practice running everything from tent and stove to can opener. Delegate responsibilities for specific chores to specific family members or friends, but instruct everyone in the basics. If dad goes down with stomach flu and mom with a headache, junior can man the stove and Susie can gather the firewood. Uncle Jim can run to town for extra milk.
3. Staying In Touch With Home
If you plan to fish far from the maddening crowds, you should consider emergency communications. A satellite phone is the best option. It’s like having a cell phone that works wherever you are. Cell phones might work in some locations. SPOT is a basic satellite communication device/service that let’s you relay home basic messages such as “I’m OK” or “need emergency assistance.” The little SPOT device provides GPS coordinates to your exact position. Do an Internet search or check yellow pages to rent or buy a satellite phone or SPOT.
In case family or friends need to relay bad news to you, leave them details of where you’re going and when. Include phone numbers of your outfitter or any on-site friends, lodges, motels, cafes, game wardens, etc. And let folks know if you’re likely to deviate from your plans and where that deviation might be. Alert them as soon as possible when you do switch locales. Search-and-rescue teams don’t appreciate false alarms from frantic callers with limited or inaccurate information.
4. Travel Insurance
If you’ve paid several hundred dollars for a flight and a few thousand to a lodge, it might be wise to insure your trip against cancellation for any reason. You’ll be reimbursed your trip expenses if you get called home for a family emergency a day after you arrive in camp, perhaps even if the weather ruins the trip. Check with your homeowners insurance agent or search online for travel insurance.