7 Wonders of the Fishing World - By: Tony Capecchi
- Posted: November 1, 2016 -
The author with a Manitoba Master Angler northern pike from Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge.
Pretend, for a moment, that money is no object. Cost is no constraint in this exercise. Instead, your
only objective is to make your next fishing trip the best of your life. Where do you go?
Ill be dead and gone in 60 or 70 quick years, so I actively pursue the most spectacular fishing
destinations on the planet places that provide an incredible all-around experience.
My ultimate bucket list destinations are guaranteed to blow you away, with this added caveat: Your
travel partner will be equally amazed, regardless of whether he or she ever wets a line.
Consider these the 7 Wonders of the Fishing World.
The sun beginning to rise on Aikens Lake.
Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge, Manitoba, Canada
The Scoop: A deluxe fly-in lodge with first-rate service, gourmet dining and beautiful handcrafted
cabins in the midst of a pristine boreal forest. Manitobas second-deepest lake is known for
abundant, plus-size walleyes (20-25 inchers are common), though when I took my dad we also
caught the biggest pike and lake trout of our lives.
What You Should Know: Theres a full bar onsite (with free happy hour), but if you crave a
particular wine or whiskey after a day on the water, Aikens will have it flown in for you. No
wonder guests are fanatically loyal.
Why You Have To Go: Guests call it a five-star lodge in the wilderness; In-Fishermans Doug
Stange calls it still the finest all-around experience Ive ever had on a fly-in trip.
Aerial view of the 800-year-old Ashford Castle.
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
The Scoop: One of Irelands most scenic castles sits on one of its best trout fisheries, Lough Corrib.
The famous Cong River spills into the lake here and offers a legendary spring salmon run.
The author (right) getting a few fishing tips for the Cong River.
What You Should Know: Ashford was built in 1228 and was once home to the Guinness family.
They dont have Miller Lite on tap.
Why You Have To Go: To participate in the castles living history Ashford exudes an incredible
atmosphere with iconic activities such as falconry, archery and golf.
The author and his wife, Jodie, taking a selfie from the Letterfinlay Lodge deck.
Letterfinlay Lodge, Fort William, Scotland
The Scoop: A quaint resort on the banks of Loch Lochy in the stunningly beautiful Scottish
highlands. In addition to fishing, Letterfinlay also offers spot-and-stalk deer hunts.
What You Should Know: Letterfinlay is the least luxurious destination on my bucket list, but with
tasty meals at the hotels Osprey Seafood Restaurant, youre hardly roughing it.
Letterfinlay is surrounded by postcard-worthy scenery.
Why You Have To Go: This is the remote Scottish highlands people dream about. My wife and I
hiked the nearby, mystical Isle of Skye its among the most gorgeous vistas weve ever seen.
A suite at Little Palm Resort & Spa.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, The Florida Keys
The Scoop: An indulgent tropical island resort several miles offshore from the Keys with thatched-
roof bungalows. A world-class fishing experience I caught tarpon, grouper and barracuda from
shore Little Palm also offers outstanding snorkeling, sailing and dinners on the beach.
The author with a snapper caught from shore.
What You Should Know: Little Palm provides all the fishing gear and shrimp you need, plus
complementary usage of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and 20-foot catamarans.
Why You Have To Go: Hands-down the best saltwater fishing destination Ive visited its a
luxurious paradise island . . . surrounded by fish.
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, British Columbia, Canada
The Scoop: This intimate resort clings to the side of a mountain with chalets built on stilts on a
fjord-like bay in the Great Bear Rainforest, just south of Alaskas Inside Passage. A 5,000-foot
waterfall pours into a hot tub in the middle of the eco-friendly lodge, which offers outstanding
fishing and gourmet dining.
What You Should Know: Nimmo Bay put heli-fishing on the map. Ill never forget my day soaring
into the mountains, hovering above waterfalls and hopping via helicopter from stream to stream
in pursuit of wild salmon.
Helicopter + fishing = heli-fishing!
Why You Have To Go: Nimmo Bay is one of only two dozen resorts on the planet named part of
National Geographics Unique Lodges of the World.
The author battling a trout on the Elk River during his stay at The Home Ranch.
The Home Ranch, Clark, Colorado
The Scoop: Luxury, working dude ranch in the mountains of Colorado with fly-fishing, horseback
riding and phenomenal food. Visits include barn dances, wine pairings, and live entertainment
under the stars.
What You Should Know: The Home Ranch offers a great youth program during summer months
with outstanding activities for kids while Mom and Dad spend the day on the river.
In addition to river fishing, guests at The Home Ranch can enjoy private ponds.
Why You Have To Go: Every fly-fisherman must come here once in his life; so, too, should those
wanting to experience the quintessential Old West at its finest.
Life is good at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach!
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, Miami, Florida
The Scoop: OK, so the Ritz-Carlton lies in the heart of glamorous South Beach and is hardly a
fishing lodge, but hear me out. You walk out the door and youre on the ocean. The Ritz arranges
deep sea fishing for guests (and cooks your catch for you at its beach-side restaurant), theres ample
surf fishing opportunities, and youre 30 minutes from the Everglades.
Redfish in the Everglades by day, Ritz-Carlton South Beach by night.
What You Should Know: Bring a rod and walk the beach down to South Pointe Pier, which
combines shore fishing with South Beach people watching.
Why You Have To Go: Dude, its the Ritz-Carlton. You wont find better accommodations, service
or scenery at any hotel in the world.
Images by Jodie and Tony Capecchi