Meredith McCord is an established world traveler who has taken on some of the planet’s most exotic fly fishing destinations. While traveling, Meredith has also made a mark of a different kind, placing her name alongside numerous IFGA records. A travel specialist based in Houston, she also has her many more trips in here sights. Meredith recently sat down to answer some questions for The Venturing Angler:
1. Where in the world have you fly fished?
Texas Hill Country Lakes – bass, brim, crappie, catfish
Texas Coast – reds, sea trout, jacks, macks, bonito, sharks, ladyfish, flounder
Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada and surrounding fly-in remote lakes – walleye, pike, muskie, bass, perch
Florida Keys, Panhandle, East Coast and Everglades – tarpon, snook, redfish, sea trout, triple tail, shark, ladyfish, snapper
Louisiana Coast and coastal lakes – reds, jacks, sea trout
Mississippi Coast – reds, jacks, sea trout
Wyoming – Jackson Hole – trout
Montana – Livingston and Craig (rivers and spring creeks) – trout
Colorado – Gunnison, Taylor, Roaring Fork, Colorado, Eagle Rivers– trout, suckers
Mexico – Casa Blanca, Palometa Club, Bay of Campeche– bones, permit, tarpon
Belize – Ambergris, Long and Hicks Caye – permit, tarpon, bones, snook, barracuda, jacks, snapper, grouper, etc.
Guatemala – sailfish, mahi mahi
Venezuela – bones, tarpon, barracuda
Bolivia – golden dorado, yatorana
Christmas Island (2x) – triggers, bones, permit, GT, bluefin, grouper, job fish, etc.
Seychelles (Alphonse (2x), Farquar, Providence, Cosmolido and Astove) – triggers, bones, permit, GT, bluefin, grouper, job fish, etc.
South Caicos – bones
Bahamas – Deep Water Cay, Chubb and Great Harbor – bones, jacks, sharks
Alaska – New Halen, Rapids Camp, Royal Coachman – trout, salmon, graying, char
Argentina, Patagonia – PRG Trevelin and PRG North: Huechahue
Cuba: Cayo Largo, Cayo Cruz, Jardines del la Reina – bones, permit, tarpon, other
2. What is your favorite destination and why?
Far Away Destination – Seychelles – quality of the fishery with its variety, the beauty of the flats and the best guides in the world.
Close Destination – Texas Coast and Belize – as they both fish well year round and very easy to get to. If you have good sun, manageable winds … you have good fishing.
3. What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
First to Mind: Seychelles – first major salt water week-long fishing trip. Eyes were open to the variety of fish able to be caught on fly. Saw bonefish by the 1000’s in schools the size of a football field and saw GT’s over 100lbs.
In Deeper Thought: Bolivia – just the rawness of the Bolivian jungle, learning from the Indigous Indians about building dug-out canoes, netting fish with vines and fishing with bows and arrows, the benefits of chewing cocoa leaves and not to mention the incredible bite and play of the aggressive and colorful golden dorado.
4. What has been the best trip so far and why?
Most recent best trip was to Cuba, I had 53 shots at permit in 11 days. Caught more bonefish than I can remember (not picky at all) and jumped 8 tarpon in less than 2 hours, landing 5, not to mention barracudas and jacks on poppers and snappers and sharks galore. Very healthy fishery.
Cosmolido was definite a close 2nd, as the GT fishing was off the charts, I was with my dad and fishing mentor Joe Turano and some of the Seychelles finest guides and to top it off, we “survived” what we thought was a “near” pirate attack on our ship. It ended up being the uber-weathly, Pangaea, who was not supposed to be in our waters and then upon approach refused to respond to us on radio. Good thing our anti-pirate army did not open fire on them as they buzzed past us within shooting range. That could be, most memorable as well … but the fishing was off the charts.
5. Do you have any travel coming up?
– Belize this weekend – snook season
– Louisiana Coast – 3 weekends over the next 6 weeks – bull red season
– Florida Keys – for fun and to attend the BTT
– Belize – for fun
– Christmas Island with Dad and friends
– Cuba (3x) – Hosted trips for Tailwaters
– Seychelles – Alphonse – Hosted trip for Tailwaters
6. Is there a specie that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
Peacock bass in Brazil. As an artist, I am blown away by beautiful fish. Peacock Bass get the award for God’s creativity and beauty when it comes to color and size. (Along with Golden Dorado and Bluefin Trevally)
When you ask South African what the best hitting fish are on fly, the answer is usually a resounding, Tigerfish. So I also would love to go after the Giant Tigerfish of Tanzania.
7. When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
Great lodging/culture , comfortable beds, delicious food and a variety of local libations and of course awesome people/clients/anglers/guides to share the experience with…
8. What is your dream trip and why?
I would love to venture around-the-world, hitting each continent to explore both cultures and fisheries. Experiencing new cultures, both food and people, totally gets me excited. Then add fly fishing on top of that and you’ve got one enthusiastic and ecstatic girl. There are so many fisheries I want to discover and so many I would love to return to… so round the world I want to go.
9. If one song where to play in a video short of your last fly fishing trip, what would it be?
When I was in Cuba – I got addicted to Bailando by Descemer Bueno (Enrique Iglesias does a great cover)
Campeche, Mexico – it was Pompeii by Bastille
Belize – Big Belly Man by Admiral Bailey or Ketchy Shuby by Peter Tosh
Alaska – It’s Time by Imagine Dragon
The list goes on … I have a theme song for almost every day trip…
10. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Custom Sage One 8wt my dad had made for me upon landing/achieving my first IGFA world record on fly. The rod is inscribed with my name and the date, location, weight and specie of the catch wrapped beautifully by Possi Rods in red, white and blue. No matter where I travel in the world, America is never far from my mind. A great gift and an amazing rod.
On a silly note: medical tape for my stripping fingers. Cut up and wounded fingers make for some painful fish runs.
To check out more from Meredith McCord, please click here.