Kyle Kolodziejski of Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures is a well-traveled angler with a great deal of experience fly fishing in South America. Kolodziejski recently took on an interview with Tim Harden for The Venturing Angler:
Where in the world have you fly fished?
Alaska, the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, Hawaii, Christmas Island, Bahamas, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.
What is your favorite destination and why?
This is a very tough question. I visited a lot of destinations that cover both fresh and saltwater venues, single hand and Spey water, resident and migratory fish, and each has its own reasons for being my “favorite.” All that said, and if I had to choose just one “favorite” I’d have to say that the Rio Pico area of Central Argentine Patagonia would be that place. Although it has some amazing and diverse trout fishing opportunities, it’s truly the natural beauty of the overlaying area and the humble and fun-loving people within it that draw me there.
What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
The most memorable and rewarding travel experience I’ve been on was a 35 day crossing of the Northern Patagonia Icefield from Laguna San Rafeal to Puerto Bertrand in Southern Chile. It always sticks out in my mind because it’s where my love affair with Patagonia began.
What has been the best trip so far and why?
Wow Tim! There’s been so many over the years. But the one trip that will be forever hard to beat and not soon forgotten was a recent spring break trip to Costa Rica with my seven year old son, Fischer. We focused our time on the southwest coast below the beautiful yet highly crowded town of Manuel Antonio. Once we got away from the all the beachy mass tourist hubbub and onto a path lesser traveled, we bounced down dirt roads cut through the lush forest, shared fresh coconut on deserted beaches, spied for monkeys and other critters in the jungle, rafted rivers and, of course, casted to a variety of saltwater game fish in and off shore. We saw it all and then some! The number of things to do and see was mind boggling. Being able to spend such quality time with my son in such an amazingly diverse, safe, friendly, and fun environment was priceless.
Do you have any travel coming up?
I’ve always got some traveling coming up! I get itchy and weird when I don’t have at least two trips sitting in my airline app cue! With all of the new destinations I’m bringing to the fold at Yellow Dog I’m planning an aggressive schedule to visit several destinations in Chile and Argentina toward the end of this year.
Is there a specie that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
What am I dying to catch? I’ve been interested in toothy critters recently. Payara and tigerfish have both gained ranking on my “hit” list this year. 2017 was a very tough year for me personally and I adopted a motto or type of New Year’s resolution to keep myself on track and focused on goals for the year ahead. The motto appeared in my mind in Spanish: “Comer o ser comido” which translates in English to “Eat or be eaten.” It’s the most concise and fitting description of the law of nature attesting to “survival of the fittest.” When I think of this motto I think of apex predator fish like tigers and payara that have outcompeted the forces of nature and evolved to being aggressive and ferocious badasses that are not to be reckoned with.
When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
On or off the water what I want most out of a trip is to have an amazing and well-rounded experience where I get to spend time with good people in beautiful places and learning new things while doing what I love most, fly fishing.
What is your dream trip and why?
Easy. Any trip that leads me to new adventures in places I’ve never been to or explored. Regardless if you’re an accomplished world traveler or embarking on trip close to home there’s always new things to experience and learn.
If one song where to play in a video short of your most recent fly fishing trip, what would it be?
I actually made a short video from a recent trip and used “Boy” from artist Odesza for the clip.
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Without hesitation — my Patagonia Stormfront Zip-top backpack. If you spend any amount of time in the outdoors in wet environments and don’t have one, go get one right now! Totally worth the money. Think of it as an insurance policy for gear and yourself. (You can inflate it and use it as a PFD in a pinch!)
As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?
Overcrowding and irresponsible fishing pressure. And most concerning is the piss poor handling of fish and the targeting of actively spawning fish on the redds. Holding a massive more than half dead king salmon for a “hero shot” is outright unethical and a shame to our sport. This sh*t needs to stop and stop soon.
To check out more from Kyle Kolodziejski and Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, please click here.