A longtime friend of The Venturing Angler, Eugene Pawlowski has emerged as an angler who always seems to be on the move. In short, he’s been all over. Eugene recently sat down for an interview about his travels:
Where in the world have you fly fished?
I have fly fished here in Australia as it is where I grew up and started fly fishing but also in New Zealand, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bahamas, Cuba, Aruba, Argentina, Canada, Seychelles, UAE (Dubai), USA, Bolivia, Belize, Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiritimati (Christmas Island) I think that is about everywhere I have fly fished so far.
What is your favorite destination and why?
That’s a tricky question to answer, a lot of the destinations I have fished stand out as favourites. Each destination has its own unique reasons, ie type of fishing or fish that swim in those waters and location. The Bahamas stands out as one of my favourite destinations, I have fished the Bahamas on four different occasions and they have all been great trips.
The Bahamas it’s all about those perfect sand flats you can wade and cast at bones all day long. Plus at the right times you can have shots at poons and some tank perms. Also the friendly laid back Bahamian people.
Cuba is also another goodie, Cayo Cruz/Ramano has some proper permit fishing with some awesome bonefishing and shots at poons at the right time of year. Plus Cuba is a trip in its own right. The Seychelles is also pretty insane fishing on foot for those bad boy GTs on Astove and Cosmo is next level.
But the one destination that stands out is New Zealand’s south island, I have fly fished there going on 13 years and I just can’t get enough. Proper trout that are not easy and humble you constantly. But the rivers that run cleaner than Tito’s vodka and some of the most pristine landscapes you can imagine and the lovely little sand flies that keep you company.
What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
I have had many memorable travel experiences, One that stands out is the first time I went to the Bahamas in 2011. I flew into George Town on Exuma and met up with my best mate Dan who had sailed across from Floridia on his small yacht and we sailed and fished all the way around Exuma. Living on lobster and snapper and rippin’ lips with your best mate is pretty memorable, something that you don’t forget in a hurry.
What has been the best trip so far and why?
It is hard to just single out one best trip, so I will mention a few that have seen some memorable fish landed. A trip to Great Inagua in the Bahamas in 2014. I fished with my little bro and another good mate. We stayed at the Inagua Outback Lodge for 10days and just properly ripped lips the whole time with perfect weather. We also had some of the best juvenile poon fishing you can ask for. Stalking and sight fishing to them in these shallow backcountry lagoons and finish the day watching the sunset with a ice cold sands in your hand does it get any better?
Another goodie was a trip to Costa Rica fishing for poons at Tarponville lodge.
Hooking into proper poons over 100lb for the first time watching them bad boys come outta the water and the nautilus silver king drag is singing that stays with you.
This past NZ season was pretty special also, I managed to find some absolute pigs this season. I did a solo trip over Christmas way up a wilderness river with perfect weather for 4 days. Hungry brownies crushing cicadas with not another sole insight it was a cracker!!!!
Do you have any travel coming up?
As the world is currently going through this COVID madness everything is on hold at the moment. But once we all get the green light I am looking to get over to Los Roques, to rip some lips, Puerto Rico to chase some poons plus I will look at getting over to Louisiana to chase redfish with my good mate who guides down there, after that New Zealand and back to Argentina.
Is there a species that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
There are a few species that are on my radar, taimen especially a big boy, big Peacock bass above the 15lb mark and Tiger Fish they just look so gnarly especially the ones in Tanzania.
When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
Just enjoying a new culture and soaking it all in meeting and making new friends. This is also why we travel, yes we all want to catch fish but you have to enjoy and soak in the experience.
What is your dream trip and why?
There are a few places on my radar, Tiger Fish in Tanzania they just look so awesome and they are tanks plus you get to see some true African critters.
Brown trout fishing up on the tundra in Russia those brownies grow big and they look spectacular. Taimen way out in some far flung super remote location and also Kanton Atoll out in the pacific to chase GTs.
If one song were to play in a video short of your most recent fly fishing trip, what would it be?
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Voodoo Child its on high rotation on all my playlists.
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Let’s make that two my camera and my Nautilus Reels.
Plastic Bottles and plastic rubbish in general. From remote reef atolls to backcountry rivers these nasty things seem to turn up time and time again. We all need to be proactive and reduce the use of these and clean up after ourselves so we can and others can enjoy these amazing places in the future.
To check out more from Eugene Pawlowski, please click here.