Corinne Doctor has traveled throughout the world with a fly rod in hand. She has visited some world-class destinations and caught some remarkable fish. Just back from a trip to Bolivia, this co-founder of RepYourWater took time for an interview about her travels:
Where in the world have you fly fished?
Besides the 10 U.S. states I have fly fished, I have gone after trout in Chile and Argentina, looked for roosters in Costa Rica, caught dorado and other jungle species in Bolivia, and earlier this summer was chasing Arctic char and brown trout in the native habitat for the first time ever in Iceland!
What is your favorite destination and why?
I always say anywhere in South America, regardless of the species or location. My life before being the fly fishing world was a Spanish teacher, so being able to be immersed in the Latin American culture while fly fishing is the ideal world for me.
What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
Every time I go fishing, locally or abroad, I try to learn something new from the people I am fishing with. That knowledge can’t always be applied elsewhere, but it usually comes in handy. One of the most unique ways I have ever fished for trout was down in Chile with our friend Pancho of ChileTrout where we were fishing off of grassy pseudo-islands with huge holes about 15-20 feet off the island. It wasn’t a far cast, but more importantly it had to go right in the hole and sink. The retrieve was most similar to jigging and on the 2nd or 3rd attempt I remember seeing a huge body swim from the dark depths and engulf my fly. Because it was so close to where we were standing it was an incredibly visual eat.
What has been the best trip so far and why?
For me fishing is about catching fish, but even more-so, it is about the place and the people that I experience it with. My most recent trip was to Bolivia with Garrison, husband and RepYourWater partner, some friends we have had for decades and some more recent fishing friends we have had the pleasure of traveling with before. We returned to the Securé lodge in Tsimane with Untamed Angling because we loved the place and dorado are unlike anything else, but also we were going to be get to be with some our same guides as our last trip. It felt like a homecoming and special reunion to be back in the jungle with such an amazing group of friends after not being able to travel as easily and extensively in years past. It was a privilege I will not soon forget to get to be there this summer after having had it on the books for so long and needing to postpone because of the pandemic.
Do you have any travel coming up?
A lot of that depends on what happens with Chile and Argentina’s policies for tourism and COVID. We hope to be back down to both Chile and Argentina as soon as possible as we have friends, fish and good wine waiting for us.
Is there a specie that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
I love collecting new species, and one of my biggest holes is saltwater. I’ve tangoed with (leadered and not landed) a 120+ lb tarpon but never even had a shot at a bonefish! I would love a true flats fishing trip where we can find tons of bonefish, try to trick some permit and maybe land that huge tarpon! If I were to get more greedy, I wouldn’t mind a GT.
When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
Camaraderie is worth its weight in gold on a trip. Some of the strongest memories come around a table of good food with a delicious drink in hand while everyone takes turns sharing their stories of the day.
What is your dream trip and why?
I would love to be able to take a longer trip (1 month? 2 months?) and fish around multiple spots in Patagonia both in Chile and Argentina. We have friends all throughout the region who I would love to see and fish with and it would be awesome to squeeze that all into one big tour.
You’ve both been around for some time. What keeps the spark going when it comes to fly fishing travel? What excites you about your work?
We have both always loved traveling internationally prior to adding fishing into the mix of that travel, so it is a natural way for us to enjoy the world. We love to meet new people, try new food, see new birds, experience new cultures and if fishing is how we spend most of the day, perfect! Fishing keeps us sane and is one way we connect with the world, environment and people, so that feels like it will always be exciting to experience. We happen to be people who like having what we do for a living also be our passion!
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Whether I am fishing in cold weather or hot weather I need a sun hoody or sun shirt. It is an ideal layer for cold weather and all I need when it is hot out. Our sun shirt/hoody line this year was one of my favorites in that we were able to create it out of 100% recycled materials. Next year we are adding in a new style that is a polyester/merino blend which will absolutely be the perfect layering piece!
As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?
Climate change is real. The way it is affecting our fisheries and water here at home has been evident through water temperatures and changing climate events. From a traveling perspective, since we have been fortunate enough to travel to Jurassic Lake in very southern Argentine Patagonia, we have seen the difference in water levels in a drastic way. We had about two years between our two trips and in that short time we could distinctly see where the water level was dropping just due to decreasing snow pack and increasing evaporation in the region.
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