Inside the Mind – Mike Dawkins WCA Destination Travel Trip Host:
WorldCast Anglers Destination Travel Manager, Chris Littauer, sits down with WorldCast Anglers Vice President, Mike Dawkins, for a peek inside the mind of a WorldCast Anglers Destination Travel Trip Host. Mike shares his passion for travel, his favorite fish to eat a fly and where he would go if the world was ending tomorrow!
CL: “What WCA Destination Travel locations have you fished and which destinations are your currently hosting trips to?”
MPD: “I have fished New Zealand, Mongolia, India, Argentina, Brazil, Belize, the Deschutes River in Central Oregon and Mexico. I am currently hosting trips to Agua Boa Amazon Lodge, Patagonia River Guides Lodge at Trevelin, Argentina. I am visiting Abaco in the Bahamas this coming spring and dream of seeing the Steelhead of Kamchatka.
CL: “I know this is a tough question to answer, but what is your favorite specie of fish to pursue on the fly? Why?”
MPD: “Honestly, I don’t think I could truly answer this question with one specie. I have always had an affinity and attraction to Steelhead. That affinity is built from the fact that they spend such a small piece of time of their life where you catch them. The rest of the time they are out in the boundless and expansive Pacific Ocean. Feeding, growing & swimming; no one really knows what they are doing. It is really much of a mystery and I enjoy trying to put myself in that mystery as a small sliver of an amazing fishes life. I love Tarpon too. It is the only fish that has the power and ability to physically break you as a human being. They demand respect for their power and require psychical and mental strength to battle. Ultimately, fishing is always fishing. But, being part of the mystery of a fishes life really can be an eye opening perspective and experience.”
CL: “You live in one of the trout fishing meccas of the world. Some people would think it’s crazy to leave this paradise and chase fish across the globe. Why do you do it?”
MPD: “Fly fishing has become more about the experience than the fish for me. Don’t get me wrong, the fish is the focus of the journey. However, for me, it is not about the numbers, the size, the bragging rights or winning the tournament. It’s about the people I meet, the cultures I experience, the wildlife and landscapes I see, the food I taste, and the places I go. Subsequently, these fly-fishing experiences bring me a worldly perspective on life that I feel we have a hard time grasping this day and age. The greatest benefit is the new friends I bring into my life from these wonderful fly fishing adventures!”
CL: “What is your favorite memory or story from a destination travel fishing trip?”
MPD: “While fishing the Saryu River in the Himalayan Kumon providence of India, my guide and I rounded the corner of a trail and noticed a plume of smoke in the air near the ghat (stairs) on the opposite of the river. It was a funeral. River confluences are very holy places in India. A group of people had assembled on the ghat, while a large fire was tended to on the riverbank. We stood back and watched. The fire cremated the deceased individual and the ashes were then thrown into the river. The goal and hope was that someday that deceased individual would reach the Ganges—a true sign that rivers are cultural symbols of life and also death in India. We audibled from our original fishing plan, showing the utmost respect to the funeral gathering. Most defiantly not something I experience on a daily basis in Teton Valley, Idaho. The full story can be found http://bit.ly/WCAIndiaMahseerI and http://bit.ly/WCAIndiaMahseerII“
CL: “What is the number one piece of advice you would give someone who is just getting into destination travel fishing?”
MPD: “My advice would be to communicate your expectations with the trip host or destination travel provider. They can help and aid you in bringing your expectations in line with the location. I would also recommend the other items for maximum ROI of your destination travel investment. – Control your controllables and make the best of the uncontrollable hand that is dealt to you. – Take time to practice and hone your skills for your trip. – Destinations, fly shops and hosted travel providers spend lots of time and resources building educational packets for their locations. Read them! – Let go and don’t resist it! Many locations are in different parts of the works with different rules and different cultural norms. Don’t push it away, embrace it!”
CL: “The world ends in two weeks and you have one final destination to fish before you die. Where do you go?”
DH: “Humorously, I have thought about this question before. For me, it wouldn’t be where I go; it would be about who I am with. I wouldn’t care if it was some exotic destination or my home waters around Jackson Hole and Teton Valley. Anytime I get to spend on the water with family, friends and loved ones is special. So, I would only require that I be surrounded by my angling friends and family for that one last chance to wet a line. Of course my black lab, Tui, would be there right by my side as well.”
An experienced destination travel trip host is a key and crucial element of making your destination travel experience a success. The WCA destination travel hosts come from within WorldCast Anglers. They are experienced in a multitude of different fishing environments and locations. They measure success on identifying your fly fishing needs and preferences and meeting or exceeding your expectations. Their professional is a product of training, education and experience. Simply put, we don’t offer every location in the world, only the ones that meet our standards!