In addition to Sanibel Island, we fish many other areas around the United States and in Europe. Here are a few of our recommendations with some suggestions for accommodations and outfitters.
Sanibel: Westend Paradise resort -- www.sanibel-westend.com -- is located just a brief stroll from one of the best sections of fly fishing shoreline on Sanibel Island. It features modern units and is also moderately priced.
Pine Island (across Pine Island Sound from Sanibel): Excellent fishing spots include Matlacha Pass, Pineland and Bokeelia. A small flats boat, kayak or canoe is de rigeuer to best fish the waters around Pine Island. There are no beaches and most of the mangrove shorelines are too soft, silty and mucky to wade. One exception is Bokeelia. Firm wading areas -- grass flats and sandbars -- may be reached by boat. The Sun and the Moon Inn -- www.sunandmoon.net -- caters to anglers and provides fine lodging.
Dillon Montana: With five world-class trout rivers nearby (the Beaverhead flows through town), Dillon is a nirvana for fly fishers. The Beaverhead, Big Hole, Jefferson, Ruby and Madison have more miles of water than any one person could diligently fish in a lifetime. In addition, the private waters of McCoy Spring Creeks -- www.mccoyspringcreeks.com -- hold huge wild rainbows and browns. High mountain lakes and myriad small streams offer a variety of other angling experiences. Healing Waters Lodge -- www.hwlodge.com -- run by Bill and Mary Kemph and Greg and Janet Lilly, provides a spectacular Big Sky angling experience with all the fly fishing amenities as well as gourmet dining. Another good contact is Frontier Anglers -- www.frontieranglers.com
A brown trout from Clark Canyon Reservoir, south of Dillon.
The South Tamiami Trail: The ditches, canals, bayous and creeks east of Naples offer an interesting side trip for Sanibel visitors. These waters contain a large variety of species, including snook, tarpon, gar, cichlids, oscars and largemouth bass. There are many good shore fishing spots. Two cautionary notes: There are many alligators in some areas and mosquitos are fierce during the summer months. Some of the best waters are about an hour and 15 minutes' drive from Sanibel.
The Deutsche Traun watershed in southern Bavaria: Three storied streams a little more than an hour's drive south of Munich provide some of the finest fishing for large trout and grayling in Europe. The Deutsche Traun, Weisse Traun and Rote Traun all have their own distinct characters.
The Deutsche Traun especially holds huge browns and rainbows. Only dry fly fishing is allowed and angler numbers are strictly limited. The owner of the fishing rights is Rudi Heger, who attended college in the United States, loves Americans and speaks fluent English. Fishing is by day permit from Rudi Heger's Fly Shop, www.rudi-heger.de
The Spanish Pyrenees: Because it is the second most mountainous country in Western Europe, Spain offers many trout fishing opportunities. Some of the loveliest streams are in the western Pyrenees. This is Hemingway country: wild, scenic and captivating. Two of the best rivers are the Ara and the Irati. Spanish regulations are similar to those in the United States in that a state fishing license is required. There are some private and club waters.
Norm Zeigler's book Rivers of Shadow, Rivers of Sun: A Fly Fisher's European Journal provides some useful information in narrative form. However, it is not a how-to guide.
Bad Ischl, Austria: This region is rich in European history and tradition as well as trout and grayling. Located little more than a half hour from Salzburg, Bad Ischl was the summer headquarters for the Austrian emperors and the Summer Palace is still one of the town's biggest draws.
Located at the confluence of the Ischler Ache and the Austrian Traun, Bad Ischl has a storied tradition of providing wonderful fly fishing for rainbows, browns and grayling. A good contact is the Hotel Stadt Salzburg -- www.oberoesterreich.at/stadt-salzburg
-- on the banks of the Ischler Ache. In the warm months the hotel operates an outdoor cafe overlooking the stream. The hotel owner and his son are avid fly fishers and can arrange access to 25 miles of blue-ribbon rivers.
Norm with a 37-inch Atlantic Salmon caught in July 2013
Main Brook, Newfoundland, Canada: Tuckamore Lodge features outstanding Atlantic salmon fishing on the province's Northern Peninsula. www.tuckamorelodge.com
Boulder, Colorado: Many, many waters with outstanding trout fishing nearby :www.frontrangeanglers.com
Covington, Virginia: Escatawba Farms, excellent trout fishing. www.escatawba.com
River Falls, Wisconsin: Kinni Creek Lodge: trout, walleyes, muskies, northerns and smallmouths. www.kinnicreek.com