Spending a life time in the outdoors, I have had my share of adventures. However,...
Great Alaska Adventure Lodge
Great Alaska International Adventure Vacations was founded 30 years ago by Laurence and Kent John and Kathy Haley. After many years developing and operating world class recreational camps on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State and Vancouver Island, Canada, Laurence and Kent were hit with the travel bug and journeyed North to Alaska, and that was the the beginning of their love affair with combining sport fishing and adventure travel. During those early years they formulated several concepts that to this day are the guiding principals of how they serve their guests.
Once in Alaska, Laurence and Kent discovered the incomparable Kenai Peninsula- a virtual microcosm of all that is the Greatland. Incredible wildlife, scenic splendor and the world's most amazing sport fishing. In their travels there they met Kathy Haley, an Alaska native and the daughter of a famous Kenai Peninsula homesteader, Walt Pederson. Kathy was raised on the lodge property and is truly Alaskan in every sense of the word. Her father, Walt had spent his years on the peninsula flying survey trips (among other things) for the army...and when the homesteader act was created no one was in a better position to pick the very best spot for homesteading on the mighty Kenai. That homestead is now the home lodge for Great Alaska Adventures.. The die was cast and Great Alaska Adventure Lodge was born.
Costa Rica's Jungle Tarpon Lodge
For years our Alaska guests were asking for a winter spot to combine with their favorite Alaskan destination...and after a near miss on a combination bonefish/diving destination on Cozumel in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, in 1991 we were fortunate to purchase the incredible land that is now home to Costa Rica's Jungle Tarpon Lodge (after many months of working with the Costa Rican government and our favorite Tico lawyer, Jota Jota!) In those early days we fished with a number of guides, but none as fine as a young Carlos Betancourt, who we targeted right away as somewone we wanted to work with. Fortunately, Carlos was interested in more than just guiding and so, after a rounds of discussions, Carlos moved in and became our Lodge Manager and head of operations....a position he still holds today. Carlos visits us each year in Alaska and has traveled with us to Mexico as well, and understands exactly what our guests expect and how to treat them the "Great Alaska" way. When traveling to a remote, wilde and beautiful spot like the caribbean coast of Costa Rica, it is imperative to have a leader like Carlos. He and his staff will ensure your trip exceeds all of your expectations. Costa Rica's Jungle Tarpon Lodge is one of a kind, in a jungle right out of a Tarzan novel...a confluence of some of the world's finest sport fishing and nature experiences, all in one place.
Holbox Flyfishing Lodge
As much as we love Costa Rica, the Yucatan has remained in our hearts, and for a number of years, Laurence and his wife Debbi traveled "the Mayan Riviera" in search of another secluded spot to call home. After much frustration (and a few rental cars turned in with lots of mileage and more than a little the worse for wear) on the last year, the last trip and just about last hurrah, Laurence and Deb received a last-minute tip from an old friend. An amazing little island to check out on the very tip of the Yucatan...a few more miles on the old rent-a-wreck put them at the dock in Chicquila, near Merida. From the moment they got off the stinky old diesel ferry, they knew that they had found something special. As in Costa Rica, finding the shangri-la proved easier than finding a piece to call our own! But Laurence's tenacity was again borne out and again, after a few years of wrangling, hundreds of hours knocking on doors and a few scary late night meetings, the deal was struck and Holbox Fly-fishing Lodge was born. The lodge now sits on the talcum powder sand of Holbox Island and is truly a one of a kind item for your "bucket list" of traveling fly or spin fishermen and beach lovers alike.