by Chip Bates

Why Use an Agent: With Angler Adventures at least, it doesn't cost the client anything. We have contracts with the lodges we represent to assure that their published prices, including any discounts or specials, are available to us at the same rates offered by the lodge. This applies to groups or individuals.

Difficult to sell space at some lodges can create discounting. If there are discounts to be had, they're available through us. This has been a difficult point to get across. We've actually considered a campaign like .. "we'll match or beat any price", to help clients understand that it doesn't cost anything to book through us.

In some cases we can actually save you money. I don't want to reveal all our secrets, but we'll explain it to anyone who calls to book a trip.

Chip Bates, Andros, Bahamas

Owner of Angler Adventures

Experience: We've been in the fishing travel business for 27 years. That's hundreds of trips to hundreds of places and it costs you nothing to tap into that experience. Whether it's figuring out diurnal tides at Los Roques, knowing the best wading spots in the Bahamas or where to fish two optimum permit tides a day in Belize, we've learned all this stuff over many years.

We're Objective: Years ago we acted as the "exclusive" agent for a lodge in the Bahamas, meaning we had a contract with that lodge to generate 100% of their bookings. What we learned is that funneling so many clients to one lodge was not always advantageous to our clients. Sometimes it stressed the lodge. Equipment broke, guides didn't show, Murphy's law took over. We abandoned that approach. When clients call us, we help them choose the lodge that's best for them. We have no ownership or exclusive contracts. You can't find the objectivity we offer by calling the lodge, and you can't find it when you deal with some agents.
We Sell Travel Insurance: In 27 years, we've seen just about every eventuality from bankrupt airlines to valuable camera equipment going over board. But, the most common disruption to clients' travel plans is a health issue for the individual, someone traveling with the individual, or someone in his or her immediate family. We're licensed to sell travel insurance and it's an absolute necessity on any major trip. If you book through a lodge or through a tackle shop, you won't get the services of a travel agent, who is also an insurance agent, someone who understands the complexity of the product, provides customer service, helps you file a claim and follows through to be sure you were treated fairly by the insurance company.
Someone in Your Corner: The real worth of an agent is when something goes wrong. The most common source of problems is commercial airlines. In addition to being fishing experts, we're travel experts. Judy Hall, our travel manager, worked in the travel industry for 12 years before joining Angler Adventures in 1998. We have the Sabre computer reservation system in our office. Judy knows her way around the airline industry like your kids know their iphone. She's rescued hundreds of clients from the mistreatment of airlines.

The easy part is paying for the airline ticket. The hard part is dealing with schedule changes, canceled flights, missed connections, weather delays, etc. Judy is our secret weapon. Stranded clients have called us from airports where they're waiting in line to speak to an airline representative. Judy gets them rescheduled on a new flight in minutes. And minutes are critical. If they continued to wait in line, the best flights would be long gone.

Judy Hall, Poronui Ranch, New Zealand

Travel Manager

We Love What We Do: We're all avid fly fishers. We tie flies, we fish locally, travel constantly, research tides, moons, guides, you name it. Fly fishing isn't only our passion, it's our career. We do the same research for our clients we do for ourselves. In addition to our own travels, we talk daily to clients returning from trips. It's like being in a newsroom. There's a constant flow of information; what flies worked, what guides caught the most or biggest fish, what was the weather like, if anything went wrong, what could be improved, etc. We have a data base of information on the destinations we represent. We can evaluate how one lodge compares to another and believe me it can change year to year. This day to day input is a lot more current and objective than what you find on the web, even on our site. It's impossible to post everything, but we freely pass it onto clients who call to book a trip.

Doug Schlink, Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec

25 Years with Angler Adventures

One Last Thing: I often tell people, we're in the communications business more than the travel business. When it comes to setting up a trip; dates, costs, guides, airlines, what's included, what's not included, we get every detail in writing from the lodge, guide, charter company, whatever. It may sound easy, but it takes perseverance, organizational and communication skills, particularly when dealing outside the U.S. But, it's imperative. Verbal promises can be forgotten 3 months later. Written confirmation has served us well for 27 years and keeps our accuracy, accountability and credibility near 100%.

We've learned it's a lot more productive to spend the countless man hours necessary to properly plan a trip than do damage control when the client returns because you weren't thorough enough from the start. I can't remember the last time that happened to us, it's been that long ago.
We love to hear from clients planning their first trip or the trip of a lifetime. We also appreciate the clients who come to us looking for a relationship. If your long term goal is to fish all the great fisheries of the world, finding a compatible agent is like finding your favorite guide.

Chip, We haven't spoken in many years, but the several fishing trips that you helped arrange in the past for my friends and me (Tom Lyons, John Grace, et al) remain memorable for us all. For the past 20 years or so my fishing has been mainly in the Keys, the Sound, local spots and the occasional side trip to the islands with my family. However recently when my wife and I had to travel to Brazil for a family wedding I convinced her to "add" Buenos Aires and a few days fishing in the Patagonia to our itinerary. My wife is not a fisherman, but likes an adventure, so I called the only guys I ever call - Angler Adventures.
From the start Judy, Doug and Evan were the best. Special "kudos" to Judy for dealing with all the wedding travel AND the fishing trip. Every suggestion was on the mark and every choice was perfect. The planning, coordination, and transfers were handled with precision and professionalism. I lived overseas for several years and have extensive international travel experience. This was the best laid out, most detailed and useful itinerary I have ever seen. Many family members traveled from many places to Brazil and Argentina - our trip was the most hassle free. The volcano wrecked havoc on almost all travel to the Patagonia. We arrived without a hitch !! (Other guests at Rio Manso had 20 hour bus rides from Buenos Aires) I know we were a little lucky, but I felt like we were never surprised. Judy did a superb job planning the trip and more important - explaining it all to me. She is a patient lady!! She is a warm and wonderful to work with - an invaluable asset. Doug and Evan were very helpful with my incessant questions about the lodge and the fishing. They were dead on accurate on both. They are very professional, friendly and a pleasure to speak with.

Evan Peterson, Rio Manso, Argentina

Web Master, Service & Sales

Rio Manso was the suggestion of Angler Adventures. It was an excellent choice. The accommodations were terrific and the ambiance was very warm and friendly. The guides were knowledgeable and a pleasure to fish with. The staff was extremely helpful and the food was great. As I mentioned earlier, my wife is not a fisherman but thoroughly enjoyed her days with planned riding excursions and river trips. Although I believe Judy was instrumental in making these arrangements, the Rio Manso staff executed the plan perfectly. Rio Manso is a great place and highly recommended.

The fishing was great and we had a wonderful trip, but your organization and your people made it truly memorable. Thanks to all and thanks to you - again. - Dan Benton

Doug, Many thanks for all the Camp Brule info. It is the best prepared I have ever received from many outfitters over my 70+ years of fly fishing around the world. I even was able to download it all on my computer without Tim's assistance. We are looking forward to a fun and exciting trip and hopefully hooking up with a few Salmo salars. - Bud Hudson

Special thanks to the team at Angler Adventures for all their hard work and efforts on behalf of the members participating in these Bonefish Rodeos. Without their help, we'd probably still be sitting in the airport waiting out yet another flight delay or cancellation. We also appreciate all the TLC they put into our trips and support with the staff at the lodge before we even arrive. You are the difference between good & great. - Rick Bannerot

Chip Bates enabled me to realize a life long dream. After lengthy engagements Chip made recommendations that resulted in spectacular salt water fly fishing experiences. He listened to my needs, budgetary requirements, and delivered. The level of experience and service provided was first class. I shall always remember the experiences and friendships that resulted from Chip's recommendations. The end result was several consecutive grand slams and a super grand slam (day one). I've used Chip in planning several saltwater fly fishing adventures, and plan on relying on his expertise, and excellent services for future excursions. - Tim Cahill

Don't normally fill out e forms but I would like to compliment you on finding a great adventure for us. We loved it, thanks! ~Josh Floum

Ditto. Our week was filled with epic fishing, great guides, yummy food. Highly recommended. - Scott Landress

As usual, Angler Adventures did an outstanding job arranging all aspects of the trip. -John Amiro

We had a wonderful trip. Angler Adventures' recommendation of Mission Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska for silver salmon and rainbow fishing was a winner. Great fishing, a very professional and caring staff, good food and fun company-I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable time. I want to thank everyone at Angler Adventures for assistance in planning and preparing for the trip; it helped to make it a memorable experience. - Jamie Heard
Evan, Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that everything was amazing! We had a great time and it was all very easy. San Huberto is wonderful and the Malleo is a magical river. Collon Cura is equally amazing, but the lodge experience was a bit different. All that said - we had an amazing time.

I would also like to thank you for all of you help. We could not have done it without you and Judy. Your knowledge of the area and your recommendations were invaluable. We would never look anywhere else to book a trip. - Evan Bienstock

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Angler Adventures Directory

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Chip Bates

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Doug Schlink

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Judy Hall

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Evan Peterson

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Mary Nichisti

Mailbox # 4


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