Fly Fishing on Vancouver Island

Summertime in Canada, especially the West Coast is about as good as it gets.

Having recently spent six and a half months adventuring around the world we were stoked to come home to beautiful British Columbia in the summer time when it’s light from 5am through to 10pm and the good times are a plenty. From mid August through late November we love getting out into the wild to go camping and fishing. One of my favourite places for fly fishing is in the remote wilds of Northern Vancouver Island.

Some of my earliest memories are of me fishing with my Uncle Dave. I was no more than 4 years old at the time and to me fishing was the best thing in the world. Both Uncle David and Uncle Bruce were avid fishermen and their love of the sport rubbed off on me. We would spend our days fishing for bass in Beaver Lake close to Victoria BC and when they were old enough to drive we would take the canoe to the ocean and would fish for salmon and cod. We never had fancy gear but we always caught lots of fish. They were simple times full of laughs, good fun and amazing fishing.

40 years later I’m still as crazy about fishing as I ever was and just like then, we fill our freezer each fall and eat salmon through the winter. While my brother Jason and I love fishing be it rain or shine, my wife Josi loves it best when it’s sunny and when everyone is catching lots of fish. For all of us it’s as much about getting out into the wild and off the grid as it is about the fishing. One of our favourite places to explore is Northern Vancouver Island because it’s so remote and full of amazing uncrowded rivers with fantastic fishing. On any given trip we are almost guaranteed to see elk, deer, bear, lots of eagles and sometimes the occasional wolf pack, although you hear wolves a lot more then you see them. The rivers are picture perfect, the forests thick and full of wildlife, and the good times are a plenty.

During the day we often break to tie up some new flies because when the fishing is good it’s not uncommon to loose a few. Come evening we cook baked beans over an open flame, tell stories, laugh a lot and camp under the stars.

The video above we shot in about an hour’s time on a remote river that we love to fish. It’s not professionally shot, but it gives you a good idea of what we are most likely up to when we don’t answer our phones. Hope that you enjoy.

Thanks Orb Clothing, You Rock!

I want to give a huge shout out to Orb Clothing for being a such wonderful and important part of our world adventure!

Noel and I are forever in debt to Orb because without them we would have never met. Our meeting is a long and awesome story or true love that’s best told in person so the next time you see us ask us about it.

You have likely noticed that in 99% of the shots of me I’m wearing the latest, and super cutest Orb clothes. That’s because our good friends at Orb Clothing are supplying me with a full travel wardrobe for our adventures. It started from a conversation with Glen about how great Orb Clothing is for traveling. It always looks great, you can wear it anywhere, it packs easy, hardly wrinkles and is super comfy. We were talking with Glen about our upcoming world adventure and he came up with the idea of me blogging and Noel taking photos for Orb while on our adventures. Of course we said Yes, Yes, Yes!

Everywhere we go Noel and I take these amazing photos in some of the best locations in the world. Every week I’m sending both my blog posts and Noel’s photos back to Orb and in turn Orb is telling our story of love and adventure on their website. There is nothing better than working for and representing a company who you totally believe in and respect. Thanks Orb, you guys rock!

Once we have finished shooting all of the clothes that we have with us, they send a new batch to our next exotic location. Not only am I excited to be going somewhere new and amazing, I’m also super excited to see what new clothes they have sent me.

If you love what I am wearing in any of our blog photos, we invite you to have a look at their e-com website: Use our personal coupon code FREEBIRD30 and you will automatically get 30% off your entire order when shopping online!

Did I mention that Orb Clothing is totally cute, super comfortable, travels really well and it looks great when worn casually and dressed up. As you can see, I totally love Orb!

Noel Fox Photography

On the road

The world adventure has begun! It was more than a year ago that Noel and I decided to embark on trip around the world. For a while, we weren’t sure of the exact date of our departure and since the summer is so nice in beautiful British Columbia, we decided to stick around and enjoy the sunshine. It was perfect really since it gave us time to go to Mexico for two weeks for a swimwear photo shoot/ surf trip, and prepare for this trip. It took a lot more preparation that I had envisioned, so we both ended up working a lot more than expected and the trip, even though it was coming quickly, seemed like it was never going to happen.

Noel’s mom drove us to the airport and it is only when we sat down on the plane that it felt real!

We have been gone for 4 days now and it seems like it’s already been forever. Vegas was a blast! Staying awake all night was definitely the call and it made for a sleepy plane ride on our way to Panama.

It is the first time for both of us here and we didn’t know what to expect at all. I was surprised to see how many high rises there are in the city and how tall they are. My guess is that the tallest is around 80 floors and the crazy thing is that it is right next to the ocean. The architecture of some of these new buildings is impressive.

The old part of the city: Casco Antiguo is beautiful and great fun to walk through. The old buildings now house government offices, churches, restaurants, stores and hotels. It definitely has a tourist vibe and at the same time it is vibrant with the locals presence. Casco Antiguo is on the other side of the bay from the downtown area and it makes for a bit of a clashing scenery. While most of the government buildings are revamped and quite charming, the rest of the area is surrounded by dilapidated buildings and rough neighbourhoods.

Unfortunately, there is no real surfing right in the city, so after two days, we decided that it is time for us to move to our next destination: Bocas del Toro.

We could have flown there easily within 45 minutes and we decided that saving a few bucks by taking the bus was a great idea. It is an 11h bus ride! Ouch! In fact this is where I am writing this post at this very moment. I love going on bus rides in tropical places because it gives you time to reflect on what you’ve seen so far and plan your next adventure. That being said, the real reason why I like bus rides is that you get to bring snacks! And shopping for snacks in tropical places is the best!

First you get as much local food as you can: empenadas and locally made ham and cheese croissants are the best! Second you get to choose between all the sugary snack from your youth and some that you never even heard from before! The labels are usually pretty awesome too, in a non American kind of way! Third is the drinking yogurt! I don’t know why we don’t carry more in our grocery stores back home in Canada, because it’s are purely delicious and they have all the fruit flavours that you can imagine. I have to say that the mango and passion fruit mix is my favourite so far.

My sugar rush is finally coming to an end so I will put my headphones on, listen to a audio book and pray for the bus driver’s assistant to find the key to for the bathroom which has been locked since we left the bus terminal a couple of hours ago:)

The Foxy and the Fox World Adventure

It started with call from our good friend Justin who was at a charity auction. “Noel, there are two around the world business class tickets that in 5 minutes are going to be sold really cheep. Josi and I, we were only dating at the time, were having dinner at a restaurant and I ask her if she wanted to fly around the world with me. Now we are married and I’m just about to start packing for a six and a half month around the world adventure that takes us from Vancouver to Las Vegas (only for 14 hours), Panama, Costa Rica, Argentina, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali/Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and then finishing off in Tahiti.

While it’s not the longest trip I have ever embarked on, it’s by far my biggest adventure to date. WIth all of the planing that a trip like this takes, it almost doesn’t even seem real. Not that we have planed our trip all that much, we don’t even have a place to stay when we get to Panama, but with technology the way it is in this day and age last minute is often the way to go. Not that I wouldn’t rather have it all figured out a little, it’s just that with all of the prep getting FreeBird Agency to a point where we can take off, it’s been way too busy to think about anything.

As mentioned, we leave tomorrow and I have yet to pack. Josi is pretty much fully packed and here I am writing our first blog post so Alex can finish our travel blog. At least I have a packing list so I should be fine. The goal is to travel light as possible which is proving to be challenging considering we are surfing, fly fishing, working virtually with FreeBird Agency, taking photos and hiking mountains. We will experience everything from freezing ice bergs to tropical jungles to desert beaches to who knows what. I guess what ever we don’t remember to pack, for everything else there’s a Master Card. Dam, I’ve been brainwashed by the industry that I’m so deeply rooted in.

It’s time to get packing and at this late hour my list is my boss.

It’s big, it’s long and I’m wondering if it’s just way too much stuff. I’m committed to packing my big Burton Wheely bag only half full so I can bring back some worldy treasures.

The List:

  • Burton Wheely Bag
  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Fishing supplies
  • Sun glasses (x2)
  • Surfboards (x2)
  • Bank Card (personal and business)
  • Credit Cards (x2)
  • Passports
  • Toiletries
    • Shaver and blades
    • Sun screen
    • Zink
    • Lip Balm (x mega)
    • Deodorant
    • After Shave
    • Floss
    • Vitamines & pills
  • Surf Board
  • Surf fins
  • Wax
  • Rash Guard
  • Reef Booties
  • Shorty
  • Board shorts
  • Reg shorts
  • T’s and Tanks
  • Running shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • Ball Cap
  • Towel
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Camera
  • Charger
  • Memory cards
  • Lenses
  • Computer
  • Charger
  • Portable Hard Drive
  • Import music and audio books
  • Iphone & Charger & Headphones
  • Books (x ?)
  • Bring business bank FOB on trip
  • Small back pack

Dam, it looks like a crazy long list!