Tom Enderlin

Years fly fishing?


Years guiding?


Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My Swiss grandfather took me to some high alpine lakes to catch brown trout as a young boy. He was a chef, so our goal was to bring home supper. We failed miserably, but the giant browns that slowly cruised the shoreline left a lasting impression. As I got a little older and finally got my own fly rod, this experience may have been part of a deep-seeded inspiration driving me. 

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

 Costa Rica is a really neat place to live. In a relatively small area we have 2 oceans and many lakes, rivers and streams. One can chase giant tarpon (now in both oceans after having crossed the Panama Canal), pelagics of many kinds, as well as exotics like machaca and guapote. We also have mountains high enough for the cold water required for rainbow trout. The shear diversity makes this an awesome place to roam in pursuit of fish. 

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

 I have several seasons or programs I focus on, including tarpon at the Jungle Tarpon Reserve (Aug-Dec) as well as sailfish and other pelagics in the Pacific (Dec-April), but my favorite time of year is during some of the flower and fruit "hatches" we get on our northern rivers. A fish called machaca (Brycon sp.) gorge on these botanical feasts, and slapping poppers from whitewater rafts provides some truly incredible fishing. 

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

 I love anything visual, so flats fishing is pretty high up on the list of favorites. I've recently started to do some exploratory travel in South America and may have gotten a jungle bug. Either way I am as happy feeding poppers to panfish as I am stalking permit in Los Roques or giant peacocks in the Amazon. 

What you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

 The balance of fighting power and castability makes the Exocett an incredible tool for many of my fisheries, especially when a big jungle tarpon turns into the current and starts to run to the ocean. 

What's your current go-to fly?

In my opinion nothing beats an andino's deceiver for simplicity and effectiveness. Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

My favorite thing about guiding is?

Many of my programs feature immersive experiences with local communities, and I absolutely love watching people from opposite parts of the world come together and share some laughter or an opportunity to learn. For me, the experiences around the fishing and catching is what makes our sport and traveling to fish new areas that much richer. 

From an angler's point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

 Local knowledge. No matter how well you know your homewater when time is limited and decisions have to be made nobody knows a piece of water better then the people that spend the most time there. 

What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

 The Casado. In Spanish it literally means married, and is a plate piled high with rice, beans, veggies, salad, plantains, and the meat of your choice. A generous portion of every food group in one sitting and as much a tradition as a rite of passage around these parts. 

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

Definitely glasses, sunblock, etc. but also being a photographer I would be amiss if I didn't always have my camera with me to capture those special moments fishing and otherwise. 

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

Its hard to get my hands on magazines but I love watching all the new developments in photography our sport has seen in recent years. 

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

Planning the next trip, chasing my toddler around our mini urban farm, photographing wildlife, and surfing.