Tom Enderlin is a traveling waterman with a passion for environmental conservation and innovative adventure. He is based in Costa Rica, where he runs a boutique fly fishing outfitter called Release Fly Travel. Programs around the country include pelagics in the Pacific, rainbow trout in the highlands, exotic species like machaca and guapote in various lowland rivers, and the stand-out program, the Jungle Tarpon Reserve.
At the Jungle Tarpon Reserve, Tom has worked extensively with the local community to help create a community-based fly fishing tourism initiative. Tom has led training workshops in guiding and hosting travelers, collaborated in scientific research projects, influenced local regulations pertaining to tarpon fishing, held tree plantings and river cleanups, amongst other projects. One of the most impactful components of the new regulations Tom helped bring into fruition was that angler’s are not allowed to remove more then 30% of a captured tarpon’s body from the water. This means no dragging fish onto the boat for hero shots, and many a client from around the world has taken the “jungle plunge” in order hold a big silver king prior to release. Tom and his local team truly care about these tarpon, and they are constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact in the region in order to keep the destination sustainable both environmentally and culturally. Check out Castaway Films’ 2018 release of Atlanticus to see the Jungle Tarpon Reserve’s natural beauty and the raw power of the area’s tarpon for yourself.
To compliment whats being done, Tom founded Conservación Bosque del Sábalo, or Jungle Tarpon Conservation, a Costa Rican non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve a globally unique freshwater tarpon habitat in the Caribbean watersheds of Northern Costa Rica by implementing environmental stewardship, community awareness and education, enhanced scientific understanding, and the creation of sustainable economic opportunities.
When not traveling Tom calls a small organic farm in the mountains of Costa Rica home, where he lives with his wife, son, dogs, a flock of unruly chickens, and an extensive tropical garden.