Monday, June 8, 2015

Baja Trip Report

Baja Trip Report

I am just back from one of my favorite spots on the planet, Baja Joe’s in La Ventana, BCS. Seven years ago I discovered this gem after fishing with some guides in North Carolina who raved about the area. I have been going to Baja for more than 20 years and was looking for the perfect fly fishing destination there. This wonderful place is located two hours north of the San Jose Del Cabo airport and is 45 minutes east of La Paz. La Ventana sits in the bay behind the majestic Isla Ceralvo and is a quiet little town when the wind is not blowing. During winter it is a bustling kite boarding destination. Gary Bulla runs the fly fishing operation out of Baja Joe’s and has assembled the finest pangero guides in the entire region. The Lucero family Captains know how to handle the fly fishing game better than any place in Baja without a doubt.



From May through October this area is mostly wind-free and filled with a plethora of fish species. Early spring is Yellowtail time.  Most years, the Roosterfish invade the area into early June. Summer is Dorado time and early fall the Yellowfin tuna are the target. This is big game fly fishing and ALL of these fish pull hard. Nine through 14 weight rods are needed. Tough reels lined with lots of backing are the standard and sometimes stuff breaks; that’s just how it goes. Most of the flies used in this area resemble or imitate the Flat Iron Herring (Sardinia) and range from 2 to 5 inches.


Our most productive commercial flies were the Thalken’s Cruiser and The Bisherat Airhead. Many of the fish on this trip were fooled by small clousers that were sparsely tied in olive or silver over white. On our recent trip, the Roosterfish were our primary target and almost all of the 12 anglers that were on the trip landed at least one and we all had our chances at more. These fish are among the hardest fish to fool into eating a fly anywhere. Long, accurate casts with the fastest retrieve one can do will get their attention, but no guarantee that they will take your offering. They can be very frustrating, but when you fool one into eating (or get lucky) these Jack’s fight hard, making long runs into your backing and bull-dogging all the way in. They are most often found close to shore on the beach and near rocky outcroppings. When the Roosters are scarce, anglers can always find other eager fish to target. This week we hooked Skipjack, White Bonita, Rainbow Runners, Big-Eyed Jack, Jack Crevelle, Barred Pargo, Ladyfish, Triggerfish, Cabrilla, Golden Trevally, Trumpetfish and 3 types of Needlefish. Marlin, both Striped and Blue, were seen every day as well as Wahoo. These Baja trips are very affordable and easy to get to from our area here in NorCal and are a blast.

If you would like any information on these trips, I would be glad to help. Looking forward to my next trip down.

Captain Maury Hatch
(916)716-FISH

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Truckee River Report by Matt Heron

Truckee 6/4/2015
The rain last week gave the Truckee a much needed flush of fresh water through the system and the fish and bugs seemed to appreciate it. The storms did pump some color in the river from a few different sources but that’s a non issue now.

We’re seeing all kinds of bugs at this point and summer hatches will be in full swing soon. There are still a few baetis around but they are pretty much ending, PMDs are out, green drakes are starting, caddis in several sizes are getting eaten daily and big stonefly attractors have been sticking fish.
 We had two stellar days of carpenter ant fishing that ended as quickly as it started. They aren’t done yet so make sure you have some big terrestrials with you, they will pop again as it gets warmer.
 Our fly fishing school ponds are still firing and we’re getting in to fish in every class. If you’re a beginner or intermediate angler, be sure to check out our extensive list of class options.
 Sawmill Lake (Private)- Sawmill is getting better by the day as it gets warmer in Truckee. We’re getting fish on all the normal bugs callibaetis, damsels, ants and midges. Bigger fish than normal are being caught this year and fish in the 3-6lb class are ‘almost’ the norm!
 Our June is extremely full but we always have guides available to get you on the water. Contact the shop for availability on guided trips or classes.  916.722.1055

canyon bow tag
Bows in the canyon are eating the big stuff.
carpenter ant pond tag
If you were lucky enough to be on the water when the carpenter ants hatched then you should buy a lotto ticket. They went off in Squaw and on the river. Anything big and ugly worked.
green drake tag
Green Drakes are on the move.

Tarponville Hosted Travel March 12th-19th 2016

Tarponville   


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Tarpon, undoubtedly the baddest fish you mess with on the fly.  The shear violence and strength of these fish is hair raising.  For those of you who have had the opportunity to connect to one of these fish you know what I am talking about.  For those of you still thinking it over, get your priorities straight and get this trip on your “fishing bucket list”.  They run, they jump, they flip, they tail walk, they head shake like no other, and so so much more. This is why they earn the nickname “Silver King”!


A few months ago I had the opportunity to shoot down to Costa Rica to check out http://tarponville.com/.  The fishery flat out amazed me, the caribbean scenery is stunning, and the cultural experience is not to be missed.  I had heard very little about Costa Rica tarpon before this trip so my expectations were an open slate.  What I found was a little gem with a ton of fish to pursuit.  The main attraction is the tarpon and that is what you should focus on if you get a chance to go.  12wt minimum for these fish, they are big and will kick your ass. Back up rods and reels are a must as these fish do break rods!  All of the fishing is had out of 24’ super pangas with English speaking guides. These boats are big enough to have two anglers fishing at a time.  A quick 20 min. boat ride south to the border of Panama will have you at the Sixoala river where the tarpon grounds massive river mouth is where the tarpon lurk to feed on bait fish.  The guides will have you set up with wind and current drifts, blind casting until the fish start to push fish to the surface.  Once the fish are up and feeding, be ready, this is where the mayhem starts!.  Not even the strongest coffee in the world can get your blood going more than these moments.DSC_5010.jpgDSC_7770.jpg
 


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The alternative fishery to look forward to consists of bonefish, permit, trigger fish, snook, parrot fish and jacks.  You can literally chase trigger fish right in front of the lodge.  I even had a shot at a permit there too.  We spent a day chasing permit with very good success.  One fish landed and 5 others hooked with failed dreams.  If you know permit fishing, this is insane fishing for a day. We constantly found schools of jacks pushing fish to the surface.  I think Jacks are one of the most underrated saltwater fish that swims.  Just remember the goal of this destination is for the tarpon the other fish are a bonus.


The accommodations are just what an angler needs.  Comfortable bed with a clean room and private bathroom.  The nights cool off quite a bit and you will be so exhausted from fishing that anyplace you can lay your head will assure you get a good nights sleep.   The lodge is a single rustic building with the kitchen and eating quarters adjoined.  The dining area is an open aired space on the ground level floor with the guest rooms above the kitchen.  The lodge in located in a wildlife refuge tucked into the canopy of the thick Costa Rican jungle. Nighttime sounds of the wildlife coming alive and the breaking waves on the reef will rock you to sleep.  TV-Kitchen.jpg


Getting to tarponville is a journey.  The flights to San Jose are very easy with several flights in and out everyday. The shuttle ride to Tarponville will take 4-5 hours ending just past the small village of Manzanillo.  Mileage wise it is not very far in US standards but the roads are slow.  The drive is very scenic and the end destination is worth the treck.  You will be staying overnight in San Jose the night of your arrival, departing for tarponville the following morning at 6:00am. Upon arrival and after a quick orientation, it will be time to get your battle gear ready as you will be off to the fishing grounds for a ½ day of fishing.


The food is great.  All meals at the lodge are prepared by local cooks, and the menu will include such items as snapper, local fruits and vegetables, and other local delicacies. The Lodge bar and kitchen area stocked with complimentary beer, rum, sodas, and mixers for any alcohol that you would like to bring.  I hope you like fish, because they know how to prepare it.  packages include breakfast, lunch and dinner, and trust me, you will be well fed!IMG_1240.JPG


Next year I will be returning to Tarponville, but this time I will be hosting a group of anglers.  I have saltwater fished in several areas of the world and am so impressed with this place that I want to get more people out there with me to share the experience and give you a  chance to catch a fish of your life time..  I have a week booked for Spring of 2016 and will be looking to fill up to 12 spots.  


Get you spot reserved today and for more information on Tarponville you can visit there website at: http://www.tarponville.com/index


Gear That Made The Difference:


Sage Salt 12wt- This was my first time breaking in the new Sage Salt.  This stick is powerful, yet very responsive.  We did a ton of blind casting which normally would through a shoulder out of socket.  The Salt made things effortless and kept my concentration in the game.  When fighting a massive fish this rod was able to put the cork to them, literally.  Check out the tarponville video for the bend in the rod.
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Thalken’s Cruiser-  Morgan Thalken’s Cruiser fly has become my all around go to bait fish pattern.  Designed for fishing in baja this baitfish can mimic a variety of patterns depending on the color scheme you choose.  I have landed an array of fish including stripers, barracudas, snook, giant travalley and now tarpon.  I was fortunate enough to get to try out the rattle cruiser that has a glass rattle tied into it.  Let’s just say that the tarpon hated the sound and had to kill it!
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Costa Hamlin 580G Blue Mirror- I have been on a life long hunt for the perfect sunglasses for fly fishing.  The actuality of finding the one pair for all situations is like like trout setting a saltwater fish.  When it comes to blue saltwater and bright conditions I prefer a blue mirror lense.  For frames I like a big frame where I cannot see any edges.  This helps to open my field of vision and not stress out my eyes with any blocked views.  These glass lenses provide the best clarity that I have found and they really are bulletproof when it comes to scratches.
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Trip Details:  
Package:  (7 nights/ 5 days fishing)
3/12- Airport arrival/ shuttle to Costa Verde/ night stay in San Jose
3/13- shuttle to Tarponville/ ½ day fishing
3/14-3/17- Full days fishing
3/18- ½ day fishing/ shuttle to San Jose
3/19- Shuttle to airport/ departure flight
Total Cost:
$3,265.00 per person (double occupancy)


Included in packages:
The number of nights lodging and days fishing as specified in your package, all meals, snack, and beverages, open beer and rum bar, private round-trip transfer from San Jose to Manzanillo, Airport pick up and drop offs, all taxes, nights in San Jose hotel when necessary.


Not included in packages:
Airfare from original destination to San Jose, Costa, gratuities for guides, shuttle driver and lodge staff, phone use, fishing equipment, travel insurance.

https://vimeo.com/124240921

Monday, June 1, 2015

American River Summer Striper Report

After a fun, but windy spring season on the Delta, I have switched over to chasing stripers on the American river. The flows on the AR had been below 1000 cfs for a couple of months, but have increased to 1200-1500 and will stay that way through July. The fishing over the last couple of weeks has been up and down with mostly small fish being caught. My best outing was 40 + fish (from dinks to 4#) to the boat for 2 anglers and my worst was 1. Ouch! 
 
 

I have been seeing some bigger fish, but not able to get them to eat our flies. My regular float/motor is from Watt or Howe all the way down to the mouth.  My clients typically throw topwater flies for the first hour at low light and then switch to sub-surface fare the remainder of the day. The trips start at dawn and we are off the water by 11:00 AM. I have also seen sea lions every day; from one to four per trip all the way up to Watt Ave. I am sure they are following the shad on their way up the river, but they sure turn the bite off as far as striper fishing goes. 
 
 

Due to the slow fishing on the river, I was back on the Delta with clients this past week. The water temperature has gone back down in the 60s and I have had some great trips. Last Friday, I had a 30 fish day with some topwater and sub-surface fishing that was good with fish up to 8#. Yesterday was outstanding with agressive fish eating our flies in 7 out of 8 places we tried. Caught 35+ keeper-sized or better up to 7#. The weather is going to change and we will get into a summer pattern, raising the water temps in the Delta into the 70s so soon I will be back on the AR. I leave tomorrow to host one of my Baja Big Game trips, but will be back guiding the American the second week of June through mid-August. I have some open dates and if you are interested you can contact me or the great folks at Fly Fishing Specialties.
 
 

Thanks
Capt. Maury Hatch
First Hatch Guide Service
Call the shop for availability for a summer striper guide trip 916.722.1055