Thursday, March 25, 2010

Z Fish Report (3/25/10)

Captain Francisco and Tim Apollo on the Huntress

         With the change to a cooler dirty water, and some very large waves hitting the beaches, the very good inshore action for jack crevalle and sierras has taken a nose dive this week. However, the slack has been taken up in spades with excellent blue water fishing.
          Striped marlin, like last year, showed up again this year. Historically we rarely catch striped marlin here, but when they have shown up this last two years we have been getting more striped marlin than sailfish.
         Most of the fish are being caught between 12 and 18 miles, with each boat in the fleet averaging 2 striped marlin and a sailfish a day. Naturally the better captains are doing better than that.
         Some notable catches this last week were with Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos with 4 striped marlin and 5 sailfish in one day. All fish were released.
          Mike Buckley, the owner of the super panga Huntress (with twin 85HP engines) emailed me this: Tim Apollo from Coatesville released two Striped Marlin and 1 Sailfish while fishing with Capt. Francisco on the Super Panga "Huntress" about 23 miles due south of Zihuatanejo. The Huntress also had 4 other Marlin strikes that day
         Santiago, on the panga Gitana reported the following: Debbie Goggins from Alaska on released 2 Striped Marlin and 1 Sailfish fishing with Adan on the Gitana II. Dan Gaffney with his wife and Son from North Carolina, Released 3 Striped Marlin, 2 Sailfish and caught many Jacks & Bonitos, during 6 days of fishing over the past week. They fished with Santiago on the Gitana.
         Also, Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II released three striped marlin yesterday, and Arturo on the panga Janeth released 3 striped marlin and two sailfish.

Ed Kunze

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Expo photo recapitulation

Hutch Hutchinson demonstrates how to properly fix 'your buddies' casting techniques.
There are not many things that will make a fly fisherman yearn for water more than standing in the warm sun on a beautiful day bombing casts with a bad-ass new Orvis HELIOS 5wt switch rod.... in a parking lot. No, I didn't buy one, nor could I have afforded one even if the crazies overtook me and forced me to take out my credit card at gunpoint, which doesn't even work anymore now that B of A has decided I was living a little too much like a good American, it was just fun to pretend.

But I suppose if you are not going to spend a wonderful spring Saturday on the water, then hanging out with a great group of fly junkies telling war stories, watching tying demonstrations, snapping photos and learning better and more efficient ways to make the local water inhabitants bow to their sensei is the next best thing.

Emerson "Chief" Craig sharing some of his 30 years worth of White Mountain trout fishing knowledge
 There was no poll, but I would bet a coke that the popular vote of the day would have gone to Emerson "Chief" Craig and his talks about techniques, tips and tactics for fishing Arizona's White Mountain trout lakes. Fly fishing since the tender age of ten and targeting fish in and around the Wt. Mountains since 1973, Chief is truly "the man" when it comes to ruling these waters and I am sure that every person who was fortunate enough to hear his talk will cast with greater confidence when fishing these waters from ice-off till winter's return, myself included.

Another highlight was the demonstration of Mike Leed's improved grass frog. Tied on a Waddingtin shank with a top-side looped weed guard, and a upturned TroKar 1/0 drop shot hook attached to the leader with a 2 foot section of weed-slicing 30lb PowerPro braided line, I cannot imagine running into any problems dragging this frog across even the nastiest of weed beds.

It still looks like a heavy bitch, but losing the rabbit zonker legs for feathers might help a bit. Still, don't think you will be throwing this on anything less than an 8wt. Mike uses a 10wt, which helps get these surprised fish out of the weeds and into the boat.

A thank you should also go out to Dave Brown for his talks surrounding fly fishing in BC,  and John & Cullen Murphy for their presentations on the guiding and services they provide, as well as some great fish porn helping make this event the best it has been in nearly a decade. Great job, gentlemen.

I should have been paying attention, but I was too busy playing with my camera to tell you where Cullen caught that large fish.
The Future
See more photos.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Z Fish Report (3/18/10)

      The 80° blue water has moved into the 6 mile area. The fishing has picked up some, with the best hard working captains all getting a few fish, and the El Cheapo captains, working through the hotel travel agencies and beach coyotes, giving their clients a nice boat ride.

       Karen and Saxon Hutmacher of Alaska fished two days with Cali on the Vamonos II. On the first day they had a couple of strikes on sailfish, got a striped marlin, and then also got a blue marlin of about 300 pounds to the boat. The next day they got two sailfish.
        Mike Buckley, owner of the twin engine super panga Huntress, emailed me with the following: We had two charters, one inshore with lots of bonita and two dorado and one offshore with three sailfish at 22 miles. All three sails struck at the same time and we released them all. Water was beautiful, but that was the only action all day.
          Todd Sandell and his friend Ron of Seattle treated themselves to their 40th birthdays by fishing with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II with their 8wt fly rods. They had excellent action on the small game, with most of the fish being the hard fighting black skipjack tuna, but they also got a very nice sierra, which was their dinner that night.
Ed Kunze

Friday, March 12, 2010

Z Fish Report (3/12/10)

     With the clean 80° water only 6 miles off the beach, and the deep blue water out about 18 miles, the fishing is still fairly slow. Our bread and butter fish for the area, the sailfish, has been averaging less than a fish per day per boat.
      Not is all bleak as Kjell of Sweden fished with Luis on the panga Gringo Loco for two days, taking a huge 50 pound (plus) dorado off a partially sunken tree limb, and released an estimated 250 pound blue marlin the next day.
      Cali, Captain of the Vamonos II, did get two sailfish on Friday for his clients, and an estimated 110 pound striped marlin. He told me, as well as other captains, the seas were very rough on Thursday.
      However, the inshore action has been very good. Adolfo on the Dos Hermanos, Cheva on the Dos Hermanos II, and Arturo all have been getting into large jack crevalle. The 15 to 20 pound jacks are coming off trolled Rapalas, live bait, and surface poppers, with most of the action down near the white rocks.

Ed Kunze

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fishy Kid is back

There's only one way to find out.

Z Fish Report (3/6/10)

Shelby Unger
        The blue water fishing has been slow this week, with the inshore action being the best bet. The full moon period caused the normal slow down in the blue water, but with the earthquake down in Chile, it really shut down. It was way to far for us to feel the quake here, but the small tsunami which came through acted like several major shock waves to the sailfish.

        The recorded tsunami was only about 3 feet high, and did not go much higher than our normal high tide line. When the tsunami came through, I was guiding with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II, and fly fisherman Steve Mara of Seattle. We were in touch with the Port Captain's office, which was in touch with the entire coast on Mexico. We didn't feel or see a thing, but we didn't get any fish either.
        The sensitive lateral lines on a sailfish can pick up a school of bait fish a half mile away. The tsunami comes in by a series of shock waves, and it must really put a scare into the fish.
        A couple of days after the quake, Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos was doing so well he called me on his cell phone. He was into a very large school of jack crevalle, and they were huge. He was down at the Valentine river mouth, with the hard fighting jacks being an astonishing the 25 to 30 pound average.
  On Wed, Ken Unger of Calgary, Canada fished with Santiago on the panga Gitana. They didn't get a strike on a sailfish, but found a floating grass patch. They managed to pull a couple of smaller dorado and one nice dorado of about 30 pounds off it. Ken's 13 year old daughter, Shelby, had the honors to bring in the dinner. They had it cooked up at Lety's, which is probably the best seafood restaurant here, and very economical.
         Then, Ken and Shelby fished with Cheva and I on the panga Dos Hermanos II up on the Buena Vista Beach area. Ken was fly fishing, with Cheva throwing a surface popper or lure out 75 to 100 yards, and then handing off the caught fish to Shelby. She darned near got worn out. We did manage to raise a few roosters, and caught a jack crevalle. Plus, we found our own dorado hotel in the form of a huge patch of floating grass. We pulled 8 dorado off it. Nothing was big, but it was a fun. And, I got to take dorado home tonight for my wife Rebecca to cook up.

Ed Kunze

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sometimes it would be awesome

When I am at home having a drink alone and writing stuff for things I sometimes wish Morgan Freeman would come over and read aloud what I have written. I feel it would just make it so much easier to edit my work if that would happen every once in a while when I am struggling with some overabundance of verbiage. You know what I mean?

I'm just sayin'.

-Alex who is currently having a drink alone and writing stuff for things.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Orvis Expo

Saturday March 20th from 9:30 AM to 6PM
Dry Creek Outfitters, Tucson AZ

The Scoop:
Don't miss this year's Orvis Expo at Dry Creek Outfitters on Saturday March 20th from 9:30 AM to 6PM. This is the best program we have ever put together!! You will receive fly-casting instruction using the Orvis Helios and Hydros fly-rods. These are easily the lightest fly-rods on the market. There will be numerous fly-fishing destination presentations (Alaska, British Columbia, the White Mountains of AZ and Colorado to name a few) and even some fly tying presentations. One of Hutch’s fly-casting demos will be called “Fixing your buddy’s fly-casting problems” ( We all know we have no fly-casting issues but our friend has serious issues!…)
Here are our guests for the Expo:
Hutch Hutchinson - Hutch is currently the SW Regional Business Manager for the Orvis Company and is recognized as one of the industry's premier fly-casters. He spent close to 10 years in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska as the lead guide for the Bristol Bay Lodge and has extensive experience fly-fishing for numerous species all over the globe. What makes Hutch very special, as many of us here in Tucson can attest to, is his ability to teach others the art of fly-casting.
Dave Brown - Dave is the owner of Dave Brown Outfitters, formerly known as Elk River Angler. Dave and his guides specialize in the pursuit of the beautiful west-slope cutthroat in addition to rainbows and the rare Bull trout.
Mike Leed - Mike is a native Tucsonan who has fly-fished in Canada, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Belize, the BVI and many locations in Mexico and the U.S. He particularly loves the saltwater flats game and pursuing Largemouth Bass in AZ.
John & Cullen Murphy - Our OPTU newsletter editor always finds time to make several epic trips each year. You may find him throwing line at the San Juan or the Provo or...he may be on a "business trip" to New Zealand or the Kenai River in Alaska. Cullen has guided at Great Alaska Adventure Lodge in Sterling, AK for 6 seasons and has also built an impressive saltwater fly-fishing resume.

...and our featured guest
Emerson Craig - If you fish the White Mountain lakes of Arizona with any regularity, you have probably seen Emerson (no doubt, with a bent rod). Emerson, also known as "Chief", has spent countless hours perfecting his techniques of fooling trout with a fly rod. Just as Roger Federer is the ranked #1 in the world, Emerson Craig is the #1 seed for fly-fishing in the White Mountains.
Call Eric or Whitey at Dry Creek Outfitters (520-326-7847) for further details.
Should be a good time, even if I do have to break my no-getting-up-before-10AM-unless-it's-fishing rule.