Thursday, April 29, 2010

Z Fish Report (4/29/10)

Z Fish Report (4/29/10)

          The 79 degree clean water is holding around 12 miles, with the deep blue water about 30 miles, and along the 1,000 fathom line. Inside 30 miles, the fishing for the offshore species has been slow, and as reported by Mike Bulkly, the owner of the super panga Huntress, many boats are not even getting a strike. However, he did tell me the inshore fishing for jack crevalle, chulas (a small, but excellent eating tuna with teeth), and black skipjack tuna is still good.
          Plus, this weekend, starting Friday, is the annual offshore tournament, with a new car or pickup given as the prize for the largest 3 sailfish, largest marlin, and largest dorado. Fortunately, with the tournament starting on the full moon cycle, and slow offshore conditions anyway, the normal 120 to 150 boat tournament should have poor results. I say this because Zihuatanejo has yet to get out of the stone age with this 30 plus year running tournament. It is a kill tournament. In years past, with just slightly more favorable conditions, I have seen as many 750 sailfish hitting the dock over the course of the 3 day tournament.
          Tim Gage of Texas fished with Martin on the Gaviota for a day. Tim was very disappointed with Martin, as well as me. They got a sailfish, and released it, but when the 200 pound blue marlin Tim got was at the boat, the crew killed it. Later, talking to Martin, he explained to me the heart was gone and the fish was going to die (which happens all too often with blues). Martin is very experienced, and will continue to be my favorite captain for the cruisers of the fleet. But, like all captains the world over, they can be fairly hard headed. He needs to be taught a lesson for not communicating correctly with the client, and not even making an attempt for the revival of the marlin to prove the fish was not going to make it. Tim started the teaching process by canceling the next day’s charter with Martin, which hits him in the pocketbook. I am the second step, because like all captains, their egos can also be quite big….When he reads this about him, I assure you things will be different in the future.
          But, this is what it takes. The need for catch and release of bill fish cannot depend on the annual tournament to change; it has to start with the captains.

Ed Kunze

Sunday, April 25, 2010

more brazen indifference than ninja tactics

bass fruit
The suburban camouflage of collared shirts, buttons and khaki could only conceal our position for so long, and the level of contempt in the HOA woman’s eyes could have drowned a rat. She didn’t give a shit about the fish, only that we weren’t one of them. Even her dog looked mad. But it’s fine, she was three hours late to the party and our buggers and streamers had already yanked a few specimens of forbidden fruit out of her chemically treated pond.

“Do you live here?”

“No, but I got permission from, uhhh, Sandy... Sandy Johnson? Maybe you know her?”

“The homeowner has to be with you if you are going to fish. You are trespassing. Please leave.”

Aaron the trespasser.
It’s okay, I’m no anarchist and I don’t generally get off on breaking the rules, but I will when I feel it's necessary for the keeping of sanity. She wasn’t telling us anything that we don’t already know but sometimes you just have to go catch some pond slobs to prove that there is more to fly fishing behavior in Tucson on a weekday afternoon than organizing gear, hanging out at the fly shop or sitting at the vise on the couch watching TV... even if I have to endure Miss I-walk-my-dog-around-the-lakes-every-day-to-drive-out-leaching-scum-like-you and her judging eyes.

It’s okay, she looked divorced.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Z Fish Report 4/22/10)

        The 80° blue water is still holding at less than 12 miles, which is historically very unusual for April. But, since the migratory fish don't know the "historical" difference, the fishing within the normal "day" charter distance of about 20 miles, is very poor for the average charter.

        Incredible action can be had, but at the magic numbers of 40 to 50 miles. There are lots of blue marlin, sailfish, and yellowfin tuna right over the near vertical drop from 6,000 feet to 14,000 feet. (Just check out Google Earth if you don't believe me about the depths.)
        This trench, called the Middle America Trench , extends 1,700 miles from a bit north of us, down to Costa Rica, with depths at times of over 21,000 feet. It is a virtual highway for pelagic species like marlin, yellowfin tuna, and sailfish. This is where our local commercial pangeros, in a single engine open panga, go every day to make their living.
    Mike Bulkley, owner of the super panga Huntress, with Francisco as the captain, told me the clients do not want to pay the extra gas money and time it takes to get to the 45 mile mark. They read the daily charter rate on the internet, and expect the captain to take them to Hawaii, if that is where the fish are, and be back in Zihuatanejo at the end of the day.
          Rather than try and explain to a client to pay extra fuel for a trip of a lifetime, the Huntress has had very satisfied clients by going inshore and catching a lot of small game fish on light line. Then, as Mike only steers the boat on the blue water trips, Francisco has been taking the clients to Ixtapa Island for a lunch with their fresh caught fish, a little snorkeling, and water sports before returning to the pier, without having to stop for gas in Hawaii.
         Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, is very optimistic (read promoter), but then what can you expect from the very best captain in this port. He is getting a few roosters off the beach, with several sailfish and striped marlin in the blue water, when nobody else is getting them. Of course, he did not tell me where he got them, but his clients are very satisfied.

Ed Kunze

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

how they roll in Finland

After receiving my little goodie bag  Mr. Graham sent me a few photos... and this was the least disturbing of the bunch. Go figure.

The "tramp stamp" placement is a winner, but for future reference to those sending me sticker photos, lets have a little less man-butt, and maybe a little more chick-butt.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Z Fish Report (4/15/10)

Photo by Mike Bulkley: Dan from Baltimore, Md is about to release his first Pacific Sailfish while fishing with Capt. Francisco on the Super Panga "Huntress".

     The 82° blue water has actually moved in closer to about the 12 mile mark. But,the offshore fishing was not very good this last week. With the 5.0 earthquake this last Tuesday, centered only 40 miles away, this does not surprise me. With my hand in a cast for 5 more weeks, It will probably be at least end of May before the doc lets me pick up a fly rod and get back on the water.

       Mike Bulkley, the owner of the super panga Huntress, emailed me this:
       Offshore fishing has been very slow with one or no strikes per trip. Inshore remains reliable with good catches of Bonita, Jacks and some Chula's.
         Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II, told me he is getting some chulas, which is an excellent eating small tuna with white meat (about 5 pounds), with a mean set of teeth. Cheva has also been working the area down by the white rocks and getting some large jack crevalle, to over 20 pounds, on trolled Rapalas and live bait.
        Mike Bulkley also emailed this sad event:
        A note, on an offshore trip to the curve on Wednesday, the Huntress saw 4 or 5 dead Olive Ridley turtles floating from 15 to 30 miles offshore. These turtles did not appear to be damaged by ships and there were several breeding pairs also spotted in the same area.
        This is really disturbing for me to have to report this, but I know of no destination in Mexico not affected by long lines. As turtle egg laying season will soon start on the beaches, the most likely cause of their deaths are from a long line. Shrimp boat nets in Mexico, not fitted with Turtle Extraction Devises can also kill them, but the shrimp boats work the shallower inshore waters. At 15 miles, the depth is 3,000 feet, and the 1,000 fathom line (6,000 feet) at the curve is at 30 miles. This is where the pangas using long lines work.

Ed Kunze

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Updating ourselves

Found a jar of taxidermy eyes sitting on a dusty shelf in my studio... awesome.

Myself, Aaron and Kyle, respectively.

Monday, April 12, 2010

fun filler

Mmmm, tasty. Something is totally going to eat the crap out of this. I didn't realize how colorful that dubbing was until I got it under some good light, it looks like a freaking carnival.

"Hey dad, can I go on the Twister ride?" No. You don't have any tickets left. "Yeah, but I really want to!" I don't care. I told you that the basketball rim wasn't round, but you went and blew all your money anyways. "Oh, come on! Give me ten bucks!" Shut up and eat your corn dog and leave me alone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the empties

I bought another fly box today and there was no reason for it. It’s nothing special - Just a plastic CF box, the kind with the push-in foam slots… for some reason I felt I needed it. I don’t.

I love the idea of organization, the thought of having everything where it should be and within easy reach at a moment’s notice. I don’t own a label maker, I have always wanted one but on some level I don’t think it would help much.

I think a perfectly organized, fully stocked fly box is a thing of beauty, but as many beautiful things it can never last because there is always a grey area, always a few flies that have a place in more than one classification, in more than one box for many different situations. There are always gaps, holes, slots left unfilled whether by usage or lack of filler. It feels unacceptable in my mind, but it is an unavoidable fact of my life.

The fly box is the mouth of a fisherman's passion. 
Have you ever had a fly box that was so perfect that you didn’t want to use it? Just the thought of removing one of the splendidly organized, perfectly placed flies would leave a bead of sweat shaking on the tip of your nose as the pliers moved in for the days selection. I never have, but I think I would like to have a chance at the experience.

In a perfect world, I might have ten of everything arranged in boxes zipped neatly in a bag, organized and labeled by type of fly as well as geographical application. Then again I may find myself held captive, trapped by the possibilities, paralyzed by the thought of having to pick the right one and ending my day sitting on the bank crying and shaking uncontrollably in a chaos of maybes and hopefuls, having not thrown one cast all afternoon. At least when you only have only ten flies with you, one of them has to be the right one.

It seems easy to measure a fly-fisher by their boxes; where they routinely fish and for what, the methods used, and even which in their arsenal have been recently deployed by the remaining clinch knot left secured to the eye to get in the way and be annoying clipped upon second or third deployment.

But can a persons fly box can be a preview of their other, non-fishy life? An unruly dry fly box and a messy kitchen? An overflowing mess of hastily tied buggers and a heap of laundry to wash but no detergent?

Will a precise box of nymphs arranged by color and size live with file cabinets, weekly pill organizers, and post-it notes? A color-coded pantry? A DVD collection in alphabetical order? A salad shooter? ( I wanted one of those when I was a kid... the idea of being able to shoot salad was always appealing) Can a procrastinating, lazy bum have a wonderfully flawless fly collection? Because when one is not fishing, a collection is all it is; an accumulation of animal parts tied to pointy metal that have no practical use when not around water, no matter how meticulously arranged.

And what about those damned empties? If I tied for a month straight and bought the gaps, enough to fill every last one, I would probably just feel organizationally disabled and buy new boxes anyways. It can't be just me, can it?

-Alex who hopes not.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Z Fish Report (4/8/10)

       Photo (by Mike Bulkley) - Jack Noble, age 7, from Indianapolis, Indiana about to release his first sail while fishing with Capt. Francisco on the Huntress about 20 miles south of Zihuatanejo.

       The water has actually warmed up a bit, with a band of 84° (surface temp.) water between the 15 to 35 mile mark, and extending all up and down the coast for at least 50 miles in each direction.

       My right hand had a serious encounter with a machete, and I have been out of commission. So, for the "on the water report and observations," Mike Bulkley, the owner of the panga Huntress, came to my rescue. He emailed me the following:
    Fishing has been great inshore again this week with lots of Jacks, Bonita and big Jurel (jack crevalle) off Ixtapa Island. Offshore is still spotty with good catches of sails, Stripes and Blues of you can find the fish. We have been running 20 to 30 miles south before wetting the lines. We had a triple Sailfish hookup on Monday.
         Also, while talking on the phone with Mike, he offered the following additional information: "Santiago, on the panga Gitana, had released 3 sails and a striped marlin at the 32 mile mark.
     The Huntress was working the area at 20 miles, and near where Margarito on the cruiser Gaby was hooked up to a blue marlin, when we had the triple hookup on sailfish. Plus, the water is clear at 12 miles, but deep blue at 20 miles."

Ed Kunze

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

you probably don't want to look at this (again)

(If you are Orvis brass, you probably are here to look at this.)

As we here at FGFF know, Kyle is a monkey. If you covered yourself epoxy and rolled in all the leftover clippings from Singlebarb's whole career as a fly tier you would probably be close, in density at least. Then he showed up with another bottle of Nair....

I decided not to take an 'after' photo, because Kyle just looks like a five-foot-ten-inch tattooed infant. It's kinda creepy.

I took part in this event for scientific purposes only, a bit of morbid curiosity pushing my hands into the protective gloves. After it was all said and done, Kyle disappeared for a half-hour and upon his return in response to my raised eyebrow all he said was "they are very smooth." Gross.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

An Easter cartoon for you.

-Alex, who was going to tie you an Easter fly until he realized he was out of rabbit.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Craigslist Score

I love it when this happens.

...for less than the price of a good night at the bar. Kick-ass.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Z Fish Report (4/1/10)

A nice Rooster caught by Piet Heyerdahl from Sweden down at Valentin.
Photo by Mike Buckley

        The 82° blue water is holding at about 10 miles, with most of the action taking place between 12 and 15 miles. The very good striped marlin bite is still holding up, with each boat in the fleet averaging about 2 striped marlin and a sailfish a day.

         Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos told me the jack crevalle action is still slow, but there are a lot of other small game fish around to keep a light line rig very busy. He reports acres of black skipjack tuna, which are not table fare, but very hard fighting machines. And, lots of small "chicken" dorado, who are growing up fast.
         Mike Buckley of the super panga Huntress, with Captain Francisco, emailed me the following:
Fishing was very good inshore. We had only one or two strikes out between the 15 and 25 mile lines. Lots of Bonita and small Dorado inshore off Ixtapa Island.

Ed Kunze