Thursday, July 28, 2011

Z Fish Report (7/28/11)

At 6 miles, or even closer, the 85 degree blue water is still following the 100 fathom line. The offshore fishing is also holding; with a couple of sailfish a day average per boat, yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds, and quite a few dorado in the 10 to 25 pound range.

The inshore roosterfish action, especially for 30 pound plus roosters, is still the hot ticket here. It is fantastic, maintaining a 5 to 7 fish per day average per boat. The average could be higher, but there simply is not enough time in the day to catch more of these hard fighting fish, which take anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour for each one.
Stephanie with her nice rooster

Fishing with Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, Erick and Stephanie Lansdon of Eugene, Oregon caught 5 nice roosters (with Stefanie releasing an estimated 60 pounder), a jack crevalle, and a nice dorado for dinner. On their way back to the pier, Adolfo called me on his cell phone telling me “I have a huge area of very large and very hungry gallos located…now would be the perfect time for a fly fisherman…Get me a fly fishing client!”

I lucked out and complied. Chad Hansen of Boise Idaho next fished with Adolfo. He got 3 large roosters on the fly, with one huge fish (over 60 pounds) breaking the leader near the boat.
Ed Kunze

The following is a trip report Eric Lansdon emailed me about his two day fishing experience here in Zihuatanejo:

The Day began with more than a little apprehension by my bride of a little over a week. The first day of fishing in Zihuatanejo hadn’t quite gone exactly as planned. Although I will say that the weather did not cooperate much either. We booked a trip through an online website, and as dumb Americanos, we thought we had it all figured out. The bottom line is we shouldn’t have even gone out that day. The ocean was quite similar to what I am used to fishing out of Winchester Bay Oregon in July- a rolling 6 foot swell (at times 8) with about a foot or two of wind chop. The panga we fished on the first day was not exactly the most comfortable of a ride as we plowed into the oncoming swell for quite some time. Sparing many details, I will say the fishing equipment was poor, the boat was unkempt, yet the skipper was a genuinely nice guy. We ended up with a yellowfin tuna after a couple hours, and I pulled the plug - lest I get a divorce before my honeymoon was over.
This experience led me to call on Ed, who lives in Zihuatanejo, and was referred to me through a friend. Our trip was winding to an end, and I knew we had to give it another try. We had to. Ed set me up with Adolfo on the Dos Hermanos for a day of Rooster Fishing. Ed told me that Adolfo was the best. I believed him, and we were stoked. My wife, however, was a little guarded.

We met Adolfo at seven at the municipal pier, and the first thing I noticed was his gear. Everything was right. Nice rods, nice reels, clean boat, organized tackle….This was a good sign. Furthermore, Adolfo and his deckhand Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos), were immediately very friendly. My Spanish is limited, but I try. Their English was limited, but they gave it their best too, always with a smile. We liked them immediately.

As we made our way out of the Bay and into the open ocean, Adolfo put us into the trough, and gave us a most comfortable ride. After a breathtaking ride along some of the prettiest beaches surrounded by dolphins and sea turtles, we arrived at the spot. As I got up to the front of the boat, I could see porpoises feeding up ahead of us, and baitfish popping along the backs of the swells just before they crashed on the sand.

I was told to cast as far as I could toward the beach, keep my rod tip up, and reel as fast as I could. After a few shots, I was beginning to feel like I had it down, but I began to worry about my wife, as I knew she wouldn’t be able to stand in the front of the boat and do this. I didn’t know that Adolfo had her hooked up with live bait, and was coaching her up on the particulars. I had one really good strike where a fish followed, crashed, and missed. It was one of the most exciting things I have done as a fisherman. On the very next cast, I hooked a smaller one and landed it a short while later. A couple of moments later, just as I was feeling bad for my wife, I look toward the stern and see a needle fish fly out of the water, and I hear Stephanie laughing. I guess she was doing just fine without me.
Adolfo, Stefhanie, and Mr. Jack Crevalle

The next rooster crushed my white and red surface lure about five minutes later. The lures we used were not poppers as I know them as they do not have a blunt end. Rather, they look like short fat cigars that walk across the surface. This fish followed my lure this time, and I could see his rooster like fins behind the bait as it gave chase. In my life, I have never seen a more aggressive bite than this. We were locked up for the next half hour, and when we brought him aboard, I was stunned and tired. After we released him, Stephanie hooked a Jack Crevalle, and I took this time to watch her fight it. I didn’t get to rest long, as I was to tie into yet another 35 lb rooster minutes later. Unfortunately, this fish inhaled the lure and was bleeding when we landed him.

Just as I got back into position at the front of the boat, Stephanie had hooked up again. This fish was different, however, as we didn’t see him immediately. Rather, it was a run, followed by a run, followed by a run. When we did see him, we knew he was special. After about an hour, Stephanie landed a 60lb rooster, and Adolfo said “Erik, welcome to my country!”

This was quite possibly the prettiest fish either of us had seen, and we both agreed to get a replica fiberglass mount made in his honor.

I will say that I have caught marlin, halibut, salmon, and an eight foot sturgeon. These guys have nothing on the rooster. Hands down, hardest fighting fish I have ever experienced. Our totals for the day were five roosters, four needle fish, the jack, and a beautiful Dorado that probably went about ten pounds.

Adolfo is the man. He is not only an amazing fisherman, but a true gentleman. Quite simply, he is the kind of guy you want in your camp. And, he is very, very fishy. There are very few professionals out there who have “it”. This guy is one of them. The harbor is loaded with pangas and many of them charge less. Fishing with Adolfo on the Dos Hermanos was one of those experiences that was truly priceless. You can’t put a number to it. And in about three months, we will have an awesome reminder of our honeymoon hanging on our wall.

The Snortle Strikes

Seek 'Em With A Snortle
fish seem to eat when they can
.. The gulpers are gulping. Not quite like Pac-Man yet but persistent and consistent. Hebgen Lake is drawing the faithful with increasing regularity.
.. The Callibaetis are here and Trico clouds are small but regular. It's a bit different this year. The weed beds are covered by more water than in the recent past.
.. Light is penetrating the water just fine but, the Pac-Fish action is just now becoming apparent. This is probably because weed beds are just a bit deep for the sensitive bugs that inhabit them to be awakened by the requisite photo-period for maximum intense activity.
.. The wind has been coming on strong a skosh early too. So action is truncated by less than desirable conditions earlier in the mid morning than most fishers would like.
.. All-in-all things are proceeding apace with near normality and should develop into the feeding frenzy we're familiar with in the next 5 - 10 days. If you should find a weed bed at the right depth, you will be blessed with gulping action that is superb. Right now the key is water depth. Gulping is not lake-wide - YET!
.. All is not lost if the gulpers abandon the surface. Stay with your selected weed forest and go down. Traditionally, the neighbors use small buggers, leeches, and the local favorite the Snortle.
--The Snortle, (spelling can vary,) is a typical silli-legs pattern that is tied variously by different artisans. The recipe for the one shown above is:
Tail: 2 silli-legs about the length of the hook,
Body: peach Antron ribbed with scarlet Antron twisted on top,
Thorax: coarse hare's mask with two pair of silli-legs,
Hook size: 8, (unusual,) to 14, (a tough proposition.)
.. The most common variation is like the standard variety with black wool yarn substituted for the scarlet Antron. Some of the neighbors use a copper or lead wire under-body.
.. The fly is fished on a short, (5 or 6 foot leader and counted down to the weed tops or sides of the subterranean forest. A slow herky-jerky retrieve is the common action used. Brave and intrepid fishers let it sink into the edge of a weed bed and retrieve with a 2" - 3" motion with a 5 or 6 second pause in between.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There are no more pine trees. There are no more lakes or streams. There are no more rods in my truck and fly boxes in my pockets.

The clothes that I am wearing are clean. There isn't any dirt under my nails or dried slime on my pants. All the chairs are straight.

I will probably wake up tomorrow before the sun rises with anticipation, only to roll over slightly depressed.

At least nobody robbed my house.

-Alex who won't know what to do with himself for at least another twenty-four hours.

There's Fun Here


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Only 2899.2 Acre Feet Left
inflow = 1564.2 cfs
outflow = 1170.7 cfs
.. It's true. The pool of Hebgen Reservoir is just 4" from being full.
.. Folks are skiing where they haven't skied in years. Fishers are fishing in wonderfully strange and unusual places. The weed beds are covered with more water than is usual for this time of year.
.. What's that mean for gulpers? Stay tuned.

Those Other Terrestrials

For Now
use these
.. You saw them here first.
.. The spruce moth and beetle invasion is on. All along the Madison River, and on the Gibbon River, and especially on the Gallatin River, it's time to use these other terrestrials.
.. They're here in numbers that the fish understand. Even the large fish. Even in bright sun.
.. These bugs are now on the diet of any self respecting trout. They are a bag of groceries just waiting to be ingested. Give the fish a chance with your best imitation. You will be rewarded.
.. Gulper Report and Gallatin River secrets tomorrow; if we can fit it in. Where's Nate?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Say What ?

It's Been Some Time
the cicada visitation

.. The neighbors and ever-alert guides from around here have noticed an increase in the cicada population. So? Fish eat them when they can. And, now they can!
.. We were alerted to the increase in these hoary bugs by long-time fly fishing guide Chris Herpin, who hoarsely whispered in our ear - "I don't know that I should tell you this, BUT, there are more cicadas this year than even you have ever seen!"
.. Often you won't see the big bugs but you will hear them. The launch ramps and lunch spots on the lowland Madison River are full of the song of the cicada.
Click on the player to hear the song.
Image of CicadasFromMontana CM020501
 .. The cicadas of Montana hatch every year. They sing and chirp and get eaten by fish with a gusto that would make a starving Pit Bull envious. You can read about the impending invasion HERE.
.. Chris did not reveal the flies he was using to woo the big trout on the river. He did note that nary a fly shop in the area had any cicada imitations for sale. He did say that there are some patterns in the competent fisher's boxes that will do. But there is a secret pattern making the rounds in the musty dark corners of the local pubs.
.. Should you see a group of dripping souls huddled together in out of the way places it might be a sagacious act to eavesdrop on their whispered conversation. If it's not about sex, or beer, or gas prices; it's probably about how to tie the lace-winged-wonder-pattern that takes big trout faster than a speeding minnow.
.. The fly is large, (cicadas can be 2" long.) The fly is light and casts like a dream. The fly is easy to tie and is being banged out by the virtuoso fluff artisans in town. So far we've offered bribes of significant dimensions and substance but there's no headway being made on that front.
.. Mr. Herpin suggested that there are some things that are best left unsaid and mysterious. We badgered him for a good 20 minutes but received no coherent responses. He left our presence muttering and mumbling about grizzled old farts and something called a "MEGAFUGLY." At least that's what it sounded like to our wax-laden ears.
.. Local recipe and variations RIGHTCHERE.

Deal Of The Century ?

Yellowstone By Horse
with real fishing guides
.. Just a quick note: hit the leather for quietude & fish. We've noticed a genuine constipation of fisher folks on the streams and rivers of Yellowstone National Park.
.. The high water this year has concentrated the fish and their followers into small knots of writhing and flailing masses, (both on shore and in the water.)
.. One of our neighbors offers a chance to get away from the endless parade of drift boats, or the social morass of congenial fishing frenzy on our regional waters.
.. Yellowstone Mountain Guides can get you away from the crowds and into the fish for less than the price of the waders you love so much. CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Z Fish Report (7/21/11)

The blue water is about 5 miles off the beach, and basically sitting on the 100 fathom line up and down the coast. The skies have also been a bit clearer, with the surface temperatures getting back up to an average of about 85 degrees.

With a stiff breeze in the afternoon, the water was a bit bumpy at times this week, but even with hurricane Dora passing by, there was just the one port closure on the day she was directly out front. We got very little wind and no rain from Dora.

The fishing is still holding up well. Sailfish are still averaging between 1 and 3 a boat per day, with yellowfin tuna averaging about 20 pounds. Also, the numbers of dorado have picked up, and then there are also the skipjacks (oceanicos). The Ducessa did well for her one day charter, at least until the clients wanted to head back in due to the chop. They caught 2 sailfish and 14 nice yellowfin tuna, all in just a few hours time.

Plus, inshore, the bite is still going very strong for the roosterfish. We are still averaging between 7 and 8 a day per boat when throwing a surface popper, backed up with a live bait in the live well attached to a circle hook.
Ed Kunze
To order a copy of my fishing book about fishing here on the West Coast of Mexico:

Worth The Walk ??

You Need Young Legs
camp with the grizzly

.. The secret is out. There are big Yellowstone Cutthroat to be caught. You can walk to this fishing hole.
.. You can cast from shore. And, you will release them swiftly. We won't tell, but you can read about it HERE.

Some good fishing...

So your fishing one of your favourite bass marks, that you know like the back of your hand.....or so you think, the only difference is its pitch dark and using your head torch will spook the fish as they are lying so close in, at your feet. Buzzed up is not the word this really is heart stopping fishing.

The initial hits were subtle with the odd savage hit adding to the great fun which is night lure fishing for bass.

The lures which worked well for us were the Zonk Gataride retrieved VERY slowly with the best fish of the night running to 7lb.....

We are also having some good fishing along the rocks during normal hours....

Fishing some seriously shallow ground, drag has to be wound up tight
as the fish will head straight for them snags, no records broken but some nice fish in difficult conditions with this constant NW wind and flat seas, smaller lures working well again in these calm conditions.

Tight lines,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gulpers & Gulpers

Others Nearly Unknown
it's heating up now
.. The world famous gulper action of HEBGEN LAKE has started in earnest.The far less famous gulper action at the neighborhood's secret spot has also started.
.. Calibaetis is the word on every pub-crawler's lips. It's whispered and shouted. It's the critter that's praised and cursed. They have been here for a couple of weeks, but their numbers have finally reached heroic proportions. They're everywhere.
.. The weed beds and soft bottom areas of Hebgen Lake produce prodigious numbers of these big-eyed bugs.
.. They appear at mid morning and the lake erupts with the dimples of fish noses. On the best mornings, (bright, still, warm, and the fog just cleared,) you can hear the slurping from all sides. Popcorn comes to mind, (but it's not nearly so prolific and is much louder.)
.. Near shore and adjacent to some tributaries and springs there is frequently a second hatch of trico's. The males hatch in the evening and hang out in the weeds and trees until morning when the females hatch and take wing. The clouds of diminutive bugs are sometimes thick enough to obscure the trees and willows.
.. Several times during the next few weeks these monster hatches will occur. When it happens, (and it's a spectacle to behold,) catching is hampered by the sheer quantity of bugs. The trout just rise and gulp and rise and gulp and the gulping of your fly is a statistical event.
.. It's a little easier at the neighborhood hole. It's a smaller area. There's just a mite fewer bugs. Casting from shore is possible. The trout see your fly as an individual entity. Catching is glorious.
.. Sometimes the fish are more or less selective during the monster hatches. Other times they seem to be very indiscriminate. Fly offerings are usually best presented on the surface. Sometimes, cagy anglers, will present both imitations.
.. The feeding frenzy can last for up to four hours, but taking of fish can continue to the early afternoon over some weed beds. Bring your sunscreen and wide-brimmed hat.
.. There are various local favorites for flies. There are standard patterns as well. We have a large selection of OPF's that we tie on. The small ones are kindly tied on 6x tippets by the dexterous neighbors whose eyes are better than ours.
..There are several places at Hebgen Lake where the weed beds are near enough to the shore that gulpers can be taken by wading into the lake.
.. Mostly this is a tube or boat proposition. Gentle presentations, sharp eyes, patience, and a smattering of good luck are all rewarded with fish bigger than the net you wear while "stylin' " on the streams.
.. Local knowledge is not necessary but a morning with a good guide will prepare you for a lifetime of spectacular catching. Get here now - or wait a week or two. It won't matter. They are here and it's worth the fishing -- if just for the catching.
.. The image below is from a very interesting site "Harvey's Spiders N Stuff."  Click HERE for more great images and a bit of information as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fish The Dream

Just a quick blog to let anyone who may be interested know that Rodney of fish the dream has only 2 slots remaining for prime Tarpon and Permit fishing . The dates are the 4th to the 10th of May . There are two Irish guys booked for this week and the package works out at great value if four people take the week together . May is when the Tarpon are running hard in the Florida Keys and believe me after float fishing a live crab back under 7 mile bridge in the dark you will never be the same again , I am still shaking . The thought of that float vanishing in the blink of an eye and you know that whatever has taken it is not going to be small . Also it is the perfect time of the year to target Permit on the wrecks and on light gear these things go like nothing else , I think I was nearly sick after my first one with the amazement of the raw power .
The accommodation is outstanding with the boat docked in the back garden . Rodney himself is seriously clued up on the fishing in the Keys and amazed me with his skill at putting us on whatever we wanted to catch every day . So if you fancy the the fishing holiday of a lifetime give Rodney a shout here as these dates will soon be gone.

Nifty Technology

Better Than "Where's Waldo ?"
jealously makes us droll

.. There's a Montana born fly fisher wandering around Yellowstone National Park and fishing all the "good" places. He's taking two months and letting the devil take the hindmost.
.. Attached to his person, (we did not ask where,) is a device called THE SPOT.  This nifty gizmo allows any smart phone to become a satellite transmitter. Use it for safety reasons, use it for social networking, use it for custom emails, use it for an S.O.S. signal, or use it to track progress of trekking and adventuring, (or even fly fishing.)
.. You can track the progress of this famous intrepid fly fisher, (he's in the Thorofare Region right now,) by going to the map site with his latest location - HERE.
.. We want one. It only costs $169.00. This is more than just a spiffy trinket; it's an honest-to-goodness safety device. More, we want the legs to get there and fish for the wonderful eager and willing trout that are off the beaten path. Lucky fellow, great technology.