Friday, December 28, 2012

21 Weeks & Counting

Plan To Include Reservations
off the road is good for the soul
.. Just a thought. There are some spectacular places to fish in Yellowstone National Park that are less than a mile from a paved road. Most fisher folks don't even think about them. That's fine with us.
.. Some of the absolute best catching of trout in Yellowstone National Park is not on the Firehole River, or the Madison River, or the Gibbon River, or the Gallatin River.
How many can you catch?
.. It might be on Slough Creek, but not where the elbows are. It might be near the Lamar River, but not within sight of the road. It could even be in the mosquito ridden Bechler Region of the park.
.. Most fly fishers are of a gregarious sort. Yet, they whine about too many folks on their water. They sob about the fact that there are even other folks on their water. They bemoan the fact that someone found their secret spot. Go figure.
.. Then they return to the same holes on the same rivers and wonder why things have not changed.
.. Most of the glory waters in Yellowstone National Park are about comfortable fishing. Do it the way you have read about it. Do it the way the counter help at a feather merchant's shop tells you to do it. Listen to the guides as they extoll the virtues of their successful outings and the grins on their client's face. It's comfortable. Go where you've been before - it's comfortable. Go where someone told you to go - it's comfortable.
.. Most fly fishers measure their fishing experience in terms of the fish that were caught. A few in terms of the bugs or the rivers. Very few, (we plead guilty,) in terms of the place, the time, the surroundings, or the weather - fish be caught or not.
.. We encourage all fishers that come to Yellowstone National Park to engage in comfortable fishing.
.. Measure your experience in terms of the size of the fish, the number of fish, the various species of fish, the beauty of the fish, the strength of the fish - enjoy the fish.
.. You will have the memories of having fished and caught fish where millions of other fishers have fished and caught fish.
.. You will be able to tell stories of the same parking places, rocks, runs and riffles and pools that others have experienced. It's fullfilling to be part of the club.
.. We do not suggest that you spend any time in the winter looking at maps. We do not suggest that you plan to walk too far or explore the thousands of miles of streams and rivers in Yellowstone National Park. We do not, for an instant, suggest that the local, professional, experts are not omniscient or omnipotent - heaven forbid! After all, they make a good living by being the way that they are. It's comfortable.
.. We, silly us, are spending many hours this winter looking at maps. We're looking at Google Earth. We, at the moment, are comfortable. But it's not fishing. We are planning a summer of distinctly uncomfortable fishing. Catching may accompany it: may not too.
.. Resources for the uncomfortable fisher folks are wide and varied. Google Earth is good. Digital-Topo-Maps[dot]Com is exceptional and lets you print the maps you need - it's free! Searching the various "YELLOWSTONE FISHING" web sites gives many insights that even the local experts have not yet discovered. Most of this "research" is butt-time, in front of a computer, we hope it pays off.
.. Last year, Many of the wader friendly lodgings in town were booked well in advance of the fishing season in the park. The owners of these establishments have developed a following of repeat customers and suggest that it's never too early to grab your place. Of course there are over 3,000 motel rooms in town - BUT - not many have facilities for drying waders, tying flies, and other things that gregarious fishers enjoy.
.. Right now, by gum, the sun has made an appearance, so we're getting off our butt - for the moment.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Z Fish Report (12/27/12)

The blue water is still within a mile of the shoreline, but it appears a cooling trend is starting. With a surface temperature of an average of 82 degrees, it is about 2 degrees cooler than last week. This is normal seasonal occurrence.
One of Tony's 6 sailfish released in one day aboard the Huntress
The offshore fishing was still very good this last week with the boats averaging about 2 to 3 sailfish a day each, and several more dorado have been showing up in the counts. John Neudorf, and his son Jonathan, of Calgary spent a day with Adolfo Jr. and me down at Puerto Vicente Guerrero. We did well. We hooked 4 sailfish and one nice dorado, with a total of 7 sailfish strikes.
John with his first sailfish of the day
John and Jonathan with another sailfish
John and Jonathan with
a 20 pound dorado

To prove how every day on the water is a different day, the next day Cheva and I went down to Vicente with Les Gado of Alberta, Canada and fished the exact same areas. The water temperature and current had changed a bit over night, and we only had two sailfish strikes, and caught 2 nice dorado.
Les with a 30 pound Bull
Anthony (Tony) Rynders from Oregon caught 6 sailfish early last week with Capt. Francisco on the super panga Huntress. The Huntress raised a total of 9 Sailfish on the trip. With the full moon, the Sail fishing has declined but the Huntress is still raising 5 or more sails per day. On Wednesday, the first Striped Marlin was caught.
Francisco on the Huntress is about to release
Tony Rynder's 1st ever sailfish.
Les with the leaping female dorado shown in the 1st photo
The inshore sierras are still showing up in numbers up north at the Ranch, but it is a long gas consuming run. Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos has switched tactics this week and is going south to Valentine and Petatlan. He has been getting huge jack crevalle and good numbers of sierras there, and at half the distance. He told me there are mucho jurel (jack crevalle).
Kens gave my new leaning post a real workout
Adolfo Jr. and I also fished with fly fishing client Kensington Moore of New York down at Puerto Vicente Guerrero. We had a tough day and could not find any off colored water to effectively tease a rooster or jack crevalle back to the boat. Adolfo Jr. made hundreds of casts with the popper, and we still struck out. This was also the very first day we were using my new leaning post on the bow. Kensington gave it a good work out and two thumbs up.

The only scientific reason I can figure out as to why we never even saw a rooster, and only got 1 small jack crevalle, is because we made it too easy to catch fish with such a stable casting platform on the bow…So, the Fish Gods were angry and shut the bite off.

But, we still wrapped up the day at Vicente with a dozen huge oysters and a few beers at a local palapa restaurant next to the water and inside the bay. The dozen oysters are still only 100 pesos (less than $8.00). Were the oysters fresh? When we were done fishing (vs. catching), I had watched the divers unload a large mesh bag with 12 dozen oysters from the panga as we pulled into the bay between the rock jetty walls. The oysters were only about 2 hours from the ocean to the table. That is fresh!

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here in Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo, please click on this link:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

January Sale

We will be having our January Sale on the 4th and 5th, so make sure to call in as there will be some outstanding offers on all gear.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

'TIS THE . . .

Let's do it.

Let's go take some SmithFly stuff:

And go hang out here:

Maybe catch a fish or two. What do you say?

-Alex who is merrying some gawd damn christmas wishes at the moment and can't come to the phone.

Friday, December 21, 2012

World's End

Christmas Opening Hours....

Dec 24th - 10.00 - 14.00

Dec25th Closed

Dec26th Closed

Dec 27th Closed

Dec 28th 10.00 - 17.00

Dec 29th 10.00 - 17.00

Dec 30th closed

Dec 31st 10.00 - 14.00

Jan 1st Closed

Jan 2nd 10.00 - 18.00

Then back to normal winter opening hours.

Merry Christmas.....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Z Fish Report (12/20/12)

Andre with a spin caught sailfish about to be released by
Francisco on the panga Huntress II 
The blue water is still on the beach, with the inshore waters averaging about 80 degrees and the offshore surface temperatures about 84 degrees.
And fishing partner Ed got in the action
 The offshore fishing has been excellent this last week with a lot of sailfish caught, and a few dorado.

Mike Bulkley told me: “Andre Paadovani from Vancouver, BC and Ed Boehner from Seattle had a good day last Saturday fishing with Capt Francisco on the panga Huntress II raising 7 Sailfish and hooking 5 using light spinning tackle and circle hooks. Andre had a repeat trip on Monday, with 5 Sails and a nice Dorado”
Daniel Froesed Fishing with Adan on the panga Gitana II
Santiago (super panga Gitana) sent me an email about how his brother Adan has been doing this week. Santiago was basically tied up most of this last two weeks trying to get the authorities to eliminate the long longs and illegal fishing here. He has been extremely successful. Santiago really deserves a serious “thank you” from all of us in the sport fishing industry.
Daniel Froese also got this nice rooster while fishing with
Santiago on the super panga Gitana
Santiago had this to say: “Adan, on the panga Giatana II fished with Daniel Froese, originally from Washington State, but now living in Africa, tagged and released 5 sailfish in two days. Then Dan went inshore fishing with Santiago, with a few jack crevalle and a very nice roosterfish.

John Wilkinson and his friend Jim, fishing with Adan, caught 5 Sailfish fishing offshore 2 days and few a Jacks in one day of inshore fishing. Also Don Gibson and his two son's from Monrovia, California caught and released 2 Sailfish one day, inshore the second day, with many big jacks and needle fish. Wednesday was a half day and we teased one sailfish for the fly but Don missed the hook set”.

Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II, fished with clients from France. They released 16 sailfish over the three days of fishing.
Christine fighting her first ever rooster
The inshore jack crevalle and sierras are showing up in huge numbers and especially from Troncones to up north near the Ranch.
Christine's proof

The roosters have been pulling a dirty trick on us. We normally flail the shoreline on the back side of the waves with surface poppers, but it appears the bait has moved out a bit, and we are getting the roosters a couple of hundred yards off the shoreline.

Fly fishing client Scott Donaldson of Seattle, and his spin fishing wife Christine, made the drive with Cheva and I down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero this last Tuesday. We did not raise as many roosters as we would liked to have, because they were on the “other” side of the boat and in deeper water. They are hard to tease to the surface when they are in deeper water. However we ended up with 2 roosters and 2 nice jacks. Plus, at the end of the day of fishing we had a dozen huge oysters, with a couple of beers. I was actually cutting the oysters in half to eat them.
One of Scott's jacks

Then today (Thursday) Scott and I went up to the Ranch with Cheva on the panga Dos Hermanos II with Adolfo Jr. casting the teaser popper. Adolfo Sr., on the panga Dos Hermanos, was up there also with his spin fishing clients. And, it seemed liked they had a bent rod every time we looked over at them. But, we were fly fishing and you automatically handicap yourself when you pick up the fly rod. The surface popper we use as a teaser is hookless, and is used to bring the fish close to the boat for the fly caster to have a shot. Cheva kept watching Adolfo and mumbling about how we could “fill the boat” if we were actually fishing with real “hooks”.

I got lucky on this photo of  Scott's rooster. A large hole in the water with the drops coming down like rain. 
But, we had a very decent day on the water with 6 large sierras and several jack crevalle. The only rooster we had a shot at ate the hookless teaser completely, and then was gone a few seconds later after Adolfo Jr. finally won the tug-of-war. Roosters are way more wary than the jack crevalle.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here in Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo, please click on this link:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time To Burrow In

That's A Good Thing
more good news on the horizon
[Montana DOJ administrative message below]

Urgent - Immediate Broadcast Requested
Administrative Message
Montana Department Of Justice
Relayed By National Weather Service Great Falls MT
1152 AM MST Tue Dec 18 2012

The Following Message Is Transmitted At The Request Of The
Montana Department Of Justice.

The Sheridan County Sheriff Office Is Activating A Missing
Endangered Person Advisory For Eric Zinke. He Is Described As A 17
Year Old White Male...Who Is 5 Feet 11 Inches Tall...153
Pounds...With Brown Hair And Blue Eyes.

He Is Possibly Driving From Sheridan County To Livingston In A
White 1999 Chevrolet Malibu Two Door...Bearing Montana License
Plate Number: 34-3568a.

Eric May Be In Possession Of A Gun.

If Located...Contact The Sheridan County Sheriff Office At

A Missing Person Poster And Additional Information Can Be Found At
The Department Of Justice Website: Doj.Mt.Gov

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Auger In

Thrumming is Rampant
flies and pimples in use
.. The neighbors are getting worked up about the ice fishing on Hebgen Lake. There's just 6 weeks until the NAIFC-sanctioned ice fishing tournament arrives. This year there will be a prize pool of at least $14,000 and it could go as high as $21,000. Two local teams took home giant chunks of change last year. They are hoping to do it again this year.
.. The balmy days, frigid nights, and perpetual snows are exciting the neighbors beyond all rational behavior. Ten pound trout have already been landed on Swedish Pimples and giant Shop Vac flies. The tournament headquaters out at Kirkwood Resort and Marina is already gearing up with pre-fishing schedules and maps.
.. This tournement has grown so fast that it has two pages on the official Montana State Travel Website:
===> HERE  &  HERE.
.. The tournament is a three day affair: February 1, 2, 3, 2013. It includes free kids' camp, clinics and instruction, a pre fishing day, group tutorials, Rocky Mountain Ice Fishing Product Fair, and of course the tournament and weigh-in.
.. The tournament is limited to 150 two-person teams so get your registration form in early. Like right now. Use the form on the OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT WEBSITE.
.. We'll keep you informed.


"Gamefish are too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Z Fish Report (12/13/12)

The blue water is staying on the beach, with an average surface temperature of about 84°. As predicted, coming out of the full moon phase, the overall fishing picked up.

Photo by Mike Bulkley on the super panga Huntress
The offshore fishing is seeing 2 to 3 sailfish a day per boat, and dorado are making an occasional showing.
Francisco, on the Huntress, about to release Carrie's sailfish
Mike Stelma and Carrie from Seattle had a good day on Monday fishing with Capt. Francisco on the super panga Huntress releasing three Sails and losing a large Dorado at the boat.
And another release by Mike Stelma
Flip Himmelreich of Spokane Washington held his 8th annual “Over the Hill Gang” offshore tournament this last week, with Flip emailing me this information about the tournament:

“The weather and sea conditions were excellent and the Staff at the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico were wonderful as usual. Over all the results were better than last year with 17 Sailfish and 2 Dorado landed in the 2 day tournament. Only four boats and 8 anglers participated this year, so the average per boat/angler was higher. The winning Captain was Adan on the Gitana II with 5 sails and 1 Dorado. Dorris Alexander, a first time entrant and the only female, won the Top angler Trophy with 4 Sailfish and 1 Dorado. All but 1 of the 17 Sailfish were tagged with NOAA tags and released!! “
Left to right are the winners in the "Over the Hill" tournament.
Santiago, Dorris, Charlie, Adan, Steve, Jose, and Flip (director)
The inshore is seeing a lot of jack crevalle and sierras. Mecate, on the cruiser Aqua Azul was slow trolling a large live mackerel around the Solitary Rock, a half mile out in front of Zihuatanejo Bay, with the hope of hooking a large rooster or jack crevalle. They ended up with an estimated 15 kilo (33 pounds) Chula. The English name for the tasty Chula is Kawakawa, and is relatively rare, even though we get quite a few here. Mecate was telling me he had never seen one this big, as a large one for this area is about 10 pounds. I looked it up in the IGFA World Records, and the existing record is 29 pounds. They ate the world record, and didn’t have a clue.
Allen Himmelreich fishing with Santiago on the super panga Gitana
The roosters are still concentrating in the areas with a bit off colored water. We have been fishing the river mouths, as the nutrient rich fresh water seeps through the sand bar built up in front of the river mouth. This chlorophyll creates its own micro eco-system and gives us ideal conditions for roosters. Sometimes when you find them, it is an entire school of fish, and all of them are extremely hungry.

An incredible experience: Dorris shot this photo with her free hand, because the other was holding a rod with a roosterfish. Paul has a rooster on his rod, and Adolfo is actually holding two rods, with both hooked up.

Dorris and Paul with two of the four roosters hooked up
at the same time. All four were released.
This is what Paul Phillips had to say about his and Dorris Alexander’s trip with Adolfo last week: “Took off for points south at about 6:30, ran down to the Puerto Vicente area and the search for the Roosters started about 8:00, we knew we were close too. But, we couldn't find them… kept looking until about 11:30. Then the circus began. The 1st one busted the line on the strike, and the next thing we were in the school, with 4 fish on in 10 seconds. A Chinese fire drill, executed with perfection. At this point Dorris & I wanted our 12 wt. fly rods…..left at home. We landed and released all four, then added 2 more to the kitty before crying UNCLE and heading home. As usual Dorris got 4, I got 2 and busted 1 off. Adolfo and 'Gorilla' are a great team."

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here in Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo, please click on this link:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Sledheads Happy
fishers hope it continues
.. Finally got a good base of snow. There's broken clouds right now - AND - more on the way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just A Bit Of Snow

Temperatures Holding
bits and pieces in the  forecast
.. It's been a while since snow has stayed on the ground for more than 48 hours. It's here now and we're pleased.
.. The snow flies are easier to see. The water cools down. The fish eat whatever food that happens to bump them in the nose.
.. The paths in the snow below Hebgen Dam are forming. Between the Lakes, on the Madison River, is becoming a favorite neighborhood destination. The neighbors are grabbing the "Bitty Boxes." Fishing flies are shrinking by the hour.
.. The fish have already figgured it out. Midges and other small bits are on the menu. Slack water, backwater, shallow water and oxygenated water are keys to finding the fish. Making them eat is not a problem.
.. A bunch of the neighbor kids, (with peepers like microscopes,) are tying up some spent wing patterns. These flies have a white floss body and white filiments for wings, (Antron, Zelon, or even wool.) They float high and, (to these eyes,) are easier to pick out in the dark water of the low light winter sun. The fish don't seem to mind that they are not the traditional black color. Sizes are the usual invisable sizes with double digits featuring 2's.
.. Sometimes two are tied on together. Sometimes both float, - OR - one floats and one sinks, - OR - both are drowned. Again, the fish seem delighted to gobble up the offerings. We would not go so far as to call it a feeding frenzy - but it is.
.. A few of the more mature local residents are sticking with the the traditional chironomid imitations. These too can be on the surface, in the film, or down deep.
.. Locally we're below the 50% level of snow water contenet. Regionally we're at about 70%. There's a long winter's worth of fishing ahead but you know that we're going to be watching the snow pack.
.. The near term forecast is calling for intermittent, but persistent snow.  Temperatures are in the seasonal range so the snow will stick around for a spell. The colder - the better.
.. When it gets downright cold and the fish enjoy their fits of torpor all of us will form up into competing camps of surface fishing, (= little bits,) and deep fishing, (= big and ugly;) - one thing that is certain up here - the weather affects the fisher folks as much as the fish.
.. Some heretics, and hypocrites will do both as the opportunity arises. We count ourself in the latter group.
.. Bobbers and deep dredged ugly flies will certainly be available. We often favor a "HOOLIGAN RIG."  It places the bobber at river's depth above the big ugly fly. The floating fly is on a dropper above the bobber on a 12" to 15" loop. Cover all the bases!
-- It's time to visit the pubs and gather up some early Winter lies. Most are full of truth with the standard embellishments full of bravado and deception. Even the neighbors' veracity needs be scrutinized on occasion.