Friday, November 30, 2012

Apparently the big ones name is Wilson.

-Alex who knows that Wilson knows when it's lunch time on the Juan.

More Koi from the northern ponds

Another quick trip into Phoenix, I decided to hit up some of the ponds. nailed me some nice Koi on my 4wt. These ponds are for filtering out the Canals up in Phoenix, it smelled like dead skunks and shit. I did not care I was going to fish them anyway. Found out the only thing these fish are focusing on is bright pink egg patterns. Once the egg hits the bottom you see a few head turns, then suddenly they all become super aggressive. It reminded me of a van full of fat old men entering a buffet, looking around in a confused manner. Once they all notice that there is only one item of food left, they all must fight for it. It was quite 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

. . . But You Can't Hide

Big Flood ?
all in a day's work
.. So, it's supposed to be wet when you're chasing steelhead. It's supposed to be dreary and damp and dank and miserable. It's supposed to be thankless, tedious, exhausting, and frustrating. But, is it supposed to be dangerous?
.. Slick roads, trees down, flooded roads, and Sasquatch are thrown into the current mix. Not high adventure but it keeps one alert.
..Well, so it's been. But, at least it's a warm deluge and the snow level is staying at about the point where the upstream fish should be. Roads will be on the dampish side. Small creeks will be "out-of-bank." The Chetco river will be full of whitecaps and mud. Glad we're here to see it.
.. We're constantly checking the NOAA river watch sites. Try THIS LINK for current conditions and predictions. There is also a high surf warning. The kids are loving it. Maybe we should try it.
.. A day or two away from the fish is standard this time of year. It looks to be a little more than that. we'll see. Rumors abound about sea-run cutts in the harbor. Maybe tonight.
.. The crabbing has been good and the neighbors are going to burn a few. This is a rare pleasure and you can bet that we'll need some cold one's to get it all down.

Z Fish Report (11/29/12)

Photo by Mike Bulkley, on the super
panga Huntress

With the blue water on the beach, the surface temperatures have cooled down a couple of degrees to an average of 80° inshore and about 82° offshore. And, the fishing this week has been wild, crazy, and a lot of fun for a lot of anglers.

I - Starting with the offshore fishing the sailfish were coming on strong all week, with enough dorado for dinner to fill in the slack time. The average is 3 to 4 sailfish and a dorado a day for each boat.

Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II fished 2 days with Dan Helterline of Montana. Dan emailed me this: “I went out with Cheva for two days after fishing with you. The first day we hooked 3 sailfish and landed two, one of which we teased up to the boat and it grabbed my fly twice but I couldn't get the hook to stick. The next day we teased a sailfish to the boat but same story, grabbed my fly twice and couldn't get a good hook set. We caught a medium sized Dorado that day also.”

Plus, Cheva fished with clients from France for 8 sailfish and 2 dorado for 2 days of fishing.
With Mike Bulkley looking on, Capt. Francisco is about to
realease Nancy and Danielle Olsen's sailfish on the Huntress
This past week, Jacky Monteil and his wife from France fished three days offshore with Capt Francisco on the Huntress and released a total of nine sailfish. Greg Littlefield and his friend Ronnie from Pennsylvania fished Sunday, releasing three sailfish and Clark, Nancy and Danielle Olsen fished Monday and Nancy and Danielle each had a Sailfish. All fish were caught at or inside the 15 mile line.

Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, fished with clients from Switzerland for 6 days, getting 20 sailfish and 6 dorado.
Don with his 1st beach caught jack crevalle

II - However, the beach fishing at Barra Potosi went off like a cannon several times this last week, and sometimes a couple of times a day. The Barra is about 20 minutes south of Zihuatanejo, and Don Wollcott of Atwater, CA is staying at Bungalows Solecito on the beach, with just a couple of minutes walk to the village. The jack Crevalle chased the sardines right up on the beach in front of the bungalow for three days straight! The first day he got a 25-30 pound jack with the surface popper on a spin rod. The second morning he got another with the spin rod and then actually had time to run back to the bungalow for his fly rod and got another.

He told me the jacks were crashing the beach for almost a thousand yards! Can you imagine...? Incredible! He said they were in the knee depth skinny water, and 25 pound jacks crashed into his legs, almost knocking him off balance. The cast with the fly rod was just a short roll cast, for an instant hookup.

Don sent me this photo and these comments: Caught 3 Jack's from 15-25 lbs in another wild 45 min of action when a massive ball of sardines were chased to the beach....sitting here on the patio when as I saw a wave break in front of me with what must have held several hundred big Jack's! Hooked up!!! Was my yell 3 times in 45 min, landing 3 all about this size.... And then they were gone...... 
On Sunday Don and I went to Puerto Vicente Guerrero and fly fished there on a panga. After I dropped him back off at the Bungalows Solecito about 3:30, the jacks started crashing the beach again in front his bungalow (about 40 yards to the water line). He hooked a nice one on the fly rod, but after several minutes it came unbuttoned (as the roosters had for him down at Vicente Guerrero earlier in the day). He was too tired to go for another.

III - This leads us to the inshore fishing for roosterfish. Adolfo made the long run to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with his French clients on Tuesday, and got 16 roosters on top water poppers with the spin rods. We discussed this and he had a very similar experience we had the day before down there with Don Wolcott. The roosters are not on the beaches, but rather about a half mile off shore, crashing on bait.
This unusual photo shows the rooser's mouth wide open
and gills flared as it tries to suck in the hookless popper
With Don, and Adolfo Jr to cast the hookless popper teaser, we went to Puerto Vicente Guerrero on Sunday. Adolfo Jr. and I had gone down there a few days before with Don, and had raised a lot of roosters from the back side of the waves. But, every day on the water is a different day. Adolfo flayed the water with the hookless popper relentlessly. We moved to different locations 4 times to get out of clear water to find water a bit off colored. We raised a few roosters, but really very few came to the boat for a legitimate shot with the fly rod, and they were all in the teens for size. I was really getting discouraged and scratching my head, because there were so many roosters on the beaches just a few days prior.

These were all large roosters. We found three
separate schools like this.
 About 12:00 we saw some birds working on a school of black skip jack tuna a half mile off the beach, and we went over to investigate. It turned out to be all Roosters! Now we knew were the roosters had gone to. Off the hookless teaser Don hooked one and lost it after a couple of minutes of fight.
The fly line, above the hookless teaser popper,
comes tight on a jack crevalle caught by Dan Helterline
 We then went to the next bunch of birds, and hundreds of roosters were crashing on bait. We no longer needed the surface popper because Don, on the bow of the panga, free cast into the school of roosters and was hooked up immediately. Adolfo Jr. was yelling for me to put a hook on the popper while Don was hooked up with the fly rod (Adolfo also likes to actually catch fish). The popper was hit instantly, and while we made the release of the 30 pound rooster on the popper, Don lost his 2nd fish.

We were able hit the school one more time, with Don free casting and getting hooked up, and losing his 3rd fish. And, they were big fish. Not small roosters in their teens, but 30 to 50 pound bruisers. Go figure on the lost fish. I guess it is Murphy’s Law for Roosters on the Fly Rod 1001….. Sometimes things happen which are inexplicable.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

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

Let's Go To The Bar



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wet, Wild, Windy

Warm Rain, Melting Snow
damn the squals full fling ahead
.. Well she's everywhere and kind of grumpy right now. MOM, that's who. She's kicking up a storm, as it were. The last of the color is about to be blown off of the trees. The muddy rivers will get more muddy. Higher too. It's only a certainty that the upper reaches of the drainages will clear at all.
.. There's some well hidden roads. There's some dripping ferns and giant trees. There's even fish if you can find them. We're off to try and figure it out. The neighbors are laughing, (some are also fising anyway!) It's not perfect but it's fishing.
.. The Chetco River is about to be blown sky high. There are other rivers. Some even better if you don't mind gobs of hatchery fish amongst your rare wild steelhead. We don't. It's just a short drive up the road to the four forks of a lovely little stream with fish just dying to be caught. They don't get fished over very much. After all they are only 10 - 15 pounds each, (usually.)
.. There's good pizza, friendly folks, and a few fishers that we know that will be on the gravel trails. Heck, the river flows through the county seat - what more could a gypsy fisher ask. They haven't shot at us yet, and they have quit throwing axes too.
.. The big and famous waters around here have so many guide boats that it looks like an Interstate interchange in downtown Los Angeles. Expensive too.
.. The snow hasn't come down too low and despite the published wisdom there may even be some Coho scattered amongst the home running hatchery fish.
.. We're on the water as you read this. Dripping and giggling. Our trusty horse is being used as a pack mule for a couple of neighbors and their gear. It's up to it. Seen mud and rain and snow before. It's a courtesy exchanged for the local knowledge.
.. Pizza tonight - can't wait, it'll be dry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It Needs It's Friends
friends save rivers
These Folks Released This Wild 20# Chetco Steelhead  -- Good On 'Em !!

.. Some fishers think that keeping a stream or river secret will protect it. Such a fantasy. The more friends a river has the better protected it will be. If no one knows about it then mining, de-watering, polluting, etc. go unnoticed and despoiling takes place.
.. The Chetco River has friends. It has good friends. It has good friends that care - not just about the fish - but the river itself and it's wonderful scenic, recreational, and primative beauty.
.. As far from home as the river is, we consider ourselves a friend. We suggest that you investigate this lovely river. The place to start is the SAVE OUR CHETCO RIVER website. Personal or public complacency is an exploiters best friend. End of pitch.
.. This may be the last wild western river where it's legal to keep a wild native fish. We don't advocate it, but it can be, and is done. Gear, flies, etc. the fish are superlative specimens of the breed. They deserve respect and admiration. That's why we visit.
..There is sun between the clouds and mud in the water. Bottom bouncers and plunkers have taken a few fish. Drizzle and real rain should keep us dancing for the next few days. Generally, high water signals a good time for bank fishing - but not with the amount of color the river has right now.
.. The upper reaches will clear first and we'll head up to see how the "ghost run" fish are doing.

Mighty Big Water

Salty Sort Of
perhaps fish defecate in it
There's this long pile of rocks . . .
.. Had a nap. Saw the ocean. It's bigger than the whole Missouri River. Got to think about this. Fish actually leave it and change their water purification and elimination system just to swim in confined rivers. There's a lesson here somewhere.
.. Rumors abound. Fish are here. Not a seal to be seen. Chrome is following Royalty up the creek. Only a week or so early but not too unusual. We'll let you know.
Just a little heavy for a 9 weight. Pretty though!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Fine Soft Day

just like it should be

.. Such quiet and gentility that one is gulled into thinking all will be just fine forever. The costal fog will both put you to sleep and awaken your soul with it's all pervasive chill. Some folks thrive on it.
.. Just a few more miles and then a short nap. Maybe a long nap. Maybe some pizza and a nap. The fish can wait - for now.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

To The Choir

OMEGA 3 4 U ?
Don't Watch This
it takes too long to know !
.. It's a long, long, way west. We gathered this up during a bit of self indulgent surfing.
.. Probably preaching to the choir - BUT - it's more than just a passing concern.

Westward Ho!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mr. Jones and Me

Haven t thrown a fly in about 3 months, I thought my cast would suck horribly, I thought my presentation would be that of a Tasmanian Devil, I thought my luck would run out.

Met up with Jason Jones and he took me to a couple carp spots where he loves. The Koi, Tilapia, Cats, and Carp were not interested in anything. Until i ties on a Glow Bug just for the hell of it.

After so long, My casts were great, presentation spot on, and Luck was Amazing, That is my first Mirror carp.

Z Fish Report (11/22/12)

Scott Arndt with a nice rooster while fishing with
Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos
The 83° blue water is on the beach, with about the only inshore turbidity being around the nutrient rich fresh water seeping through the sands at the river and creek mouths.

The offshore fishing turned on again this week with sailfish and a few dorado leading the action. Adan, on the panga Gitana II fished 6 days with Mikkel Christensen and Flemming Kieldsen of Denmark, with 18 sailfish, 5 dorado, and 1 day inshore with 5 large jack crevalle and 5 large roosterfish.
Scott also got several tasty sierras
Brian Berryman and his two sons Sam and Lance of San Antonio TX fished one day with Santiago on the super panga Gitana with 3 sailfish.

Puerto Vicente Guererro - It is almost like fishing virgin water
The super panga Huntress with Capt. Francisco released 4 sailfish with French clients and the Huntress II released 2 sailfish and boated 2 Dorado. All fish were in the vicinity near the 15 mile mark off the White Rocks.
Don Walcott's 1st ever saltwater fish on the fly rod -
a small jack crevalle

Another reason I like Puerto Vicente Guerrero -
A plate with a dozen oysters and 3 cokes was 10 dollars
The roosterfish action also picked up again strong this week. Fly fishing client Don Walcott of Atwater CA went down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with me and Adolfo Jr. With Adolfo slinging the hookless popper, we brought at least 20 roosters to the boat and another 15 or so jack crevalle. And, this did not count the many times there were 3 or 4 other fish chasing the popper, just below the one up on top doing the actual slashing. With a hook on the popper, it would have translated to an incredible day of catching, but with only the fly with a hook on it, it translated to a fantastic day of fishing. It is a learning curve. But, Don’s blood is boiling right now and can’t wait to get back out on the water this coming weekend. He has the cast and the timing down pat now, as well as the two hand strip for speed, so he should have a catching day this next trip down there.
The teaser popper is kicking up water and the rooster left a
hole in the water as big as a bathtub, and the fly...
Well, the fly is up on the teaser rod's line in the right hand corner
Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, has also been doing well. He made the long run to Vicente Guerrero with his French clients and got into the roosters also. Which was a bit remarkable, as we had a 4.0 quake that morning and very high surf.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)
Rember Don Wolcott's tattoo from last year?

Here is this year's.
For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here in Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo, please click on this link:  


Thanks Be . . . .

.. We've too much to be thankful for. Passing 14 lustrums and heading for another is the big one. Freedom to fish or not to fish. Friends - family - neighbors - etc. you know it all. It's more poignant as the years pass.
.. About 1,000,000 hits on this little family and friends notepad. And the big one: fishing this afternoon on a stream that is un-named and seldom fished even by the neighbors.
.. Enjoy the day. Trite as is seems counting blessings is soothing at our age.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What can I say...

...I like being warm.

-Alex who's gonna be looking damn sexy on the San Juan next week and will give thoughts on the Hell Razor performance upon returning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Here's A Video For Big Fishers
finesse for the left coast

.. We can only hope!
.. For the past two or three years the MOTHER OF ALL LEACHES, (MOAL Leach,) has become the go-to fly on the left coast -- for fish of the large and chrome variety, (and others as well.)
-- Fished with gear or fly tackle, (one, two, or three-handed,) it has an especially seductive bit of action. Across and down, up and across, stripped, bottom bounced from a drift boat, slung beneath a bobber, etc, // it just works.
.. It comes in all sizes, (mostly big,) and has sprouted a rainbow of color combinations. The colors seem to be personal and idiosyncratic.
.. The key to a successful execution of the fly is the string and the judicious application of a bunny strip with Cyanoacrylate glue. Done right this fly seems to be the wonder drug for catching. We'll see.

.. This can be a raging river if given the chance. High surf warning, high wind warning, heavy wind warning. The system is in for a flushing. The neighbors are pissed. The fish, on the other hand, will have some fresh smells to follow. It's all good.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Deliberate Post

The Smythester
The Smythester (aka Matt Smythe) and photographer Grant Taylor  recently released the trailer for their film A Deliberate Life. A full length version will be debued at IF4.

From watching the trailer, I find that it has all the things that I have come to expect from the introspective side of fly fishing film: stunning landscapes, sun flares, neato time lapse imagery, slow motion RED EPIC deliciousness, more sun flares, pretty fish, dramatic music, etc.

The message is simple and pertinent: Like an a capella version of the Beastie Boys, Fight For Your Right, A Deliberate Life reminds you to not only to fight for your right to party, but for the pursuit of happiness and for that which is most important to you.

Yeah. Pretty solid way to be.

"A Deliberate Life" (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4 2013 from IF4 on Vimeo.

-Alex who is living deliberately.

November silver....

Some great sport still being had along the coast. 

Lure of the day see here

The Joys Of Rain

Mud Deters Fancy SUV's
fish come up to see the show
.. Unlike the postcards depicting snow in Winter - OR - placid streams in Summer, our transition seasons are messy!
.. We've lost about 14" of snow to the rain over the last couple of days. It's not a driving rain. It's a drip and drizzle, on and off kind of rain. It's perfect for mud pies. And it also slows down the grouse.
.. There's not much to report. Snow has been forecast for today and the last few days. It's been sparse and wet. The visitors arriving here for "Ski Week" have brought their roller blades and their roller skis, (never knew there was such a thing.)
.. The  South Fork of the Madison River has become a regular coffee klatch of neighbors. We seem to have driven the wolves, elk, and elk hunters away from several roads and woods in the process.
Raffia-Backed Hare's Ear Nymph
.. The large, lake residing, sex crazed trout are still arriving in waves. The resident fish are in an agitated state. The water is colored. The fish are on the bite.
.. The conditions dictate the tactics. Resident fish are up high in the water column and holding tight to the bank. They are relatively less selective than a single man at closing time. They've been eating midge clusters, raffia-backed Hare's Ear nymphs, and "LEGGY" Royal Coachmen with foam wings. Other weirdness, (think caddis,) has also been reported.
.. The migrant submarines are a bit more recalcitrant during the gray and drippy parts of the day, (most of the time,) Those fish seem to be sleeping and need a nudge to bring some fight to the fore. Deep-dredged bright and colorful streamers are the ticket. "Hit 'em in the nose," is the preferred attack plan.
.. We'll hang in for another day or so. Then some rat killin' needs be done. Time now to fill the thermos with some coffee and amber liquid - it helps!
Do Trout Really Eat This Stuff - Only The Shadow Knows