Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Message from Angling On The Fly...

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes in 2009!

Thank you to all of our subscribers, visitors, and customers for staying tuned into our blog during the past year. In 2009, we will continue to provide you with useful information, on-location reports, and other current news and events. We wish you all the best in 2009 and may your lines stay tight! Fish On!

Best Wishes,
Keith Kaneko

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HOT FLY! Bill's Baby Bass

HOT FLY for Lake El Salto Largemouth Bass (photo by Bill Carnazzo)

Earlier this month, we had a group of 8 fly anglers return from renowned Anglers Inn at Lake El Salto in Sinaloa, Mexico. The group was hosted by Bill Carnazzo, master fly tyer and fly fishing guide. During this trip, Bill had incredible success with a baby bass pattern he devised for this fishery and its trophy Largemouth Bass that prowl the depths. Bill says that the best retrieve with this fly is a strip-strip-pause sequence, with the bass often inhaling the fly on the drop during the pause. He was fishing the Rio Outbound Short with clear intermediate tip and says that the contrast of the clear intermediate transition to the belly (white color) is the best "indicator" for the subtle grabs. Bill reported that often he never felt the grab, but intently watched the line transition for the soft grab by BIG Bass! Read below for tying recipe and instructions for this highly effective fly.

Recipe for Bill’s Baby Bass

  • Hook: Tiemco 800S or similar type, size 1/0 or 2/0
  • Thread: White 6/0 Uni-thread or similar type, and then flat waxed white nylon for the head of the fly
  • Belly: Pearl Radfloss or similar 3/8” wide mylar ribbon wrapped around shank
  • Under-wing: White Superhair or similar product
  • Over-wing: Blue-green Superhair or similar product
  • Interior flash: Krystal Flash UV pearl color
  • Side Flash: Gold Flashabou (fine)
  • Topping: Mixture of fine black crystal hair and Krystal Flash UV Herring Back color
  • Throat: Red antron yarn
  • Eyes: Silver 3/8” 3-D molded eyes
  • Head: White flat waxed nylon thread covered with epoxy
Tying Instructions
  1. Cover the hook shank with the 6/0 thread from the hook eye to the back end of the barb, leaving the thread behind the eye. At that point tie in an 8” piece of Radfloss or similar 3/8” wide mylar ribbon. Wrap the thread over it to the back end of the barb, and return the thread to the hook eye.
  2. Wrap the Radfloss forward to a point about 3/8” behind the eye; wrap it rearward in wide wraps, then forward again to achieve a cigar shaped taper. Tie it off and again move the thread to the eye.
  3. Turn the fly over and tie in a throat of red antron yarn. It should extend rearward only to the point of the hook.
  4. Return the fly to the upright position and tie in a bunch of Superhair equal to about two pencils width. Begin tying it in just behind the eye, and rearward to that same 3/8” point (where the Radfloss ends). Make sure it is tied in directly on top of the shank, and make adjustments as needed to achieve this goal. Place a tiny drop of superglue on the top of the thread winds.
  5. Tie in about 12 strands of pearl UV Krystal Flash at the same point by doubling the material around the thread. This will make the interior of the fly come alive. Wrap it down to the rear of the head area.
  6. Tie in a bunch of blue-green Superhair (same size bunch as white) in the same manner as the white Superhair was tied in.
  7. Tie in about 12 strands of gold Flashabou in the same manner as the interior flash, except pull ½ of the material down onto either side of the fly. This will form the side flash.
  8. Tie in about 12 strands of the UV Herring color Krystal Flash. This time tie it down in the middle of the bunch, allowing the front half of the bunch to stick out over the hook eye, with the rear half extending back over the top of the fly.
  9. Using the same method, tie in a similar bunch of fine black Crystal Flash. Be sure to wrap it down all the way to the back of the eye.
  10. Whip finish the 6/0 thread and then tie on the flat waxed nylon thread, wrapping a nice even head. Leave the thread at the rear of the head area.
  11. Take the UV Krystal Flash and the black Crystal Flash that are sticking out over the eye, and pull them tightly rearward. They will mix but that is a good result. Tie them down with a few wraps at the rear of the head and whip finish there. This forms a “stripe” over the top of the head. Place a tiny drop of superglue on top of the head.
  12. After allowing the superglue time to dry, place the eyes evenly onto the sides of the head.
  13. Coat the head with a nice coat of epoxy, extending it rearward about 1/8” beyond the end of the head. Place the fly on a rotating dryer and leave it there until the epoxy is firmly set (the setting time will vary with the type of epoxy used).
Tying Tips
  1. If you want to add a weed guard, tie in 30 or 40# Hard mason onto the hook bend before step 2, and finish the weed guard by tying it in just behind the eye, before step 13.
  2. After the fly is complete and the epoxy is dried, taper the fly by barbering the rear ends of the Superhair material.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Article: Western Yucatan Tarpon by Ken Hanley

(click image above for complete article)

Here is an informative online article on World Wide Fishing Guide about Isla del Sabalo written by Ken Hanley of Pacific Extremes. This article provides a nice summary of the fishing experience while at Isla del Sabalo. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great News from Nicholas Dean Lodge!

Nicholas Dean Lodge is now offering first class dining and accommodations...

For the past years, Angling On The Fly has been sending many anglers to Nicholas Dean Lodge for British Columbia's renowned Steelhead and Salmon fishing. They have always provided a first rate fishing program, and are now increasing their level of service by offering dining and accommodations at the beautiful Yellow Cedar Lodge on the banks of the Skeena River. Read below for a message from Nicholas Dean Lodge...

Hello Anglers,

This week we are pleased to announce some very exciting news. Actually, we're ecstatic! Beginning April 20, 2009, we will be teaming up with Alf and Simone Leslie of Yellow Cedar Lodge, to provide our guests with the very best in dining and accommodations in northwest British Columbia. Yellow Cedar Lodge is an impressive facility that is situated on the banks of the majestic Skeena River, on the outskirts of Terrace. Here, the lodge sits amidst impressive mountain views and a wilderness setting - an ideal spot for anglers to relax in comfort after a great day of fishing. The lodge itself is appropriately named given its construction of beautifully crafted yellow cedar posts and beams, which give it a unique character and class of its own.

The lodge features a large dining area and adjoining bar, a mixture of private single and double beds with en suite washrooms, a bar/games room, lounge, gym with cardio equipment and weights, a sauna, hot tub and a large covered porch overlooking the river. Dining is a major highlight at Yellow Cedar Lodge, as Alf is a master Red Seal Chef who goes to great length in providing gourmet, home cooked meals. Using the freshest ingredients, Alf makes home made breads and desserts, and prepares sumptuous meals including wild Salmon and Halibut from the Pacific Ocean, only a short distance away.

Tight lines and screaming reels to all...

Chad Black
Operations Manager
Nicholas Dean Lodge

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2009 Hosted Travel Offerings

(click on image to enlarge)

Angling On The Fly works with various fly shops throughout the nation to provide hosted destination trips. We always encourage our clients to support their local fly shop by joining hosted trips when offered. Above, I have listed hosted travel options offered by Kiene's Fly Shop in Sacramento, CA. Have a look and please contact us for information and bookings. Fish On!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bass-n-Fly Challenge - Fly Fishing Tournament

Angling On The Fly is a big supporter and member of team Bass-n-Fly. With the mission of heightening the interest and excitement of fly fishing for bass, Bass-n-Fly is announcing their 2nd annual Bass-n-Fly Challenge on the California Delta. This exciting event will be held on May 15, 2009 and is open to the public. Please join us for an exciting and fun event! CLICK HERE for entry details.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2009 Hosted Trips for Mexico Trophy Bass!

Angling On The Fly has secured 2 prime weeks at Anglers Inn for next season. These weeks are scheduled during the prime topwater season at both Lake El Salto and Lake Mateos. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in joining us on one of these trophy bass adventures! Trip details are as follows:

Lake Mateos Trip
December 7 - 12, 2009
Group Leader: Keith Kaneko
Package: 5 nights / 4 days fishing package (dbl. occup.)
Rate: $2,065 USD per angler (from Mazatlan)

El Salto Trip
December 12 - 17, 2009
Group Leaders: Jim Christensen and Terry Thomas
Package: 5 nights / 4 days fishing package (dbl. occup.)
Rate: $2,015 USD per angler (from Mazatlan)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Angling Moment: Yucatan Tarpon

Yucatan Resident Tarpon

I was browsing through my image archives and I came across this one taken a few years ago. I have resurrected this image to post on this blog, since it is one of my favorite. Holding this gorgeous resident Tarpon is Marco Ruz, owner of Yucatan Fly Fishing Adventures. This remarkable fish was landed in the Los Petenes Biosphere Preserve, somewhere between Isla del Sabalo and Campeche.

Tarpon of this size on an 8 or 9 weight fly rod is pure heaven. All floating line presentations with light flies are what this spectacular pursuit is all about. It is a personal favorite of mine... Fish On!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fish Art: Gods River Brook Trout

It is with great excitement and honor that I post renowned artist Flick Ford's latest artwork,... a Gods River Brook Trout. This past September, I had the fortunate opportunity to spend a week with Flick at Gods Lake Lodge in Manitoba, Canada. While I was there with a team to conduct exploratory work for Lake Trout, Flick spent the week hunting for "the" trophy Brook Trout on Gods River... a specimen that would be revered, recorded, and released.

I distinctly recall the day that he landed this incredible specimen. When Flick and, lodge owner, Robert Gates returned from the river that evening, I was greeted with that fishy grin an angler has on his face when they just experienced a "zen moment" in fly fishing. Flick's first words out of his mouth were, "We got it... what an amazing fish!"

The image above is Flick's beautiful painting of the gorgeous and robust Gods River Brook Trout that he landed that adventurous day.

To view Flick's other artwork and publications, visit his website at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HOT FLY!... Enrico Puglisi Tarpon Streamer

Baby Tarpon LOVE this Fly!!!

This past season, this was one of the hottest flies for baby Tarpon at Yucatan destinations, Tarpon Cay Lodge, Isla Blanca and Isla del Sabalo. Designed by Enrico Puglisi, this Tarpon streamer is easy to cast and tied on a high quality Gamakatsu SC-15 hook (size 2/0). The bright orange and yellow color creates nice contrast while fishing it in mangrove stained waters. This was often the "go-to" fly when fishing river channels and creeks along the northern and western shores of the Yucatan. If you are headed for the Yucatan in 2009, make sure to have this fly in your box. Fish On!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Angling Report: Mexican Largemouth Bass at Anglers Inn

In the August 2008 issue of The Angling Report, Anglers Inn and Angling On The Fly were featured in an article for our joint efforts in developing a fly fishing program at Lake El Salto and Lake Mateos. Written by renowned outdoor writer, Gary Kramer, this short article provides a great summary of each lake and the fly fishing opportunities available to anglers. Read on... and FishOn!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More trophy photos from El Salto on the Fly!

Bob Souza with a trophy (7 pounds)

Guide "Chi Chi" holding Bruce Rollan's 6.5 pound bass

Jim Christensen with a jumbo Largemouth

All smiles for Bob Souza and big Bass!

Bill Laughlin and his best Largemouth at almost 8 pounds!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trip Report: Anglers Inn - Lake El Salto

Jim Christensen's behemoth 10+ pound El Salto Bass

We just had a group of 13 anglers return from Mexico's Lake El Salto. As usual, everyone was "Wow'd" with the top level service and accommodations at Anglers Inn. They truly run a first rate program that is focused on comfort, relaxation, and fun! OK, on to the fishing report...

Although the shad hatch occurred as normal, an unusual late-season heat wave kept surface temps much higher than normal. These conditions made topwater fishing less than prime - some nice Bass were still landed on top, but not the numbers of Bass that we normally get topwater fishing during this time of the season. The good thing is that the anglers were well prepared to fish subsurface with light sinktip lines and streamer/baitfish patterns. This kept the anglers in the action by fishing just below the surface at the feeding level of the Bass. The hot pattern on this trip was Umpqua's #2 Gummy Minnow - this pattern matched the newly hatch shad perfectly.

The best Bass of the trip was 10.5 pounds landed by Jim Christensen on, of course, a #2 Gummy Minnow! Congratulations Jim! In addition to this behemoth, there were a number of fish landed by other anglers in the 7 - 9 pound class. And of course, there were countless stories of double digit bass that "got-away!"

Here are a couple subsurface tackle setups that were reported to be very effective:
  • Rio Outbound Type III with a Gummy Minnow; fished with a strip, strip, pause (let the fly fall/drop),... strip, strip, pause,... etc. The key to this retrieve is to stay in touch with the fly during the fall/drop, as many Bass inhale the fly during this pausing moment.
  • Sage BASS taper fly line, 7-9 foot tapered leader with a #2 Clouser Minnow (chart/white); fished with a rapid retrieve (hand over hand) to imitate a fleeing shad or tilapia. The Bass would throw a determined and aggressive wake behind the fly as they were in hot pursuit of the fly.
Overall, everyone was happy and excited about their experience at Anglers Inn - Lake El Salto. Looking ahead, we are already working on setting up hosted weeks in 2009, so stay tuned for exact dates!

Paula Butler showing off a mega-Bass

Terry Thomas with a healthy Bass

Monday, November 3, 2008

Travel Smart: Carry-On Items While Traveling...

Here is the scenario... you have finally reached your destination airport and are standing at the baggage claim carousel watching it go round and round... you have been waiting,... waiting,... and waiting for your checked luggage. Then, the harsh reality sets in that your checked luggage did NOT get routed to this airport with you. Now what?

After going through the necessary steps with the airline to find your luggage, you now realize that all you have is the items that you carried on with you. If all else fails and you must resort to only what you carried on, then you will want to have these essentials items to minimize discomfort and maintain your health and safety during your trip:
  • TWO pairs of polarized glasses: often, much of our fishing success is based on spotting fish (ie. sight casting); these also provide eye protection while casting and fishing - safety first!
  • Personal essentials (medications, toiletries, corrective lenses): carry on all personal items that are essential to your health and safety; make sure to adhere to the TSA requirements of "3-1-1" (3 oz. or less containers - 1 quart clear plastic bag - 1 bag per traveler).
  • Extra copies of your passport and visa (if required): if you loose these original documents, copies of these will help in validating your citizenship; keep copies separate from your original documents.
  • Extra set of fishing clothes: nothing is worse than "borrowing" someone else's clothes that don't fit; carry on one set of fishing clothes; clean underwear... need I say more?
  • Waders and/or wading boots (destination specific): nothing beats wearing your OWN waders and wading boots; often, loaner waders and boots leak and/or never fit as well as your own; pack'em if you can.
Packing these essential items as "carry-on" items will ensure that you have the basics for a "saved" trip. Aside from these items, you may often borrow fishing tackle and other items from the lodge and/or traveling companions. Be prepared by traveling smart!

NOTE: Although some anglers choose to carry on their fly rods and reels, we did not list this tackle as "essential" since many lodges have loaner tackle if needed. Also, clients have informed us that some airport security checkpoints are inconsistent when it comes to allowing or disallowing rods and reels as carry-on items.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Video: 7 Minutes of Yucatan Mayhem!

This video is a continuous and uncut 7 minutes of Tarpon action at Isla del Sabalo. Fishing was conducted with blunted hook point on the fly - the intent was to "tease" the Tarpon into grabbing the fly, only to be pulled away or released with slack in the fly line. It shows the remarkable fishing potential and amazing density of willing Tarpon that can inhabit the flats of this remote region of the Yucatan. This is Angling On The Fly's newest offering in the Yucatan. Fish On!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Current Canadian to US dollar Exchange Rate is Favorable Now!

Currently the exchange rate for US to Canadian dollars is very favorable making the trip of a lifetime to some of Canada's premier fishing destinations a steal. Nicholas Dean Lodge in British Columbia is one of the world's premier salmon and steelhead destinations. This season's return of steelhead was incredible, one of the best in over ten years. Anglers experienced excellent fishing and many anglers hooked steelhead of a lifetime.

Take advantage of this current exchange rate by securing your spot for 2009 now. Angling on the Fly has several Hosted Trips available, plus you can book your own week. Current packages include 6 nights / 5 days of guided fishing, lodging and meals.

Contact us for more information and to reserve your spot today.
Phone: 916-539-3474

Some of this season's steelhead

Monday, October 20, 2008

Article: Capt. Kevin "KD" Doran on topwater Striped Bass

Capt. Kevin Doran (“KD”) is one of the top guides on the California Delta for Striped Bass and is the renowned pioneer of bringing the Delta Largemouth Bass to the forefront of the fly fishing industry and community. KD has been fishing the Delta for decades and truly knows the intricacies of this highly technical environ. During the fall and winter months, he is incredibly adept at guiding his anglers into topwater grabs from Striped Bass. Even on cold wintery mornings on the Delta, he has an innate ability to locate Stripers that will engulf a surface offering in sub-50 degree water temps - I have experienced it for myself... I am a believer! I have fished with KD many times, and it never ceases to amaze me how much I learn each time I fish with him.

Check out KD’s "Topwater Striper Primer" article at

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photography by John G. Sherman

John Sherman admiring a baby Tarpon at Isla del Sabalo

Take a look at almost any monthly fly fishing publication and you will probably see one or more of John’s photos. He has the rare multi-tasking talent of being able to fish an “A-game” and capture amazing images at the same time. He is one of the most dedicated and well-traveled fly anglers that I know. I have fished with John on many occasions and am always amazed (and respect him) for showing the same admiration for a 100 pound tarpon and 1/4 pound panfish - he loves to fly fish and it shows in every piece of his work. Check out his beautiful photography at:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Video: The Newest Frontier for Yucatan Tarpon

This action-packed video footage displays the incredible Tarpon fishing opportunities at Isla del Sabalo. This majestic fishing destination resides in a remote region of the Yucatan and is home to healthy populations of resident Tarpon that range in size from 5 - 35+ pounds. The environs of this fishery include extensive mangrove-lined rivers and creeks, protected lagoons, and vast clear-water flats. Enjoy and Fish On!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chico Fernandez on the Tarpon Tour

Chico Fernandez and guide "Cresp" at Tarpon Cay Lodge

In August, Tarpon Cay Lodge and Isla del Sabalo had the honor of hosting renowned saltwater fly fishing author, instructor and IGFA record holder, Chico Fernandez. Chico and his group experienced the Tarpon Tour combo trip with 3 days of fishing at each destination. They had excellent fishing for resident and migratory Tarpon during their visit. And, we are excited to announce that Chico will be hosting another trip with us in the Yucatan during summer 2009!

Chico working his magic casts in a tight mangrove canopy

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Unique Top-Water Flies for MX Bass

El Salto Special by Leo Gutterres

During our past trips to Mexico for Bass, there is always a staple of top-water flies that prove to be consistent producers. Without a doubt, one of my favorite patterns is Leo Gutterres' "El Salto Special" - a slider with a serious case of delirium! This fly produces well when the Bass are busting the shad in Lake Mateos or El Salto. The relatively short body and tail, along with a flat, narrow profile produces an irresistible erratic movement. Often when larger patterns don't seem to produce well, this pattern reinforces that "matching-the-hatch" works for Bass too.

Next, I had the pleasure of meeting Neal Pultz (Fresno, CA) this past spring. Neal is an innovative popper designer and popper producing machine! He ties commercially for many shops throughout NorCal and makes some of the most well thought out poppers. He has a unique weed-guard design that is very effective. If you want a popper that produces maximum a "POP!" sound, then Neal's poppers are IT! On this past trip, it produced well in areas with deeper water where the Bass needed to be "called-up" to feed on the surface.

New for this trip was a new creation by Leo Gutterres - a prism sided crease fly. The highly reflective sides with a nice weed-guard really produced well when the Bass were shredding the Tilapia around the buck brush and other structure. This fly had incredible lateral movement with each strip - this action really mimics that of a wounded Tilapia. One of my largest top-water Bass (around 7 pounds) on this trip was landed on this fly. Leo is always pushing the envelope on new fly designs and improving those that already exist. Leo's prism sided crease fly is a fine example of this.

These flies are a pure example of why I feel that fly fishing for Bass is so visually appealing and, most of all, fun... big bugs for big Bass!

An El Salto Special that got worked-over by multiple trophy Bass!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Article: Tarpon Tour by Dan Blanton

Article cover shot by Dan Blanton

This past summer Ryan Miller and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel and fish with Dan Blanton. We spent a week fishing the Yucatan at Tarpon Cay Lodge and Isla del Sabalo. Dan captured some amazing photographs during this trip and has written a very informative and entertaining article about his experience with us in the Yucatan. Please CLICK HERE to visit Dan's website and read the article.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fly Fisherman Magazine: Lake Mateos and Lake El Salto

WOW! We just returned from our bass adventure south of the border, and what do I find on my desk this morning?... the recent issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine featuring the destinations we just fished this past week!... Lake Mateos and Lake El Salto.

Last January, Angling On The Fly hosted John Randolph of Fly Fisherman Magazine at Billy Chapman Jr.'s Anglers Inn in Sinaloa, Mexico. On this tour, we ventured to both lakes and had incredible fishing for trophy Largemouth Bass. It was a pure joy and honor to fish with one of the legends in our industry. John is a wealth of knowledge and had countless stories of the adventures that he has experience through his many decades in this wonderful sport of fly fishing.

Check out the recent issue (December 2008) for his rendition of these wonderful destinations - Lake Mateos and Lake El Salto. Fish On!

Post-Trip Report: Lake El Salto - Day 1

Within the first few hours of the evening session, Keith and Bill had managed a few fish in the 6 pound range (see entry, Friday, September 26 for photos), a few at 4 and several others in the 2-3 pound class. Most of their fish came on slightly modified, yellow flashtail clousers, (Keith trimmed the fly to reduce the overall profile to match the Tilapia). Ken and Kevin did well boating a few bucketmouths on diving frog patterns. My guide Oscar and I had a excellent afternoon, we boated some beefy while hogs fishing sub-surface presentations. I found that a red/white flashtail whistler was highly desired and on the menu. By late afternoon an incredible tropical storm came in and blew us off the water. The four hours spent on the water were very exciting for all of us and fueled the fire for the next day. Please see previous posts for more pictures.

Ryan Miller with a stout bass

The accommodations are incredible...

Come on in...

Rocking chairs sit outside each room to ensure maximum relaxation

Foyer where meals are enjoyed

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bass: The Revolution

For more than 30 years bass anglers have flocked to Lake El Salto in search of monster bass. During the prime fishing months of late September through February anglers can expect phenomenal quality and quantity of pure Florida strain Largemouth bass. During this time many anglers experience the excitement of huge bass exploding on top-water presentations.

Over the history of this lake there have been very few fly fisherman that have engaged in battle with the hogs of lake El Salto, … until now. Fly anglers alike are proving to be very successful fishing for bass, enough so that Angling On The Fly and Billy Chapman Jr.’s Anglers Inn has teamed up to offer one of the most unique fly fishing opportunities in the world. Thanks to years of dedication from Angling On The Fly and Anglers Inn, a concrete vision, and help from the Bass-n-Fly team, Anglers Inn is one of the best destination on earth to fly fish for Largemouth Bass!