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!

Bass: The Movie

Bass fishing and fly rods... what a beautiful thing!
Check out these two links to see short clips on the upcoming film.

From the producers who brought us Chasing Silver comes a full length film that features a few local fly anglers going head to head with spin gear pro's. Watch John Sherman and Kevin Doran as they hunt for bigmouths on the big screen.

Release: Fall 2008

Post-Trip Report: Lake El Salto - Day 2

5 AM wakeup calls are usually unwelcome and dreaded,…unless you are heading out to offer trophy fish your twisted creations! By the time breakfast was over everyone was fired up and ready to hit the water. The weather we perfect, dead calm, quiet and bassy. As the truck-drawn carrier takes us to our boats (50 yards from the lodge) it is clear that we all have a green glimmer in our eyes. The glimmer of hope that a green, razor-back bucketmouth, aka the “big girl,” will be fooled for one second. One second is all we need to get the BLOW-UP evoked from a puppeteered popper…
Top water BLOW-UP

The last day of fishing could not have been better. The lake was glassed over, sky’s scattered with clouds and huge bass busting tilapia EVERYWHERE. One of the most exciting features of fishing this lake is the abundance of baitfish (shad and tilapia) that are under constant harassment by bass. There were times when I could see a 100 yards of bass blowing up bait, it looked like small landmines detonating. Fishing was good for everyone that day, Ken and Keith encouraged kamikaze bass to blow-up on poppers. Ken and Bill were the stars of the show, hooking more than 50 bass and landing 35 hogs! The afternoon session treated me well with a beautiful 8 pounder.
Ryan with 8 pounds brush hog

Five anglers, five days, camaraderie and countless supercharged Mexican Bass makes for a memorable trip. Personally, I was captivated by this place and know I will be back soon. Anglers Inn at Lake Mateos and El Salto is a spectacular place to leave reality and enter bass insanity.
Let it out Ken...

Click HERE for information on how to book your week for the 2008 prime-times. Plus, there are still a few spot open for Bill Carnazzo’s hosted week to Lake Mateos, click HERE for details.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned...

Friday, September 26, 2008

On-Location Report: Lake El Salto

All smile from Keith Kaneko for big BASS!

Yesterday, after a comfortable transfer from Lake Mateos, we arrived Anglers Inn at Lake El Salto... another one of Mexico's trophy Bass destinations. We hit the water hard and enticed some trophy Bass. The health of these fish is astounding... the acres of Tilapia and shad in the lake provide the protein for these beefy bass to grow at an astonishing rate of 2+ pounds per year. Today was our final day on this incredible Bass adventure... look for a full tackle report soon.

Bill Carnazzo with a trophy Bass

Ken Hanley with an El Salto "Bucketmouth"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Angling Moments from Lake Mateos

I have been in a quandary for the past 10 months since my first visit to Lake Mateos. I have tried to verbally explain the natural beauty of this lake and have always felt like I was at a loss for words. This is my fourth trip to Lake Mateos and I continue to struggle with finding a way to convey its pure beauty. I have taken countless photographic images of the lake during my visits here and, still, I feel as though I am not fully able to capture and convey the true grandeur and vastness of this remote lake. Angling here is an experience all its own... you truly have to experience it yourself to feel the reverence and appreciation for this natural wonder. Below are a few images in an attempt to convey some of this beauty...
Resting amidst the Sierra Madre Mountains, the lake is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush jungle.

Kevin Doran working topwater in one of many hundreds of coves...

The vastness of Lake Mateos is astounding...

Gin-clear water and abundant structure...

KD working tight quarters at Lake Mateos...

Numerous islands rise from the depths of this vast lake...

Ryan Miller,... running the lake amidst one of many natural monuments towering above the lake...

And,... oh yeah, there are incredible trophy Largemouth Bass that call this gem of a lake "home". Fish On!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On-Location Report: Early Season Bass'n

There is never a bad excuse to get out of the office once in a while, especially if it’s to fish. A group of friends set out in search of early season bass at Lake Mateos and Lake El Salto in Mexico. We are staying at Billy Chapman Jr.'s Anglers Inn and are enjoying every minute of it. Currently the weather is hot and most of the action has been sub-surface. I am happy to report that fishing has been good and with less than a month left for prime time we know that fishing will be incredible this coming fall and winter. Another highlight of this trip is the hospitality that Anglers Inn provides. The level of service is outstanding and has been an absolute pleasure.
Keith Kaneko with a top-water bucketmouth

Although most of the fish caught have been fooled with sub-surface presentations, we have found a good top-water bite in the mornings and evenings. Several 4-6 pounders have blown up on top water bugs and WOW... what a beautiful sight!
Ken Hanley going long

One of the great features of bass fishing with a fly rod at Lake Mateos is the diversity of environs one can cast to. Fly rodders have an amazing advantage in the bass game, we can present very light bugs accurately and quietly to hopped up killing machines.

Keith putting the wood to a razor-back

Almost every time a bass will head for thick cover, be ready to really keep the heat on them. We are all using 20 pound Maxima with 7-9 weight rods.
The reward...

Kevin Doran with a largie

All five of us are complete fishing fools and this is paradise for us. We eat breakfast, are in the boats before sun-up, fish until noon, eat lunch, take a siesta and fish until dark. With all this going on it is amazing that we find time to enjoy the scenery.

Kevin Doran and Ryan Miller watching the grass grow

The gang at dinner (right to left): Kevin Doran, Ken Hanley, Chappy Chapman, "Ziggy," Keith Kaneko, Bill Carnazzo and Ryan Miller.

Anglers Inn has a full-time chef that is truly talented; all the meals have been excellent.

As the five of us continue to work the waters for bass we will continue to bring you more pictures and details from our "fisherman's holiday." We will fish Mateos one more day and then head to El Salto to see if we can't beat the 18.8 pound lake record largemouth. Please enjoy the following pictures, thanks for reading and FishOn!

Monday, September 22, 2008

On-Location Report: Lake Mateos Bass

Angling On The Fly is on location at beautiful Lake Mateos near Culiacan, Mexico fishing for Largemouth Bass.

Bill Carnazzo, Ken Hanley, Kevin Doran, Ryan Miller and Keith Kaneko (taking the picture)

Top Water...

Fishing is hard work, sometimes you just need to relax.

Keith Kaneko with a stout 6 pounder!

Check back soon for updates and highlights on this incredible bass fishery.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fish Art: Paintings by Flick Ford

During our exploratory trip to Gods Lake last week, the team had the pleasure of spending the week with renowned fish painter Flick Ford. Flick was invited by friend and lodge owner, Robert Gates, to fish for Gods River trophy Brook Trout. He was on a personal mission to catch and release a trophy specimen for his next piece of artwork. He was successful by landing a behemoth Brook Trout measuring 23 inches in length by 16.5 inches in girth - estimated at about 7.5 pounds!

Flick is also the artist for the popular books Fish: 77 Great Fish of North America and, soon to be released, Big: The 50 Greatest World Catches. His artwork is absolutely stunning and intimate. He is now working on the painting of his trophy Gods River Brook Trout.

Check out his website to view all of his artwork - www.FlickFord.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

Video: Yucatan Tarpon Jumps Aboard!

During our angling pursuits around the world, we sometimes encounter some of the craziest events. Often, they are just stories to be told as folklore or myth... this time, we have proof that sometimes "the fishing was so good, fish jumped into the boat!" This is a video clip while Jeff Mueller of Fly Fisherman Magazine was fishing with us at Isla Blanca. Fish On!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On-Location Report: Gods Lake - Final Day

Lake Trout on the fly...

What a way to complete an exploratory trip! Wonderful weather and spectacular fishing for Lake Trout and Northern Pike on the fly. The lake was "glass-out" this morning... no wind! We had great anticipation for sight fishing opportunities for Lake Trout and it all came together for the team. More Lakers migrated from the depths last evening, yielding even larger fish to target today. By the day's end, we each had fishy grins on our face.

I am too tired to write much tonight, so I am going to let the photos below speak for our final day fishing report... Fish On.

Bill with a "girthy" Laker!
Lodge dog "Major" supervising the morning preparations

Morning run for the reef

Jim with one of many Lakers for the day...

Ken with a giant Northern Pike

All smiles after a day of pulling on big Lake Trout and Pike!

Relaxing at the lodge lounge...

Guest cabins

Canada's Gods Lake Lodge Staff

Celebratory steak dinner!
(left to right: Flick Ford, Keith Kaneko, Jim Christensen, Ken Hanley, and Bill Carnazzo)