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.