It’s been awhile since my last post, don’t worry, I’m still here, just been super busy this winter, in fact, almost unbelievably busy! So what have I been up too, well the biggest was the vacation to Sayulita Mexico. A long awaited and much needed retreat from everyday life! Although it was only a week, should have been two, Amber and I got to spend it with our good friends Travis and Jen, and Jared and Jen. And just when you thought that was enough Jen’s, Jared and Jen had there friends down, Andy and Jen! It was a lot of Jen’s, I’m still confused!!
Sayulita is about 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, a small fishing village now mostly taken over with international tourists. That may sound like a bad connotation but in fact is not. The village still holds its charm, while creating a fun, vibrant place to stay. One thing to note, don’t plan on using a credit card, take cash, and be prepared that the ATM machines run out of money…
The fishing is outstanding. Local ponga’s can be had for not too much money, and the Captains know the fishery. We were very fortunate to have my good friend Travis with us, who speaks fluent spanish, a very useful tool as most of the captains know very little. We also came prepared with our own gear, and only asked that the captain take us to good locations, of which he most certainly did. He put us on good schools of bonito, and jacks, as well as a few Dorado and one monster Jack Crevalle that turned a 10wt into kindling, I’m still not sure how I managed to land the fish with a broken rod. Capt. Nacho was reeling the backing back onto the reel while I was pulling the jack in hand over hand! Travis and Jared were hooking up consistently with live bait and poppers..
Once leaving the beach and through the surf the first order of business is to catch bait. The boat captains all have live bait wells onboard and use the Sardina to bring fish close to the boat, it’s a great combination especially for the fly fisher. I recommend a sardine pattern in 1/0 to 4/0. Most of the bait we fished were 2-3″ in length so no need for very large patterns. Fishing flies I was able to out hook even a live bait setup! We found a great population of Milk Fish and even managed to land a couple, and that’s not easy to do as they don’t eat bait!! I pretty sure that if you tied a 25 lb milk fish to a 50 lb salmon, tail to tail, the milk fish would drown the salmon in less that 10 seconds! Be prepared that this is not a shallow water fishery, most of the fishing was in 10-50′ + of water, I would recommend a rod with a very heavy back bone such as the Beulah saltwater series in 10-12wt your going to need a lot of “lifting” power! I was using a Jim Teeny TS 350 line with a 60 lb butt section of leader and a 40 lb shock tippet for an overall leader of approx. 6; that combination seemed to be the perfect ticket.
Paddle boarding, surfing, and most other beach sports are also popular past times.. The days we spent not fishing were filled with fun times sitting on the beach and playing in the surf. For awhile I thought we were out to drink the town dry of Pacifico to no avail! The temperature was a perfect 75-80 during the day with humidity in the 75%+ range, and nice onshore breeze. There a hundreds of excellent restaurants, everything from formal, (I’m using formal lightly, board shorts are fine), to street side taco stands. Don’t be afraid of the street side taco stands, just make sure their food looks fresh, for the most part the food is excellent! I can’t wait to get back!
Stay tuned for some upcoming fly tying videos as well as some more fishing trips. Also, in March be sure and check out the Northwest Fly Tyer Expo in Albany, OR, I’ll be there tying on Saturday and Sunday with hundreds of other GREAT tyers!!