Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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Made it home early Sunday afternoon following an awesome week at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. I am yet to feel caught up with sleep though...more due to the fact that the dogs get top at 4:30-5:00 am every morning than having to do with anything else. Rivers seem high still here and it has been rainy and cool since returning home. It feels like Friday, but it's only Wednesday. Looking forward to hitting the guide boat hard again next week and just hoping to keep my head have water with projects around the shop in the meantime.

Typically, I'm paying attention to the river conditions and general fishing BS. This week, however, I'm just keeping my nose down and focusing on the shop. The water will still be there in 2-3 days I keep telling myself. I'm itching to get the jet boat out and look for shallow water carp...just need some sun and warmth. Wouldn't mind throwing streamers somewhere too. Time to turn over some rocks and look for Salmonflies as well. Maybe tomorrow!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Last day at Los Roques


Sitting here on the porch at Posada Acuarela following our last day of fishing at Los Roques, enjoying the downtime before dinner. This has been one of the most laid back vacations for me in quite sometime. Life gets much more manic than I think it does and stepping away for a few days has helped me appreciate the fact that nobody really gives a crap how busy my life is. Talking about how busy may life has becomes is similar to talking about fantasy football...no one cares!

The fishing was good this week though,and people do generally care about that. Very good fishing for Bonefish here at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. The fish generally seem like they see very little pressure and the diversity of flats is different than anyplace that I have been before. Pancake flats, beach flats, and straight up beaches all held lots of fish and offered easy wading. The average size of fish is 4-6 pounds and they are as strong as any Bonefish that I have caught before. I'm not always a fan of Bonefish, but I am definitely a fan of Bonefish here in Los Roques.

Start the journey home tomorrow. I know it was a good vacation when I am completely exhausted...which I am now. I'm out!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Los Roques Holiday Day 3



Day three in the books here at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. Again, windy with some high clouds most of the day. Although it has been breezy here this week, it hasn't really affected our ability to get on fish any of the three days so far. As long as you can get setup for a downwind cast, no problem.

Sometimes, one might spend most of the afternoon having to cast across one's body with the casting side into the wind, throwing an 11 wt to rolling Tarpon while the other angler fishes with the wind opposite shoulder and downwind. Either or...no big deal. I'm not one to complain though.

Tarpon fished first thing this morning, Rainman stuck one and lost it immediately. Fished the flats rest of the morning for Bonefish. The Bonefish that I encountered today were the most relaxed I have found this week, in general. They were cruisng and would race over to eat the fly with the first strip of line. Nice morning.


Lunch today was at a "restaurant' called Augustine's on a beach somewhere out there wherever we fish. It was a stunningly amazing meal that came in way above expectations. Lobster, conch, fish, corn meal fritters, and oysters served to us on a little beach alongside the ocean. Crazy good.

Looked for Tarpon the rest of the afternoon. I spent most of the time casting as far as I could, across and into the wind. I got a few Bonefish while Tarpon fishing. Rainman finally landed one and can now say that he has caught a Tarpon.

This place is legitimately awesome and should be on your radar if you like wading for Bonefish. Great average size of fish which are plentiful too (I have seen fish every single place we have fished these last three days) great guides, great operation, great lodging, great food and beautiful water. The island life is totally stress free and the Caracas transfer was literally, no big deal. I can't say enough about how well we have been treated by Sightcast Outfitters here on Los Roques!


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Los Roques, End of Day 2




Good day here at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters...worn out, tired, and satiated. Started off the morning on a beach flat with gobs of spooky Bonefish that wanted nothing to eat and nothing to do with me. After an hour or so, the light improved and we were able to see fish coming from a long way away. The 30 mph breeze made banging out 80' casts a simple task and distance was the key early on getting fish to eat. After that, things got easier, fish seemed more relaxed and I put it to them for awhile.

Got to fish with my wife this afternoon after she had a nice morning of SCUBA diving out on some reef wall. She claims to see all kinds of fish underwater when she dives, I think she exaggerates. Anyway. the guide had her out on a Pancake flat this afternoon and she hooked up and landed a few in an hour or two of fishing in the wind and clouds. She did great and was laughing away with the guide.

We rolled up for an afternoon session of Tarpon fishing just off the beach here at Grand Roques around 4. I was focused on reading the water and looking at the cuts, trying to find the structure to fish at while fish were rolling off and on around us. After about 10 minutes, I realized that the structure was actually a mass of Sardines beyond comprehension. Miles and miles of little fish. The bright spots in between are where the Tarpon, Jacks, and everything else blow through the schools. I stuck one briefly on a gummy minnow.

Day Two at Los Roques - June 6 2017


Day one of fishing in the books here in Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. The wind has been blowing, but the place is just amazing from a flats fishing perspective. Endless series of pancake flats, beach flats, and mangrove flats are everywhere with deep channels connecting them all. The sardines are everywhere, I mean everywhere. Pelicans, terns, and gulls seem to spend the day - and probably night as well - crashing into the water for samples of a piscatorial buffet that just never quits. The fishing you ask? Fishing was great, the catching you ask? Not my bets outing would be my comment.

Every flat we pulled up yesterday was full of feeding Bonefish, tailing Bonefish, and schools of feeding, paling Bonefish. Now, it was windy as hell and partly cloudy and most of which we were fishing had a dark bottom. So, it was hard to see the fish consistently and we had a lot of wind and tide current affecting our leaders/lines during the presentations. Still, most fish that ate my fly were treated to a full-on Tarpon style set. My knots failed time after time. By late in the day, I finally brought one to hand and felt like I was getting the feel for the hooks once again.

Rainman, on the other hand, killed it on the Bonefish and then spent the afternoon looking for Tarpon. Sounded like he made one cast at Tarpon and came tight to a 50 pounder which he fought for half and hour or so, but lost it at the boat just before the leader was touched. So close, I say.

The day was great, overall though, and that never gets lost on me anymore. I was able to spend the day with my dad, walking the flats and thinking only of the present and trying to notice everything that was in my world at that moment. Fancy talk for I was focused on looking for fish and happy to be fishing with my dad!

My wife enjoyed the diving and we did a small hike up the hills that outline Grand Roques last evening. I could sit on the Ridgeline and stare into the rolling waves and crashing breakers below foe endless days.

Its been a great vacation so far and I can't rave on enough about Sightcast Outfitters and Posada Acuarela. The staff, guides, food, accommodations, and location has been nothing short of exceptional. Looking forward to day two!


Monday, June 05, 2017

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Here we are, in the middle of the southern Caribbean Ocean on a series of island just about 80 miles off the cost of a Carracas. The Los Roques Archipelago has long been one of the world's premier saltwater flats destination. Civil unrest, a highly devalued currency, and plunging oil prices have taken Venezuela off the map for many western travelers and global fly fishers. So, our decision based o coming here had more to do with the assumption that the fishing would be as goods ever here because the fishing pressure is nonexistent compared to just a few years ago,

What I have to report so far is simple. We flew Miami to Caracas yesterday, We arrived Caracas at 1:00 pm, were greeted by a transfer team that took us to the domestic terminal. We checked in, hung out at the gate, and boarded the flight on time. The most stressful part of the travel day was...nothing. I expected to be assaulted by street vendors and gangs once we left customs but instead was greeted by a whole bunch of families, excitedly waiting for their returning family members. Felt more like home than anything else.

The quick flight form Caracas to Grand Roques was beautiful and efficient, Settling in and walking around the island was easy and there are no threats here other than maybe stubbing your toe on a concrete curb.


Birds are crashing sardines off the beach, they have been dong that since we arrived and I bet they do that all day, everyday. The wind is up, the sky is blue, and the anticipation for the day ahead is reaching its' peak. Im going to go put my shit together!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

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Wrapped up my spring guiding earlier this week with a few days around the Bozone with some new clients. I have to admit to being spoiled, more or less, in the guiding realm as most people I go out with anymore are good to very good fly anglers. So, I was curious to see if my renewed love for the guiding life would make it through a few days with a couple of guys that I didn't know and that basically had zero experience with fly-fishing. I made it through OK, we caught some fish, enjoyed the rivers and the weather, and they even improved dramatically over the three days. I think that I am "officially" back in the saddle with a happy heart and kind words flowing forth!
 That experience, and the last couple of months has put me at ease about my current and future career path. I have to admit that I have been burnt out with guiding the last few years and more or less trying to come to grips with the reality that I just can't row as long, get up as early, and work as hard as I used to be able to. I have too much other stuff in my life and guiding had become a distraction, mores than a passion. I was able to say that I loved it and blah, blah, blah...but most days, the last two years - the best part of my day on the oars has been pulling away from the boat ramp at the end of the day. Had come to hate it, to be honest.
Something happened this winter though, and I started to look forward to the season for a change. I got excited about getting a new boat. I looked forward to hitting the Missouri in May once again. I bought a bunch of new gear, organized my flies, and even plotted to tie some of my old reliable patterns myself. I wondered if it was real or just a way to keep my mind busy during the long, dark days of winter. 
It has been a struggle the last two years for sure. Dealing with this mix of emotions that have come form trying to make sense out of dreading doing the one thing in life that I really am pretty good at. Maybe I gave up, maybe a lighter 2016 was the difference? 
I think it has to do with getting the jet boat a couple of years ago and fishing carp more and more. The boat is bad ass for sure. Carp fishing, in Montana, is stupid. However, something in me just really likes doing stupid things. Learning to accept that I like carp fishing...even though it is stupid...somehow made me realize that it's OK to like to do stupid things. The excitement of guiding came back to me, I hope it stays.
Guiding, like fishing, is the one thing that I do in my life that centers me and keeps me in the moment. Life is moving way too fast for me anymore, but the water slows it down for just enough to help me be sane during those times when I'm not on the water. I've actually been happy this year, free of nicotine finally, and grateful foe the people around me.

PART 2
I'm on my way to Miami as I write this. Sitting in 14 C with an empty seat between me and my best friend. My dad, of course, is up front in the plane. My man "Blanca, Negro James Hardin" is somewhere in the air tonight too, on his way to Miami. My mom is with the kids and dogs. The crew at the shop is set to keep it real through the week. I'm here, writing some gibberish because I miss writing gibberish more than you know.
We are on our way South,,,way South, but to so far South that one could say we were headed to South America. I'll say where later, like in a few days later, assuming the Internet works where we are headed.
I spent the last few days trying to balancing my oldest son's graduation (awesome feat in itself as many of you know the struggles over the years), end of school for the little Googan, and just being busy as shit with work, plus trying to wrap up my USCG Captain's license, and tie some file for where I'm headed. Got it all done today, about 45 minutes before we departed.
I'm jacked up for this adventure, and rightfully so. It's nice to be here, sitting in 14 C, writing about now instead of what I wish now might be. I look forward to sand, the smell of saltwater, the sound of waves on the beach, and the reality of things being that everyday that I blow a shot at a Permit just means I'm one more shot closer to my next Permit. Pathetic, I know.

So, keep an eye on the blog and thanks for checking in. Believe it or not, when I go days without doing this, it actually makes me feel like I'm missing something. 

Viva La Pesca

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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The delay since the last post largely has to do with me forgetting my laptop on the last run back uo to Craig. The internet sucks up there anyway, so I probably would have kept my ramblings to a minimum anyway.

The river was crazy crowded this past weekend, but I lucked out with some creative wanderings on Saturday and stumbled upon a much cleaner lower river than I expected. While most of the boats were upstream, we pretty much had it to ourselves on the last day of my MO run. The worm bite was as good as it gets with fish after fish puking earthworms up everywhere on the boats and in my net, Their bellies were distended and they had that look of being totally gorged while being entirely incapable of not eating more.

I headed back on Sunday and ended up making a run down to Ashton for some meetings with some folks with Patagonia and a few other dealers. Lots of cool stuff on the way and a ton of windshield time the last few days.

Windshield time is good for me, helps clear it all out and get things into perspective. There is a ton of snow yet to come out of the mountains and I am grateful to live here, rather than most other places. Lots of work ahead though.