Guy Allen just returned from close to a month journey to Baja, logging some 4 thousand miles in the process and fishing close to twenty days during the period. Lots of good adventure, minor tactical issues, crazy drivers on treacherous roads, and some very nice and challenging fly fishing.
Here is his report. Thank you Guy. Here is wishing many more trips down south to you and Jim.
Jay Nicholas, August 30th, 2016
Baja – it’s a magical name that conjures up visions of endless sunsets, frolicking dolphins, and deserted beaches. For PNW anglers it also beckons as a relatively close opportunity for the adventurous fly fisherman.
Earlier this year, fishing partner Jim Buckley and I spent a week in May fishing with our favorite outfitter near Bahia de los Muertos . Unfortunately the lack of baitfish, and the gamefish that follow them, was the big news this year! Typically the Captains toss live bait to locate, and excite larger predatory fish – then when a fish shows anglers scramble to get their imitation in front of them. The scarce bait situation made for challenging fishing. However, with the help of some hastily tied ballyhoo flies (the only bait fish available) and some extremely talented Captains, we enjoyed some awesome sight fishing to Roosterfish.
As wonderful as that trip was we were both thinking about the Dorado that we had not encountered on that trip. We decided an extended road trip was in order to search them out. July and August are generally considered to be too hot in Baja, but schedules being what they were we loaded up the camping gear and boat and headed south.
We met a number of extraordinary folks, and enjoyed some spectacular country, in our 4K mile trek. We also experienced all the little mis-adventures that go with traveling Baja in a thirty year old diesel pickup towing a boat – shredded trailer tires, a bent wheel rim, broken oil sending unit , and a toasted water pump to name a few.
We found willing (and delicious) Cabria and Snappers along most every rocky shoreline.
Our strategy for catching Dorado centered on finding floating mats of Sargasso that attracted baitfish, often times easier said than done!
Numerous Ladyfish, Jacks, and small tuna (size used as bait for billfish) were always fun on the lighter fly rods.
Most of our fishing centered around Loreto and Bahia de los Angeles due to tropical storm Javiers influence to the south.
Whale sharks, Mantas, Sea Turtles, vast schools of Dolphin, and warm sunsets were part of our fishing days. (Jay’s note: the temperatures were indeed warm, with some days close to a hundred degrees at dawn.)
Guy Allen August 30th 2016