April in Loreto

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April in Loreto
Teeny TS Lines
Salmon Fly Hatch
New Salmon Flies
Ohio Steel
Way Yin at Spey Clave
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April in Loreto
April sunrise at Loreto, Mexico. April 24, 2006 was our first of a six pack of days fishing out of Loreto, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez.. April is not considered a peak time to fly fish the Loreto area.  Most anglers go there June through August when the water is warmer and the dorado and billfish are abundant.  Patty and I had decided to try Loreto in April for three main reasons, smaller crowds, rumors of large rooster fish and Pacific Yellowtails feeding on the surface.  The Loreto area already holds several all tackle line class IGFA world records for Pacific Yellowtail (also known as California
Yellowtail). The present fly fishing class records are pretty light and we thought it might be fun to try to break them. We booked our favorite guide: Eulogio Davis Sanchez through Pam Boles at the Baja Big Fish Company, secured our air flight through Alaska Airline and put our tackle together.  Our first day on the water was one of those blowing, bouncing north wind days where we spent more time looking for cover than fish.  The only incident of any note was when we encountered two barn door size rooster fish in shallow water and our guide Eulogio chummed them to the boat as I tried madly to untangle a horrendous knot that had somehow formed in my fly line.  One rooster ate three live sardines within easy casting range and then left without getting a fly thrown at it.  The next morning the Sea of Cortez was as flat flat when we left port, but by the time we reached the outer end of Isla del Carmon, a stiff breeze had the boat rockin' and rollin' again.  Several times Yellowtail made huge boils as they came within inches of the surface eating live sardines. 
We would race to get within casting range, but were ineffective at bringing fish to our flies. Every time the fish rose to the surface, made a huge commotion and disappeared quickly.  In frustration, we figured it was time to change the game for awhile. We ran the boat around the tip of the island into the wind shadow and caught a number of nice cabrilla  while drifting along the shore line.  Several of them were too large to handle and got down in the rocks and broke our leaders.  Cabrilla (pronounced: cabreea) are a lot like large mouth bass, but quite a bit stronger. 

Patty land a Cabrilla.

They hang around under water structure and when you hook one it will immediately run for cover to hide.  If you stop the first run they give up, but that first run is incredibly strong. We were hooking cabrilla about every fifth cast and things were going our way.  This of course got the attention of other anglers in the area and it wasn't long before another boat with an American fly fisher cut us off by pulling into the shore and drifting along a hundred feet ahead of us.  The wind shadow extended along the island another several miles. There was a cluster of boats about a mile ahead of us and
Mark with a Cabrilla. then it seemed devoid of fishermen for a long ways.  I asked Eulogio to move away from everyone and we did.  Immediately we were into cabrilla again, as well as lady fish and amberjacks.  Suddenly a flock of birds formed and there was a huge commotions in the water as several large yellowtails chased bait on the surface.  We raced over and intercepted the school.  They fed our way and Patty hooked one, which peeled off a bunch of line and then broke her off on some under water obstruction.  Eulogio's fish finder said we were in 28-feet of water. Eulogio and I really wanted Patty to land
a yellowtail  because the woman's world record was only nine pounds and we figured any yellowtail caught here would be at least twice that heavy.  However, hooking yellow tail with a fly was proving to be a very difficult task.  Landing one was even harder!  Pacific Yellowtail are ordinarily a deep water fish that are unavailable to fly fishers.  In the spring they come to the surface to spawn.  After spawning they stay near the surface for a couple of weeks and feed on baitfish such as sardina.  It is only during this spring period that they are where fly fishers have a chance to connect with them.  As the day wore on the wind died and more and more yellowtail came to the surface to feed.  We would run the boat to intercept them, shut the engine off early and coast in silently.  Often live bait was thrown to keep them on the surface.  The feeding frenzy would only last a few minutes and we were lucky to get more than a couple of shots apiece before they would disappear.  Often they would ignore the fly completely.  I hooked my first yellowtail around noon.  It was a head-on shot with the fish clearly visible.  It took the fly and turned away setting the hook itself and then making a blistering run into the backing.  The fish was on for only a few minutes and my tackle was
strained to the max and then I felt a slight shock and the leader broke and the fish was free.  Like Patty's first fish, it had tangled my line on the bottom.  My leader and much of my fly line was scarred.  We were using fast sinking shooting head fly lines and five section leaders made with 50-pound butts, 30-pound mid-sections, IGFA rated 20-pound class tippet and a 30-pound bite tippet.  We found out that a loop to loop connection in the 50-pound butt was a weak point as we broke two fish off using that system.  By three in the afternoon Patty and I had hooked a couple of yellowtails apiece and had landed

Mark with his first yellowtail.

none.  Then we went through a long frustrating period where they ignored our flies completely.  I asked Eulogio what fly he would use.  His reply was that he would try a silver popper.  He had suggested the same popper on a sinking line trick which resulted in my landing a very large Jack Crevelle the last time we had fished together in July of 2005.  I was eager to give this method a try
This yellowtail ate a popper! again.  Ten minutes later we encountered another feeding school.  I threw the popper in front of them and was rewarded with a solid grab.  This time we were over 68-foot deep water and the fish was landed in about 20-minutes.  This was the first Pacific Yellowtail I had ever seen close up.  We estimated it to be around 25-pounds.  I asked him what the men's world record was.  He said he thought it was around 22-pounds.  I said I thought it was around 27 which meant the this fish wouldn't qualify, so I gave it to Eulogio to eat.  He gladly took it because yellowtail are considered a 
delicacy throughout their range.  The next morning Pam Boles told us the fly caught world record was 22-pounds 8-ounces.  That day we ran north of Loreto searching for rooster fish.  By ten in the morning wind was blowing hard.  The ocean was rough and the fishing was flat again.  I goaded Eulogio that he had eaten my one chance at a world record.  He took it good naturedly, but I could tell it bothered him, so I told him that his estimate of the weight of the
fish was high and it probably wasn't a record anyway (possibly true). The next morning was Friday, April 28.  The air was dead calm and we ran  to Isla del Carmen and started the same routine that had worked two mornings before.  Patty started with an olive & white Clouser Minnow.  I started with a black and white streamer.  It was dressed way too heavy, so I cut of a bunch of the material from the belly to give it the same silhouette as the bait we were using as chum.  Several nice cabrilla thought it was the real thing and were released back to their 

Eulogio and Mark with a possible new world record.

homes.  Patty was catching as many cabrilla with her fly which was by now very thin.  Several fish rose near the shore and I cast to them.  The fly was stripped half way back to the boat when I perceived a long, slim shape intercept it and nearly 150-yards of line was pulled from the reel as the fish made for deep water.  What happened next was a forty five minute fight without any of us knowing for sure what I had hooked.  Finally the fish showed itself to be a much larger yellowtail than the one caught two days before.  We weighed it on our Rapala hand scale at a little over thirty pounds.  Pam Boles weighed it on her IGFA certified scales at 31-pounds.  We filled out the paperwork for a new 10kg world record.  This fish was 42" long, with a 24" girth.  The rod I used was a Thomas & Thomas HII911S4, with an Abel Super 11 and a Teeny TS-450 line. 
Muchos Gracias Amigos to the makers of all of this fine tackle and their continuing support.
On another note:  There is more Sargasso Weed in the Loreto area this year than in the previous two years.  In the last two season, small dorado and Sargasso have been missing.  These are two ingredients for great mid-summer fly fishing.  Small dorado are already being caught about 35-miles off the coast.  During our April trip, sardina were present in huge off-shore as well as in-shore schools.  This portends a summer of great dorado fishing in the area.  We have four spots open for our June/July trip!  Please join Patty and I: June 25 through July 1.

Teeny TS Series Fly Lines

TS Series Saltwater Lines
weight forward fly line
30' fast sinking tip
 

TS Series

The TS Series represents a longer version of the original Teeny T-Series fly lines. The sinking section is 30 feet long  with a 70 foot running line section (including the 3' rear taper). The floating portion of the line is made with Jim's new “HPC” coating (high performance coating), totaling 100 feet. The title of the line is

TS Series

Saltwater Series, but it works equally well in freshwater when distance is important. The reason Jim designed this line was for anglers who prefer to cast long distances of up to 100 feet. Jim found this line to be very useful on many of our big wide rivers on the west coast where casting distance is important. What we like about this type of line is if you wish to fish close in, say 20 to 30 feet, you can easily do this. Simply roll cast some of the sinking line. Short leaders seem to work best with these lines. We usually run about 4 feet of leader off fly line when fishing for Steelhead or Salmon. The best way to cast this type of line is to get the color change to your rod tip and roll cast your line to the surface and then immediately make a single false cast and then shoot it where you want it to go. The favorite size for most blue water fishing, including fishing for Billfish is the TS-550 which is perfect for quick casting and excellent balance to turn over large flies. The TS-550 is perfect for fast action 12 weight rods.  For slower action 12-weight rods or 11-weight rods try the 450-grain line.  The 350-grain line works well for 10-weight rods.  The 250-grain rod cast well on #9 and #8 weight rods.

Size

Line Color

Total length

Sink Rate

Price

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250 grain

Tan

100'

6 ips

$60.00

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350 grain Goldenrod 100' 7 ips $60.00

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450 grain Green 100' 8 ips $60.00

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550 grain Puple 100' 9 ips $60.00

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650 grain Blue 100' 9.5 ips $60.00

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750 grain Orange 100' 10 ips $60.00

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Salmon Fly Hatch Patterns

An angler catching trout during the salmon fly hatch.

Dry Flies to Match the Hatches.
New Patterns
Salmon Fly Hatch Kit
Little Stones
Realistic Big Stones
Clark Stones
Traditional Big Stones
Fresh hatched Salmon Fly. In our region, stone flies hatch from January through August. There are at least two dozen species which are important in the adult stage to the trout angler. These range between the tiny Winter Blacks (3/8") to the giant Salmon Fly (over 2").  The Salmon fly hatch on Oregon's Deschutes in May/June, is arguably the best dry fly fishing the Pacific Northwest has to offer. The hatch starts at the mouth of the river in the first week of May. By May 25th there are usually a few Salmon Flies at Warm Springs. The first week in June is peak for the best fifty miles, between Maupin and Warm Springs. The hatch trickles off through June and there are scattered salmon flies around Pelton Dam most 
years until nearly the first of July. The so-called hatch occurs when the nymphs crawl out of the water.  The nymphs will usually seek out tree trunks or other vegetation or any solid but porous structure where the claws of the nymphal feet will stay fastened securely so emergence of the adult insect can progress with out interruption.  Since this hatch happens on land, it is of small importance to fishing in comparison to may fly or caddis hatches that happen at the surface of water.  Most of the actual "hatching" happens at night or early in the morning.

Salmon Fly in the grass.


hatching Golden Stone…Deschutes
It can continue in daylight hours on cloud cover days or in deeply shaded areas.   It is after the insects have hatched and have become active adults that they become important as trout food.  During the night adult salmon flies become inactive.  Their favorite places to rest or mate is in the streamside vegetation.  Much of this vegetation over hangs the water.  In the mid to late morning as the air temperatures rise, the adults become active and start crawling and flying around.  They are clumsy and some will inevitably land in the water. It is at the river's edge that the best dry fly action usually occurs.  Since the majority of the salmon flies are concentrated around the water, the
trout will take up stations under overhanging trees and grass.  Casting your salmon fly imitation up stream under the over hanging trees has always been one of the secrets to successfully fishing the hatch.  During the warm part of the day there will be a fairly constant rain of fluttering and flopping bugs onto the water.  Pin-point casting accuracy is much more important than delicate casts.  Real salmon flies are heavy and Salmon Fly with tattered wings at the end of the line.

hit the water hard.  The perfect set-up is a medium fast action six weight rod, and a 6'-7' long leader tapered down to 3X.  You need to be able to poke the fly under low hanging branches and through holes in the brush.  In many ways fishing the salmon fly hatch has more in common with bass bugging that classic dry fly fishing. 
Golden Stones, Olive Stones and Yellow Sally Stones are important before, during and after the Salmon Fly Hatch. Little Olive Stones tend to precede the Salmon Fly Hatch by a week or two.  They remain available to fish throughout most of the

 "big" hatch and disappear about the same time as the Salmon Flies.  Golden Stones usually linger on for a while.  They are replaced by Yellow Sallys which bright yellow and are size #14 to #16.

Links to Information on Stoneflies
Stoneflies of the United States
PLECOPTERA
Stoneflies


Salmon Fly Hatch Equalizer Kit
Bullet Head Salmon

Bullet Head Golden

Clark Stone

Improved Sofa Pillow

Robotic Salmon Fly

Norm Wood Special

The salmon Fly Hatch is arguably the best dry fly fishing west of the Rockies.  Here is an assortment of dry flies that will give you the edge when fishing this hatch.  It contains (2) each of the six following patterns: Bullet Head Salmon, Bullet Head Golden, Clark Stone, Improved Sofa Pillow, Robotic Salmon Fly & Norm Wood Special.  There are 12 flies total.  Price includes shipping in U.S.

Item Description Price  To Top
SALEQUAL Salmon Fly Equalizer Kit $20.95

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New Salmon Fly Hatch Dry Flies
Parachute Salmon Yummy Drown Salmon Egg Layer Chew Toy
Fish eye veiw.

How does a fish view your fly?  You can never be sure.  What was the last guy using that fished your next piece of water? If you believe that fish have any capacity to remember, it might be to your advantage to use a slightly different fly. This is certainly true of super-hatches such as the "Salmon Fly Hatch".  You know the fish are going to eat, but you also know that the are going to get more educated as the season progresses.  If they get stuck a number of times while eating Sofa Pillows, they are going to loose their taste for Sofa Pillows.


Parachute Salmon Fly
This bizarre looking fly will float without having been treated without dry fly foatant.  Even when the body and legs are completely awash the "strike indicator" tuft of white poly yarn can be seen by the angler.  We do recommend that this yarn tuft be treated with silicone floatant to make this fly perform even better. 

Parachute Salmon Fly

Item Description Size Price To Top
060300-04 Parachute Salmon Fly 4 3 for $5.95

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Yummy Mummie
This pattern has so many wiggly tails, legs and feelers that it "crawls" across the surface of the water.  This is an excellent change-up fly and you know that probably no one else on the water has anything similar.  The Yummy Mummie is impossible to sink in even the roughest water.  If it gets pulled under, it will pop back to the surface.

Yummy Mummie

Item Description Size Price To Top
06641-04 Yummy Mummies 4 3 for $5.95

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Drown Salmon Fly
When big old wise trout get nicked with dry flies a couple of times they can quit feeding on the surface entirely.  Often they will station up below a current that pulls naturals under and feed only on drown Salmon Flies.

Drown Salmon Fly

Item Description Size Price To Top
06318-04 Drown Salmon Fly 4 3 for $5.85

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Egg Layer Salmon Fly
From our observations, Female Salmon Flies lay egg several ways. Some times they skitter across the surface exuding eggs as the go. Other times they drop eggs while flying. It is the former mode that is of interest to the angler. Salmon Flies laying eggs with their egg ball intact and the abdomen flush with the surface or slightly below the surface can be a prime target for feeding trout. This is a great fly for that reason.

Egg Layer Salmon Fly

Item Description Size Price To Top
200755-04 Egg Layer Salmon Fly 4 3 for $5.85

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Salmon Fly Chew Toy
The Chew Toy is a great searching pattern or change-up fly.
It is easy to cast, easy to see, floats well and is durable.

Salmon Fly Chew Toy

Item Description Size Price To Top
200781-04 Salmon Fly Chew Toy 4 3 for $5.85

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Ohio Steel  By: Mikey Wier

Mikey Wier

We fished the northeast corner of Ohio, were the Chagrin, Conneaut, Grand, and Ashtabula Rivers flow. That Chagrin River chromer took a size 14 caddis pupa swung on a floating SA Steelhead Taper line with a stout 6 wt. rod.  She was just one of many fish we hooked in the few hours we fished that river. We encountered a pod of fish that were on the move and on the bite. The hookup rates were better than any other steelhead fishing I have ever done, an average of three an hour.  Swinging and drifting

nymphs and egg patterns proved to be deadly on the smaller rivers. But, by far the best grab of the trip was a nice 8-pounder that took a streamer on the swing, almost yanked the rod from my hand, a spey rod, too. That was on the Grand river.

Mikey Weir is a guide in the Tahoe/Reno/Truckee area. He has fly fishing videos/DVDs. He is a professional snowboarder (who isn’t) in the winter. I guess he has been in the X-Games and quite a few international events and he is the snowboarder in the new SA ads. He is a very nice guy who is real fishing bum. Broke, ties at night, hikes and camps, etc.  Brian O'Keefe


Have you put it on the calendar & booked your motel/hotel room for:
The Greatest Spey Rod Party On Earth?
The Sandy River Spey Clave, May 13-14, at Oxbow Park on the Sandy River
Don't miss: Dr. Way Yin - May 13, 2:30-3:00pm
Dr. Way Yin

 "Way is an FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor, a FFF Certified Two-Handed Casting Instructor, and a House of Hardy Certified single and two-handed casting instructor. He was also the first American to be awarded the Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors (AAPGAI) Master Instructor Certification. He is a student of casting, both overhead and Spey, and has focused on quantifying the mechanics of fly-casting as they apply to Spey-style casts with single and two-handed rods.? Way designed the Scientific Anglers XLT long belly fly line, and has worked closely with Scott Fly Rods on their two-handed rod designs. He has been featured with his friend, Steve Choate, in: "The Art of Spey Casting" DVD, by Miracle Productions, and co-produced a new instructional DVD called "Spey to Z" with his friends Topher Browne and Greg Pearson, due for release in mid-2006. Way enjoys fishing for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest, Atlantic Salmon on Russia's Kola Peninsula, and permit in the Florida Keys."
A sneak preview of 
"Spey to Z" will be shown at The Sandy River Spey Clave


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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