Summer Steelhead Prep, Loreto, MX In The Fall,
Mark's Sardina Still The Best.

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Summer Steelhead Prep
Loreto In The Fall
Mark's Sardina Still Best
Summer Steelhead Tackle Prep
Looking Good is part of the game! All gear needs to be maintained.
The gear that gets maintained the best is more comfortable to use, and lasts longer. It also makes you look smarter, and allows you to be more successful. Successful anglers just look happier.
: Now is a good time to inspect every rod you might use in the up-coming season. Check out the cork, reel seat, guide wraps & ferrules. If something is needed, we can help facilitate repairs with Sage, G. Loomis, Winston, Beulah, Echo & TFO. Use candle wax on your ferrules to keep them from coming apart while fishing and to keep them from sticking together when you need to disassemble your rod. Buy a white candle and wax your ferrules every fourth trip. Now is also a good time to assess the rods in your stable. Is it time to pull the trigger on that new special rod you were wishing for last fall?
Reels: All reels need maintenance, even the ones that advertise that they don't. Inspect all your steelhead reels for handles and spools that need a drop of oil on the spindle, or drag components that don't turn as smooth as they once did. Also inspect for screws that might have worked loose. Don't be afraid to bring them to the shop for our inspection. We will be glad to help.
Backing: Most backing used behind fly lines today are pretty much non-biodegradable unless it has had extended use in the hot sun. However, the connections between backing and fly lines sometimes do wear out. It is a good idea to inspect the junction between your backing and fly line.
Shooting Line: Most anglers fishing for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest are using Spey gear and a shooting head set-up. Shooting lines take a lot of abuse, and often need to be replaced every season. There is nothing that will restrict your casting distance, or get into your head worse than a worn or twisted shooting line. At the very least you should clean your shooting line every other trip. Even mono shooting lines get dirty, and all dirt is abrasive, which adds friction, which cuts casting distance and causes tangles. Fly Line Dressing and Cleaners
Shooting Heads: This part of your line actually lasts the longest, but even this part of the line does eventually wear out. Like your shooting line, the way to make heads last longer is to keep them clean. Clean lines mend easier after the cast is made.
PolyLeader & Sinking Tips: These parts of your line take maximum abuse, even when used by a highly skilled angler. If you are a hacker, they take even more abuse. Check them often, like as in every time you throw a bad cast.
Leaders &  Tippet: This is the part of your terminal tackle that really takes a beating This is also the weakest link between you and any fish. Continually check for wind-knots, tangles and abrasions. Learn to tie knots efficiently. Replace your spools of tippet every season. You'll be glad.
Flies: Flies need to be maintained. Nothing is more worthless that a dull or rusty hook. Rust is infectious, and one rusty hook can contaminate a whole fly box. Get rid of rusty hooks and sharpen dull ones. Check for loose thread, or broken ribs.
There are storage fly boxes, and working fly boxes. Storage boxes are the ones that hold the back-stock of flies in the boat or in the car. Working boxes are the ones you carry while fishing. For working boxes, nothing beats clips for organization of standard steelhead flies! They allow you to see every fly in a box. They make changing flies quick and easy. Wheatley builds the best boxes for traditional steelhead/salmon flies.
No doubt The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon / are the biggest players in the steelhead fly game. We sell more steelhead flies than the next three largest outfits combined. We know steelhead flies! Because of changes in the costs of of international labor and shipping, steelhead flies will be in short supply this fall season. Buy or tie your flies now!

"Some Guys like to wear Armani. I'd rather wear Simms, so I do." Mark Bachmann
Waders: All waders eventually leak from wear and tear. Be prepared with a wader repair kit:   Inspect your waders before the water temperature starts to drop. The fall season is closer than you think. Do your wader repair while the weather is hot. If you have seepers, now is the time to fix them, or send your waders to the manufacturer for a tune-up. If you have questions, don't hesitate to call us. Or bring your clean, dry waders to us for appraisal.
Wading Shoes: No other piece of equipment determines your comfort, safety and performance more than your wading shoes. Every great cast starts from the bottom of your feet. Our steelhead fishing involves wading...heavy duty wading. Wading is as much an art-form as casting. Inspect your shoe soles. replace any warn cleats. Or bring your clean, dry wading shoes to us for a traction up-grade and we'll save you a lot of hassle. Buy TWO pair of shoe laces, one for replacement now, the other to stash in your wader bag for a back-up.
Wading Jacket: Inspect your jacket for any tears or abrasions, lost zipper pulls, waorn out zippers, worn out Velcro. Repairs are conducted the same as your waders.
Underwear: Never wear cotton under your waders, even during the summer. Cotton traps perspiration and breads all kinds of irritations when it is damp. Wear synthetics or wool under your waders. Simms WaderWick is the best. Fleece is the best under-wader insulation. Remember, even when the water is 70-degrees, it is colder than your skin and will suck your body temperature during extended wading periods. Your coordination suffers as your core temperature goes down.
Polarized Glasses: Protect your face from flying objects. Polarized glasses can be a fashion statement, and allow you to see everything around you in sharper detail. Polarized glasses enable you to see into water more clearly. They also protect your face from any flying objects such as insects, and of course errant casts. Large lenses protect more of your face better than small lenses. Inspect the lenses on your glasses for chips and scratches. Nothing impairs your vision like a scratch in the wrong place. Tighten screws in the hinges when needed. When you are not wearing your glasses, put them in a case. Put the case in your tackle bag.
Organization: You can never be too organized. Organize your gear in appropriate cargo carriers and bags. Water repellant is a good feature for gear storage.
Fishing Reports: Water Levels, Weather Reports, MultiMap on one page!
Dam Counts: 7-Day and YTD Counts

Loreto, Mexico Bluewater Fly Fishing 2013 - Time to book!

 Roosterfish/Yellowtail/Dorado: October 29 - November 5, 2013
What you can expect in the late fall around Loreto.
Review the June trip report: 2013   (10) More Trip Reports
Accommodations now at: Hotel La Mission.  No Price Increase for 2013 !

Dorado average 5-30 pounds, but 40 pound dorado are common most years, and fish over 50-pounds are available at times.
Join Mark Bachmann and Patty Barnes for an adventure in bluewater fly fishing.  Loreto, Mexico has long been regarded as one of the best Dorado ports in the world. Striped Marlin and Pacific Sailfish compliment your fly fishing menu along with Pacific Bonito and highly prized Rooster Fish.  The scenery is spectacular, featuring a starkly rugged desert contrasting with dark blue water.  The weather will be hot and and your clothing will be skimpy.  Fishing periods start at daylight and end in the early afternoon, allowing for lots of leisure time around the pool or walks into town.  There is also plenty of time for what may be the best of all Mexican traditions, the siesta.  As with any trip of this nature, the "destination operation" has a great deal of influence on your enjoyment. 

Patty Barnes with a Roosterfish, caught June 26, 2009...
Roosterfish average 5-30 pound, but 50 pound roosters are available at times.

We have chosen the most practical accommodations and the most experienced fly fishing guides in the area.  You will be provided with a spacious air conditioned beach front room at Hotel La Mission.  Guides, boats and fishing logistics are provided by Baja Big Fish Company.  In this trip all of the bases have been covered and all of the tricky details are dealt with.  
Mark & Patty with skipjack tuna, June 28, 2009
Skipjack tuna average 5-15 pounds, but pull very hard for their size.
Items such as Mexican Fishing License, bait for chum, lunches, water in the boat, are covered in the package price.  You show up at the Loreto Airport with your fishing gear and luggage and a nice lady will be waiting with a couple of very large vans and and a crew to transport you to your hotel and your room.  Mark and Patty will be there to help you get settled in and show you around. That evening there will be a group meeting to orient you for the fishing that will occur the next morning.     Loreto Weather Report.

2009 group having dinner at La Pinta Desert Inn...
For a couple of meals, each angler might keep a fish for the chef to prepare a family style feast. This program has been very popular.

To give you as much individual freedom as possible, ground based meals are not provided in the packages.  Hotel La Mission has an excellent restaurant and bar on the property.  There is also a wide variety of other restaurants within easy walking distance.  Cab service is secure and inexpensive.  Shopping, sight seeing  and diving is available for the non-fisher. Hotel La Mission features first class rooms and a spacious pool.

Bruce & Laura Hampton with their guide Fidell landing a dorado, June 30, 2009...
Big, roomy 26' Super Panga boats with Bimini tops are provided.

What can you realistically expect for fishing?  Many of the fish in the Sea of Cortez are very large and can be challenging. If you bring only one outfit make it a #12 weight with 300 yards of backing.  Take the time to learn how to cast it with flies that range from 3" to 9" long.  If you haven't fished bluewater before, expect that there may be a learning curve.  Also expect that your guide will be coaching you during your entire trip.  Your guide shouldn't have to teach you how to cast.  He should spend his time teaching you how to make practical presentations.  The rewards can be incredibly large.  This is a big boy/big girl arena.  Hope you can join us.  This group is limited to 12 anglers. 

June  2003

June 2004

June 2005

June 2006

June 2007 June 2008
June 2009 November 2009 June 2010 June 2011 June 2012
Loreto Equipment List Up-to-date Fishing Report

Hotel La Mission as seen from the Sea of Cortez offers large rooms, a five star rating, and convenient access to the Loreto Marina. Cell service and Wi-Fi are very modern.

Rooms feature either a king or two double beds to accommodate a couple or two singles.
Roosterfish/Yellowtail Trip: October 29 - November 5, 2013
7-nights, 6-days fishing

Arrive: Wednesday, October 29
Fish: October 30 through November 4,  = (6) days
Depart:  Wednesday, November 5, 2013
Stay At: Hotel La Mission, Deluxe Rooms, 6 days 7 nights 
Includes: all ground transfers, bait for chum, licenses, lunches with beers and water in each boat.
Not included in the price are: on-shore meals, tips to guides, airfare, or items of a personal nature.
Fishing: days are 8-hours on the water.   Usual 6:30am - 2:30pm
Boats are large, modern 26' Super Pangas rigged for fly fishing.

Check your connection time in LAX. 
You will want a layover of at least 2-hours to clear customs and make connecting flights.

This trip is based on double occupancy in rooms and boats.  It is designed to accommodate fishing couples or fishing pairs.  This trip will only be booked for two people fishing together and rooming together.  Single anglers may apply, but will only be booked if a suitable fishing/room partner can be found.

Description Price To Top
Loreto, Mexico - Hosted Trip - October 29 - November 5, 2013 Trip: 7-nights, 6-days fishing deluxe package: Full price is $1850 per person, a deposit payment of $850 holds your dates, an additional final payment of $1000 is required by September 1, 2013. Deposits are not refundable after September 1, 2013. Deposit!
Sale Ended
Mark's Mighty Sardina 
The best bullets for your bluewater big-fish gun.

Buy Mark's Sardina Flies Now !!!

More Information

Sardina Chronicles

Planning a trip to the Sea of Cortez or the Pacific Coast of Mexico or Central America?
YOU NEED THIS FLY !!! (If you are lucky, you will need several dozen!!!)
There are many baitfish Worldwide that have similar size, shape and coloration to the Sardinas.
Everything eats the Mark's Sardina Fly! Roosterfish, dorado, jacks, snappers, and even sailfish have been taken with the Mark's Sardina. A Mark's Sardina in the 2/0-5" size is the most indispensible saltwater fly for the tropical Mexican and Central American coastal region. Be sure to take at least a dozen, because they will get chewed up if you use them.
For best results fish from a boat. Use a ten to twelve weight rod equipped with Rio's OutBound Tropical Intermediate line for dorado & roosterfish. Basking sailfish can be chummed with live sardinas and caught using this same line. Be sure to use a bite tippet for dorado and sailfish. Rio's DeepSea and Leviathan lines are real assets when fishing the Mark's Sardina for shore line fish such as pargo and cabrilla.
Mark's Sardinas are constructed on Gamakatsu hooks using the most abrasion resistant synthetic materials, as well as the most durable adhesives and coatings.  However, many  species of saltwater game fish have very sharp teeth and heavy jaw muscles. Take replacement flies.
The Evolution Of A Fly

Some guys just buy flies and tie them on when a guide tells them to.  Others like myself tie many of their own flies and are always looking for something that will do a better job.  Some fish are very selective in what they eat.  They have discerning eyes and can detect the difference between the fake and the real thing.  Particular populations of spring creek trout are legendary for their selectivity on certain hatches.  Many species of saltwater fish are at least as capable at detecting phony prey.  In the Sea of Cortez and along the Mexican Pacific Coast there are a host of hard pulling fish that eat Sardinas.  Many of these fish are extremely selective as to the size, color and movements of Sardinas. In the beginning, we used several of the established sardine and herring fly patterns. Fish would often charge our fly from many feet away only to reject and turn away only a few inches from the fly. It became apparent that a better Sardina fly was needed.  The process listed here is an abbreviated version of a three-season experiment to evolve the perfect Sardina fly.

Sardina or Flatiron Herring, Harengula thrissina: The Sardina, or Flatiron Herring, has a moderately deep body, iridescent olive/brown back, golden yellow lateral stripe, silver sides, and a black spot just behind the top of the gill cover. The Sardina, cannot be easily confused with any other sardine or herring due to its wide body and lack of elongated dorsal fin rays. Average size is 5-inches.  It reaches a length of 7-inches and is virtually weightless. It is normally found in the first 30 feet of the water column in massive schools over sandy bottoms.  In Mexican waters, it is found along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula south of Guerrero Negro, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala; it does not appear to be present around the oceanic islands, however.  Although it is a herring, in Mexico, this species is almost universally called a “Sardina,” or “sardine,” by natives and tourists alike.  The reason that Sardina are so popular for chum, is that they are easy to obtain and survive for long periods in a live-well bait tank.

My first close encounter with sardinas was in a bait tank in a panga at East Cape in the Sea of Cortez..  Mexican guides harvest them for live bait and chum.  Sardinas are weak swimmers and are easily caught by hand in the tank.  Thus they are easily examined, both in and out of the water.  You would think that this is the perfect opportunity for a fly tier to copy the exact size and color of the organism.  In fact it proved to be the perfect deception.  Sardinas that are in the wild look quite different from the same fish

that have been netted and especially different from one who have spent several hours in a bait tank.  At left is a sardina that has spent most of the day in a bait tank.  Many of the scales are loosend from the body and many are missing all together.

At left is a Photo Shop rendering where I am attempting to turn the fish into a fly on paper.  In the beginning many of my flies contained a lot of silver flash in the sides.  This mimicked the loosened scales of the bait tank fish.  I tied many variations along the same theme.  The more silver

that was tied into the fly, the less strikes I got.  This is because the sides of fresh fish reflect as white instead of silver.  Sardinas have have a prominent false eye spot on the each side that is nearly identical in size as their pupils.  What the exact purpose for this is not known, but tests using

flies with or without the spot weight heavily in favor of the spot.  This kind of research in fly tying ultimately gives the angler a few insights as to how well predator fish see their prey. Indications are that they see what they eat in great detail.  In Mexico sardinas are used extensively as chum to bring sport fish close to the boat where they can be fished with fly gear.  It appears that bait that is fresh with attract more fish than bait that has been getting beat up in the live well for several hours.  Indications are that Dorado, Rooster Fish and Jack Crevelle like there meat fresh and healthy.

Mark's new, proven Sardina flies are assembled by the experts craftsmen at FLYH2O Fly Company and are always available available at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon.
Mark's Sardina Fly
These flies are the ones currently at the top of the Sardina Fly evolution.
Item Description Size Price To Top
06621-1/0 Mark's Sardina Fly 1/0, 4-inch 3 for $23.85 Sale Ended

Mark's Sardina Chronicles
Dorado Fishing
More Dorado Fishing
Even More Dorado Fishing

Send us your Mark's Sardina story with a verifying photo. We will publish your story and picture here in the "Sardina Chronicles (in the format offered below). Any  story accepted during 2012/2013 will qualify the sender for a three fly set of Mark's Sardinas, if they can be shipped to an address in the USA. Send larger format pictures. We will crop them to our own specs. Use 75-words or less. Only fish caught with a genuine Mark's Sardina purchased from The Fly Fishing Shop/ will qualify for publication and free flies.


07/02/13 Loreto, Mexico, Dorado were numerous enough that we had several doubles. T These two, one caught by Mark, one caught by Patty wound up in the net together. these dorado are much larger than they look. A couple of dorado were encountered at daylight. Then there was along period of inactivity. A large Sargasso paddy was finally located around eleven o'clock and fifteen dorado were landed in about an hour. By 2:00 pm we had landed 24 dorado, all on the Mark's Sardina.


06/302/13 Loreto, Mexico, After landing 16 Dorado for the morning, the wind really picked up in the afternoon. We decided to hide in the wind-shadow of Isla del Carmin. Here we found a lone dorado cruising close to shore. Patty landed it on a Mark's Sardina with her first cast. Then a school of Skipjack Tuna moved into where we were parked and we landed 18 of them in about an hour. These fish averaged about five pounds, but were so strong that they provided world class entertainment.

Mark landed his largest Belize Tarpon ever, November 21, 2012. We were motoring out of the mouth of the Belize River, when our guide saw a large tarpon roll. We stopped and anchored up the boat in about 15-feet of water. The heaviest rod in the boat was a 10-weight. As we got better looks at the fish, it became clear that this tackle would be inadequate, but it was all we had.  Several flies were tried and then a 2/0 Mark's Sardina. The fish took and was landed in about an hour. According to the tape measure and the chart, it weighed 103-pounds.

While fishing the Belize River November 20, 2012, Mark landed this nice Snook on a 3/0 Mark's Sardina. "I was blind casting from the boat near a log jam using a fast sinking shooting head on a ten-weight rod when I got a vicious strike. At first we thought it was a small tarpon, but the fish stayed deep and didn't jump. When it finally emerged through the surface of the muddy water, I had landed my largest Snook to date, estimated at 12-pounds." Snooks love Mark's Sardinas, and 1/0 Sardinas are great for searching mangrove shorelines

Mark's Sardina ruled the Sea of Cortez in June, 2011, which was the best season we ever experienced in our 12-year history with Loreto. Our group landed literally over a couple hundred dorado during our 2011 trip, and most were caught with the Mark's Sardina. Live Sardinas are hardy and the Mexican captains use them as live chum. Mark's Sardina was originally tied to match the chum.

Patty Barnes 06/26/09, Loreto, Mexico

On June 26, 2009, Patty Barnes caught this estimated 20-pound rooster fish on a 2/0 Mark's Sardina. We were cruising about 50-yards off the beach south of Loreto, Mexico when a group of Roosterfish were chummed to the boat with live Sardinas. A fifty foot cast landed the fly  about six feet in front of the closest fish. Patty gave the fly a long strip and the fish took without hesitation. The fight lasted about 20-minutes. The fish was quickly photographed and the turned loose.

Mark & Patty with Skipjack Tuna 07/05/09, Loreto, Mexico.

On July 07, 2009 Mark & Patty were with Captain Eulogio Davis Sanchez south of Point Lobo at Isla del Carmen out of Loreto, MX. They became surrounded by a large school of Black Skipjack Tuna, which are incredibly hard fighting fish for their size. These tuna were working a natural school of baitfish, and no chum was needed. Each angler landed three fish before the school was out of range. Both anglers were exhausted when the encounter was over. All fish were caught on a #2/0 Mark's Sardina

Mark Bachmann landed this dorado on a Mark's Sardina fly 07/04/08

On July 04, 2008 Mark and Patty each boated over two dozen dorado with the Mark's Sardina fly. Schools of dorado could have been measured in acres, or hundreds of fish. There were so many fish that we were exhausted and back at the hotel by noon. A few fish were in the high teens. Most were above twenty pounds. We each caught dorado in the forty pound range. The strikes were ferocious. The fish were clean and strong. We each wore out several flies, and out-fished all the bait fishermen around us.

Patty and a dorado 07/05/09

On July 05, 2008 Patty landed this giant dorado with the Mark's Sardina fly. We were about thirty miles off-shore when we found a school of larger than average dorado. Patty cast to the largest fish and it took the fly readily. After a battle of over an hour the fish was landed and thought to be a new women's world record. Unfortunately it took over four hours to locate the person with the certified scale. During this time the fish lost quite a bit of weight from dehydration and weighed 3-ounces less than the world record of 42 lb. 11 oz.

Mark's world record Yellowtail, 06/28/09, Loreto, Mexico.

On April 28, 2006 Mark Bachmann took the current #20 IGFA World Record California Yellowtail with a prototype Mark's Sardinia. The fish was observed cruising close to shore in comparatively shallow water. It took the fly without hesitation and ran for deep water. The battle lasted about 45-minutes. This fish weighed 31-pounds.

Fish long & prosper,
Mark, Patty & Crew

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
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