Loreto, MX Trip Report, Saltwater Fly Rods, Fly Tying Materials

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Loreto Trip Report - Fall 2013
Fished five of our normal six days, got blown out one day, and took a side trip to San Javier Mission about 30 mile out of Loreto Mexico. Fishing conditions were a little on the though side. The days we did get to fish were breezy with bouncy boat rides. There was a big storm hanging around the southern end of the Baja that kept stirring up our weather. Two weeks before our arrival a storm had moved through the area that had left 16-inches of rain in 24-hours. Normally dry river beds became raging torrents that in places moved around SUV size boulders, (and some houses too).
Upon our arrival, there was still a fair amount of water in the streets in Loreto. A strong tropical depression about a hundred miles south of Cabo San Lucas kept firing squalls at us from that direction, and a powerful jet stream from the north found a convenient path along the Pacific side of the Rockies and then down the Sea of Cortez. It is hard to find shelter in a weather pattern like that.
In spite of our greatly reduced range we were still able to find enough fish to make it interesting. The four of us: Max, Lisa, Patty and I have all been through trips that dished out far more drama and hardship. We adapted to our ever-changing situations, and had a great time going with the flow. Max said he landed five species of game fish that he had never caught before.
We went on this trip specifically for the elusive roosterfish, and we all caught at least one and some anglers caught several. None were the monsters we had seen in the past, but all were a lot of fun. (Above is Max with is first rooster.) Max said he loves his new Beulah Bluewater rod. One of the good things is that they come with a spare rod tip in case of an accident. Max got to use his spare tip beginning on the first day.
Lisa was the only angler in our group that landed a Sierra Mackerel. This one swallowed the fly and was subsequently turned into ceviche.
Predictably, Patty landed the most roosters. Her hot fly, a Mark's Sardina of course. Mark caught several with a Bubble Head Popper. Roosterfish usually get more active as the water warms in the spring or when it starts to cool in the fall.
We caught a lot of shoreline fish besides Roosterfish, such as Pargo, Lady Fish, and Cabrilla. One thing about fishing in the Sea of Cortez, is that you never know what is going to grab your fly. The fish in my hand is called and Orange Cabrilla. It is hard to believe that the coloration wouldn't be a survival handicap.
Mission San Javier: The site was originally inhabited by the Cochimíe Indians, who named the place Viggé Biaundó. Jesuit Father Francisco María Píccolo visited the place on May 11, 1699. He started the construction of a chapel in October of the same year and Father Juan María de Salvatierra dedicated it to All Saints the 1st of November. Father Juan de Ugarte, one of the most esteemed missionaries of the conquest, took charge of the mission in 1701. He introduced cattle breeding, big and small species, developed agriculture and taught the locals to thread and knit wool, not only for themselves, but also for the missionary project in general. The construction of the Church of San Francisco Javier was begun in 1744 by Father Miguel del Barco and was finished in 1759.

Saltwater Fly Rods
Beulah Bluewater Sage Motive
Echo3 Saltwater Sage Xi3
G.Loomis CrossCurrent TFO Bluewater
G.Loomis NRX TFO Mangrove
G.Loomis Pro1 TFO TiCr-X
G.Loomis Pro4X Winston BIIISX
We have grown to love fly fishing in tropical saltwater. We live in northern Oregon, surrounded by cold, swift anadromous fish rivers. So when we go on vacation to provide variety in our lives, we head south where it's warm.
Our first trip to the salt was humbling, but since 1984, we've been lucky enough to get some good advice from some of the best professional guides in the game, and have been very successful in landing many species of athletic, tropical game fish.
I figure we have used about 6-generations of graphite fly rods fishing in tropical and semi-tropical saltwater. We've logged 297 full fishing days, involving 12 destinations, and a tally of 39 different species of game fish landed. Every trip has been worth the money, and if we were wealthier, we would do many more days fishing in warm saltwater.
We have used a lot of different fly rods in past 32 years because we have been well outfitted by the best rod builders in the world (about 8 of them): Sage, G. Loomis, R. L. Winston, Echo, Beulah, TFO, + 3 brands that we don't presently carry: T&T, C.F. Burkheimer & Scott. We have had time to form some opinions about both salwater and freshwater rods.
Why should there be a difference between rods use in saltwater fishing versus freshwater fishing? Actually, any fly rod can be used while fishing in saltwater. Some just offer far more advantages than others.
Here are some of the important things we've learned about saltwater fly rods. First off, salt is a very corrosive substance. It eats bare metal and ruins wood spacers in reel seats. Salt eventually penetrates anywhere it can, so fancy cut-outs and decorative seams in any metal parts just display inexperience on the part of the rod maker (and the angler as well). When you purchase any saltwater gear, keep in mind that you are the one who will have to clean it up after every trip.
Saltwater fish are often larger, and are usually much more powerful for their size than their freshwater cousins. Whereas, the most popular size rod for trout fishing are #4 -#6 weights, the most popular saltwater fly fishing rods are #8 - #12 weights. There are some applications where #6 & #7 weight rods are used in the salt, but not many. The universal length for both fresh water and saltwater rods is 9'. From time to time there have been several companies who have developed saltwater rods as short as 7 1/2 feet long. Short rods are convenient when fishing inside of mangrove tunnels, and shorter rod exert less leverage when playing heavy fish. They are also lighter to cast, but often there is a sacrifice when lifting sunk lines out of the water to recast your fly. Rods longer than nine feet haven't gained popularity either, except for two hand models designed for fishing from the shore. Whereas short rods are a disadvantage for picking-up line off the water, long rods tend to magnify casting accuracy flaws, so nine footers reign at the present time, and that is true of the foreseeable future as well.
Four piece rods are convenient for travelling anglers. Four piece rods will fit inside most travel luggage. Modern ferrules are fairly lightweight and don't interupt the energy flow in a rod in a detectable amount.
There are a few one-piece rods out there, and they are very cool to use, being both lighter and stronger than their multi-piece counterparts. If you are lucky enough to live close to where you fish, and transporting your rods isn't a problem, then by all means check out the PRO-1 rods by G. Loomis.
By its very nature of being more open and exposed to the effects of winds, and the fact that lifting and playing heavier fish is part of the game, fly rods designed for saltwater use tend to be faster action than their freshwater counterparts. Saltwater rods also tend to get banged around in boats, so they are often built with thicker walls, and are slightly heavier in weight than the same size rods designed for fresh water fishing. For rods in the #11-#13 weight range designed for catching fish in the 50-pound plus weight range, a longer handle and extension butt can be an advantage for leverage against a large fish. In the past, several manufacturers offered such rods. Currently, only Sage Xi3 offer rods with longer grips. A larger diameter extension butt is more comfortable when it digs into your belly against the weight of a heavy fish, than is a smaller diameter one. Longer extension butts tend to keep the spinning reel handle from getting caught-up in your clothes. Details like this can make a lot of difference, especially if the fight goes on for more than an hour. some saltwater battles can last several hours.
Larger, stronger line guides are a huge advantage in reducing friction for casting distance and when playing large fish. G. Loomis has a better grasp of this than any of their competitors. The titanium Recoil spring guides they use on their NRX and CrossCurrent Series rods are the largest available from any fly rod manufacturer. If price is a large factor in your next saltwater fly rod purchase, we would advise that you check out the Beulah Bluewater Series. At $385, they each come with a spare tip, rod case & sock, a pretty sweet deal. You better act quickley. We understand that they are soon to be replaced by a newer more expensive nano-resin technology series. By all accounts the new rods are pretty awesome and won't be as expensive and competing nano rods, but will be substantially more than the current models.
Many species of dynamic, athletic game-fish live in saltwater. At this time of year, the most popular saltwater destinations have water temperatures over 75-degrees. Southern Texas through Mexico, Central America, and into Northern South America get the most action from North American anglers. Hawaii, Christmas Island and the South Pacific to the coast of East Africa are becoming more and more popular as these fisheries become better known and transportation becomes easier and more reliable. Saltwater fishing in Southern Mexico and Central America can be very good during the winter when air and water temperatures are near perfect for humans. Both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of this sub-continent provide hundreds of miles of opportunities for fly fishing.
Most of the fish that inhabit water that is less than 30-feet deep or in the top 30-feet of deep water, will eat flies that imitate their prey. Saltwater as a definition for this article equals: oceans, seas, straights, passes, bocas, bays, barras, coves, cuts, kelp, sargasso paddies, mangroves, turtle grass, sandy beaches, pounding breakers, sheer basalt walls & 20-foot swells.  All of these diverse habitats contain beautiful strong fish (many times, in large numbers). They offer incredible adventure. Saltwater is the frontier of fly fishing, and will remain the frontier for years to come, because there is so much of it on our planet. We often think that all saltwater is deep and that most of its fish are out of reach of fly fishers. Our explorations disclose that in fact many fish inhabit a band of water where sunlight penetration mixes with concentrated nutrients and breeds all kinds of life...fish food...to grow larger fly-eating fish! These fish come in many shapes and sizes that have been honed for thousands of generations to cope with survival in the many and varied habitats. Most are very strong!
The Fly Rod Torture Chamber
Big tarpon are probably the hardest fish on fly tackle, but many rods are also broken while fishing for bill fish, and many other bluewater and shoreline species. It is wise to carry spare rods to any saltwater destination. Light tackle is fun, but can fail especially during the final stages of the battle when large fish are next to the boat. This is the period when the heaviest lifting occurs. There are many fish that live in saltwater where scaling down your tackle to make them sporting isn't necessary. For instance landing a 100+ pound tarpon or even a 40+ pound dorado on a ten weight fly rod seems fun at the hook-up, an angler usually wished for a twelve weight at the end of the battle.

Shallow Water (Flats Fishing). 

Flats fishing is all about casting distance and accuracy. Often the exact placement of the fly is the difference between success and failure. The latest generation rods employing nano-resin technology in the construction of the rod blanks are by far more accurate to cast and are far stronger than previous generations of rods. The are hugely expensive, but if you are a serious angler, they are worth the extra money.
Shoreline Fishing
 
Sinking lines are often employed when fishing from a boat while casting toward the shore.  Flies average 3" to 7" long. Be patient and watchful. Learn to cast long, accurate, and quiet. Having several outfits set up to fish from the surface to twenty feet deep is a huge advantage. Good glasses for spotting fish are esential.
Bluewater
This is definitely the big-boy/big-girl arena. Here the fly you are using can be as large as your average spring-creek trout. Some of the fish you might encounter may be over eight feet long. Rods in the #12 - #14 weight are commonplace. Some billfish will jump over thirty times before being landed.
Maintaining Your Saltwater Fly Rods

Fly Tying Materials for the demanding tier!

American Opossum Fur For Tying Flag Flies Now Available!
Angel Hair Fly Tying Demos Rainy's Float Foam
Antron Fly Tying Kit Rhea Intruder Feathers
Arctic Fox Foam Ringneck Pheasant
Articulated Shanks   Fox Tails and Fur   Rubber Legs
Bucktail Goose Feathers Salmon Fly Rope
Beads, Cones, Eyes Golden Pheasant Scud Back
Biots Grizzly Marabou Sculpin Helmets (Heads)
Blue Eared Pheasant   Guinea Feathers   Silicone Legs
CDC Hackle Silver Fox
Cement Head Cements & Glues Spey Hackle
Chenille Hooks Squirrel Tails & Fur
Chicken Feathers Hungarian Partridge Super Hair
  Intruder Wire  
Calf and Goat Hair Jungle Cock, Pro HD Temple Dog
Cam Sigler Popper Heads Lady Amherst's Pheasant Thread
 EP Fibers Lead Wire Tinsel
Deer Body Hair   Marabou, Strung    Turkey Feathers
Diamond Braid   Mayfly Tails   Tube Fly Parts
Dubbing Ostrich Plumes Unique Hair
Duck Feathers Ostrich Plumes, Tip Dyed Vinyl Rib
Edge Bright Ostrich Mini Spey Plumes Waddington Shanks
Finn Raccoon   Peacock Feathers   Wax
Fish Skulls   Pearl Core Braid   Wings & Things
Flashy Fibers   Pro Tubes   Wire
  Floss   Rabbit Fur on the Hide   Yarns
We Know Fly Tying Materials, because we know fly tying!
For the first five years, all the flies sold at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon were tied in-house. Many were tied by school children who went through school with expendable incomes in their pockets. They learned that discipline and hard work bring dividends in life. These kids are all grown and have families of their own. Several now own and operate their own businesses.
Nothing teaches you more about fly tying material than tying thousands of flies. The fly tying materials that we stock are hand picked with loving care.
Many of our closes friends are world renowned fly tiers. Many do demos at our store. Guys like Bruce Berry, Charles St. Pierre, Brian Silvey, Brian Kite, Darian Hyde, and may more make regular guest appearances. Check our our: Events Page for the schedule of events.
No one beats our quality at any price!

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
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490
flyfish@flyfishusa.com

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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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