Sailfish Easy!
Belize Bonefish & Permit!
New Spey Line
Bug Dope
Fly Tying Kit
Spey Casting School

All pictures are mouse-over.

Patty Barnes fights the best fish of the trip for 70 minutes.

Sailfishing out of Manzanillo, Mexico
by Mark Bachmann
Patty and I along with Jeff and Tilda Runner fished four days with Captain Fabian Michel out of Manzanillo, (Man-zen-ee-oe) Mexico. Fabian owns the 45' diesel cruiser Lori V.  Our excursion lasted four days November 13-16, 2001.  Our first day was a bust.  The second day Jeff and I each landed our first sailfish.  The next day Tilda 

and Patty landed their first sailfish.  The last day Jeff and I landed a sailfish apiece. In the four days, we hooked a total of eight and landed six.  None of us had ever caught any kind of bill fish before. Manzanillo is a very modern sea port city located on the Central Pacific coast of Mexico at about latitude 19 degrees.  It is a major commercial deep water port, with many large overseas 

Patty's fish had evil intensions.

Tilda Runner & Captain Fabian Michel with her first sailfish.

container ships coming in everyday, as well as being a major sport and commercial fishing port.  The Pacific Ocean off Manzanillo is the right temperature for sailfish nearly year round, so there are sailfish there most of the time.  November is considered a prime month to catch these migratory fish.  We joined up with my son and daughter-in-law Troy and Rocio Bachmann who live in 

Mexico.  Troy has fished with Fabian many times.  Troy is the founder of Frontier Flies and our mission was to test some of their new patterns designed by Bill and Kate Howe.  We had no illusions about setting any world records.  There will be time for that in the future. We just wanted to hook some sailfish and get a feel for how to play them, etc. This was a relaxation / learning trip.  We put two lavender K.T. Fat Albert Squids on the out riggers.  They 

Jeff Runner & the first sailfish of the trip.

Mark Bachmann and Fabian with Mark's second sailfish.

were each attached to two Scott HeliPly fly rods with Ross Canyon Big Game #8 fly reels loaded with fast sinking shooting head lines and 400 yards of backing.   Inside the squids were about 12" of stranded nylon rope.  Sailfish take their prey by first striking it with their bill and then coming back to pick up the stunned fish.  A sailfish bill is covered with little jaggers like Velcro.  When the bill strikes a piece of frayed out nylon rope it sticks as well as any 

hook in the mouth.  This is a great approach for catch and release since there is no wound and no bleeding.  The captain and his crew were very careful that all of the strands of nylon were removed from all of the fish before they were released.  This approach doesn't conform to I.G.F.A standards and will undoubtedly be looked down upon by some veteran salt water fly fishers.  No doubt this approach takes less skill than teasing up a fish and then casting to it.  Oh, well.  It's kind of like trolling Wooly Buggers behind your float tube in a lake, except that here the fish are from 8' to 9' long.  Guaranteed, catching sailfish by this method is a lot of fun.

Our fish weighed from about 65 to 80 pounds.  These are about average sailfish for this area although 130 pound specimens have been caught out of Manzanillo. By most standards, our gear was considered heavy for the fish we caught.  We used Troy's rods, and they are #14 and #15 weight.  Every fish ripped at least 250 yards into the backing, and the one that Tilda caught would have spooled her if the captain hadn't backed up the boat.  One thing you learn is that it takes a long time to crank 300 yards of backing onto the reel. The battles lasted from 40 to 70 minutes. Even though most of the fish were of similar size, their performances varied considerably.  My first fish, which was the smallest we caught, was pretty tame.  It jumped five times, ran 300 yards into the backing and gave up.  It came to the boat in 40 minutes.  My second fish was about 75 pounds.  It jumped 11 times, ran 350 yards into the backing and continued to take line even though the boat was backing down.  After a determined struggle, this fish was landed about 55 minutes later.  When it came to the boat, the first mate Jorge easily grabbed it by the bill and hauled it onboard.  Most of the other fish were similar.  Not so Patty's fish, which was also about 75 pounds.  It jumped repeatedly at the start.  Then slugged it out for an hour under brutal tension from the rod.  It had to be brought to the boat repeatedly.  Each time it would try to slap someone with its bill and one time it nearly jumped into the boat.  Jorge finally hauled this vindictive thrashing monster into the boat 70 minutes after it was first on the reel.

Famous for bonfish, tarpon & permit!

"We're talkin'

Beeg Permits

  PLEASE JOIN US - Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 1 to 5 P.M.
  "yo' want to catch beeg permits & bonefish mon, ...yo' come to Belize"
"yo' want to know how?"
Paul Franklin for his exciting slide presentation 
  about flats fishing at: 
Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize, Central America
  Includes information on catching Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit.
  Saltwater Fly Tying Round Table.  Bring your fly tying gear!
  Refreshments will be served.
  1:00 - 5:00 P.M.  FREE! 

Airflo Delta Spey Line Airflo Delta Spey Line
Brand New On The Riverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Designed and tested by such local luminaries such as Dec Hogan, John Hazel, Tim Raejef and Brian Silvey, this new line has a very familiar weight forward configuration, but with some very worthwhile technological improvements.  Computer designed taper design helps turnover at all distances.  Super slick finish. 5 year guarantee.
Item Description Price To Top
99144 Airflo Floating Delta Spey Line WF 8/9 $65.95

99143 Airflo Floating Delta Spey Line WF 9/10 $65.95


Ultrathon keeps bugs from biting! 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent
So here you are adjusting your tan in that tropical paradise 3000+ miles from home and everything is perfect, except for the biting little critters hatching out of the freshwater boat basin at your back. They are microscopic flying things, but they carry a biter the size of a pitch fork and leave a welt the size of a Deschutes strike indicator.  No big deal.  You reach for your Ultrathon and spoil all of their fun. Joking aside, this stuff really works.  It was first produced under military contract for "Desert Storm".  Apply a thin coat to all exposed areas of skin.  It lasts for hours.  
Doesn't seem to harm fly lines etc.  Contains no DEET.
Item Description Price To Top
BUGDOPE 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent $9.95


Helps you learn to tie flies quickly. Great Christmas Present!
Umpqua Feather Merchants Beginning Fly Tying Kit
This is undoubtedly the nicest packaged, best organized, highest quality beginner fly tying kit that is available in this price range.  The kit is complete with tools, materials, well illustrated instructions and even sample flies to copy.  The high quality tools include a vise, scissors bodkin and head cement.  The practical assortment of high quality tying materials have been chosen to allow the beginner to learn easily.  Who ever receives this kit for Christmas can be tying quality flies the same day.  
Item Description Price To Top
FLYTIEKIT Umpqua Feather Merchants Beginning Fly Tying Kit $54.95


Spey Casting Schools at the Fly fishing Shop
George Cook Spey Casting School - January 12, 2002

George Cook is the guy in the Sage "Tight Loops" poster of the 1990's.  He taught the "Sage Fly Fishing Schools" in the 1980's and has great casting and communication skills. He is an instructor's instructor.  We are fortunate to be able to offer this in-depth problem solving class.    George Cook with a world class Arctic Char caught with a Sage spey rod.

This class is for right handed casters only and will deal with the most efficient methods of casting from the river left position. It will cover Single Spey, Snake Roll & Snap-T casts with both floating and sinking tip lines.  Each class is limited to (6) students.  You will get lots of hands on, personalized help.  
Be sure to sign up early. 

Item Description Price  
GCSC-M George Cook Spey School - Morning
(2 openings left)
GCSC-A George Cook Spey School - After Noon
(1 opening left)

Got an idea for the "Insider", or a subject you would like to have discussed?
Drop us a line:

Record Runs of Steelhead, Chinook and Coho are expected in 2001.
Columbia River
DAILY Fish Counts

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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