One of the big challenges associated with finding fly-fishing in Asia is the lack of information available on the web. I am very lucky to have fished with series of fly-fishermen linked from one to the next throughout Asia, starting with my good friend Captain Keiichiro, in Yokohama, Japan. While fishing with Capt. K he informed me of his friend in Hong Kong: Lefty Hama. After having an awesome morning catching Giant Trevally in Hong Kong, Hama informed me that he had a fly-fishing friend in Singapore named Kelvin. It was as if the fly-fishing gods aligned to connect me with fly-fishermen from port to port while traveling on Semester at Sea‘s Spring 2014 Voyage. After a few email exchanges with Kelvin, we set up an afternoon to go fly-fishing for Peacock bass.

Some time ago, Peacock Bass, native to South America, were introduced into Singapore reservoirs by bucket biologists. Peacock bass are considered an invasive species because they compete with native species like snakehead, catfish, and Tiger barb . To anglers, they are a superb game-fish. Akin to Hong Kong, it is quite a commodity to have a quality fishing opportunity involving wild fish so close to a major metropolis.

After we arrived, my wonderful wife and I checked out a little of what Singapore has to offer


Hawker Center Singapore

Hawker Centers are popular among Singaporeans as common place to grab a bite to eat.


She handed me the coveted kitchen pass and I set off to meet up with Kelvin. We drove on the left side of the road (thanks to Singapore’s British Colonial roots) about 20 minutes into the jungle north of the city. After meandering up a winding road draped with high green canopy, we parked and hiked about 30 minutes through the jungle to a reservoir. Kelvin handed me one of his custom tied orange eyed tan clousers striped with green, orange and black markings, similar to the markings on a Peacock bass. He instructed me to cast my 6 wt near a man made structure, let the fly sink for 10 seconds and make medium paced long strips pausing between each strip. On about the 10th cast I felt a large bump, at first I thought I had caught the bottom, but then I felt a stout pull. Adrenaline rush through me as I yelled “FISH ON.” It was a good fish. In-between thinking about grabbing my camera and stripping line to keep this nice fish tight when I missed a strip and the fish came unbuttoned. I couldn’t believe I blew my opportunity to land my first Peacock. I looked at Kelvin in disappointment saying “lets get another.”

We continued fishing the same spot with no more action when Kelvin made the call to venture further into the jungle …


We bushwhacked through dense brush, large trees and downed timber careful not to break our rods



After about 30 minutes, Kelvin showed me a spot where he has had success before. About 15 minutes into casting Kelvin yelled “FISH ON.” I ran over to see a nice bend in his rod.


singapore peacock bass fishing Kelvin-Bent-Rod


It was a nice fish that put up a good fight


Once it turned dark we hiked back experiencing the tropical jungle at night, walking through spider webs, loud exotic birds chirping and flying over head, while keeping an eye out for what is in front of you. It can get creepy in the jungle at night, especially when you see a large black snake quickly slither across the trail in front of you. When the local you are with is obviously concerned about this big ass snake I almost stepped on its probably a good sign that you should get the hell out of there. Bushwhacking through the dark and treacherous jungle did not stop us from trying another spot on the way out at dark. It wasn’t more than 5 casts before I hooked up and landed my first peacock.


It is not everyday you get a chance to catch a Peacock bass at night, so once again I felt blessed by the stars that aligned to make this uniqued experience happen.


Of Colorado’s 22 million acres of public land, the San Juan area (San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests) make up about 3 million acres. Hiking, fishing, camping and biking opportunities are immense. One could spend a lifetime exploring this area and still not see it all.

Colorado san juan mountains scenery

A scenic view of the San Juan Mountains near Dolores Colorado


The following are places I have visited in the area:


Piedra River:

This hike is easily accessible. From Pagosa Springs head north on highway US-160 north to Piedra Rd. Turn Right onto Piedra Rd go about 16 miles and park here. The further you hike in the better the fishing gets. For more information contact Let it Fly.


Rio de los Pinos:

This place is very special. The population of native Rio Grande Cutthroats is isolated from other fish as a waterfall acts as a natural barrier. To get there navigate to Truijillo Meadows Reservoir.

Take the forest road at the end of the reservoir northwest up stream. The road is a bit rough and requires 4 wheel drive. The road dead ends where there is some good primitive car camping spots. Hike the trail up stream, for a few miles. When you see the waterfall the cutthroat population lives above.

The following lakes are rated good or great lakes to catch fish and are most likely to yield fantastic hiking and camping:

Crater Lake

Quartz Lake

Turkey Creek Lake

Upper Four Mile Lake

Fish Lake

Williams Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area

Emerald Lake

Dollar Lake

Flint Lakes

Divide Granite and Elk Lakes

Needle Mountains Lakes

Verde Lakes

Highland Mary Lakes

Lost Lake

Garfield Lakes


For more information visit the Colorado Fishing Atlas or call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Customer Service: 303-297-1192

Or contact local fly shops:

The San Juan Angler: 970-382-9978

Rio Grand Angler: 719-658-2955

Conejos River Anglers: 719-376-5660


An interesting phenomenon throughout Asia is that the term “sport-fishing” is completely incomprehensible to most. A common response one would receive when asking about sport-fishing is “Why would you fish just for sport? You don’t like to eat fish?” No actually, I love eating fish however, I love catching them even more. When I visited Vietnam as a student in 2006, I found this phenomenon to be true. While we still managed to get a line wet and catch a few fish, conservation and sport fishing were two things that just simply aren’t a part of the culture in Vietnam. One thing Vietnam does have is some beautiful beaches. We took the opportunity to visit a Vietnamese island that is situated off the southwest coast of Vietnam just south of Cambodia. Phú Quốc (pronounced FU-QUAW) is a quaint Island with a laid back tropical vibe.

We left Ho Chi Minh city early in the morning, after a 45 minute flight we arrived in Phú Quốc with a full beach day ahead of us. After getting a feel for the island, the beach, and our simple beach hotel we hit up the Dinh Cau Night Market. A bustling street filled with restaurants boasting the daily catch in large bins filled with ice. It was a miniature Tsujiki Fish Market in regards to the fact that it seemed to have everything imaginable that lives the ocean. Crustaceans, snakes, lobsters, prawns, and multiple species of fish.

Dinh Cau Night Fish Market

A hot chick I picked up off the street next to everything imaginable out of the ocean. I told the owner of this stand that he shouldn’t buy such small fish (while pointing at the baby Red snapper in the middle). He responded saying “Its okay, not a problem.” And I told him, “if they continue to kill little fish like that it is going to be a BIG problem. There are not going to any fish left.” Hopefully he understood me.


The aroma of fresh fish on the grill constantly flirted with our nostrils as we walked through the busy street lined with fresh seafood. It was quite the sensation. One particular stand caught my attention:

Giant Trevally at Fish Market

Fresh Fish at Phu Quac Night Fish Market

I pointed at the Giant Trevally on the left asking the lady at the stand “Was this caught around here?” She replied, “Yes.” While pointing at the ocean behind her. My excitement immediately rose as I just caught a GT about half that size in Hong Kong which gave me a good fight, a small burst of adrenaline rushed through me as I imaged the fight this fish would yield.

One of my most vivid memories from being in Vietnam in 2006, was eating the fattest most juicy prawns you could imagine. I convinced our group they shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity. So we ordered a kilo of grilled prawns:

vietnam grilled prawns, seafood, delicious food from the ocean

Fresh grilled prawns served  with simply salt, pepper and lime.

As promised to my wife, Sara (the wonderful wife that she is), we spent the following couple of days relaxing on the beach. It was great to sit back, enjoy the ocean, and the 80 degree weather with a luke-warm breeze flowing through the palm trees that sat high above the khaki sand beach. Although, while we were relaxing, contemplating how far that GT at the fish market would take me into my backing was constantly trifling me. How was I going to make keep my promise to my wife of a relaxed beach vacation, yet, somehow get a shot at hooking one of these impressive fish? Luckily, our group agreed to rent a boat for a day of snorkeling and “fishing.” The Vietnamese tour companies say, “Enjoy a day of snorkeling, fishing and relaxing on a boat tour.” Of course, by fishing they mean baiting a hook, attached to a line that is woven around a plastic spool. In fishing terms, the complete opposite of fly-fishing.

So we set out early, boarding our “boat” for the day. The “boat,” constructed of heavy timber was more like a small barge with a crude inboard engine, some picnic tables, benches and a ladder leading to the roof top for sunbathing. In simple terms, it would suffice for not only spending quality time with Sara, but also getting a line in the water. I rigged my 9 and 12 wt rods with a gummy minnow and a large chartreuse clouser. When fishing in a completely foreign place that has seen very few flies, if any, the gummy minnows are alway a great choice, as well as anything chartreuse, as I once learned from a seasoned guide in Ascension Bay, Mexico; “If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use.”

Boats Phú Quốc, Vietnam

Boats align the harbor in Phú Quốc, Vietnam

We set off, our young Vietnamese captain that spoke little to no english navigated through the many small ships, boats and  small barges just like ours in the harbor. I dropped my full sinking 12 wt line rigged with a barrel swivel tied in the middle of my tippet a couple feet above the clouser. When trolling flies, barrel swivels are very useful so the fly line doesn’t get twisted. Trolling a large fly all day can really twist up fly-line, which takes a lot of work to untwist.

Luckily, our small barge didn’t go faster than the ideal trolling speed (2 to 3 knots). Honestly, I didn’t except to catch anything. I was just happy to be out with my wife and friends, drink a couple of beers, and enjoy the Vietnamese scenery while trolling a fly. We were no more than 100 yards outside of the last boat in the harbor when I was jigging the fly line giving it some action and I felt a large tug. At first, I thought I had hooked one of the many pieces of trash floating by. However, the tug was pulling hard. When I looked up to see a big boil where my fly was I yelled “FISH ON!” Followed by an immediate, “STOP THE BOAT!” It wasn’t until one of my friends raised his hand like a traffic cop yelling “STOP” for the captain to actually cut the engine. By this time the fish was well into my backing. While my adrenaline was pumping, I tightened my drag as the fish was running hard. I yelled “THOW IT IN REVERSE” to the captain, later realizing how stupid that was of me, not only because he most likely had no clue what I was saying, but more so because there is no way this barge of a boat had a reverse gear. Within moments the fish was well over 100 yards into my backing. I saw big boils in the distance while I tried to keep the pressure on the fish. The fish didn’t let up continuing to run while the sound of “ZZZZZZZZ” was music to my ears, not to mention the extremely large smile on my face. As the fish was now about 200yards into my backing all I could think was at this rate, the fish would spool me in no time, so I gave it some more pressure. Then the absolute worst feeling a fisherman can have, came next. It felt like my feet were swept out from under me as my fly came unbuttoned. It was as if the wind was completely knocked out of me.


Despite the lost fish it was a productive day on the barge, drinking, eating, snorkeling and catching some vietnam D

I’ll never know the size or species of that fish, I can only imagine that it was probably a Giant Trevally just as, if not bigger, than the one I was saw at the Dinh Cau Night Market. Hopefully it continues to swim around the Island of Phú Quốc and never ends up on a tourist’s dinner plate but rather on the end of another sport fisherman’s line who, uncommon to Asian tradition, releases it unharmed.




Manhattan Fly – Offshore Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Manhattan Fly


Long Island Stripers

A couple years back a friend hired a fly fishing guide out of Long Island named Robin Calitri with CSIC Again Charters. Robin not only put him on his first striper on a fly, my friend had a field day on the water, catching stripers left and right. After seeing pictures of him holding good size STRIPPED BASS and BLUEFISH I knew I had to try it out for myself.

My wife is from North Jersey and when we decided to get married on the east coast the first thing that came to mind (besides all those important wedding details) was Striped Bass. The drive from my in-laws in Bergen County, NJ to the North side of Long Island was surprising short. An hour and a half of hectic NY highways, paying tolls and the towering city scape above was a bit different than driving below the high peaks of the Continental Divide that I’m used to in Colorado. Additionally, instead of targeting delicate trout we’re going after a resilient saltwater predator. For that matter, I’ll trade a mountain view and a 4 weight rod for a metropolis view and a 10 weight any day!

We had a couple amazing days on the water. Catching stripers and bluefish over and over. We lost count after about twenty fish the first day while the first fish of the trip was a 32 inch monster. I wish I had caught it later in the trip to really appreciate its hugeness. After catching plenty of fish under 10 pounds that 14 pound 32 inch beast was a great fish to pop my striper cherry.

We caught a number of big fish while one of the 30+ inch fish was tagged by the AMERICAN LITTORAL SOCIETY

Check it out:

An interesting side note, Robin sent the information from the tagged fish into the American Littoral Society. In addition to receiving a patch he found out that two months prior the same fish was caught 60 miles northeast of where he caught it. At that time the fish was 28 inches. That means in two months the fish grew three and a half inches. I wish our docile trout grew that fast!


A Party on the Bighorn

I was freshly engaged a year ago when my best men asked me what I wanted to do for a bachelor party. Well, besides the obvious (That I wanted to party) I wanted to fish. I suggested a destination or two that I knew would yield good fishing. At first, I thought an exotic destination like Cabo, Central America or Cuba would be a great place to party and fish. Bonefish, permit and my favorite: Tarpon, would make for a sweet trip with my best buddies. I then quickly figured out that if you actually want your buddies to show up at your bachelor party AND your destination wedding then having a local and cheap party might be the way to go. Who am I to decide where my own party is anyway? Considering there are a handful of rivers in our neighboring states that I have not been to this local and cheap option sounded good to me.

The Green river below Flaming Gorge dam was the first river my best men suggested. I had never been but had heard good things. We spent months preparing the trip, from reserving a campsite to making sure all attendees had a spot on a boat. The plans were coming together nicely and the flows looked good until a couple weeks before our trip. With record snow pack they began releasing more and more water from the dam the weeks prior to our trip. We remained optimistic until the flows all of the sudden jumped to 8,000 CFS. I’m not really into white water rafting so we immediately established a back up plan: The Bighorn River in Montana.

Less than 8 hours from Denver …

… with 10,000 fish per mile, the Bighorn river offers great fishing

Effective flies on the Bighorn include everything from scuds like the bighorn original Ray Charles, to midges, caddis and San Juan worms. Even big streamers like the Sex Dungeon can be productive

With stream access laws that heavily favor public use, Montana is a great place to visit. The Bighorn has plenty of public use areas to access the river and camp. We camped at a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks property: Bighorn fishing Access site which also served as our take out.

Bighorn’s fish are educated, you must be quick on your hook sets or they’ll spit your fly faster than you think. While everyone in our group caught plenty of fish, even the beginners. One may assume that with 10,000 fish per mile the odds would be in your favor. Although, the fish in the Bighorn seem to fight like larger fish than they actually are. The fish in the Bighorn are wild and will give you and your rod a work-out …

… nothing is better than a hearty post work-out meal after a day spent flexing your guns and your rods

Although the Green River is still high on my must fish list, the high flows before our trip were a blessing in disguise. Fort Smith, MT is not the best place to throw a beer party. It’s a dry Indian reservation so buy your beer before you get there.


Snake River Cutthroat Trout

Snake River Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii ssp are a sub-species of the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri. They are native to the Snake River in Wyoming and Idaho. Even though these colorful fish are not native to Colorado, there’s a good chance of catching one.

Above photo by Mark Hudson

The Colorado Division of Wildlife’s fish hatchery system produces a significant amount of Snake River Cutthroat trout each year

These fish do really well in hatcheries. They have a high survival rate and once stocked they have the potential to grow to trophy size

Snake River Cutthroats are defined by their fine spots and reddish orange coloring

The “Dream Stream” stretch of the South Platte River below Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir holds a healthy population of Snake River Cutthroats


Autumn Spawners

Fall means dropping temperatures, changing colors and good fishing, especially for a certain salmonoid. Native to Europe and western Asia Brown trout, Salmo trutta, first arrived from Germany in 1883. German fish culturist Baron Lucius von Behr shipped 80,000 brown trout eggs to the northeast which were soon after distributed through out the United States. The first documented brows trout eggs to make it to Colorado were shipped from England to a Denver hatchery in 1885. I’m guessing soon after Colorado’s streams and lakes were full of brown trout. The colorful little bastards were invading the waters native cutthroats inhabited for thousands of years, but that’s another story for another time …

Brown trout are said to be the hardest trout to catch, because they are smarter than most trout. For me, that is hard to believe, especially during spawning. This time of year browns boast a bright yellow gold belly and run from lakes up into rivers to spawn. Females push aside rocks and pebbles by fanning their back fin creating an ideal location to lay their eggs. These spawning beds are called redds. After the females lay their eggs the males fertilize the eggs. Typically both males and females become more aggressive during this time of year …
Picture 11
… which makes spawning browns an easy target for anglers …

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Fishing for spawning fish can be exciting at first … but there comes a time when anglers must make a decision as to what exactly is going on. As proud as one may feel catching fish after fish it may not be one’s outstanding angling skills that are enticing these hostile browns to take a fly, spoon or whatever is thrown in their face, but rather the thousands of years of evolutionary instincts instilled in the fishes blood forcing them to be guardians of their offspring. For this reason, some purists refuse to fish for spawning fish …

Picture 12
I am not a purist, but I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between a true purist and a whiskey tango (white trash) bait chucker. I have no problem with fishing for spawning fish … but at the same time I get bored with hammering a pool of fish stacked up, I mean come on, these fish are just trying to get a piece of ass.

Picture 14
Either way, fishing should be about the challenge, the rewarding feeling you get when you work hard at something. When the challenge is taken out of that equation, its hard to get that feeling.

Some Sweet Stuff to Look at:
Potential World Record Brown Trout recently caught in Michigan
Fall Spawning Runs CDOW VIDEO (Including Underwater Spawning Brown Trout)
Meet the Browns By Dennis McKinney

2 years ago I fished Lake El Salto, near Mazatlan Mexico. This desolate desert lake is a renowned bass fishery. Of course catching bass all day was a ton of fun, but what I was really interested in was the off shore opportunities Mazatlan had to offer. Saltwater fishing always intrigued me, maybe because I live no where near saltwater… although the closest sea to Colorado is home to some of the most bio-diverse waters in the world. The Sea of Cortez is a critical feeding, breeding, and nursery ground for some of the
world’s rarest marine animals, including 32 species of marine mammals, 170
species of sea birds, 3,000 species of invertebrates, and 875 species of fish. (Alles)
Photo by Nasa

I have always heard about dorado, Coryphaena hippurus, and how they are voracious predators (we’re talking saltwater dorado, not fresh water dorado from South America). Their elongated bright blue, green and gold body is surrounded by a long dorsal fin spanning from head to tail.
Colorful dorado in water
This unique body design creates a powerful force thrashing and displacing water as they feed on baitfish at speeds up to 50 mph. Dorado, one of the fastest growing fish in the world, also called Dolphin or Mahi Mahi, fight like an Ultimate Fighting Championship heavy weight. Once hooked they make hard runs towards the surface resulting in an acrobatic aerial display pulling drag and fighting hard until the bitter end… just like a seasoned mixed martial arts fighter would.

We hired a guide for a half day and first set out to net live bait. Soon after, we found buoys identifying schools of dorado marked by commercial fisherman. The technique is to chum with live bait and throw spin rods rigged hook-less with bait while trolling. Once you see that rod tip starting to bump and the heads of dorado surfacing clobbering bait fish, its on. Simply throw your fly towards the action and watch as the dorado’s predatory instincts kick in as they inhale your fly.

Once hooked these feisty fighters immediately take you for a ride….
Mazatlan Dorado
jumping and flipping all over

Here’s a nice female dorado, also referred to as a hen…
Hen Dorado
while hens heads are round bull dorado have a protruding head (below)
Colorful Bull
when hooked dorado sparkle like light reflecting off a diamond bursting with a gold shine splattered with neon green and blue markings

After an epic morning catching one after another I was officially obsessed. The non-stop action was insatiable. I immediately told myself I’ve got to get back down here to do this again. I found myself dreaming about dorado feeding ferociously and how insanely hard they fight. Well, it wasn’t until this summer when I considered catching dorado again.

A good friend from my Semester at Sea Spring 2006 voyage has been fishing the Sea of Cortez around the Midriff Islands for over 20 years. Every year a group of 20-30 guys live on an ultimate fishing vessel for a week nomadically fishing the area. When he asked me to join I immediately thought I’d have another shot at some dorado and eagerly agreed to join.

The trip started the last week of July. We boarded a bus in Orange County headed for San Felipe Mexico. After driving from Hot Creek through the night to Orange, CA we spent the majority of the 5 hour drive down the Baja sleeping. I was awoken by a bumpy Mexican road under construction (What roads in Mexico aren’t under construction?). As I squinted and yawned myself awake, I took sight of a sterile desert with wind blown sand drifts and cacti. We were deep in Baja’s far-flung desert.

Upon arrival in San Felipe we got our first look at our new home for the week. The Tony Reyes:

Tony Reyes
This 86′ ship once housed crews of commercial shrimpers.

The destination was the Midriff area which lies about 250 miles south of San Felipe. The plan was to set sail loaded with 10 pongas headed toward the southern end of the Midriff area and fish our way back north.

Most of the target species were all new to me: yellowtail, cabrilla, spotted sea bass, grouper, but what I was particularly excited about was again hooking up with a dorado. This trip was primarily a conventional tackle-stock the cooler kind of trip, but I knew if there were dorado around I could have some fun with my fly rod.

The first day we set out on a boat loaded with heavy jigs and conventional rods with lines up to 120 lb test. We were after yellowtail, more specifically California yellowtail, Seriola lalandi dorsalis, a subspecies of Yellowtail amberjack which are found nearly all over the globe.

The technique required to catch yellowtail was really not suitable to fly fishing. We were dropping heavy jigs 200-300 feet deep and after a morning filling the boat with nice size yellowtail it was quite apparent that we weren’t going to target these fish on a fly.
yellow tail An average 10-15 lb yellowtail

The majority of our catch was yellowtail, although we were pulling in all sorts of species including:

Trigger Fish trigger fish

and multiple Species of bass, or cabrilla, which in Spanish refers to any species of bass-like fish

cabrilla sabrosa

spotted bass Although we weren’t necessarily targeting spotted sea bass we couldn’t keep these big and healthy fish off our lines.

Some boats were lucky enough to hook into some bigger species like Sailfish:Sailfish

While we were having a ton of fun catching all these nice fish on conventional tackle we never gave up on catching fish on our fly rods.

Lenny's Bass We did have some success nailing some fish on the fly… but were still looking for dorado

Every night while docked the boats flood lights shined outward to the sea attracting plankton and baitfish. We rigged our rods to catch mackerel to use as bait to the following day. Blake, the experienced fly tyer in our group, saw what we were using to catch these mackerel and immediately decided to tie up some flies to match. So ironically enough we saw most action on fly rods catching bait. Not exactly what we had in mind for this trip but catching 3 mackerel at once on a soft 8 weight was a kick in the ass.

Blake w mackrel
Blake was real excited to catch multiple fish on single casts

I can’t go without mentioning a subject that interests me almost as much as fishing…comida sabrosaMexican food is hard to beat, especially authentic mexican food. On the Tony Reyes we were served 3 meals a day and more often than not the meals were mexican and damn good. The one meal that I still drool over the thought of is the beach BBQ the crew put together for us. We devoured fresh grilled clams we dug up that morning and a yellowtail grilled whole over an open fire on the beach. Fastened to the grill with foil for an easy flip the yellowtail’s crispiness yielded some amazing fish tacos.Picture 32

Speaking of good food, one night we got a chance to go after some squid. Calamari anyone? Using special glowing squid lures that looked like mini fancy chandeliers with spikes sticking out of them in every which way everyone was hooking up with these beasts left and right. I’d heard of people catching squid on a fly before so I had to give it a shot. Blake tied a special weighted bright green fly for my deep sinking fly line. Immediately after I hit bottom I felt a big tug, the squid immediately pulled drag and ran. It felt like a huge fish completely bending over my 14 wt two handed rod. All of the sudden I lost tension and the squid was off. Apparently, you really need those special lures to get them to stick.
Giant SquidHumboldt Squid

My hopes for dorado slowly dwindled. By the the end of the trip only one person had caught one dorado. We just didn’t get into them. I spent one morning walking a remote beach line where I heard rooster fish prowl the banks but I struck out there too. Despite the lack of success on the species I hoped to find on my fly rod this trip was sensational. Simply the opportunity to explore this lush ecosystem was a privilege. I must admit, I wasn’t to excited seeing the amount of fish killed to stock the cooler, but the crew on the Tony Reyes do a good job of helping manage the resource by releasing small fish under a certain size.

Apparently dorado, being prolific breeders, would double in population if they weren’t commercially fished for at all over the course of one year. Who knows if thats true about some of these other species. All I know is that we are very privileged to have such a rich and unique resource in our back yard and hopefully we will be able to utilize and maintain this sustainability for many years to come. As long as crews like the Tony Reyes continue to respect the resource and the Mexican government enforces illegal fishing the future is bright.

With that said… I leave you with a time-lapse reel I shot of the Tony Reyes wandering through the Sea of Cortez

Works Cited:
Alles, David (2007) The Sea of Cortez
retrieved on sept 30th from: HERE


Fly Fishing California's Sierra Nevada

In route to Orange Country where a week long fishing trip on the Sea of Cortez was about to began 36 hours later, my friend Lenny and I flew in to Sacramento where Blake, my Semester at Sea roommate picked us up. We then made a road trip from Sacramento up through Eldorado National Forest towards Lake Tahoe and down across the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range. We were in search of what the Golden State’s streams and rivers had to offer. But first things first… we had to make a stop at the infamous In and Out. A burger joint only found in the far west.
Picture 9
They say all their ingredients are fresh but the worst thing about In and Out is the wait. Maybe this is why their food is so good. Picture 12While waiting I got a chance to watch a young nor-cal punk do some tricks on his razor

Picture 10Grease burgers… yum… I still haven’t figured out why In and Out hasn’t made it to Colorado? If you get a chance to go to an In and Out make sure to order your burger “Animal Style.”

That night we stayed in Walker CA. The next morning we woke up early and hit up a local breakfast joint. The waitress kept talking about fishing on the West Walker river in her favorite honey hole using power bait, she kindly gave us specific directions to her hole down the road. We nodded and agreed to check it out. We soon found that the West Walker river near the town of Walker was nothing but fast moving water and bait fishermen, which lead us to immediately head up stream in search of some more pristine waters. About 20 miles up to road the terrain turned from the lower arid landscape to as Blake calls it “high desert.”
Picture 8

After examining miles of the West Walker while driving down route 395 the river disappeared into the high pines and aspens as the beautiful rolling hills and mountains were covered by a blanket of sage brush. The high desert scenery and clear flowing creek finally enticed us to stop and fish the Little Walker River.

So we did…
Picture 15

Picture 20
This small free stone stream is filled with brookies and rainbows…
Picture 18

Picture 16
…who were taking dry flies all morning
Picture 14

Picture 19
The area was quite phenomenal
Picture 13 These huge pine trees sky scraping over the aspen trees made this a unique experience for us Coloradans. Sure we have big loge pole and ponderosa pines in our state but I’ve never seen a pine cone this big in Colorado.

Picture 17

Picture 21

Solid, it was only 9 in the morning and we had already had a days worth of fishing in.
Picture 22
Next stop… the East Walker River near the town of Bridgeport

The East Walker River below Bridgeport reservoir offers some excellent tailwater fishing. But like any good public tailwater with big trout in it asses and elbows are always apparent on a consistent basis. Sure enough, when we drove by big hole, East Walker’s famous fishing spot, we saw a number of anglers fishing. So we ventured down river. The flows were must faster but the crouds were far less.

We managed to pull a couple wild browns out of the fast moving water.
Picture 35

We tried a couple different spots all requiring wading through swift strong currents. We kept moving down stream on the look out for new spots then all of sudden…
Picture 29
We were in Nevada… whoops…

We fished a couple more spots and decided to head to our next destination… Hot Creek

The trip down 395 provided some fine scenery.
Picture 23 Looking west… at the east side of Yosemite National Park. Eagles Peak I believe, correct me if I’m wrong.

After lunch in Mammoth Lakes and a stop into the The Trout Fly we headed over to Hot Creek. After reading about this place in the guide book we thought, damn. This place sounds amazing. A creek that literally comes out of the ground and boasts numerous hot springs that change from year to year. Not to mention its one of the most trout rich streams in the west. Meaning there are more trout per mile in hot creek than most rivers. At least that’s what the guide book said… something like 4,000 trout per mile.

When we arrived we saw a small creek that meanders into a small canyon. It looked as good as any creek I’ve seen. But one thing was different, weeds. Hot creek is filled with weeds. As we stood on top of the canyon looking down at the creek, I stared closely at the creek looking for fish. Sure enough there were a some rises and a few pretty decent looking fish, but at 60 cfs these weeds were guaranteed to be a problem.

Hot Creek

First, we threw some streamers and immediately nailed a couple 12-14 inchers, but the big boys visible in the crystal clear water continued to reject our flies. One in particular was hanging out behind a big conglomeration of weeds. I couldn’t seem to get my fly down to him while my fly kept getting stuck on the weeds. So I threw on a small split shot and sure enough he nailed my size 20 rs2. The nice size rainbow immediately shot up into the weeds and I thought for sure my 6x tippet was going to break.

Picture 28

Somehow I managed to pull him out of the mossy mess. He then shot over to the other side of the creek heading down stream into another set of weeds. Then back into the original weeds, this fish was taking me on a ride! While this continued over and over for a couple minutes I finally brought him in. He was still a little hot, so when I went in to grab him he thrashed vigorously shaking the fly. No grip in grin for this guy but he was definitely the highlight of the day for me.

Picture 37

The day ended with a gorgeous sunset over Inyo National Forest. The only thing was now we had to drive 8 hours to Orange County to catch our bus to the Sea of Cortez… Next stop: I’M ON A BOAT!

Stay tuned