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Belize - El Pescador Lodge, Ambergris Caye Nov. 2010
Headed South to Ambergris Caye Belize with a good friend Bjorn S. We had an invite to El Pescador Lodge and took the time off work to warm up a little and get our annual November fishing trip under our belts. I arrived to A.C. on the 18th and spend one night in San Pedro, meeting Bjorn on the 19th for our water taxi to the lodge. Once there, it was raining, so we decided to defy odds and walk the beach anyhow, searching for tails. And we found a decent number. They didn't like our traditional Bitters and small crabs, so we didn't land any that wet afternoon. However, at one spot I saw a black tail cross a white patch (not easy during pouring rain) and cast a tan crab ahead of the tail. A few slow strips and I felt resistance, so I strip set and nothing was there. Checking the fly for grass, I discovered the hook point had been crushed down to the shank. I'd just f'd up my first permit eat of the trip.
The next day was predicted to be similar with rain and dark skies...so we postponed our guide and padded a canoe into a vast lagoon system on our own. After a little trial and error, I found the fly they wanted and ended up going 7 for 9 on that first day. I think Bjorn went 2 for 4. The next day was sunny and our guide took us for tarpon, which was fun. Savannah Flat was 16 miles long and full of medium sized tarpon and schools of jacks. We had a blast and landed some nice fish.
The next day, we headed further north toward Mexico and found great fishing to schools of permit and bonefish and finished the day hooking up with 15-30 pound tarpon in the mangroves. Bjorn scored his first ever Grand Slam and I hooked (didn't land 'em all) a Grand Slam as well. It was a very good day to say the least.
The final morning we took the canoe back to the bay for a 1/2 day, now knowing more about the area and flies. I scored well over a dozen fish and Bjorn got his fair share as well. Lots of them were tailing... it was a great way to end the trip.
Check out a couple pictures of tarpon, permit, jacks, and bones from Belize below.
click: BELIZE SLIDE SHOW
Summer 2010 - Montana, Idaho, Yellowstone Park
Got some time off and headed East toward the other "TroutHaven" of the western U.S. - Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. (the Redding area is the other TroutHaven of the Western U.S.)
We split the drive into two days, staying in OR the first night. Day two, we arrived in Island Park, ID to stay at the TroutHunter Lodge on the Henry's Fork. The lodge, the employees and the food was great. The fishing on the famous spring creek section was slow, but we did score fish on PMD dries. I've wanted to do that one for a long time. Check!
From there, we hit a Forest Service cabin in the Gallatin Range. Fishing was fun on the Upper Gallatin and Wipiti Creek. One day, we hit the park and scored pretty little brookies on the Gibbon River. When Taylor Fork was clean, water below the confluence to Gallatin was great - but it did blow out one day so we fished above the confluence....as did everyone else.
Moving on, we stayed at a cool little cabin on a side channel of the lower Gallatin near Belmont/Bozeman. Fishing here was good, as the fish hit dries almost all day, and we had tons of private access to the river. I could spend a week on the Gallatin easy. Three nights there, then on to Livingston for a night to float the Yellowstone in a friends drift boat. We scored rainbows and browns on hopper patterns fished fairly tight to the bank. Biggest water we fished all trip by far. One day of rowing was enough on my vacation (from rowing!).
Then on down to Cooke City to fish the NE part of the park. Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River both stayed farily clear despite some gnarly thunderstorms that passed thru. Again, hoppers and ants were the ticket.
Overall, a nice getaway with good variety of waters fished. And 95% dry fly fishing. We scored brookies, browns, cut-bows, rainbows and mountain whitefish. 5 species. That's what we don't have around here. BUT - we never landed dozens of fish, and never saw fish the size we regularly see on the Lower Sac. Will be nice to feel the tug of a 3-5 pound trout again.
A few pictures from the trip are below -
Christmas Island - Feb. 2010
Christmas Island was a great trip. Chances are I'll be running another hosted trip there within the next two years. Space is limited to 8 anglers. Let me know if you are interested in talking about dates.
The flight to the island was comfortable, and some reading followed by a nap made time 'fly' by. We were greeted by the lodge staff and taken to the lodge for orientation, which included a speech focused on proper C&R techniques. Nice to see that they care. And it's important when averaging 20-30 fish per day.
We had some cloudy and rainy conditions during the first half of the trip, but still managed to score plenty of bonefish.
When the sun came out, it was a fish hunters sightcasting dream. I witnessed at least 5 triple hook-ups on a flat with 4 anglers fishing - over a period of an hour. Bonefishing was outstanding. There were a couple times I couldn't get 'em in fast enough for the next one I saw coming.
We fished the famous Korean Wreck area, and found out why it's talked about so much. The variety was a nice treat.
The big GT's didn't want to play with me, however, two guys in the group both scored fish over 20 lbs.
Wahoo, barracuda, picasso trigger, golden trigger, ladyfish, bonefish, GT, Bluefin trevally, golden trevally, grouper, snapper, grey and orange sweetlips, wrass, pufferfish, goatfish and sailfish were all on the list of fish species the group enountered at Christmas Island. What an amazing place. We relaxed in Hawaii for a couple of days on the way to and from C.I. - which broke up the travel time and gave us opportunities to cast to HUGE bonefish. That fishery is another story...