There is no Spanish name for this place, an area called the East Cape that stretches from just east of San Jose del Cabo to the coast along the Sea of Cortez that includes the towns of Los Barriles and Rancho Buena Vista. For as long as one can remember the area has been popular with fishing enthusiasts who sought the isolation and bruising gamefish in the waters that remained beyond reach of the popular paved roads. Those waters were full of prized trophies like yellowtail, roosterfish, billfish and tuna, offering the kind of fishing that can be found in few other places in the world. Those who found their way down the peninsula discovered a sportsman’s paradise and an infrastructure that was based on a few very simple essentials like a few gallons of gasoline, fresh bait and cold beer.
Baja Pioneer - Jesus "Chuy" Valdez by Michael Koehn and the Valdez Family
Felipe stopped by our patio table, smiled a smile as big as all Mexico, and said "You will fish tomorrow." It wasn't a question. It was a statement of fact; one which we had no intention of contesting. It was, after all, why we were here at this world class fishery, at this place that understands and caters to a fisherman's needs, whether they be chasing roosters in the emerald surf or billfish in indigo seas a mile off shore.
But here's the thing. If you "destination fish" for the fishing alone, you're cheating yourself. Fishing is as capricious an endeavor as you'll find; the balance between success and failure precarious, influenced by weather systems, water, and the collective consciousness of a ball of baitfish. So, before boarding that plane, you'd best pause and ask yourself one question.
Can I travel thousands of miles and take a skunking...and enjoy it?
Here in Buenavista, the answer is easy. Otra piña colada, por favor.
But don't take my word for it. I'll let these images speak of the place. Bienvenido, mis amigos. Welcome to the beautiful Baja and the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort.
So don't hang it all on the fishing. Wherever you travel, put yourself in a place that stands on it's own. A place that enables and celebrates your piscatorial success or washes away the occasional skunk with good company, good spirits, and delightful surroundings. A place you can't wait to return to, fish or no.
A place like this.
Si, señor. Una más. Gracias.
Full Disclosure: The Valdez family and the staff at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort graciously provided our lodging and guided fishing opportunities in the hopes that we would return home and spread the word. I am more than happy to do so. Particular thanks go to Victor, Ernesto, and, most especially, our good friend Felipe for their warm hospitality and infinite patience with us gringo fly fishermen.
Estaremos de vuelta. We'll be back.