Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top Ten Baja Travel Tips - #6 and #5

Tip #6: Bring your vise.

It doesn't matter how much homework you do, how many people you ask before you go, or how many flies you tie and bring along, you won't have what the fish want. I promise. The guide will ask to see your fly box, take one look, and grimace. No bueno. And, unless you are chasing bonefish, the chances are pretty slim that he'll have a box of his own. We fly fishermen are few and far between in his world, especially in the salty scheme of things, so be ready to be self-sustaining. Be ready to adapt.

That first day you'll struggle, limited to throwing what's "close" and hoping to surprise your guide (who'll probably be wondering why these foolish fly fisherman handicap themselves the way that they do - a truly legitimate question). And while you won't choose to avail yourself of his usual fare of spin-casting lures or live bait, you should ask to see them. Perhaps even snap a picture. Then, go back to the room, pull out your vise, and get to work making fluffier imitations.

Tomorrow's another day. And you'll be ready.

Gratuitous Technical Tip: If you're fishing surf, save the space and leave the bucktail at home. It doesn't hold up for shit in the salt.

Tip #5: Bring plenty of gear. Plenty.

Take tip #6 a step farther. You have a fifty-pound limit on that duffel, so scrimp on the Hawaiian shirts and throw in another couple of rods and reels. What's important, after all?

Luggage side note: The quote of the trip comes from the shapely young lovely who, when asked if she needed assistance with placing her carry-on in the overhead bin on the flight to Cabo, smiled ever so sweetly and replied, "Oh, no, thank you. It's light. There's only, like, twenty bikinis in it."

A collective masculine groan echoed throughout the southbound 737.

So much for continuity. Where was I? Ah, yes. Gear.

If the roosters aren't running, be able to set the 9wt aside and pull out a 7 and have some fun with ladyfish around the pier. Ditch the light surf intermediate if the jack are AWOL and stick on a 375g and do battle with small groupers and sea bass in the rocks. And if all else fails, spool up a floater and pitch it in the general direction of the poolside bar.

Whatever's biting.

I think it's appropriate here to extend a quick THANKS to the good folks at Redington for the loan of a pair of Link fly rods and Rise II reels and to RIO Products for their Tropical Outbound Short fly lines. I truly wish I could say that we tested them to their limits, but that's fishing. I was warned that the Baja surf can be tough on equipment but the gear took the abuse, including my fair share of inept surfcasting, and came through splendidly.

If you like 'em fast and need to do some heavy lifting, the 9wt Link's definitely worth your consideration.

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