Today I wanted to re-post a blog that Sage published a few weeks ago. It's a great story that Barry wrote & we hope you'll take a few minutes to read it. Click here to go to the Sage Blog. Enjoy!
Barry and Cathy Beck's Blog
There is a small, quiet, laid back village called Holbox located on an island "around the bend" from Cancun that we have fallen in love with. On the island is a small fishing lodge on the beach whose manager, Luciano, spoils his guests with expresso delivered to your door in the morning as a wake up call, fresh ceviche and cold beer on the veranda in the afternoon, and wonderful stories about the island and the people.
The fishing is all about tarpon, big and little. The babies are perfect 8 & 9-weight sport, but just because they're babies, it doesn't mean that they're easy. These fish see a lot of flies so anglers change patterns often and extend their leaders hoping for an edge. The acrobatics begin as soon as one is hooked, for these "babies" love to jump and run line. Heck, it's so much fun that we've got anglers who only chase baby tarpon.
On the other hand, when the weather permits and the seas are calm, the guides can get out for big tarpon. Now the 12-weight rods and sinking lines come off the rack. Small tarpon flies are replaced with 4/0 and 6/0 black snakes and tarpon toads. Adrenaline ratchets up and you can feel the excitement as the pangas race through the liquid glass sea in the first light of day. Soon the guides are searching the horizon in search of rolling fish and once spotted, they rush to position the boat. We usually get one shot as the fish pass by and then it's leap frogging with other boats to get into position again, praying that the fish will stay up and we'll get another shot. It's an adrenalin rush, no doubt about it, but the real rush kicks in when a big fish is hooked. There's absolutely nothing like it. Ask Harry. He's in the photo with his 50th birthday tarpon.
Sound like fun? Well, we'll be going back to Isla Holbox next summer. Keep us in mind. You'll be glad you did. Contact us for dates and to get on our trip list.
We heard from Cathy and they've had a great couple of days fishing for baby tarpon from Campeche. Early days, leave the dock at dawn and fish until 1-2:00. Chill for the afternoon and into town for dinner. Campeche is a wonderful colonial town with lots going on downtown in the evenings and many choices for good restaurants. Great weather and baby tarpon galore, there will be more trips to Campeche on their schedule! 8 & 9 weight rods, 7-25 pound tarpon. Lots of fun. They are at Grand Slam in the Yucatan now and we'll have a report for you next week.
She also sent some photos which I'd love to share with you. What a beautiful place!
Often when we pick up a rod to cast and we don't like it, it could be the line that's on the rod and not the rod itself. It's important to put the right line on a rod but knowing what that "right line" is can be very difficult. Many anglers, ourselves included, prefer to put a line like the RIO Grand on fast action rods and a line like the RIO Gold for slower action rods. With dry fly season here, both east and west, and the need for light, delicate presentations, it's a good time to hear about the new InTouch RIO Gold trout line. Click here to see RIO's new family of Trout Lines.
On the other hand, with memories of our recent tarpon trip to Isla Holbox, Mexico, still fresh in our minds, we'd like to share this excellent clip from Zack Dalton at RIO on choosing the right tarpon line. It makes us want to go back to Mexico for more fun with those fish! Click here to see the clip
It's great to have a company constantly researching new technology, new coatings, new tapers. RIO is the cutting edge because they never sleep. They firmly believe that the very best line ever can still be improved.
Just wanted to share some news from Cathy who's in Belize right now...
"We are having an interesting week here at Belize River Lodge. We've had a mix of sun and overcast skies making sighting fish on the flats difficult, but no rain. A building breeze most days feels good until after lunch when it picks up and we head for the rivers and lakes. Fishing has been an interesting discussion at cocktail hour each night. Everyone is getting lots of opportunities and we're all taking about fish caught, lost, jumped, broken off - all the usual results. We hadn't seen any big tarpon around at all and yesterday Ron Schwarz turns around and lands a 100+ pound fish. He fought it for over 2 hours and was worn out. The biggest fish he ever caught. Dick Barnett was the first to land a nice tarpon, about 50 pounds, first day out. Yesterday Skip had 4 nice snook by 9:30. First day out we chased permit all day long - they followed, we changed flies, they followed, we changed the retrieve, they followed and stayed around but we could not get them to eat. Everyone is having fun with baby tarpon and the usual bonefish. Overall, it's a great week and we're all happy to be here!"
- Jan 15-21 -- Delphi Club, Abaco Bahamas (bonefish)
- Feb 1-18 -- South Island, New Zealand (trout)
- Mar 18-Apr.1 -- Patagonia, Argentina (trout)
- May 19-26 -- Belize River Lodge, Belize (tarpon, etc.)
- June 3-10 -- Boca Paila, Mexico (tarpon, bones, permit)
- June 10-17 -- Isla Holbox, Mexico (tarpon)
- June 23-30 -- Ponoi River, Russia (Atlantic Salmon)
- July 14-21 -- Kulik Lodge, Alaska (trout/salmon)
- Aug 18-25 & 25-Sept. 1 -- Bighorn River, MT (trout)
- Sept. 12-20 & 16-24 -- Tsimane Lodge, Bolivia (dorado)
- Oct. 27-Nov. 3 -- Agua Boa, Brazil (peacock bass)
- Nov. 26-Dec. 3 -- Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)
Detailed information and prices are available on our web site for most of these trips. If you're interested in a destination that is not yet posted, please contact us. We hope to see you in 2012.
We use Sage Xi3 rods, 9 weights for the baby tarpon and 12 weights for the big tarpon. Any good size tarpon from about 15 pounds up is going to put up an impressive fight, and will jump with all his might again and again. It's explosive, fast moving action and you have to be ready to let him run while still keeping tension, get the line off the deck and out through the guides without any snafus. Having good gloves, stripping fingers, and/or tape will save your hands from line cuts. The line comes off the deck with such speed and friction that it's impossible to hang onto it without some protection on your fingers. And, if there is any sand on the line it will cut your hands as well.
We would sit at breakfast sharing stripping fingers and tape. Most of us prefer the stripping fingers as the tape sometimes loosens and it often starts to lift and then you've got an edge that the line can hang up on. When I do use tape, I find the best is the tape used in equine barns to wrap the hoofs of show horses. It comes in about 5" rolls and often costs less than $5 a roll. I cut it into about inch-wide strips and wrap my fingers. The tape is sticky and holds pretty well, but the stripping fingers are still best. My favorite gloves are Dr. Shade gloves with Polyurethane palms. The PU on the palms helps me get a better grip on the rod with wet hands and it wears better than nylon palms. They also help when working with fish. I find these gloves combined with stripping fingers are the ideal solution.
When that fish takes off, you want to be ready to get things under control immediately. You can't do that if the line is burning cuts into your hands. Protect them from line cuts and you'll enjoy your fishing even more.
Come along for a fun week. Holbox Island Fly Fishing Lodge is a spacious, modern, comfortable lodge on the water. Boats leave from the beach in front. Walk into town for dinner each night at Italian, Mexican, Argentine restaurants. June 5-12, 2011. Timed for the migratory tarpon but lots of baby tarpon too. Lots of fun fishing and relaxation. Check out details on our web site under Hosted Trips. Hope you can join us.