Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

It may not feel like spring in much of the country (I awoke to snow flurries), but the days are certainly getting longer. Fred is still in Montana and keeps fishing the Missouri River between Craig and Great Falls. Stacy is stalking the beaches and off-shore reaches of the southern Baja Peninsula, chasing Rooter Fish and whatever else will eat a fly.  Baja Beach Rooster FishHe now has a 23’ Cobia in the Cabo harbor to base from.  I know he made it down safely, after driving up and back from Tucson to fetch it.  I’m waiting for the first fishing report.  Stacy will be ready to host some trips on the Baja in 2012 and I hope to join him along with some of you.

Get Connected

Facebook for those that fishMystic Waters is connected on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Blogger. The Social Network is unavoidable these days and truly is a useful way to follow and connect with your friends, the businesses you support and the topics (like fly fishing) that you love.  If you are on Facebook, please stop by and “Like” Mystic Waters Fly Fishing. Even if you are not on Facebook, you can still check out the Mystic Waters Fly Fishing Page to see what is happening.

I have been maintaining this blog for a couple years now. I also feature a site for seasonal fishing reports at http://www.kenairiverfishingreport.com Using a smart phone, I will be able to update regularly this coming season.  Over the next few weeks, I plan to rebuild mysticfishing.com to include the blog and a storefront for some upcoming logo apparel.  I hope you follow along.  Look for the new mysticwaters.com very soon.

Dates to Consider for 2011

Searching for SalmonYou are going to need a shoe horn to find space from mid August through September.  There are still some open dates scattered between June 11 and August 18. October remains an excellent month to fish the Kenai and we are taking reservations to the 15th.  Some of our best rainbows come in the late fall as well as some impressive silvers.

I am entering my fourth spring in Montana. Despite some lousy weather this year, I love it here. Several Mystic Waters guests and friends have dropped by and fished with me on the Missouri River.  I will soon have my Montana Guide license and plan to do some guiding here before the Kenai calls again.

The Good Stuff

If you fish often, then you certainly love great fly fishing gear.  When you join Mystic Waters, you get to use the good stuff.

For 2011, our primary brands are SageRossBeulahRio, Airflo, and Simms.  This is not to say we don’t use others, but that we feature these premium brands to help make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Deathstar RainbowLast season, I picked up a Sage 10’7wt TCX.  It fished great for large trout and silvers and was my favorite single hand streamer rod.  I also fished with the infamous “Deathstar”; the 12’6” 7wt. spey rod that George Cook nicknamed, because it can cast line to a far off galaxy.  It worked on everything from Anchor River Kings to Sockeye and big Rainbows and Silvers on the Kenai.  It even pulled some nice browns from the Missouri River in Montana.  This year, I am adding the new TCX 11’9” 6wt Switch Rod.

Ross has unveiled the new “revolutionary” F1 Reel.  Can’t wait to see how it rolls. We feature many great Ross Reels on our fly rods.  I’ve been fishing the 8wt Essence FW for several seasons and it continues to be one of the most pleasant casting 9’ 8 weights I have thrown.  We also fished the 12’6” 6wt Reach Spey rod.  It was deadly for sockeye salmon and worked out well for a fair number of big trout and silvers.  Ross also added some new 5 and 6wt Reach rods to the line up that look interesting.

Leaping Silver Salmon on the Kenai RiverBeulah is a great company for switch and spey rods at a reasonable price. I fished the 11’7” 5wt Platinum Spey last season.  It quickly became my favorite trout rod for nymphing and swinging lighter streamers.  From the drift boat, it became the favored rod of any guest who fished it, and was responsible for landing some impressive fish throughout the season. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time on the Missouri River with Bruce Berry (pro staff/rep) for Beulah, and had my spey casting tuned up a bit.

Rio continues to offer the largest variety of specialty lines. I had great success with the clear intermediate Outbound.  I have also found that the 8wt Rio Grand works well as a switch line for spey casting with my 10’ 6wt XPs.  This year, Rio has added a Switch Line to their inventory, and I can’t wait to run it.  I just ordered the complete set of MOW (spey) Tips in the Medium and Heavy weights to cover all water levels and sinking tip needs.

Airflo – Ridge lines have become my standard on the trout rods and I love them.  I started using the Supple Impact last season.  The ridge design works very well and they are durable and perform day after day without constant attention.  They cast and fish like no other.  On the spey side, the Skagit Compact designed by my friend Tom Larimer is the bomb for launching sink tips.

Proudly wearing Simms WadersSimms – Simms is the king when it comes to the soft gear that I rely on day in and day out.  I can’t imagine working through the fishing season without them.  I use the G4 waders and jacket. I rotate several soft shells and the River Tech top is one of my all-time favorites.  The Rivershed Boot with the new streamtread soles has been my footwear of choice.  I like the long sleeved solarflex shirts for any day of the season.  They work for layering in cold weather and as the perfect sun shield layer when it gets hot.

What Else:

I’m becoming a regular contributor to Fish Alaska Magazine.  My third article is coming out in May, with others soon to follow.  Since you enjoy Alaska Fishing, you might enjoy checking out Fish Alaska’s interactive website.

Simms Fish BowlI’m heading down to Bozeman in a week for the 2011 Simms Ice Out Guide Event.  It was great fun last year and looks to be even more action packed this time around.  I look forward to meeting up with guide associates and friends from Alaska, Montana and around the country.

At the end of the month, I am flying to Florida to meet up with my buddy Captain Eric Lund.  Eric and two other guide associates will be hosting me along with a small party of Mystic Waters Fly Fishing guests.  We will be chasing Tarpon on-the-fly along with all the other inshore and flats glamor species.

Roland Martin

We will be staying on a property owned by Roland Martin.  Talk about legendary.  I can’t wait, and I’ll be providing blog and social media updates during and after the trip.

In 2012, we are planning a trip to the incredible bonefish flats of Andros South. We are also considering a Fly Fishing for Kings option in Western Alaska and of course Stacy will be dialed in for Baja.  Stay tuned and let us know if you would like us to put you on a list for specific details on any or all of these options.

Let’s Stay Connected

Kenai Moose CalvesIf you avoid all the social connectivity tools, you can still fire me an email or a text. Even if you are not planning to fish with Mystic Waters this season, I’d love to hear about where you are going.  If you have time to share a story from a previous trip, I’d love to hear about it and possibly use it for a new blog post.  I know there are lots of great stories and pictures out there among you.

Tight Lines and I hope to see you on the Mystic Waters very soon!

Mystic Waters Fly Fishing
Call or Text 907-227-0549
Website: http://www.mysticfishing.com
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Tie more flies!

Get my family on the water more (regularly I hope).

Add a bit more content to the internet through the Website, Blog, and Twitter to stay relevant in the new information age.

Spend more quality time on the water so as to have more fishy content to share.

At least one destination saltwater trip

At least one destination steelhead trip

Buy more spey rods and lines because there are so many options.

I’m getting a Montana Guide License and extending my season by offering trips on the Missouri River this spring.

Help facilitate many anglers to great days on the Kenai River Alaska and Missouri River Montana.

Keep learning more about this crazy passion we call Fly Fishing.

I have involved myself with the Missouri River Flyfishers Club in Great Falls Montana.  Here is our next big event.

Fly Fishing Festival

Great Falls Fly Fishing Festival

Speaking of Saltwater fishing, I am planning to host a small group for Giant Tarpon in the Florida Keys this May.  Stacy will be in Baja in April and May and available to host anglers wishing to chase rooster fish.  More details on these trips will follow, but please let us know if you have the time and desire to join us.

Tight Lines and Great Fishing in 2011

PS.  Don’t forget to plan your Alaska dates soon.


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Hey Fred,

So as you can see from the pics, this will be a good Baja fishing report. I drove up to Los Barriles yesterday to look at a used panga for sale, and meet up with Jeff DeBrown www.thereelbaja.com for some more chasing fish from the beach. He had a trip that morning, so it was perfect timing to meet for a fish taco at our favorite cantina in La Ribera, and then head out to “the beach”. The tacos were especially good this day, the beer colder than normal – it was a day that just had that feel to it (remember the morning down on the Anchor when we put the hurt on those kings). We also had a new fly to try out that is completely out of the box from what we usually throw. We drove to a certain beach that you are somewhat familiar with, stretched the line, and began to walk. We weren’t ten minutes out of the truck when I looked out across the water and here they came. It looked like tarpon coming across the flats in Islamorada. They came into range, but line caught on my big toe (NOOOOOOOO!) and they never saw the first cast. The teaser kept them close enough for me to make a second shot, but they were losing interest. When that fly hit the water, five of them spun and rushed, combing and lit up. I got low and did our tarpon worm strip, focusing more on the action of the fly, but aware that a group of five big roo’s were competing for the fly. Then it came tight. It was like the permit pause, where the fish is almost confused that a snack is pulling back. Then the comb folded back, and the fish hit the afterburners. Line cleared, backing that has never been exposed saw the bright Baja sun, and 30 minutes later, we got her. I hope the next one comes quicker and easier than this, but it was sooooo sweet and well worth the wait. And yes, the tequila did flow last night.


Landing a rooster fish in Baja

Tan cerca…
A Rooster by the tail

Un pez gallo por la col

Very happy angler

Angler muy feliz

Pez Gallo Baja Rooster Fish

Adiós mi amigo de pescado

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Stacy is down in Baja near Cabo and my mind keeps drifting that way, wondering what is happening on those beaches.  Is he on the Pacific or the Sea of Cortez today?  They have a saying down there that pretty much fits all situations related to fishing.  It reminded me of a story from some years ago that I posted on my web page at http://www.mysticfishing.com/articlesandstories.html This story happened in Alaska and may be the exception.

Kenai River Brown Bear

Don't leave your fish on the bank.

No Bad Days…

My best friend and guiding partner Stacy Corbin is fond of the saying, “No Bad Days” when it comes to fishing.  He picked up a sticker with the quote down in Cabo at the Latitude 22+Roadhouse. He has it on the back window of his van. It reminds him of sunrise on the beach and mornings spent chasing roosterfish in the warm surf. Not a bad image. While I generally agree that any day-spent fishing is a good day, I know of an angler who might have a different view.

I was guiding a party for sockeye from a Kenai riverbank one summer day. A man walked in from a trail across the river and started fishing.  We did not pay him much mind, because the guys were busy landing fish. Someone later noted that the fellow was having no action. Eventually, he did hook a fish and we all cheered him on during the battle. He chased his fish around the riffle and tried to lead it toward the bank. The salmon would have none of it and kept sprinting toward deeper water, sending up showers of spray. We all groaned as the man fell in and lost his fish.

Watching him crawl from the river, we saw a cow moose come charging up the bank.  I do not know if he heard our yelling or not, but the dripping wet man looked up to see the moose bearing down. With a lunge, he cleared the water and dashed into the bushes. Thankfully, the moose kept on going before turning into the trees.  The reason the moose was running was soon clear. The man stepped out to stare after the moose and walked right into the path of a charging brown bear.
Those of us spending time in bear country have heard repeatedly, never to run from a brown bear. It would take a rare individual not to act as this fellow did. He instantly spun and dashed back into the woods. In hot pursuit of the moose, the bear reacted to the movement of the man and followed him out of sight.

As you can imagine, we feared the worst. The outcome seemed inevitable. You could have cut the tension with a knife. Thankfully, within a second, the man appeared, followed by the bear, which turned down the bank pursuing the moose. Good thing the guy was wearing waders. No bad days? Well, it depends on how you look at it.  When it comes to sockeye fishing, it is important to have a sense of humor and be ready for anything.

At least he got away clean, or at least unscathed.

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I spent about six hours in the Missouri River near Craig, Montana with various fly rods in my hands and nothing but yarn on the leaders.  The day was in the mid 50s with moderate breezes.  A perfect spring day for fishing.  The trout got a break that day as all of us would otherwise have been hard at work to exercise some .  We were in the river to learn from Bruce Berry.  Bruce works with and reps for Beulah Rods and did a great job showing some single handers how to make several spey casts.  By the end of the day, all were launching lines across the river and smiling with anticipation of future swings with actual flies on the leaders.

Bruce Berry Spey Casting In Montana

Bruce Berry on the MO

Bruce was invited by Sam Wike from the Big R Fly Shop in Great Falls.  Bruce tied some steelhead flies and gave a fine technical presentation on all the rod and line styles for switch and spey for the monthly meeting of the Missouri River Fly Fishers last Thursday.  On Friday he got to fish with Kris Keller who works at Big R and Saturday and Sunday were spey clinics.  We hope he had fun in Great Falls and will come back next year.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the 11′ 7″ 5 wt Platinum Series Trout Spey from Beulah.

Got another email from Stacy in Baja today.  He spent 5 days on the East Cape running down the rooster and fished with Jeff Debrown of thereelbaja.com for a couple days.  Stacy has been catching some roosters, but is still trying for the holly grail Grande.  I am sure it won’t be long before I hear about it.

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Stacy is whiling away the mid winter months exploring Baja and chasing elusive fish from the beach. Here is his first report.

Hey Fred,

Hola! Let me give you the first report from south of the border. The first day here, it rained. The second day here it rained. The third day was cloudy, but no rain so I went to the beach across the street. I didn’t see anything happening, no bait, no swirls, but decided to go ahead and make some blind shots. First cast, fish on, fish off, no fly. Hmmmm. Tie back on without adding wire, strip, fish on, fish off, no fly. Beach is plugged with huge sierra. A guy casting hardware brings one in that is almost 40 inches. Quickly try to splice some wire, cast again, fish on, fish off. Three beautiful flies sacrificed in less than 10 minutes. Finally get the knot right, fish are gone. I return to the beach three more mornings only to get a needlefish, some small jacks and finally a bigger jack that takes me to backing. My buddy Roberto gives me daily fishing reports where he is finding the fish, and I go there only to discover that he has found them on a different beach. We saw more rain and clouds in the first ten days than we have seen in twelve years of coming down here. And then last Friday Montezuma’s revenge took hold of me. Today is the first day that I’ve been able to be vertical. It’s also thrilling to be able to fart and get away with it. So needless to say, the trip has had an interesting start, but I am looking at it as paying some dues to the fish gods for what I am about to do.

Here is today’s message.

Baja Beach Snook

Stacy Corbin and Grant Hartman on the Beach in Baja

Hey Fred,

Finally a fishing positive fishing report. I went up north with Grant Hartman on a snook hunting adventure to one of his secret snook spots. The place holds snook and snapper that exceed 50 lbs. He is convinced that it holds a world record, which is probably why I was blindfolded on the way in (ha ha). We went down arroyos, through cordon cactus forests, and loose beach sand and I was sure we would get stuck several times. But Grant is a long time beach bum and knew what his rig would do in certain situations. It was sandblast your legs windy, and believe it or not, realy cold in the morning with the north winds, but I did get my elusive first snook on the fly. Check out the link and feel free to post the picture and the story on our blog.



Baja Anglers Beach Fishing with Grant Hartman

If anyone is interested in a trip to Baja, just let us know.

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Here are some excerpts from Stacy’s message to me from Baja.

Waiting for Roosters

Waiting for Roosters


Just wanted to send a few pictures from our latest trip to Baja. The weather was unseasonably warm, which made the fishing unusually good.

I was sitting under that sun shade sipping a pacifico, about ready
to wind in my 100 ft. of fly line that was piled on the beach when the
first group of big roosters came by.  I went running ahead of them and
put some very good casts on them, but they showed no interest.  These
fish were 30 – 40 lbs.  The next group that I saw walking back to the
sun shade were even bigger, and slow moving happy fish.  They were out a
bit further, but there was no wind, and I cast that 400 grain rio all
the way to the backing knot…waited until they were approaching and
made an initial long strip.  The second fish of the bunch, a true giant
that was 40 to 50 lbs moved towards the fly.  As he approached I got low
and quickened the strip.  He charged, lit up with pulsing color and a
comb that was more than a foot out of the water.  I stripped that sucker
all the way to tippet, swept the rod and he was within 6 feet of the
beach about to run up on the beach, when he turned just before going dry
on the sand.  It took about 20 minutes to get my resting heart rate
below 250, but was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in all my trips
to Baja.

I’ve attached a picture of a nice jack I got from the same beach the next day.

Some bad ass Jack

Some bad ass Jack

We caught some nice tuna and dorado right off the bat.  The sierra were plentiful and very big (ceviche & fish tacos daily), as were the jacks and roosters.  I caught the nicest rooster I’ve caught from the beach – probably 20 to 25 lbs. but of course didn’t have the camera when I got him.

I'll never do that again.

I'll never do that again.

I have had lots of fun on my two trips to Baja, but have not hit the warm water and hot fishing quite like that.  Maybe next time.

I'll get you next time when you are Grande!

I'll get you next time when you are Grande!

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I am not fishing, though conditions are great today. I am getting ready for my yearly migration and dealing with details. Fishing Jones made a comment about liking the quote, “Excuse me sir, I see the Tarpon” and it distracted me. Gotta love it. It sounds better the more you hear it, especially if you are on the deck of the skiff when the words are spoken. It got me reminiscing about the other quote from the same trip by a not so polite guide. “When you see the Permit, cast to the f#%$^&g Permit.” If you are already nervous and pumped up from a failed shot at a huge permit, words like this are not going to calm you down and get you ready for the next shot. As a guide, I think I can really appreciate good vs. bad guiding. While I have only been guided a few times, I have already seen a broad range of styles and attitudes. Guiding is about chasing fish, but it is even more about taking care of people and facilitating a fun experience. Fish happen when people are feeling positive and enjoying their day and companions.

Cast To The Permit

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“Excuse me sir, I see the tarpon. You cast.” I cast. “Strip, strip.” The tarpon ate my fly. Years of tarpon fantasies culminated in an adrenalized hook set. I had visualized the powerful stripping motion and my brain and body actually worked together. I connected solidly with the Tarpon’s jaw. I was so juiced and excited and the fish must have been turned just so. My leader came back with an abraided and severed 40# shock tippet.

Enrique had a puzzled look. “Sir, it’s a baby. You pull like this.” He gave a little strip set motion. “Not like that.” Point taken. It was no giant tarpon. I was casting an 8wt to a fifteen-pound fish.  “Excuse me guide.”

Over the next couple days we landed a bunch of baby Tarpon and had a blast. We will never forget this saying, so here it is on a shirt.   Soon, I hope to use my power set on a giant tarpon.

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