I absolutely love my life guiding trout fishing in Missoula, Montana but I try to take at least one destination flyfishing trip each year. It’s a unique experience for me because for a short time I go from guide to client, and the view from the front of the boat is awful nice. It challenges me to become a better fly fisherman and it usually takes me to beautiful locations chasing gorgeous fish. This year my long-time fly fishing buddy, Rich and I chose Baja hoping for shots at Roosterfish among other species. My true passion outside of Montana is tarpon, but I’ve been fascinated by Roosters since I saw my first video and we needed a change of pace. Rich and I have been spanked on our last several destination flyfishing trips and we thought our safest bet for weather and fish was the desert of Baja.
The first few days of the trip left us pretty desperate. There weren’t many fish around and the bait and weather were definitely not working in our favor. There were 10 anglers on the trip and everyone did their best to stay positive, but few Roosterfish were seen and not a one was hooked after 4 days on the water. Rich and I were feeling cursed, but the beer was cold, the food was unbelievable, and day 5 brought a change for the better. We didn’t find the Roosters we were looking for although we stumbled into a huge school of Dorado that kept us entertained all afternoon.
Our last day we worked extremely hard for a Rooster and had several shots but no joy. The Dorado were plentiful again, to the point we were tired of landing them, and we loaded the boat at the end of the day a couple of satisfied anglers. It ended up being one our best trips in the last few years and we are already planning to return.
The point is you never know what to expect on a destination flyfishing trip. Whether it’s Montana, South America, or Baja you hope for the best, prepare yourself to deal with the worst, and the trip usually ends up somewhere in between. Years down the line there will be some memorable fish, but most of the best memories come not from the fishing but something else along the way.