Each spring I look forward to the water in the Sea of Cortez warming up, it improves the fly fishing. Usually by the Fourth of July most Americans start to taper off visiting Puerto Peñasco, Mexico and they don’t start again until Labor Day. The fly fishing is good enough to keep me coming back all summer long, but one must endure some discomforts. Your glasses will steam up when you step out of the air conditioning. You will be excessively moist, I was concerned that my cell phone would get so wet it would short out, and I thought my dirty laundry would surely combust on the drive home. If you are not careful your seat belt buckle could give you a branding iron like mark. I am not willing to talk about skin rash issues, because I am really not complaining. One good thing about the heat, it does give me a good excuse to visit the Thrifty Ice Cream store.
Some fly fishing friends and I visited Rocky Point the weekend before Labor Day. It was 100 degrees plus, but it was still cooler than Phoenix. The breeze off of the Sea of Cortez helped, as well as being able to take a dip anytime we needed to cool off. Our fly fishing day started early with pre-hydrating, by drinking two 16 once bottles of water before we got on the water. Once we started to fish we would drink a water followed by a Gator Ade, then chase that with a water and another Gator Ade. Yes, when we would finish a drink we would open the next one. When we finished, always before noon, we would have another water and a Gator Ade in the truck. We were probably better hydrated than most people, but that is something you need to do when you are out in the sun and heat.
It was a full moon, so the tide swings were large, more than 20 feet between low tide and high. With so much water moving about we planned to visit one of the deeper holes that could be fished from the beach. Our plan was working well, we hit our spot three hours before high tide, and the Pompano bite was on. We were catching fish on almost every cast. Our white Clouser Minnow fly was the hot fly, but we decided to tweak the rig a bit by putting a Gotch’a that looked more like a shrimp than a bait fish above the white Clouser Minnow. Yes, we were fishing two flies. It’s a little awkward to cast in the wind, but it was a good move because we started catching Orange Mouth Corvina. They are a great fish that fight well, their size is good, and they don’t taste fishy.
The Playa de Oro RV Park is always a very social, friendly place and getting an impromptu dinner party together is not a problem, especially when I am grilling fish. After a few invites I had a dinner party of six, and several folks brought side dishes to share. I soaked the Orange Mouth Corvina filets in an orange citrus punch for about two hours, before I grilled them in melted butter, lime, and Old Bay Seasoning. The filets were done in about 7 minutes and I finished them with a wasabi, mayo sauce and topped that with avocado slices. I got rave reviews from my guests. Grilled onions and cole slaw work well as side dishes.
Some of the most comfortable fishing weather of the year will take place in October and November. I would like to invite everyone who is interested in fly fishing to try it in Puerto Peñasco this Fall. The water is still warm, we have less storms then, and the fish bite is good. My suggestion for gear would be a minimum 6 weight fly rod, and an 8 weight is my rod of choice. I use 200, 300, and 400 grain sinking lines to get down to the fish, and I’ll use a floating line to throw poppers. My fly of choice is a #4 Clouser, and a Gotch’a pattern is good too. Good colors are white over white, chartreuse over white, red, pink, and tan. I tie most of my flies with synthetic craft fur and add many strands of flash. You can fish from shore, but an inflatable pontoon boat with oars will put you over more fish. Check the tide chart and the wind, plan to go with the flow, the tide will change and bring you back, but sometimes you will need a ride back if the wind kicks up from the wrong direction. When I hear complaints about fishing in October and November, it’s usually about catching too many fish, and/or being worn out from landing too many fish. I wouldn’t be complaining!
Vince Deadmond “The Fly Fishing Hardware Guy” can be reached at Best Hardware 237 North Apache Trail Apache Junction, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org or 480 982 7461.