Time sure does seem to get away from me quicker with each passing day. Even though I felt like I was casting flies at reef fish in the Sea of Cortez only yesterday, nearly three months have slid by. To quote Jason Isbell’s song Streetlights, “Time moves slow when you’re seventeen and then it picks up steam at twenty-one. Pretty soon you’ll remember when you could remember when”. Well here’s me remembering when I could remember when I had my feet in that cool clear water with the calls of seagulls the only sound around.
Often times the Sea of Cortez resembles a calm, inland lake with barely a hint of waves. Mornings often start with with water so smooth that low flying pelicans leave wing beat ripples eddying in their wake. The calm mornings and crystal clear water is what makes this some of my favorite fishing around. That and when something bites the fly, I have no idea what I have hooked on the other end. Better have a net and some pliers, because teeth and spines are the norm here.
“If it ain’t chartreuse it ain’t no use” is about as real as it gets here. The water was clear enough you could watch the fly in the water and the sudden disappearance of the fly would precede a tug on the line and it was fish on! The little cabrilla (sand bass) are the most common fish on the reef with the occasional jack, corvina the next most common. Occasionally I get the colorful reef fish or if I’m lucky, a nice trigger fish.
The clouser minnow and shrimp imitations seem to be about as good a choice as any here. With shrimp imitations as simple as a tan or pink simi-seel leech doing the trick. A fast sinking fly is good to get through the needle fish and stay down in the swell.
It really is tough to beat cold Tecates and your feet in the surf. Casting without trees around really let you get into the swing of things and it’s gonna be a tough transition to the skinny water back home. No more sending streamers in calm winds and clear seas but it sure was a nice change of pace!