Thursday, 19 December 2013

Kingdom of the Grand Slam

Gateway to the Grand Slam

Seasons come and seasons go, fishing comes and fishing goes, but add Saltwater Fly Fishing into the equation and you’ll be talking about it forever. Don’t get me wrong I truly love all my fishing but I must say the latter delivers such a thrill, you’ll be hooked forever…

Our world continues to shrink as our ability to travel freely grows and with new fishing opportunity appearing to open around every corner, the only limitation appears to be you, or that all important budget. But destination Fly Fishing does not have to break the bank, many thrilling locations offer some great value packages and the promise of some amazing fly fishing that will suit all budgets and more importantly your abilities.
Our trip, as I am sure most, started as a casual chat over beer, where would we go? , for how long?, what’s it like , what would we need?… so on and so on…… I have always loved to hear the stories of other anglers as they reflect on prizes caught and the ever teasing one,that was so close ..., and remains so far. But it is by listening and talking to as wide an array of anglers and agents you will start to build a picture of what good may look like... no guarantees, remember this is fishing.!!
This year we had a mixed group of both novice and improving anglers,  so the right location would be key…. But where ? After a few Internet searches the odd DVD and more importantly a chat with Mat McHugh- of Fly Odyssey we settled on the excellent value and location of Mexico’s Ascension Bay.

Punta Allen is located a short hop off the north shores of Ascension Bay. A part of the Sian Ka`an Biosphere Reserve,  the location is a protected ecology absolutely steeped in wild life and where you can encounter, snook, bonefish, tarpon and permit from a myriad of locations. Punta Allen’s peninsular spearheads the access to a wide expanse of tarpon stuffed lagoons, open water channels and beautiful post card flats which teem with bonefish, jacks, barracuda and of course the revered permit. You have just entered the Kingdom of the Grand Slam....  But, if that’s not enough you can throw in a number of seasonal off shore options.

Wade Fishing

Next it was kit, and the old adage of less is more will serve you well. I armed myself with three rods, 8#, 9w# and a10w#, with all reels loaded with 200yrd of backing. In reality two rods would have been fine but three did offer another dimension - as this could be rigged for a possible trophy shot - 40lb Barracuda are not uncommon


One area not to scrimp on… is lines, do spend some time selecting the right lines and leaders, after all you do want to see your fish of a lifetime…! Talk to experienced anglers and make the most of your local tackle dealers, there are quite often specific items and flies for the areas you may be travelling to. For example Ascension bay have some fantastic skinny water flats where the lightest of bonefish flies are vital for a stealthy presentation. Get it right and your reel will be screaming all day.
Other items are personal preference but do take good polarising sun glasses, amber and copper being ideal and pack plenty sun protection.

We flew direct London to Cancun arriving late PM. Upon arrival you are quickly met by your transfer host, and it’s off to Punta Allen, via Tulum. On arrival at Punta Allen you are welcomed by Manuel Chac and his team and quickly introduced to your rooms for some well earned rest. Manuel’s lodge “Casa Viejo Chac” is perfectly located and very comfortable, the team are so helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Food was excellent and presented to a high standard.

Manuel is a wealth of information, passionate, enthusiastic and highly skilled, our group were hungry to learn. The guides at Casa Viejo Chac are all highly experienced and very knowledgeable and with good English our anglers were quickly at ease and learning from the whole experience.

Fishing proved very good, even with some unseasonal weather to contend with, fortunately for us most appeared to circumnavigate the bay leaving us to enjoy prolonged tropical sunshine and explosive action. Our group caught countless bonefish on a daily basis, added to the mix were tarpon, snook, barracuda, jacks and even a couple of small permit. With the huge array of flats, channels and lagoons the opportunities were endless, our guides located fish on a daily basis ensuring us shots at every species while introducing us to an amazing diversity of wild life, such as eagles, flamingos, herons and crocodiles to name but a few..

Punta Allen went way beyond expectation, it boasts a multitude of species in a beautiful and diverse location and with simple direct access I would regard it as an idea destination for both first time and experienced anglers.

If you are seeking the thrill of saltwater fly fishing or just want to know more then please contact me at;  “That Fly”
        07564 266 539
2014 bookings now available.

No comments: