Cancun Canals Report 01/01/05 CND ATLANTIS used - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 01-04-2005, 09:46 AM
brooklynangler brooklynangler is offline
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Cancun Canals Report 01/01/05 CND ATLANTIS used

So we got a last minute deal at a really crappy all inclusive hotel/resort (Royal Solaris Caribe) in the dark tourist heart of Cancun. OUr trip to Portland OR was cancelled by friendly Comair in their holiday meltdown.

t was one of those places where the food is so bad that you simply can't believe it--- breakfast's leftovers become lunch with then become dinner, to the almighty recursive end.

If I drank, it might be fun, but watching overweight German tourists dump limpid cheese sauce on top of soggy fries on top of half-raw corn fritters...eating the whole thing in speedo's...is frightening. Or the constant bitching that neared violence a couple of times that there was not enough liquor in the drinks. Or the fact that the official gospel is "no tips," but the workers in Cancun LIVE on tips, is a gigantic, guilty bumble-f*** if you ask me--- you get the "propina eye" everytime someone opens a door for you, but "tips are included."

The beach was filled with giant rocks. Sucked. Seas far too rough and beach depth far too narrow for even shooting-head fishing

No interest, but for those who are interested in a day of fishing in Cancun, this is a good way to go: www dot tarponcancun dot com. Very helpful, reputable, etc. Not the Pinder Bros, but, then, who is?

I will be sending them an email regarding sponsorship today...think this board might help them and vice versa...I was extremely happy with the fishing package..

I paid for a day of fishing for two: $375 including pick up from hotel and drop off. Full day fishing 8 hrs, "boxed lunch" aka soggy ham and cheese sandwiches that the "guide's" wife made. Guide was completely non-English speaking (expected), but my father did not understand this and made conversation with Javier to which Javier just nodded. My 50 words of Spanish were barely better. Only English word the Javier knew was, not suprisingly, "WINDY." I can't stand luxury in fishing, so this was cool.

We headed out on a simple skiff at 6:45 to return around 3pm.

My father regards flyfishing as a purely foolish art practiced by people too dumb to know better, so he was equipped with the guide's very tired spinning outfit and a single wiggly, subsurface lure-- he caught more fish than I, but no tarpon.

I brought the CND Atlantis 1111 and a Scott STS 9wt. My dumb arse grabbed a coldwater floating line for my Scott, so by the time the sun broke over the mangroves, my line was like string cheese--- couldn't even turn itself over. Had to switch to the atlantis with a 12wt Airflo 35' clear intermediate shooting head backed with that Airflo braided shooting line. Was worried that the shooting head/Atlantis setup would be too brash for the dead-quiet lagoon canals, but I was wrong.

The Atlantis was really nice because the guide could move the boat to the center of the 150-180' wide canal and I could hit either shore with ease. Found that a really long (for saltwater) leader of about 12-15' starting with clear Maxima 50lb and ending with 20lb Orvis super strong turned over well and kept the relatively splashy shooting head away from the fish. Since I had to drop the fly just in front of the tangle-y mangroves, this was a great learning experience. Great fun for a student of fly casting.

This was not really sight casting as we could see rises and bloops and the occasional tarpon roll, but it was more about fishing the structure. As such, casting that stiff single handed Scott with a long head Rio Long Cast line basically non-stop for two hours was extremely tiring, so the Atlantis was a very, very welcome respite. Just a simple roll pickup, a single backcast, and out the head and line shot. Very easy. Took 15 mins before I was able to SLOW DOWN enough from having been casting that Scott broomstick. The guide kept pointing at the rod and laughing as I did 90+' casts with about 8 inches of motion from my arms. He said in Spanish that he can't fly fish too much because it hurts his wrist. But he didn't want to try my rod. As the tide started coming in, I was able to double spey to great effect to a little nook where I picked up a snook.

Used big Kenney Abrames-style flatwings and also some needlefish imitations during most of the morning and picked up a few snook and cuda--- nothing over 5-8lbs.

Switched to standard tarpon flies in the afternoon and had a few hookups with tarpon, but no catches. My strip-striking prowess is rusty having been out of NYC and my saltwater havens for almost 8 months.

Had one of those weird moments when we were boating to another canal when I was something REALLY big swimming about 20 feet from our boat. Don't think it was a Manatee...shark perhaps??? Water was about 5-6 ft deep and dead clear. Always spooky to see something like that...saw something like that near the Domino Sugar plant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn one evening in 2002. Biggest fish I've ever seen. Still spooks me.

On the way back to the boat launch, it started to rain so the guide found a little house on stilts about a half mile out in the water. Guide and my dad went in, but I stayed on the boat and blind cast with the Atlantis , picking up a tiny cuda for my 15mins effort.

All in all, a great day fishing and the Atlantis came through yet again as a GREAT fishing tool. There is no getting "blown out" with this stick. Just about the most useful saltwater rod on earth, in my opinion. Wish I'd had it when I was beach fishing in Brooklyn, Queens, etc. MUCH better than the big spey rods I used to use.

Also use the Atlantis with an 8/9 XLT for Cattaraugus steelhead a few months ago. Worked great at the relatively shorter casting distances.

Sorry if I'm gushing. It seems as if I came to the same conclusion when I used to fish Roosevelt Island and Battery Park with a Spey Rod that a few other pioneers did--- two hands are usually better than one in the salt! Of course, for super precise 6/7/8wt flats fishing...maybe not...

But Juro (and Jay Horton and Meiser others) is right--- 12' is the longest rod that I would care to deal with in most SW conditions. Not to say that one couldn't fish with a 14-16' scandanavian action spey rod, but just that with purpose-built tools available at all price strata, why would you WANT to?

So, my dad and I are gong back to either Cancun or on to Punta Allen for a week of lagoon-y canal-y fishing (my father HATES flats fishing) sometime in Jan.

*******************Your faithful brooklynangler
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2005, 11:07 AM
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Adrian Adrian is offline
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Thanks for the great report and sponsorship opportunity. If you didn't already, just cc: admin@flyfishingforum.com on your email and someone can follow up.

Better luck with the silver kings next time. Great to see the Atlantis breaking ground in new waters. If you get down to Punta Allen you might nail a Permit on one.

I had hoped to tease a few roosterfish into submission down Baja way in October but as our panguero pointed out ..... "No hay pez gallos aqui desde el 14 Augusto senor"
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:21 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Thumbs up

Great report! Your observations with the spey-length leader has motivated me into further experimentation in this aspect, thank you.

I'm glad you found the key to casting these rods - I often tell people "it's so easy that it's hard".
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:59 AM
brooklynangler brooklynangler is offline
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sponsor

Sponsor email sent.

Cheers!
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Old 01-09-2005, 08:27 PM
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brooklynangler -

Your report has inspired me to try for a tarpon from shore on the upcoming trip to Acklins / Crooked Island. I was talking to Eddie and we concluded that it's not common to hear of a tarpon being caught from shore. I have only heard of it being done with a fly from Kristen Mustad of Old Florida reels during the bait migration along the Florida coast. I've heard of spinrod tarpon from shore but not on a fly.

If the tarpon will not partake, then maybe a lemon shark will
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:21 AM
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Shore Tarpon

It can be done, mostly at night near the bridge on Stafford Creek and a mile up from the opening to Fresh Creek on Andros. Saw them but could not get a hook up. Juro.
Try at night near some lights. Also, bring a flashlight and shine it in the water. You will see their eyes glow! Did this on Fresh Creek. Orange eyes the size of golf balls!

Phil
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:10 AM
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The ocean side down in the Yucatan by Punta Allen gets a good run of Tarpon in the surf during the summer months. Action can be fast and furious from the beach.

Definitely worth the hunt.
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