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Out of Area: , by Andrew Harris: Fly Fishing in Baja: 4 stars

I just returned from a great trip to the East Cape of Baja California with my buddy Mark Tompkins.  We fished with Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja.  Jeff has lived on the East Cape full-time for 17 years and is an expert on the fly fishing opportunities in the area.  He set us up with accommodations at Rancho Leonero, a comfortable fishing resort with great food and a great location right on the beach.  We dealt the best we could with some challenging conditions.  The first day we went boat fishing because the sky was overcast, which makes for poor visibility.  We landed several species that day, including skipjack, jack crevalle, and a small roosterfish.  We also hooked and lost a dorado.  The 2nd day we spent on the beach.  The swells were a little big and we only had one shot at a fish that day.  Fortunately Mark nailed it and hooked and landed a 45 pound roosterfish from the beach!  He almost got spooled, but managed to wrestle the fish back in.  That is a fish of a lifetime from the beach.  Our 3rd day we boat fished again in hopes of casting to some larger roosters that were working bait offshore.  We didn't connect with the big fish, but I managed to land my first roosterfish ever, about 10 pounds.

The day of beach fishing was the most fun, partially because we used quads to drive around and look for fish.  You can travel countless miles of beach from the resort on a quad or side-by-side.  When the light is good there is always a chance to find roosterfish crashing bait near the beach.  It's a really fun game to play, especially if you enjoy sight fishing.  It's also very different than wading the flats and other saltwater fishing scenarios.  The range of the roosterfish is large, but the East Cape of Baja is the only place in the world where you can catch them on flies from the beach.  I look forward to my next trip down there!

Mark Tompkins with a big roosterfish
Mark with a jack crevalle
Rancho Leonero is a great place to stay
This is a really fun way to fish
Jeff deBrown explains the strategy of beach fishing
Mark about to get spooled!
Who needs a boat trailer?
Skipjack close-up
Andrew with a skipjack
Getting closer...
Getting close...
Jeff deBrown releasing Mark's rooster
Andrew Harris with his first ever roosterfish
Close-up of a roosterfish - they're pretty cool!
Next 10 open days for Andrew Harris:
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