Why Did We Start a Fly Fishing Lodge in Muertos Bay?
Jan 19th, 2023 by sworrall
Modified Jan 19th, 2023 at 11:49 AM
WORLD-CLASS ROOSTERFISH FLY FISHING
Why would we do this to ourselves?
In today’s World, you can type in a word, or ask Alexa anything, and learn about it. Surely, we could find a better location for a fly fishing lodge than Baja California Sur, Mexico right? Wrong! In 2018 Captain Juan Lucero, (a local fly fishing guide in Bahia de los Suenos), reached out to me via social media, and told me in broken English, “You need to come here to fly fish!” He had a picture of this exotic fish that was huge! It was an exquisite shade of grey, and black, and had a set of cool dorsal fins extending from its back. “Oh yeah, that is a roosterfish, but I am a tarpon dude,” I thought to myself. I was nice to Juan, and told him that maybe sometime in the future, but Captain Juan persisted. He explained to me that this fish, (the roosterfish) was an exceptional sport fish, and they were plentiful in this small area of Baja. “So you catch a lot of roosterfish on the fly?” I asked him, his answer was “Yes.” I asked him to prove it, so he shot me over a list of pictures of trophy roosterfish as plentiful as the stars on a dark night. I thought to myself, “Damn, this dude catches a lot of these fish, and big ones!”
I asked him when to go,
he said May through August. I told him that I was busy fishing other saltwater destinations, but I will keep him in mind. What he said next set me back on my heels.
“Come here, I will take you out 4 days for free!” Now, I am not the guy that will take advantage of a man, just to save a buck, but I liked the confidence, and swagger of this man. I booked a trip to Baja, and fell in love.
The first thing that smashed me in the eye-ball was the stunning beauty
of the Baja Desert. Arid, seemingly lifeless mountains that sheer into the emerald green water that quickly transitions to a jewel-like aqua blue, and the evenings are just, well, perfect is the only word that comes to mind. The sky is broken by both proximal, and distal mountains that zig-zag like a serrated knife, the edge of which is a variation of a razor-thin line separation of cold, and warm colors. The sky looks like fire, as the desert sunsets to bring in the night shift. It is then that this place really comes to life. It is something that is felt, not seen.
The second thing that I noticed is that this is a safe place, outside of Cabo San Lucas. People are small-town, rural folks, that are very patient with people that do not speak Spanish at all. They are very warm, genuine people that invite you as a friend almost upon first contact. They are family-oriented folks, and they work diligently to provide for them. They live a life of modesty, but they are proud and ethical, but it is still Mexico…
I have been a passionate fly fisherman
since the tender age of 8, I have fished all over North and South America. I resided in Alaska for seven years, but when I experienced roosterfish on the fly for the first time, I knew that I wanted an operation here. This was the richest fishery that I had ever seen. This fish was aggressive, but intelligent, fast, agile, selective, but quite belligerent, and once hooked, they take you for a steady pull for a very long time. They look like a deflating ballon under the water’s surface, and you must be both fast, and accurate with your casting. No matter how fast one can double-hand retrieve your fly line, this fish is faster!
The local foods are to die for! Fresh (and I mean it was moving earlier), seafoods, carne asada, pollo, and traditional Mexican dishes are the bulk of what we consume here. The simple flour tortilla is the most underrated, and unexpected food here. This simple staple of consumption is hand-made with fresh ingredients and cooked when ready to eat. It is the first step of a complicated process of cooking with the best local, fresh ingredients, and making a true masterpiece. I cannot explain why it is so much better, all that I can say is that it is worth the travel just for the tortillas. As I write this, I think to myself that this is a pretty stupid thing to say, but it is completely true!
Baja is not known for luxury accommodations outside of a few places in Cabo, La Paz, and some of the other bigger cities. But we found a place that is exceptional. It is distant enough to be one with nature, quiet, clean, and comfortable. Easy access for logistics, but far enough away from the grind to listen to your surroundings. To survey a horizon from the patio
When I came back to the States, I was rested, and calm. Stored away were the memories of the fish caught, the new friendships forged, and the rugged beauty of Baja California. I was content but longed to be back.
My wife saw the pictures of the roosterfish that I bested in Bahia de los Suenos, (the Bay of Dreams), and told me that she wanted to catch one. This excited me, I thought that if I could get her there, she would grow to love fly fishing as much as I do. I was almost right, she does enjoy fly fishing, but not nearly as much. She fishes from the boat maybe two-to-three times out of a given week when we are there, but she wants to do more than just fish. She really enjoys snorkeling, hiking, beach combing, etc. She is absolutely insane about Muertos Bay, (Bay of the Dead Men), not just for the fly fishing, but for many other things. She is the driving force and main reason that I founded this lodge.
I want to share this experience with people, to continue cultivating new friendships. I love to see the look of unbelief when people experience our patio and pool for the first time. I love to see the stressless look of anticipation on peoples’ faces as they wipe the sleep from their face after a real night of rest. It is my favorite thing to see the joy in a new friend when they hold their first grande roosterfish in the water, and their childish grin as they release the fish to its own world that we know so little about, so full of wonder.