Los Roques Getaway – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Los Roques Getaway

First Night

Here we are, in the middle of the southern Caribbean Ocean on a series of island just about 80 miles off the cost of a Carracas. The Los Roques Archipelago has long been one of the world’s premier saltwater flats destination. Civil unrest, a highly devalued currency, and plunging oil prices have taken Venezuela off the map for many western travelers and global fly fishers. So, our decision based o coming here had more to do with the assumption that the fishing would be as goods ever here because the fishing pressure is nonexistent compared to just a few years ago,

What I have to report so far is simple. We flew Miami to Caracas yesterday, We arrived Caracas at 1:00 pm, were greeted by a transfer team that took us to the domestic terminal. We checked in, hung out at the gate, and boarded the flight on time. The most stressful part of the travel day was…nothing. I expected to be assaulted by street vendors and gangs once we left customs but instead was greeted by a whole bunch of families, excitedly waiting for their returning family members. Felt more like home than anything else.
The quick flight form Caracas to Grand Roques was beautiful and efficient, Settling in and walking around the island was easy and there are no threats here other than maybe stubbing your toe on a concrete curb.
Birds are crashing sardines off the beach, they have been dong that since we arrived and I bet they do that all day, everyday. The wind is up, the sky is blue, and the anticipation for the day ahead is reaching its’ peak. Im going to go put my shit together!
Day One
Day one of fishing in the books here in Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters. The wind has been blowing, but the place is just amazing from a flats fishing perspective. Endless series of pancakeflats, beach flats, and mangrove flats are everywhere with deep channels connecting them all. The sardines are everywhere, I mean everywhere. Pelicans, terns, and gulls seem to spend the day – and probably night as well – crashing into the water for samples of a piscatorial buffet that just never quits. The fishing you ask? Fishing was great, the catching you ask? Not my bets outing would be my comment.

Every flat we pulled up yesterday was full of feeding Bonefish, tailing Bonefish, and schools of feeding, paling Bonefish. Now, it was windy as hell and partly cloudy and most of which we were fishing had a dark bottom. So, it was hard to see the fish consistently and we had a lot of wind and tide current affecting our leaders/lines during the presentations. Still, most fish that ate my fly were treated to a full-on Tarpon style set. My knots failed time after time. By late in the day, I finally brought one to hand and felt like I was getting the feel for the hooks once again.

Rainman, on the other hand, killed it on the Bonefish and then spent the afternoon looking for Tarpon. Sounded like he made one cast at Tarpon and came tight to a 50 pounder which he fought for half and hour or so, but lost it at the boat just before the leader was touched. So close, I say.

The day was great, overall though, and that never gets lost on me anymore. I was able to spend the day with my dad, walking the flats and thinking only of the present and trying to notice everything that was in my world at that moment. Fancy talk for I was focused on looking for fish and happy to be fishing with my dad!

My wife enjoyed the diving and we did a small hike up the hills that outline Grand Roques last evening. I could sit on the Ridgeline and stare into the rolling waves and crashing breakers below foe endless days.

Its been a great vacation so far and I can’t rave on enough about Sightcast Outfitters and Posada Acuarela. The staff, guides, food, accommodations, and location has been nothing short of exceptional. Looking forward to day two!

Day Two

Good day here at Los Roques with Sightcast Outfitters…worn out, tired, and satiated. Started off the morning on a beach flat with gobs of spooky Bonefish that wanted nothing to eat and nothing to do with me. After an hour or so, the light improved and we were able to see fish coming from a long way away. The 30 mph breeze made banging out 80′ casts a simple task and distance was the key early on getting fish to eat. After that, things got easier, fish seemed more relaxed and I put it to them for awhile.

Got to fish with my wife this afternoon after she had a nice morning of SCUBA diving out on some reef wall. She claims to see all kinds of fish underwater when she dives, I think she exaggerates. Anyway. the guide had her out on a Pancake flat this afternoon and she hooked up and landed a few in an hour or two of fishing in the wind and clouds. She did great and was laughing away with the guide.

We rolled up for an afternoon session of Tarpon fishing just off the beach here at Grand Roques around 4. I was focused on reading the water and looking at the cuts, trying to find the structure to fish at while fish were rolling off and on around us. After about 10 minutes, I realized that the structure was actually a mass of Sardines beyond comprehension. Miles and miles of little fish. The bright spots in between are where the Tarpon, Jacks, and everything else blow through the schools. I stuck one briefly on a gummy minnow.