Roosters in Dreamland Page 3
Roosters in Dreamland
Part 3: The fight was intense, exciting, and brief, with no time to try the fly, but at least I had my fish.
By Richard Thiel — March 2005
Fly-fishing adds a whole new level of complexity. Here it’s the mates who man the live-bait rigs while the angler holds a number nine or heavier fly rod (which felt to me like a two-by-four) with an equally heavy-duty streamer at the end. When the mate feels (or better yet, sees) the rooster come up on the bait, he reels in briskly before it can take it. What is supposed to follow is a true bait-and-switch, with the angler flipping the streamer in front of the rooster as the mate pulls the bait away. Sound easy? Drop the streamer too close, and the fish bolts; too far away, and the fish never sees it. Factor in adrenalin, and you can see why the success rate is so low.
We headed for the most popular roosterfish grounds, about ten miles west across Golfo de Nicoya, to a series of rocky outcroppings on the shore and around Tortuga Island. Despite it being December, it was hot and humid—the latitude here is only about nine degrees. We fished for eight hours without a bite—unheard of. The following day we switched to Dream I, a 36 Luhrs Open, and this time our captain was Brandon Keene, who a few months earlier had put Los Sueños resident Phil Arklin on a 48-pound rooster that gave him the world record on fly. Unbelievably, that day also produced nothing until ten minutes before we were to pull lines, when we hooked a 20-pound rooster right outside the harbor entrance. The fight was intense, exciting, and brief, with no time to try the fly, but at least I had my fish—and enough of a taste to want to return to Los Sueños and try my luck again. But next time it’ll be in prime season.
Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing ( (732) 901-8625, ext. 46. www.costaricadreams.com.
Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort ( (800) 052-1365. www.marriottcostarica.com.
Los Sueños Resort and Marina ((866) 865-9759. www.lsrm.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.