It’s not a terrible thing that plenty of fly anglers are happy with the status quo in their activity. They’re happy on their home water, putting their favorite soft hackles in front of their local trouts’ noses. They’re comfortable with their gear, their casting style, and their overall fishing reality. They have good day after good day and make plenty of happy memories. And that’s fine. Comfort is good. It’s what so many people strive for in their sport. I have trout bum friends who have no desire to travel to the flats to target bonefish because they’re happy in their zone. And, I’ve met plenty of tarpon guides who have never fished for trout, and have no intention of trying it for the same reason. Plus, breaking comfort barriers in fly fishing can be quite expensive. And spending money on a fishy risk is…well, risky.
Somehow I had it in my mind that I didn’t like fishing off-shore. I knew I didn’t like the idea of using so much gas to power a big charter boat and run for hours into the deep blue sea. Plus, I’m a puker. So when the chance to catch a marlin on a fly in Guatemala came up, I was skeptical. But I wouldn’t let myself say, “that’s not really my thing” without proof.
If you’ve seen or heard fantastic sailfish tales from Guatemala’s Pacific West Coast, the undisputed sailfish capital of the world, you’ve probably heard the name Casa Vieja in the same story. But it wasn’t the reports of daily double digit sailfish raises that attracted Beyond Trout TV to Casa Vieja, it was the company’s dedication to billfish conservation.
Casa Vieja Lodge has a strong relationship with The Billfish Foundation, (TBF) the world’s premier billfish conservation group as an Official Tag and Release Program Sponsor. The lodge has received multiple Top Tagging awards for captains and anglers and provides TBF with valuable data that aids in research, advocacy and education efforts.
Casa Vieja’s commanding theme is “total release” and their captains exclusively use circle hooks to ensure a healthier condition of released fish, while also increasing hook-up ratios.
There’s a great article promoting Casa Vieja’s role in sailfish conservation in this issue of Marlin Magazine: Click here to see the article in its entirety.
Location is key to this conservation story, as Casa Vieja Lodge is nestled in a country that the Lodge says leads the way in billfish protection and marine conservation ethics.
Once we were sold on the opportunity, we knew he had to take it all in. And let some out. (ie: the puking.)
We flew into Guatemala City, where the lodge arranged to have us picked up in a shuttle van which took us to the Casa Vieja where we were greeted with evening cocktails and a hearty, fresh, gourmet dinner.
Early the next morning, after a comfortable sleep in beautiful, air-conditioned rooms, the lodge staff brought us coffee in bed. We housed some chilaquiles and fresh fruit, then took the short shuttle ride to the marina where we met our captain, Chris Sheeter and his talented crew.
Shooting a television show can be nerve-wracking because you never know if you’ll actually get a fish on camera, but we didn’t have to sweat for long. Each of our fishermen and cameramen boated multiple sailfish.
Oh, and I got to fly the striped flag back to the marina.
The fish tales from Casa Vieja are best left to the truth told in the video, so we hope you’ll enjoy it.
Want to learn more about fishing with Casa Vieja Lodge? Call the team at Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures today – –
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures
213 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, Montana 59715
United States of America
888-777-5060 – Toll-Free
406-585-8667 – Local
011-406-585-8667 – International to the U.S.