Monday, April 29, 2013


The nice thing about fishing is that you never know really what's going to be thrown your way when it comes to the weather.

As I stepped from the shade of the mini-super just outside the little village of Buena Vista with a case of Pacifico, a bottle of blanco tequila and two bottles of juice--one orange, the other pineapple--I was preparing to tie on a little varietal mind-melt. The wind, coming from the north for two days straight had encouraged me to move on to Plan B.

As in, if the fishing is going to suck--and it generally does on the East Cape when the wind comes from del norte--the drinking is going to be epic.

Sadly, my traveling buddy Mike was running behind schedule thanks to weather and a host of other challenges that come with traveling across the hemisphere on a jet plane. I'd have to start Plan B solo--and with a hammock stretched between two palms just out the back door of the villa, I knew just where to start. I know... drinking alone is a warning sign. But then, so is not drinking at all when there's a hammock strung up between two palms right out the... ah, hell. You get the idea.

First things first. Ice. Procured at the swim-up bar at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort. The sink becomes the beer cooler. A little glass from the hotel room becomes a tumbler. One part Brendain Blanco, one part OJ, one part pineapple... delicious.


Friday, April 12, 2013

The North Wind

El viento del norte no es bueno.
pompano, fly fishing, baja, East Cape
A pompano comes calling on a windy day.

It's a theme with me, unfortunately. If the weather can suck, it will. Here on the East Cape, if the wind blows from the north, the fishing is pretty much a non-starter. The north wind pushes big breakers from the Sea of Cortez up against the abrupt edge of the coast, churning the lime-green waters into a froth and generally making a mess of things.

And so, for the better part of two days, the wind blew from the north. It blew so hard that the fishing guides at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort simply gave me sympathetic looks as I wandered down the beach at the crack of dawn on Thursday, hoping against hope that I'd be able to convince a fishy denizen to hit my fly before the wind got out of hand. The looks were telling. That poor bastard... all the way from Idaho, and then ... this.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Salt

Make no mistake about it--my feet are firmly rooted in the black soil of eastern Idaho, within sight, on a clear day, of the Tetons to the east and the Lost River Range far across the Big Desert to the west.

But now and again, the ocean beckons.

Possess the slightly twisted desire to stand barefoot in the surf line and watch as the ocean tries to claim me, slowly but deliberately, from the comforts of dry land. Many times I've stood in wet sand and slowly sunk up to my ankles, wondering just how long it would take for the sea to bury me whole.

Weird, I know.

I'm headed to the famed East Cape of the Baja California Sur this week--the fishy denizens of the Sea of Cortez have taunted me since my first brief visit a handful of years ago. This week, I will cast to them in earnest. I'll battle the southern wind, spot for roosters and jacks in the surf and happily take what comes, even if it's nothing much.

And I'll get my feet wet.

Monday, April 8, 2013

20 Questions: Jay Zimmerman

Jay Zimmerman
I've only shared time with Jay Zimmerman once--we tipped a few beers in Denver during a gathering of writers and bloggers a few months back. But Jay is one of those guys who's simply hard to miss in this incestuous little community we've chosen. He's outspoken. He can be a little crass. But he's thoughtful and I think he's really smart.

One minute you're thinking, "Dude, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" and the next you're wishing aloud, "Damn, I'd love to be able to enunciate my thoughts that profoundly ... at least once."

A lot of you may know Jay as the significant other who's attached to Erin Block, the fine young writer who's recently penned a book and whose work appears regularly in TROUT Magazine. But Jay's carved a niche in the fly fishing world all his own--he's a hell fly tyer, and he's not a bad writer in his own right. He has his own following (and his own book on the market), and rightly so.

I feel fortunate that I got to spend some time with Jay and Erin in Denver a few months ago, and I look forward to the opportunity to share a drink with them again sometime soon.

On with the questions: