Los Roques February 2013

This February I went 2 weeks to Los Roques in Venezuela to get away from the cold Danish weather. I have done so many times before and contrary to many others I do not mind going back to where I have been before. It gives you advantages to know where to find sleep, where to fish etc. and it also nice to see some of the people you have met before again. So for the umphth time I went to Los Roques. this time I went with Gunnar and Ib. Ib is not a fly-fisher so his agenda was to relax, read, swim, drink rum and have a nice time and as he nicely puts it: be with passionate people.

This time I fished a lot on my own which is Ok but when you release the fish and want to do that quite fast it does not give many photo opportunities and therefore the quality of the photos this time is even worse than normally.

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This classic sight from the airplane before landing can always make long for the coming days

 

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The first day we went to Madrisqui and Pirata and here Gunnar amongst other caught this bonefish.

 

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Around Los Roques many of the bonefish primarily feed on small baitfish at many occasions the gummi minnow is the preferred pattern despite they in the wind are quite annoying to cast.

 

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The black market exchange rate has skyrocketed the last months so everything was more or less half price compared to last year and we had a very inexpensive trip. Here I am with my lunch one day, a lobster prepared with side dish and dessert – app. 20 USD. Actually we sometimes had fish for lunch as we were tired of lobster, that is luxury.

 

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I the morning I often fished from the main island Gran Roque before breakfast. I hoped to catch some of the few baby tarpon or some of the schools of jacks making attacks at the minnows close to land. One morning I got the smallest bonefish (app. 2 lbs.) on the whole trip on a black and red tarpon fly – the Black Death.

 

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We fished a few days with guide and here Gunnar is on a pancake flat with our guide Antonio. Gunnar has hooked a bonefish which is hard to see at this distance but unfortunately he later lost it. It was not that easy to get a guide as there were many customers and due to the exchange rate their salary had  more or less doubled as they are paid in USD so they did not feel the need to work that much.

 

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I found many times tailing fish but as I am more a fly-fisher than a photographer I did not get nice shots of one of most thrilling sights I can think of. But here you can see a single tail near the mangrove to the right.

 

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All fish were released here a bonefish from one of the flats start its return.

 

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and way it goes.

 

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After a day on the beach or on the flats we went to the beach bar drinking mojitos and piña coladas in the bean bag chairs. Here Poul a Danish flyfisher on is own has joined us.

 

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The sunset from our bean bag chairs – not the worst option in February seen from a Danish point of view.

Bonefish was our main target but whenever we got the chance for something else we tried to grab it and sometime other species just grab our fly.

 

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a small grouper

 

2013-02-21 22.58.22a pompano – a small version of a permit

 

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a blue runner – many of the schools of fish that attacked the minnows near the beaches this year were blue runners

 

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but there were also some horse eyed jacks at times.

 

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and sometimes yellow tail snappers

 

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There are some big fish in the waters around Los Roques – here Ib pose with a ray the local fishermen had caught

 

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The last day I did not want to fish much but as there was a school of blue runners chasing in front of us I had to grab the fly rod.

 

All in all this trip was business as usual but the fishing was a bit worse than normally as it was extremely windy and therefore the waters were a bit more murky than normally and there were more clouds than normally which also makes it harder to sight fish and finally the water was cooler than normally. The good thing was the exchange rate that made this trip the cheapest in many years.

 

 

 

 

Los Roques february 2012

As the temperatures in Denmark was well below the freezing point (actually down to -20 degrees below) it was nice to go back to Los Roques once again with warm weather, sun and plenty of fast swimming fish.

The Danish Los Roques team was Rene, Ib, Eigil, Niels, Niels and myself. Christian and Berit that lived in a posada a few blocks away from the Plaza was also present but not at the moment of this photo. Eigil and Niels travelled by themselves but were at LR in the same period as the rest.

We stayed at posada Doña Magalys which is in the budget end but we were very satisfied with the hospitality and the food. Magalys is apparently a big fan of Hugo Chavez – why I don´t know.

Lorenzo is the name of the posadas pet parrot which was very fond of Rene.

Our primary target fish was the bonefish which can be caught blindfishing with minnow patterns in deeper waters or sight fished on the flats. I definitely prefer the sight fishing despite that it often not is a productive, but it is better fun.

When unhooking a bonefish it often makes the fish much calmer if you put it upside down.

Rene with a nice bonefish. The average size on Los Roques is quite good app. 4 lbs. This year I did not catch any big ones but even fish in the 4 -6 lbs. range can produce spectacular runs when hooked. Actually all kinds of fish down here are much stronger and faster than what we are used to back home.

We fished some days on our own and other days with guides. With our first guide Jesus we had several double hookups on the flats but every time one of us lost a fish during the fight. This was the first time we succeeded landing two fish at a time but from the boat. We did it later again with our other guide Alet.

One day fishing with Alet we fished for fish hunting at the surface. This is always very intense and I really like the action of this fishing. We kept the fish so we could have it for lunch as Alet promised to cook it. As you can see we got to lobsters not by fishing but by exchanging some of our fish.

Here Alet prepares our lobster and fish lunch on some Venezuelan design furniture including both chair and table in one.

A bonefish in its right element just before landing. It was hooked at this depth as well so one of my favourite hookups on the trip.

We caught also other species than bonefish – here a snapper

And a carite – a spanish mackerel. You need luck or a wire leader to land this fish and a plier to unhook it. They have incredible sharp teeth.

a small tuna

a blue runner

a pompano looks like a permit but never grows big. An austrian flyfisher got a 14 kg permit one of the days, a very impressive fish.

Eigil with a false albacore

Rene with a yellow tail snapper

A lady fish. Also called poor mans tarpon. They jump like tarpon but don´t grow big. I caught 3 ladyfish in 3 casts and then Rene tried for 20 20 minutes without any luck – I could not get my arms down 😉

Rene he caught a tarpon on the main island. That is really an achievement as we almost did not see any and even when you see many it can be very hard to catch one. Rene fished most af the time with a head cam and he got all of his tarpon fight on video. I hope and expect that I later can put some of his video on the blog.

Los Roques video 2010

Michael has made a video from last years trip to Los Roques. The speak is in danish but there is not much speaking

 

Thomas Lang Bluerunner

bluerunner