Written by: RC Cone
[Editor’s Note: Photographer and Filmmaker RC Cone, who made the fishing movie Breathe, recently returned from a DIY trip to Mexico. The fishing wasn’t great, but the photos are gorgeous. Here’s his report.
No entiendo. No hablo Español. No entiendo. [Points to map] Yo voy. Si!
I’m trying to get a bus to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Obviously, my Spanish sucks, since I’m
struggling to communicate in one of the more gringo places in Mexico. Just packing a bag
doesn’t make one prepared for anything.
I make it to Sayulita, and it’s where the magic happens. For a week and a half, I shed the gray,
melting rain of Portland, Oregon, and eat mangos, sunburn, surf, and prowl the beach every day.
My friend Garrett and I are lucky enough to have a full Orvis set up with us. A Helios 2 10-weight, Mirage reel, and a box of saltwater flies make us feel like pros, even though we have no idea what we’re doing. The local Mexican fishermen are trying to figure out what we we’re doing as well, getting pummeled by surf, waving a stick in the air. They just chuck the bait out there. Plus, we have no money for a guide: turns out, for as cheap as they are, Pesos are not Monopoly money.
We start by walking south along the beach in Sayulita and see nothing but bikinis, empty
beaches, a ton of crabs, and a few cervezas. (Maybe we brought those.) North along the beach
we start seeing schools of baitfish jump, so we do what any good fly fisherman does: we cast.
And cast. And cast. To no avail.
Of course, the fifth day we’re there, after many days of casting at baitfish, I decide to go surfing instead of fishing in the afternoon. Life is full of tough decisions, and you have to meet them head on.
Today, surfing was the answer for me, but for Garrett, today was the day he scored. He hooked up with a Jack on a tan Clouser by casting into a pod of jumping baitfish and stripping crazy fast. The fight didn’t take long, with the surf helping to bring the fish in.
Garrett and I enjoyed his catch the traditional Mexican way: with rice, beans, tortillas, fresh avocados, lime. Amazing. I think I could get used to this. Some improvement in my Spanish and a large improvement in my surf-casting skills could
keep me in Mexico forever.