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Red's Flyshop -Week 1 Ascension Bay Fishing Report

Red's Fly Shop
PO Box 186
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 933-2300 - Fly Shop and Reservations
By Steve Joyce
February 5, 2018

Our first week of flats fishing in Ascension Bay is complete!  While we went down with a feeling of apprehension regarding the recent unexpected loss of the lodge owner, uncertainty over US relations with MX, and a terrible weather forecast facing us with thunderstorms and strong wind every day that we'd be there;  we returned with smiles on our faces and a fresh set of X's on the calendar blocking out the same week for next year.  One really positive change we made this year was instead of fighting that terrible road from Tulum to Punta Allen during the dark on our arrival day, we drove to Tulum and stayed over night.  We enjoyed a great meal at restaurante Don Cafeto, then got a good rest and fresh start to meet our guides at Boca Paila for Day 1 of fishing.  Everyone was fishing within 5 minutes of jumping into the boats, and that ended up being one of our better days all week.

Fishing overall was a mixed bag.  We did have one day of heavy clouds all day and another of super strong winds, but the rest of the week offered at least partly sunny skies and the temperature was near or at 80 the whole week.  The only thunderstorms that came were at night when we were in the lodge, which was a great place to watch them from!  For the week many bonefish and tarpon were caught, several nice snook and cudas, and 2 really nice permit.  Highlights for the week included Bob and Erik landing over 20 tarpon in one morning.  They bushwhacked into an off the grid spot that was loaded with 4-8 lb tarpon with voracious appetites.  Some say it takes doing things right 30 times in a row to form a good habit - if those guys could have caught a few more, maybe they could get rid of that trout set!  Stay tuned for some great video footage of that.  Vern loves catching bonefish and a good day for him is losing count of fish landed, and he managed to do that twice this week.  Conrad landed his first good permit in Ascension Bay, and it happened the way we all dream of - big single fish tailing in shallow water, cast, strip, strip, set.... He also landed the biggest bonefish he's ever caught this week, too.  Alan brought his son Brendan to ABay for his first time.  He landed everything except permit, but their final shot on the last day was the two of them taking turns and changing flies throwing into a school of permit they described as "at least 200 feet long of solid fish"...  And finally, Wally landed the largest permit anyone in this group has ever caught, a legit 25 pounder.  The fish ate the crab and then came within the final 4 turns of spooling his 300 yards of backing before the guide fired up the chase engine.  Pictured below is Conrad and his beautiful 18 pounder.
We once again were reminded of what a special and unique place Ascension Bay is in the world of flats fishing.  The beauty of the flats, the diversity of species, the incredible guides, the comfort in the lodge, and the delicious food all combine to create what we still believe is the highest value in fly fishing.  We look forward to returning for years to come.  Check back this week and I'll have the slide show posted!
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