When it comes to fly fishing adventures in the La Ventana region, there are so many ways to go. For a lot of adventure travel and outdoors people, DIY trips are what they prefer, so, we thought we’d compile some of our founder’s hard won knowledge on the La Ventana region and give you a mini “DIY guide” to crafting your own fly fishing getaway. We think you’ll like it.
To keep this simple, we won’t speak to getting here, you can arrange flights to La Paz, and from there regular shuttles run down to La Ventana regularly. Catching one is simple, but it may cost you as much as $50 one way, if you manage to catch a ride with other anglers or sight seers.
Rental cars are available, but beware. You want to carefully examine and photograph your rented vehicle while you’re still at the airport to document any existing damage, and pay careful attention to the charges, which can add up quickly.
Once you’re in La Ventana, you’ll need a place to stay, but we suggest you make arrangements before coming down. Here are our recommendations, in order of cost.
Get a room
Rooms for rent are not hard to find in a tourist area such as La Ventana, and some of them are extremely inexpensive. If you go back off the beach and look for single accommodations, and are not too picky, you can get a clean place to sleep for $30 USD a night. Google is your best friend when finding these.
There are rooms available at local establishments. The less expensive rooms will cost you about the same as a bargain hotel in the Us, nicer places can be had for $200 a night.
If you prefer the Air BnB, or Vacation Rental by Owner style, you can get a house for anywhere from a couple of hundred a night for a small one bed, up to several thousand for beach front villas with private pools, such as the two we operate at El Gallo, on top of the mountain overlooking the bay. Again, Google to find what’s available and ask the usual questions.
This depends entirely on where you want to stay. At least one local hotel has a central restaurant on site. Good food, but not cheap. Local fare is excellent and inexpensive, either from cafes or street vendors, depending on your taste. You can also prepare your own, and if you take a look at our excursions comparison post, we’ve listed one there that gives you space to cook your own food.
If you’d prefer something prepared for you, check out that comparisons post to see the all inclusive and hybrid options available.
For most of you, this is what you’re most excited about, and in this region we can’t blame you. The opportunities to catch some really great fish exist in abundance. You basically have two options. Beach, or boat.
This is the least expensive option, without any cost, other than your gear. There are local beaches with good fishing, but we won’t direct you to them, other than to say do your homework. If you show up on one of our favorite fishing beaches, we will welcome you, and share tips, but if you want a guide, you know where to find us.
Your best bet is to research online before you come down, find fly fishers who’ve been here and made good beach catches. You’ll probably also need a rental car, because some of them are too far to walk, and you’ll have to do some physical work to get there. If that doesn’t sound like you, remember, El Gallo includes side by side ATV transport to several great local fishing beaches.
We’ve outlined what you’ll need for gear below. There is one caveat to beach fishing. If you came to LaVentana on the hunt for a big Rooster Fish, it’s unlikely you’ll have the good fortune of making the Jeff Courier monster catch right off the beach, you’re probably going to be out of luck. This man is a legend for a good reason, but, if you’re willing to work hard, and eat some sand, you can make great beach catches here.
The gear you’ll need
- 10 or 12 weight flyrod, 12 if you’re wanting to catch big roosters
- Flywheel with a solid, strong break, because they run like crazy
- Carbon reels work best to dissipate the heat from the friction
- 400 yards of backing with a STRONG anchor knot, they will test it.
- 110 feet of intermediate sinking line, whatever weight you prefer casting
- Consider 60/40 or 30/20 combo for your leader and tippet
- 15lbs at 12 to 14 feet length works well
- Sardinias are preferred
- Think along the lines of white, white and tan, or white with an olive top
- Bigger fish like bigger bait. Think mullet in the 8 or 9 in range
- Three to four rod hook.
If you need specific brand recommendations, or would like to ask what we’re using, please, message us, we’ll gladly share that information. We just love to see happy fly fishers sharing pictures of LaVentana catches, it’s good for business!
Beach fishing strategy
If you’ve never been after rooster fish, you’ll want to pay close attention. Here you’ll see large ones run right up to your feet, the water is that clear, but the instant they sense anything isn’t kosher, they’re gone, and they may run 400 yards before they break off or even think about coming back, so you have to be stealthy.
- Keep a very low profile approaching the water, sometimes it’s even best to lie flat back to avoid the shadow
- You need long casts, 110 feet is pretty typical. This is something you’ll need to practice.
- One method that works is to run out into the surf, cast quickly, and get out of sight, ready to pull that fly back in.
- Wear good water shoes, or have tough feet. You’ll be in water, with sand pulling away under your feet making it uneven.
While all of this makes beach fishing sound exhausting, and it is, it’s a very exhilarating experience. The surroundings are beautiful, and when you make the catch, all of the athletics are worth it for the battle they bring. Not to mention the amazing trophy photos.
While it’s not the best way to get the biggest catches, you will find fly fishers in the surf around La Ventana all year round. It is an experience like no other.
For our money, this is the best way to get the full rooster fish fly fishing experience. In LaVentana you can get a captain and a panga for $200 to $400 a day. It may be a lot for a single angler, but split three or four ways, it becomes very affordable.
Here’s Donnie’s take on boats and captains, “I would spend the money because the more experienced the people are, the more they’re going to they’re going to charge, the more success rate you’re going to have, there’s nothing more frustrating than pay bottom dollar for for a captain in a boat and feel like he got ripped off at the end of the day because you haven’t had any opportunities to get anything. Those guys that charge more have been doing this for a very long time”.
When it comes to finding a good captain, trolling social media is the best way to find your own. Searching for captains on Facebook and Instagram have both proven fruitful. Many of the guides have a presence on these platforms and can be contacted to arrange your excursion. Do this before you arrive to make sure you have locked in your boat, and to get the best rate and avoid problems.
Trust your captain
Unless you’ve been here before, if you’ve chosen a captain with a good reputation and social media following, trust their judgment. They count on happy customers for marketing. If they tell you where the fish will be, or what to use, try it, you’ll find they’re very knowledgable and willing to share what they know.
Call us for a guaranteed pro
If you prefer to find your own lodging, food and transportation, but still want the best captain and boat, El Gallo can help. We keep captions on our payroll and available to us. For $400 a day, you can get the same fishing experience our guests get, minus the private lodge, pool, gourmet food and staff.
We know not everyone can afford us but we really love to see anglers having a blast, so, check with us for availability and know that you’re getting one of the best captains available in the Los Muertas bay and La Ventana area.
Other travel tips
If you’re a seasoned traveler, bear with us, most of this will seem basic, but we felt it was a good idea to mention some things.
- Don’t attract attention. Dress casually, without flash, or looking like “money”
- Don’t be spendy, or flash cash, gold watches, etc
- Pay attention to your surroundings, especially if you’re drinking, or relaxing and your guard is down.
- If you’re not a big, somewhat intimidating guy, take a buddy.
Unknown Speaker 14:21
I’m saying if if a guy wanted to start from scratch, he doesn’t want to use your captain. He wants to just for whatever reason, what’s the process you just go down and hunt around? You just asked what what do you do?
Consider El Gallo, but if not, we welcome you to La Ventana
We would love to have you as our guest, but we know there are many reasons to book your own travel and amenities, plus, we won’t always have availability. But, if we can point you in the right direction to enjoying the amazing fly fishing in our region, we’re happy to do it, and we would welcome you at our lodge on your next trip now. Be safe, be smart and enjoy the hell out of your experience. It’s a pretty sweet place.