Mullet Snapper on the Fly at Darien Lodge Colombia

by | May 20, 2024 | fly fishing for snapper | 2 comments

mullet-snapperI left home without any specific goals or target fish to catch here at Darien Lodge in Colombia.  My main thing was – have a good time with friends and add my 60th something country to my list.  That changed last night however when Anthony showed me his picture of the mullet snapper he caught yesterday.  And then hear how cool it was to see them blitz bait like tuna.  I’ve caught two mullets on the fly in Baja, but they were small.  Today a big mullet snapper was my focus.

 

Darien-LodgeI have a routine of getting up around 5 AM before any other guests do here at Darien Lodge.  The kitchen staff  kindly brings me coffee and I get about 45 minutes quiet time to work on my blog and edit some of yesterdays pictures.  I love it.  While I work I hear the surf breaking on the beach and the jungle birds sing wildly.

 

 

We mixed things up today.  Ben, Scott and I continued to fish together but we switch boat crews.  Today we went with Alberto “Beto” who is the owner and founder of Darien Lodge.  I’ve been looking forward to fishing with Beto.  We chatted in emails the last couple months, now it was time to go fishing.  He was Anthony’s captain yesterday for the snapper.  We told him, “Let’s go back to the spot”.

 

flyfishing-tunaWell, the way things go here in Colombia, you never know what you may run into.  Though our plan was for a direct hit for the mullet snapper location, we got sidetracked.  There were a lot of fierce bait balls in the Pacific this morning and the first one we came too – we hooked up to yellowfin tuna.

 

 

 

yellowfin-tunaIt was madness.  I hooked up first.  Then Ben.  I could see Scott in the back casting a sailfish popper.  I’m pretty sure he was trying not to hook a tuna and saving himself for a sailfish.  Kind of like me yesterday afternoon.

 

 

 

yellowfin-tunaBen and I landed our tunas at the same time.  Nothing like a quick double yellowfin tuna photo!  Then we each caught another.  Scott finally downsized his fly and caught one also.  In a matter of an hour, we released seven yellowfin tuna on the fly.  Unreal fishing!

 

Honestly, we could have caught more tuna in this bait ball.  It seemed never ending.  But I’m nursing this shoulder at this point and the thought of a huge mullet snapper on the fly made all of us willing to leave fish to find fish.

 

Beto and his mate Grillio took us to the spot.  The Marrese father/son combo and Jess and their boat were already there.  Unfortunately, six other boats were too.  As remote a place this is, these other boats were local Colombians that made a 3 hour drive from Bahia Solano.  Anglers of Colombia know – “Its On”.

 

Jess-McGlothlin-photographyThings were quiet right till midafternoon.  But then it happened.  First the tuna started busting.  It was a chore, but all three of us, Scott, Ben and I managed not to cast.  Then from below a red glow started to appear.  The mullet snapper showed up.  Jess got this amazing photo from her boat of us casting right into the frenzy.

 

fly-fishingI’m not sure how I didn’t hook up, but Ben and Scott did.  With two lines zinging and cutting crazy through the water, I reeled in and grabbed the camera.  While snapper don’t run as fast and far as a tuna, they pull harder.  Both Ben and Scott were hanging on for dear life.  Ben’s 12-weight in particular was bent to the cork!

 

 

mullet-snapperThe fights don’t last as long as a tuna either.  Snapper make a smoking run for rocks.  Its remarkable but they don’t seem to have the stamina to go more than about a minute.  We were in 150 feet deep of water and they couldn’t reach the rocks.  Both Ben and Scott survived the fierce runs and started heaving back their fish.  Scotts amazing fish came in first.

 

mullet-snapperThese are impressive animals.  That’s my first impression of a big mullet snapper.  They are more elongated than most species of snapper and the red color is striking.  And the stripes are cool too.  About the time we uncooked and released Scotts, in came Bens.  It was no wonder Ben’s took longer.  Look at the size of this impressive creature!

 

 

flyfishing-sailfishAs soon as the releases were over we took a deep breath.  We gazed around looking for more action.  Things were quiet and unfortunately they would be the rest of the afternoon.  For snapper that is.  While I was poised at the back of the boat, rod in my right hand and a cold beer in my left, a sailfish dorsal came out of nowhere.

 

Somehow I’ve developed nerves of steel over the years.  I carefully set my beer in the drink holder without a sound then launched and accurate cast.  The sail devoured my fly.  I hit him several times with a jab-hookset and as usual the sail hit the skies.  Three jumps later the fly pulled.  Perfect!

 

Darien-LodgeThat was our day.  We drifted around the area until almost 6 PM.  The fish stopped just like yesterday and we saw no more action after about 4.  I shouldn’t say that, we did view several more whale sharks.

 

What an amazing day.  While I didn’t get a giant mullet snapper, my boys did and it was an incredible experience to be there for it.  And to catch numerous tuna and jump a sail on a free cast – wow.  All I can say is “Wow”.  Its so good to see ocean as alive as this.  Tomorrow is our last day.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

2 Comments

  1. Howie

    That is some impressive fishing!

  2. LeeAnne

    Wow whale sharks as a byproduct.. sounds like an incredible experience! The snapper seriously are stunning and sounds like don’t come easy— even better!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

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