New Species for Me and Honker Rooster for Sammy

by | May 10, 2019 | fly fishing for roosterfish, peacock razorfish | 1 comment

peacock-razorfishWe headed out early today to another small beach area here in Baja.  Though the forecast was for strong northeasterly wind it was calm and hot.  There were no other anglers to be seen so rather than stay put and wait for a roosterfish I went for a walk down the open beach with my 9-weight rooster rod and my 7-weight with a small crab on it.


Jeff-Currier-flyfishingPerhaps I felt the presence of a cool new species.  I didn’t walk far before I spotted a strange fish feeding where the beach shelf drops. He looked light gray in color with three dark bars going down his sides.  He was no more than 12” long but definitely feeding.  Is amazing how excited I get whenever I see a new fish.  I went on full pursuit and drew an aggressive follow on my first cast with the small crab fly.


No doubt the fish tried to eat my fly but I felt nothing which told me my hook was too big.  This must be some sort of wrasse I thought.  They have small mouths and big teeth so parching a hook can be tough.  I changed to the smallest crab I owned.


peacock-razorfishBy the time I had my next crab on my fish had a friend who was smaller and all gray.  With wrasses, males and females often look different.  In fact, some wrasses begin as females and change into males later in life.  Regardless, we had competition and I hooked and landed the small gray fish.  The mysterious wrasse was one of the most slippery fish I’ve ever tried to handle for a picture but a new species for my list nonetheless!


The one I caught wasn’t much to look at for identifying.  Luckily the larger one was still waiting to be caught.  It took another half hour or so but eventually I caught my fish on a size 12 micro crab I miraculously had in my box.


peacock-razorfishI had to look this one up tonight but he’s the peacock razorfish (Iniistius pavo).  He’s worth reading about because he is a wrasse and does go through a female to male process in life.  My first was likely a female.  This one is a male.  The unique wrasse species has a defense of burying in the sand to hide from predators.  After a few shots I released the gorgeous little creature and went back to work.


Jeff-Currier-Sam-VigneriThree hours went by before I returned to my roosterfishing post.  I didn’t miss much while gone.  I visited Sammy and he’d seen exactly zero roosters.  That being said we’ve had our only action this week in the afternoon so we had beers and shot the breeze.


fly-fishing-for-roosterfishAt 2:30 I saw my first rooster of the day.  He was far out and headed towards Sammy.  I yelled and pointed and Sam was on point immediately.  By the time the fish got in his sight there were two and on a dead run to the beach where Sammy was standing.  Sammy read it like a pro and greeted the two fish with a long cast.


A long cast it was but still short by about 20 feet.  Sammy stood up as if frustrated with himself hoping to cast again.  But there was no need for that.  This roosterfish bolted for Sammy’s fly despite the short cast and devoured it.  Fish on!


Sam-Vigneri-roosterfishThere’s nothing like a roosterfish hook up from the beach whether on your line or not.  Once I saw Sammy’s rod bent and him looking my way with a massive smile I threw my rod down and ran down to enjoy the fight.  In less than ten minutes Sammy beached our second nice rooster of the week.


roosterfish-on-flyWe’ve had tough fishing this week in the sense of seeing roosterfish.  There have been very few.  Hopefully its simply too early in the season this year.  Lucky for us however, we’ve been able to feed a couple which both have made the trip.


We’re back to our usual tonight with perhaps an extra bit of celebration for Sammy’s fish and my new species.  Life is good down here in Baja.  Tomorrow is our last day together then Sam heads home and Granny will come down.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Lance

    Congrads to Sammy! Next up.. Granny.

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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!