Tag: Mike Dawes


Cook Islands Bonefish











After a long summer filled with high water and a casting arm surgery, it ended on a high note, I got hitched!!  After an amazing wedding filled with family and friends my beautiful wife and I traveled to the Cooks Islands for an amazing honeymoon.











What an amazing honeymoon it was!!  The Cook Islands are very special place,  New Zealand meets the Caribbean if you will.  Fishing, Kayaking, Hiking, Diving, Relaxing, everything you would expect on a Honeymoon.










Our digs











Pool from restaurant










Fat Bone











Onefoot Island











Until next time………………….



Doug Barnes Photography – Playa Blanca

It always amazes me watching someone do something extremely well.  I do not know much about Photography, but I try and dabble here and there and learn what I can.  Doug Barnes knows a lot about Photography, he has been doing it his entire life and his work speaks for itself.   Last April I was amazed again at how impressive Doug Barnes is with a camera.  Dougy is a true professional and joy to be with, we have a great time in Mexico together.  So as promised here are a couple of shots that Dougy took on our trip, they speak for themselves.


































































Playa Blanca 2011- Swimming Jaguar?????

We had another great week at Playa Blanca in April, the weather cooperated for the most part, cookie cutter clouds each day with high winds, but it could have been worse.  While there were many highlights during our week and a lot of firsts in the permit and tarpon department, the main highlight was missed by most but caught by a few in a back country lagoon. A swimming Jaguar?????????????

yes that is a jaguar

Simply Amazing!!!!

The Jaguar was witnessed by Bob and Ian Markstein on the final day of our trip. It should also be mentioned that not only did Bob and Ian witness the Jaguar, it was there first trip on the flats!!! While they both landed numerous Bonefish and Tarpon, Ian managed four permit and a grandslam as well!!!!!!! Time for a lotto ticket?  Another great trip to PLaya, make sure to check in to see some of Douglas Barnes of Now Picture This work on the next entry.

Sara Cart with her first permit on the Fly!!!



Ben Cart with a nice Tarpon



Ian with one of his four permit on the fly!!!!


Uh Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got Em


March Merkin 2011














Just back from the March Merkin where the weather was a little different than 2010.  By the end of the tournament we were in shorts with bright blue skies, a nice change from the down coats and wool hats in 2010.

The Goods

Another nice part was that Capt. Don Gable and I won!!  Each day we were able to find a willing fish to cooperate.  We had a bittersweet ending as we were both convinced that we needed two fish in the boat on the last day, and we had a big fish come unbuttoned in the final hour.  After we learned that we had won, this fish was soon forgotten.  Jon Ain and Capt. Doug Kilpatrick came in second place and  Douglas Behrman and Capt. Kevin Guerin came in third.

Thanks to Jon & Shirley Ain for putting on a great event that seems to gain in popularity each year as well as raise a large amount of money each year to be donated to the Bonefish Tarpon Trust (would like to see a P in there some day) as well as the Don Hawley Foundation.

It was great to see everyone and as always there was plenty of laughs and frustrations about the rubber lipped bastards.

Can not say enough about Capt. Don Gable who put us on the fish and made it all possible, truly a team event and I am lucky to have Capt. Don as my teammate and good friend.

Looking forward to getting back on the Roller Coaster next year and seeing everyone again.








































All of the permit caught in the March Merkin were tagged for BTT’s Project Permit


Scratching the Winter Itch

Vance Hooking Up

Vance Hooking Up

We all get that feeling when to much time has passed since our last fishing outing, and it is not a good one, actually it has been proven that too much time away from water will make certain people go crazy.  Lone time friend and fishing partner Vance Freed and I got out on the Henry’s Fork last week as the temps slightly crested above freezing, and we were able to remain sane.  We has another fishing partner  with us who truly was going crazy “Trigger” and I think he is going to be ok.  Winter fishing in the Teton region can truly be amazing when the weather cooperates and the size of the fish can be equally impressive.

Trigger & Fish

Trigger & Fish

We all rode home feeling a little better as the Henry’s Fork had definitely scratched the winter fishing itch.  Of f to Panama!!

Nice Henry's Bow

Nice Henry's Bow

Trigger wondering where the fish have been!

Trigger wondering where the fish have been!


Happy New Year!!!!!

As we head into 2011 and start another year of fish tales, I thought I would post some pics from 2010 that never made it up on the site.  Here’s to another great fishing year in 2011!

Careto "The Permit Whisperer"

Iglesia San Francisco, Salta Argentina en route tochase some Dorado

Vance Freed with a nice Henry's Fork Brown

Bart Langlois "The Pescador" with a nice South Carolina Redfish

Nice Carp on the flats of Wyoming

Nick "the Coz" Cozmo in shock after a 25lb Dorado busted him up!

Who is going to untangle this mess!!

The Monster

Finding Gold

Another Monster

Cheers to 2011 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mr. Sandflea Super Slam

I went to spend sometime in Punta Allen with my good friends Careto & Lily after our week at Playa Blanca.  It was nice to be back in Punta Allen, and guess who showed up late (of course) Russo!!



I had the honor of joining arguably some of the best fishing guides in all of Mexico for a day on the water.  These jokers are very good friends of mine and as good as they are as guides, they are even better fisherman!!

Careto, Russo, & Tarantula

Careto, Russo, & Tarantula

Permit came first …….

Mr Sandflea aka Russo

Mr Sandflea aka Russo

Then the Bonefish……..



Then of course “The Tarpon Guide” loses the first Tarpon



But he gets the second one……

Russo gets the Super done!!

Russo gets the Super done!!

Then the Snook

We capped off the day with a sunset boat ride back to Punta Allen, a couple of cold ones and Lily’s fresh conch ceviche……I need to go back


A True Monster

More often than not when fishing for Permit with a Fly, I find myself thinking, “What am I doing?”  I often wonder why my infatuation for saltwater fishing with a fly had to land on Permit.  What I have learned in fishing for Permit with a fly over the past 8 years is how quickly the pendulum swings.  For the most part I think about Fly Fishing as life in fast forward, but when fishing for Permit with a fly it is more like life at Mach speed.

The swing of emotions from thoughts of “this is the wrong fly” “there are no fish here” “how old is my backing” “is my tippet to big”  “what did I just do wrong” “did he eat it” “did I strip right”  “how much money am I wasting” etc. to “oh my god he ate it” “clear the line” “this could be the fish of your life” “I need to land this fish” “the hook is going to pull” “that was incredible” swing in a matter of seconds.

Last week the pendulum swung in the right direction quickly.  After getting wrapped on rocks twice and jumping out of the boat each time to clear the backing, tailing the fish twice only to watch it runs another 150 yards each time because the guide could not hang on to the fish in the water, we landed this beast.  I do not know how much it weighed, the guide thought it was around 37 pounds, but we will never really know.  All I know is that after we landed the fish, permit fishing made sense, for now, until the next refusal and the pendulum swings back to reality.


Backwards down the Dorado line

Just returned from the North West region of Argentina to chase some Golden Dorado with friend and long time fishing partner Nick “The Coz” Cozmo, the Golden Dorado has been a fish that I have wanted to knock off the list for a long time, and what a fish it is!

Due to coldwater fish kill in some of the smaller rivers we ended up floating a larger tailwater and after a week in the boat, we were exhausted, but for good reason. Backwards thinking became a popular theme when fishing for these fish from the boat.

-Manic casting at a pace I had never encountered with 8 and 9wts, but really slow stripping if any?

-This fish can really be anywhere?

-Always fish the pillows, any pillows, always?

-Lay the wood to the fish with the rod like you would a Tarpon, but play it like a trout?

-The fish jump you do not need to bow?

-Using wire for a fish in the Salmon family in the Jungle?

-Deaddrifting 10 inch flies?

-Downstream presentations?

As backwards thinking became the norm we witnessed some amazing moments.  Watching a 20+ pound Dorado take the fly and blow up a 9wt on the hook set like it was a tooth pick was something I will never forget. Seeing an even bigger fish take the fly, jump, and run like a tuna through log jams like a NASCAR driver into the backing, will be etched into my mind as well.

Along the backwards line, The Coz put it the best after getting worked by a big Dorado when he said “This is a mean fish that I think was meant to be in the ocean, but got stuck in the rivers”

More to come on this one…………………….


One Fly, One Fish…………

Jim Hickey and I left at dark thinking about the Jackson Hole One Fly, we came home in the early afternoon, thinking about one Fish.On the way to the South Fork, it had come up that this was our first fishing day together of the season and it was September 7, not quite right.  We ended up doing a lot of things differently yesterday while thinking about the Jackson Hole One Fly,  that is until we spotted this one fish.  After Jim caught this fish we just rowed off the river, what a day, what a fish

29 to the tape

Sight fished in 2 feet of water