Kayak Fishing Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly

“When it comes to catching a roosterfish on a fly in Costa Rica, the odds are typically stacked against you. Now, throw a kayak in the mix and you really have it tough.” – Jesse Males

Saltwater fly fishing in Costa Rica via kayak is an absolute blast. Tuna, roosterfish, mahi mahi, and big jacks all hang around the drop-offs and rocky points of the countries pacific coast. However, targeting these species with a fly rod can be the best time of your life, or just a long day spent casting big flies into the salt over and over again. I think I speak for most fly anglers when I say that all the hard days of fishing are worth the few when everything just clicks! My friend and I had a few of those days back to back last December. Here is how it all went down.

Interested in a guided trip? Visit my guiding website for Costa Rica, www.506outdoors.com! We offer jungle trout fishing, pacific costa kayak fishing, and machaca fishing float trips!

kayak fishing costa rica
Saltwater Fly Fishing Costa Rica via Kayak

As always, we leave dawn patrol to try to beat the gnarly traffic offered by Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose. By 5 a.m. we are well on our way as the sun begins to rise. The drive to our favorite remote beach usually takes about 4 hours depending once again on the gnarly traffic we find mid morning.

For this trip, we were out to target the many yellowfin tuna that cruise inshore and are ready to eat poppers and big streamer flies at the drop of a hat. We also see plenty of monster jacks and bonita feeding on the many baitfish schools. This time of year – Nov. Dec. Jan. – can be pretty epic when it comes to kayak fishing and our hopes for landing a roosterfish on fly were pretty high.

kayak fishing costa rica
Costa Rica Tuna on the Fly

As we pulled up to the beach we knew things were going to be good. We could see multiple bait pods just a few hundred yards out and the frequent yellowfin fly out of the water after slamming its prey. All we had to do was get out there and wet a fly.

Sure enough, things turned out to be fantastic. We had our friend Daniel joining us from Fly Lords and were happy to show him what this area can produce in the way of fly fishing via kayak. It wasn’t long before we were all slamming yellowfin tuna left and right!

kayak fishing costa rica
Daniel with his first Yellowfin on fly!

As usual, our plan was to stay a few days and camp on the beach overnight. This is one of our favorite things to do as it allows us all to slow down and unwind while focusing on the fishery and what may be going on from day to day.

Early the second morning we could tell things were going to be good. The ocean had calmed down a bit and bait pods had moved in closer to the beach. As we started our paddle out, we noticed multiple roosterfish darting back and forth just out past the breakers. With high hopes, we tied on our favorite monster sardine pattern and let ’em have it. Before I knew it, I was hooked up on my biggest roosterfish on fly to date.

roosterfish on the fly costa rica
Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly

As my good friend and fellow guide, Micah, watched me bring this fish in I knew he was a bit jealous. After taking a few photos I released the fish and tossed Micah the fly rod. Not knowing whether or not we could hook up on another fish, we continued to patrol the area when WHAM!!! Micah was hooked up on a good sized fish.

Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly
Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly

After a 20 minute battle, Micah, too, had landed his personal best roosterfish on fly here in Costa Rica. To get two of our best fish within 30 minutes of each other via kayak was truly special. Especially after crushing big yellowfin the previous day.

Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly
Costa Rican Roosterfish on the Fly

Now, as if things couldn’t get any better, we paddled out for one last go at it and quickly noticed the schools of hundreds of big jack about 30ft down and moving fast to our right. A long double haul was all it took and my fly dropped right in front of the school. BOOM! FISH ON!

Up until this point I had caught plenty of smaller jacks on fly here in Costa Rica while kayak fishing on the pacific coast, but this one was by far my biggest one yet.

kayak fishing tours costa rica
Big Costa Rican Jack on the Fly

Overall we landed plenty of yellowfin tuna, two nice roosterfish on fly, a few bonita, and a big old jack! When all was said and done this turned out to be one of our most memorable trips to date.

Micah and I both got our personal best roosterfish on fly and our friend Daniel got his first ever yellowfin. For a few days kayak fishing Costa Rica, I would say we did pretty good!

If you are interested in a guided beach camping and kayak fishing trip to remote beaches in Costa Rica, shoot me an email to backwaterflyfishing@yahoo.com and we can discuss the details!

Keep your heart right, and your line tight!

Jesse Males

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