BLUE MARLIN ON FLY – The World’s Top Grand Slam on Fly Destination
Even before Ernest Hemingway graphically depicted the struggle to subdue one of the most iconic gamefish in the history of sport angling, marlin and other billfish have sparked the imagination of anglers around the world. No fish heralds more respect and awe then the legendary blue marlin, and locking into a hot marlin on fly can be one of the greatest thrills of a fly angler’s career as well as the definition of the very apex of our sport. And due to special manmade structures known as FADs, Costa Rica is hands down the best place in the world for fly anglers seeking an encounter with such an awe-inspiring fish.
When a group of pioneering bluewater anglers created the first FAD (fish aggregating device) strategically placed on a seamount off the coast of Costa Rica, they had no idea what it would do for fly fishing for marlin. A FAD is a long steel cable secured to the bottom with a large weight and rising to about 100′ below the ocean’s surface. The top of the FAD has a large cluster of flags and other materials, and this in effect creates artificial structure. In the open ocean, even a small floating piece of driftwood can have an abundance of life, and FADs prove to be incredible at bringing in such life in epic proportions. Staggering numbers of baitfish, small tuna, squid, and other ocean inhabitants take residence in no time, and where there is food the marlin are very close behind – and the numbers are mind blowing.
The marlin found in this offshore playground are small by marlin standards – 75-300 lbs on average – but the fly equipment called for must be the best and biggest available. 13-15+ weight rods, massive large arbor reels, and plenty of backing. Due to such extraordinary concentrations of billfish this is without a doubt the world’s best destination for targeting a grand slam on fly, and anglers will encounter many blues throughout the trip with some sailfish and striped marlin mixed in. Targeting the prime season May-October new moons are your best shot for truly outstanding fishing. The numbers speak for themselves, and when the fishing heats up boats can get shots at 4-20 marlin per day or more!
Due to the distance offshore (50-100 miles) this is a true expedition. Our marlin expedition uses a fly ready sportfish vessel (45′ Hatteras) which doubles as comfortable and safe mothership to bring small groups of anglers into the heat of the action. Days are spent trolling up billfish for the fly, and at night we gather for dinner and relaxing before returning to our respective bunks. Please keep in mind we are sharing a small space in the middle of the ocean – its utilitarian and we will be roughing it slightly, but the truly incredible fishing all around us makes it all worthwhile.
ROUGH ITINERARY BREAKDOWN
- DAY 1 Arrival in San Jose (SJO), Lodging San Jose hotel or B&B
- DAY 2 Depart San Jose, early morning domestic flight to Puerto Jimenez, Osa, get on boat and start running/fishing towards the marlin grounds (70 to 100 miles)
- DAYS 3-4 Fish full days around FAD for marlin and other pelagics (45′ Hatteras or larger depending on group size), all meals included, lodging on vessel. Day 4 late pm run/fish back to Puerto Jimenez, Osa, arriving around midnight
- DAY 5 Wake up back at dock, early domestic flight to San Jose, international departure that day in afternoon, breakfast included
A high quality edit from one of the boys’ last trips to the deep. Its not fly but just awesome slow motion tag and release. Enjoy.