So that happened. After years of having occasional passing thoughts about fly fishing in Nicaragua and the seemingly endless potential of saltwater angling opportunities on the West Coast of the country, I decided to just go for it. And with some red eye flights, little more than the study of maps, and a great deal of uncertainty, I made it down there to explore some new waters.
Packing was interesting for this one. What if I forget something?! And what do I even need? Generally wanting to be a minimalist on trips, I had to toss aside this convenience and instead be prepared for anything.
My hopes? In addition to tarpon on the Caribbean side, finding that Nicaragua is everything that Costa Rica is when it comes to bluewater fly fishing. Roosters, tuna, sailfish, jacks, and more could be on the menu for saltwater junkies, and as one myself, the idea of exploring new waters where few people have thrown flies was as appetizing as it gets.
While no finding mission is smooth sailing at all times, the trip certainly met my highest hopes. Close-to-shore, big bluewater beasts were frequently found busting bait on the surface. We chased birds in a panga and easily encountered skipjack tuna, jack crevalle, roosterfish, and more. And other than an occasional lineup off surfers, we had the place to ourselves.
The fishing was unreal. While there wasn’t time to pursue everything, there was plenty of time spent casting to a range of salty critters, and when chasing, hunting, then sight-fishing, the energy was always high, despite lacking sleep. And there is something delightful about putting the panga in the lineup on a surf break and watching surfers watch me cast to roosters near shore. It was clear that they weren’t used to seeing anything like that.
The verdict? I’ve been putting together some ideas for spending a lot of time down there, and I intend to get down there for at least several weeks every year. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.