Dragin Fly Costa Rica • Sport Fishing in Comfort for Sailfish, Marlin, and More
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Jake's complete report

Costa Rica Blue Marlin Fly School Report
July 22 to 28, 2018

Greetings from Los Suenos CR:

Sunday, July 22, 2018; my friend/client David Taylor arrived here at my condo at 10:00 pm tonight after flying for several days from his lodge in Alaska. His fishing buddy Tim Gunderman however did not make the trip as he came down with Gaul Bladder problems and had to have his removed and is in good shape, we hope Tim makes it down here next season to experience the best fly fishing for Blue Marlin in the world. David had dinner, drank some good rum, and went to sleep.

Monday, July 23, 2018; David and I got some good rest last night and woke to a beautiful Costa Rican morning, we had some of the world’s best coffee, and I took a dip in the pool and got my equipment ready to go. At 3:00 pm we showed up at the vessel “Dragin Fly”, loaded our gear, and boarded, mates Berto and Bernie untied the “Dragin Fly” then Captain James Smith backed out of the slip and headed out towards “Blue Marlin World”. The crew put out the teasers at 4:30 pm and we began fly fishing, at 5:20 pm we raised a Sailfish which teased in and quickly ate the pink & white Cam Sigler tube fly which was cast perfectly by David Taylor. After a short 6 minute battle on my new Temple Fork Medium Duty Blue Water fly rod and David’s new Wes Seigler, Lever Drag, fly reel, we took pictures and video of this first fish of the trip and then released it to fight again another day. At 6:20 pm it got too dark to see the teasers so we called it a day, enjoyed a hot dinner, took a shower, and went to bed at 8:00 pm.

Tuesday July 24, 2018; David and I woke up at 5:00 am to the smell of hot Costa Rican coffee brewing, while Bernie cooked eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast, meanwhile Berto deployed the teasers and I got the TFO Blue Water-HD fly rod with my Mako #9700 ready to catch some Blue Marlin. The swell is 5 foot high and 100 yards apart, light west wind with a 1 foot chop on the water, sunny with white puffy clouds, just a beautiful day. We worked around the sea mount marking lots of bait and some marlin on the fish finder, then at 7:00 am after raising no fish, Captain James headed away toward the south and another sea mount 18 miles away. We raised our first Blue Marlin of the day at 8:59 am, it did not bite, and then another blue came up at 9:06 am, that fish did not eat the fly either. The next Blue Marlin at 9:34 am was about 300 pounds, David made a good cast and the marlin climbed all over that pink fly, within 5 or 6 seconds the marlin was jumping away from us about 50 yards away from the boat as we backed down and Dave began to put line back on the big Mako fly reel. After a 12 minute battle with many more jumps, we were on the fly line about 30 foot from the fish, at that minute that great fish surged, jumped away from the boat, and broke the 20  pound test IGFA class tippet. Wow what a great fish, we are ready for the next one. The next marlin came up at 11:56 am (no bite) then another one at 12:20 pm, (no bite), at 12:30 we raised a fish (no bite), and then at 12:40 pm David got a bite and the marlin went deep, 12 minutes later that marlin broke off with at least 400 yards of backing out. At 1:05 David hooked another fish which ran out lots of line then jumped 3 times and broke the tippet. We raised 1 more marlin which bit the fly, David fought it until the marlin went deep, surged, Jumped, and the tippet broke. At 3:29 pm we raised another shy Blue Marlin, it teased halfway to within casting range and faded off I did not bite. At 6:05 it was getting dark, we stopped fishing for the day, our score was 10 Blue Marlin raised, David got 4 bites, and broke the tippet on all four 10-4-0. James is heading about 60 miles to the east tonight so we will wake up on a different fad tomorrow morning. We just had an awesome dinner with smoked sockeye salmon from Alaska which David caught last Thursday, along with pasta with cream sauce and jumbo prawns. Tomorrow should be better, I love my job.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Woke up on a new location at 5:00 am, with coffee brewing and bacon cooking, we had drifted almost 7 miles with a brisk wind and a strong current. After pulling and stowing the sea anchor and heading back toward the FAD it was light enough to put out the teasers and begin our hunt for Blue Marlin on fly. 5:24 am we raised a 200+ pound blue marlin, David made a good cast, and the marlin ate the fly and took off for a short run on the surface. Within several seconds that marlin reversed course and raced past the boat on the port side, Dave saw the slack in the line, raised the rod and moved to the center of the cockpit, while trying to get the slack out of the line, at the same time the marlin made a great jump as he passed the boat, with slack at each end of the fly line the fly fell out of the fishes mouth and it was gone. Great way to start the day with a pre-sunrise  blue marlin bite, as the sun came up we found that we were surrounded by rain and clouds the wind was from the south at 10-15 with scattered rain showers. The air temperature and water temperature are the same at 83.5 degrees and there are two other boats on this spot, at 7:00 am each boat has had one bite, only one marlin caught here in the first 2 hours. 7:30 the wind slowed down and the sun came out with mostly blue skies, and at 7:40 a hot blue marlin teased in and ate the fly. That bite was awesome (text book) as the backing melted off of that big Mako fly reel the fish hit overdrive, jumped about 200 yards out and let go of David’s fly, it was all over in less than four minutes. Dave’s next bite came at 8:10 am this marlin ate the fly, went straight away, then stopped and shook its head and was gone, spit the hooks and we got the fly back. At 10:01 am a hot blue marlin charged in and ate the black and silver streamer fly, Dave did a great job using the new TFO BW-MD fly rod combined with my Mako #9700-B fly reel, this classic 200+ pound fish ran out then made a circle while jumping and charged the boat, jumping all the way. The marlin then went down for 20 minutes then with steady pressure, Dave, along with the excellent boat handling by Captain James Smith forced that marlin back to the surface where it jumped 7 more times at 36 minutes into the battle we got to within 20 foot of this awesome fish, then it took out a hundred yards of backing and we started over again, at 10:47 as a rain storm was getting close David caught his first Blue Marlin of the trip, while using IGFA rules and 20 pound test class tippet, we removed the fly and then released that awesome fish. During the next hour we were in a squall with hard rain and a cold 20 knot wind, the rain stopped but the seas were still choppy. We didn’t see another blue marlin during or after that storm and at 2:30 pm I rigged a TFO Axiom 9 weight fly rod with a TFO Atoll-3 fly reel, a RIO 9 weight floating fly line with a 16 pound class tippet and a 3/0 white half and half fly. James put the “Dragin Fly” directly on top of the FAD, and David proceeded to cast to and catch 6 Yellow-Fin Tuna, and a small Dolphin (Dorado), all on IGFA legal fly tackle. This 10 minute stop gave David Taylor an off shore Fly “Grand Slam” with a Blue Marlin, Dorado, and Yellowfin Tuna in the same day. At 3:15 pm we raised a blue marlin which did not bite. At 4:01 we raised a nice big blue marlin on the long rigger, it teased in and when my first cast of the trip landed, that marlin grabbed the pink fly and got the hook under the bill, he ran off 50 feet, stopped, and shook his head until the hook fell off, we got close to a quick release but not close enough. At 5:01 we raised a marlin but it did not bite, then at 6:05 pm while it was getting dark, and the almost full moon was bright, a 175 Blue Marlin came in hot. I made a quick cast and that marlin came out of the water as it ate my fly, this fish was red hot, Jumped and took out 200 foot of line and reversed direction and charged the boat while jumping the whole time. At 6:13 pm I had the leader inside of the rod tiptop, and 2 minutes later Berto had the bill and removed the hooks and fly, after a few pictures in the water we released that awesome marlin. By the way my spine is working perfectly. Today the score was 8 Blue Marlin raised, 6 bit the fly, of which we caught and released 2 Blue Marlin, 6 Yellowfin Tuna, and 1 Dorado using IGFA fly fishing rules and class tippet. (8/6/2 on Blue Marlin.) During the day we had some smoked sockeye salmon which David caught and smoked last Thursday in Alaska, we also had some fresh tuna and Dorado sashimi, for dinner Bernie made some grilled chicken with fresh vegetables, I was asleep after hot shower by 8:00 pm.

Thursday, July 26, 2018; James started the engines at 5:00 am while Berto and Bernie pulled and stored the sea anchor. David and I woke up, cleaned up, and came up for our first cup of coffee. At 5:25 am Berto deployed the teasers while Bernie cooked breakfast and at 5:30 we are fly fishing for marlin. We raised a hot marlin at 7:40 am and Dave made a great cast, the marlin ate his fly and then within 15 minutes we were 20 foot from landing that fish when it took of straight down. It is now 9:15 and Dave has had the running line in several times, however that fish has not jumped since the first 10 minutes of the fight. At 9:41 am Dave Taylor released his second blue marlin of the trip, it weighted over 250 pounds, Berto took the hooks and fly out of its mouth and it swam away, nice work Dave. We raised 3 more marlin by 10:15 that did not bite, then at 10:20 I hooked a 300+ pound crazy fish, which I had on for 9 minutes and got to the running line twice then it went crazy jumped in a big circle, then charged the boat ad broke the 20 pound class tippet. 10:42 raised a blue, ate a teaser but not the fly, in pouring down rain, then at 11:12, I hooked a hot 150 pound blue marlin, I put the heat on it and within 6 minutes had the leader into the tip of my fly rod for a technical release, I then fought that fish for 12 more minutes before Berto grabbed the leader and removed the fly from that awesome Blue Marlin and released it at 11:31 am. David hooked a nice blue marlin at 12:10 pm in the middle of a rain storm that fish took out 400 yards of backing after jumping 11 times, then put on a well fought battle as we kept closing the distance between marlin and boat. After a 50 minute fight, we saw that 270+ pound marlin explode into a series of jumps before Dave finally finished her off at 1:20 pm when Berto took the fly back and let her swim away. Between 2:00 and 4:00 pm we raised two more Blue Marlin; one would not eat while the other marlin bit the fly and stayed on for 5 minutes then jumped, put on a show, and then spit the hook and fly back at us as he swam away. Seems like the marlin stopped biting, after that, we never saw another marlin the rest of the day, it is a beautiful full moon tonight for our ride home. Looks like steak, mashed potatoes, and salad for dinner tonight, with ice-cream for desert. Today our score was; raised 8, got five bites, and caught 3 Blue Marlin on fly, for the trip, we raised 26 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish, we got 15 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish to bite the fly, of which we caught and released 5 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish, all on 20 pound test IGFA class tippet on fly. Yesterday David Taylor caught 6 yellowfin tuna, and 1 Dorado, on 16 pound class tippet on fly, that combined with his big Blue Marlin gets him an IGFA fly offshore Grand Slam.

As usual The “Dragin Fly” team of Captain James Smith along with mates Berto and Bernie did a great job and served awesome meals along with the world class fly fishing. Thanks to TFO Rods, Mako Reels, Gamakatsu Hooks, RIO Products, Cam Sigler Flies, George and Anna Beckwith, Los Suenos Marina, and all of my awesome clients/students, who make all of this possible. I will be heading back out on Monday afternoon, stay tuned for more fly fishing reports. I love my Job, wish you were here.

Jake Jordan's Fishing Adventures
PO Box, 309
Havelock, NC. 28532

july 25, 2018

Hey Cap,

Flew from CR to Austin and now I’m in San Fran. I’ll be home Friday. Let’s catch up then. 

Unreal trip!! Great time. 

Anna did a phenomenal job setting this up. I can’t wait to go back. Your Capt JAMES is a solid dude.


Thank you so much for making this possible. On this trip I’ve raised my lifetime total to 20 marlin caught with a fly-rod. On this trip I hooked 11 fish and boated seven. Awesome trip on Dragin Fly with Captain James Smith, along with his mates Berto and Bernie!!!

pics at fishing reports

Costa Rica Blue Marlin Fly-Fishing School
July 1 through July 7, 2018

July 1, 2018:
My clients/students/friends, John Wile Jr, and his son John (Bucky) Wile lll, arrived today about noon at my condo in Los Suenos resort, where they will stay until tomorrow until about 3:00 pm when we head out to go Marlin fly fishing. We went to a local restaurant right on the beach where we had a couple of beers, and a great lunch while watching the world cup game, then I took John and Bucky on a tour of the area including Jaco and Hermosa beach, then we came beach had dinned in the condo and went to sleep. John has been dreaming about catching a Blue Marlin for a long time, while Bucky had hooked and lost one on fly last year at my Sailfish School at the Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala. This trip was planned to make sure that both father and son would have their dream come true.

July 2, 2018:
We woke up this morning, took a swim in my pool, ate breakfast, and had a Blue Marlin lesson, then at 1:00 we went to “The Hook-Up marina bar and restaurant for lunch while we watched a world cup soccer game. At 3:00 pm we boarded the vessel Dragin Fly, stored our gear while mates. Berto and Bernie took off the lines and Captain James Smith drove out of the marina and we head to “Marlin World”. We chugged until dark without raising any Billfish, then after dark we continued on our way out as we ate dinner and went to sleep around 8:00 PM.

July 3, 2018:
We woke up to calm seas at sunrise, and then after coffee and breakfast we began fishing on this particular sea mount, 135 miles from the Los Suenos Marina at 6:54 AM. 14 minutes later we raised our first blue marlin of the day, John hooked that 150 pound beautiful fish which jumped a total of 17 times during the next 34 minutes when John wound it in, took pictures, and we let it go. The first hour of the first day John Wile’s dream came true as he released his first Blue Marlin ever. During the next 2 hours we raised 9 more, got 5 more bites, and Bucky hooked a 200+ pound Blue Marlin on fly. He fought that fish for 57 minutes and got the leader inside of the tip top making it a caught fish. This was Bucky’s First ever Blue Marlin on fly, he was of course using IGFA 20 pound class tippet, Bucky’s dream was now fulfilled. Bucky continued to fight that fish for another 20 minutes as we took pictures and video and then Berto grabbed the leader and let that marlin swim away after we got the fly back, three hours after we started the first day both anglers had caught and released their first Blue Marlin of the trip, “mission accomplished”. At 12:00 we had raised 11 Marlin, got 7 bites and caught 2 Blue Marlin, During the next 40 minutes we raised another 3 Blue Marlin, 2 of them bit the fly, both fought valiantly and Both of those big Blue Marlin spit the hooks and fly back at us. At 1:00 pm, we have raised a total of 13, we got 7 bites, and we caught 2 red hot Blue Marlin. Fishing is very good so far today. The time is 2:00 pm, it slowed down, we have had 2 more fish raised during the last hour, neither one would tease in for a bite. At 4:30 pm we have raised 2 more Blue Marlin which would not tease, so with 2 hours to go we have raised 17, got 7 bites, and we caught and released 2. The seas have been slick calm all day, bright sunshine, and 85 degree air temperature, the water temperature is 83.5 degrees. 5:30 pm we raised a big marlin, it teased in beautifully, Bucky made a good cast, and that 250+ Blue came out of the water and sucked in that fly, spectacular bite. The marlin swam at the boat and the fly fell out of his mouth. At 6:15 it got too dark to fish, we quit and pulled in the lines, and the crew proceeded to deploy the sea anchor. After a hot shower, lots of laughter, a great meal, we were really tired and went to bed at 8:00. Our total score for day one was: 17 Blue Marlin and one Sailfish raised, we got 8 bites, and caught 2 Blue Marlin.

July 4, 2018
5:00 am we smelled coffee brewing with ham and eggs cooking, while the motors started and by  5:45 we were fishing, At 6:35 am Johnny hooked the first Blue Marlin of the Day and after pictures and video we released that 200 pound Blue Marlin at 6:59 am. Then at 7:04 Bucky made a perfect cast, jumped off the second marlin, made another cast and the other half of the double ate his fly, by 7:26 Bucky landed his second Blue Marlin, the second of the day, and the 4th of the trip, it is now 7:30 am on day two the score today is 4 raised 3 bites and two blue marlin on fly. Bucky’s fish we estimated between 180 and 200 pounds. Then at 7:59 am we hooked a 275  pound Blue marlin, it ran out 150 yards of backing, jumped 11 times, then jumped back toward the boat and the fly fell out. Between  805 and 8:30 I hooked to red hot marlin, one jumped and fought for 5 minutes and came un-hooked, and the other one shook its head 50 feet below the oat and frayed the 20 pound tippet which broke and the Marlin was gone. At 8:52 we raised a 100 pound sailfish, I made a cast using my new TFO Blue-Water, Medium Duty, fly rod, coupled with a Seigler Lever Drag fly reel which we were testing, that sailfish jumped 34 times on the video and the battle lasted 4 minutes before we caught, removed the hook, photographed and videoed that fish before letting it go. So Far at 9:00 am we have raised 8 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish, we have had bites from 6 Marlin and 1 Sailfish, and we have caught 2 Blue Marlin and 1 Sailfish, good start for day two of my Blue Marlin Fly Fishing School. 9:46 a 150 pound Blue came in, Johnny hooked it and we saw an awesome display of Marlin jumping at high speed, at one moment that fish was ripping off line at 40 MPH, then a few seconds later he was charging the boat, that rat almost jumped into the boat and by 10:01 am Berto had removed the hook and released our third Blue Marlin of the day. 10/7/3 blue & 1 sail so far today at 10:00, then at 10:29 Bucky cast and hooked a small sailfish (50 pounds), it took off against that 5 pounds of drag, and on the first jump the second hook broke off and that sailfish was gone! At 12:11 pm we raised another Blue Marlin, Bucky made a very good cast, the marlin grabbed the fly, swam deep and acted like it was shaking it’s head about 40 foot down and then the fly came out, that fish came back and tried to eat the teasers but would not touch that fly, it is now 12:30 pm, sunny, 86 degree air temperature, 83 degree water temperature, 3 knot east wind and dead calm seas. We raised a big Blue Marlin at 12;50 Bucky hooked it and we got a great show before that marlin broke the tippet, then at 1:25 a Blue and a Striped marlin cane in together, Bucky made a good cast the Stripie ate the fly, pulled off 200 yards of backing while jumping 23 times, it doubled back, reversed direction at full speed and popped off the 20 pound class tippet. 1:50 we raised another Blue Marlin which did not tease in for a bite. At 3:03 we raised two sailfish, one ate Bucky’s fly, ran out fifty feet and then dropped the fly, as Bucky was retrieving the fly the other sailfish ate it while it was dead in the water, he set the hook and after an awesome fight with lots of jump, Bucky caught and released a 70 pound sailfish on fly. If he had caught that Striped Marlin he would now have his first Billfish Grand Slam on fly. At 5:20 we raised a Blue Marlin which ate the teaser ate the teaser with no hook, jumped a few times and then let it go. At 6:15 we pulled in the teasers, set out the sea anchor, and took a hot shower, and at 7:00 we had an awesome dinner to celebrate a great day of fishing. By 8:00 pm we went to bed and dreamed about catching a bunch more Blue Marlin tomorrow morning. The score today for our team was 15 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, and 5 Sailfish raised, we had 9 Blue Marlin, 1 striped marlin and 4 Sailfish bites, and for the day we caught 3 Blue Marlin and 2 Sailfish. So far during 2 days we have caught and released 5 Blue Marlin and 2 sailfish, I love my Job!

July 5, 2018:
We awoke at 5:00 am to a 10 knot breeze with 78 degree air temperature, 83 degree water temperature, and a 6 inch light chop on the water. The coffee was brewing as the crew retrieved and stored the sea anchor and by 5:30 we were towing teasers and eating breakfast. 6:03 we raised our first fish, no bite, 6:11 we raised our second blue marlin which did not tease in for a shot, then at 6:15 a nice 150 pound Blue Marlin came in and John hooked up  for what was a quick battle. At 6:29 John Wile wound the leader into the rod tip and caught his fourth Blue Marlin of the trip, oh yeah, that was also his 4th Blue Marlin of his life time. Berto grabbed the leader, got the hook out of that marlin and the marlin swam away as we put the teasers back out. At 6:51 and 6:56 we raised 2 Blue Marlin, neither fish teased in within casting range. At 7:30 we raised a Blue that did not tease in and then at 8:10 we raised a double (Sailfish and Blue Marlin) still no bite. The clouds are building, the temperature dropped to 82 degrees, and the wind is south at 10 knots big slow Pacific Ocean swells with a 1 foot chop. At 9:00 am we have raised two marlin however we didn’t get any bites from them. We then stopped on top of a FAD where we caught half a dozen 2 to 3 pound Yellow Fin Tuna, which we will have some sashimi for a snack and some tuna tartar later for lunch, now we are back Blue Marlin fly-fishing. We raised a 100+ pound Sailfish at 11:45 am, Bucky made a sweet cast and that Sailfish ate the fly when it hit the water. After an 11 minute battle that included lots of high speed jumping, that sailfish came to the boat. Berto grabbed the leader then the bill of that Sailfish, he removed the fly and let that sailfish swim away unharmed.  Between 12 noon and 2:30 PM we moved close to 40 miles to a different FAD (sea mount) where we put out the teasers and began looking for Marlin. We raised a Blue Marlin at 3:17, but it would not come close to the fly. 3:33 pm on day three, at this point today, we have raised 12 Blue Marlin and one Sailfish, we got two bites and caught a Blue Marlin and a Sailfish. At 6:15 pm we quit fishing for the day and headed in toward the Los Suenos marina. Our total score today was 14 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish raised, we got bites from one Blue Marlin and the Sailfish so we caught and released a sailfish and a Blue Marlin.

Our total score for this trip from 55 total Billfish raised during three days is as follows, 47 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, and 7 Sailfish, raised with 18 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, 4 Sailfish bites, of which Bucky and John caught 6 Blue Marlin and 3 Sailfish. This Blue Marlin fly fishing is definitely the best, I love my Job, stay tuned for more reports to follow, I will be in Orlando at the ICAST show next week, if you are there give me a call or come by the TFO booth to say hello.

Jake Jordan's Fishing Adventures
PO Box, 309
Havelock, NC. 28532




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