Video: Fly Fishing Gear for Chasing Rooster Fish

June 5, 2014 By: timromano

If you’ve ever had dreams of catching a rooster fish on the fly you had better come prepared. It is one of the most demanding and elusive fish you will ever catch. It’s also one of the coolest.

The 30 or so miles on the east cape of Baja is one of the few places, if not the only place, in the world where you can actively target these highly picky, aggressive bruisers from the beach. Or boat if you like.  And if you’re confident enough not to hire a guide for at least one day, you’d better do your homework. I’ve been down a handful of times and ALWAYS go out with the godfather of rooster fishing on the east cape: Jeff Debrown, owner of The Reel Baja Guide Service. He’s the best and has been in the area for over 15 years. Here Jeff goes over a very basic list of what you’re gonna need should you choose to chase these magnificent creatures. They WILL test your gear, mind and body.

Below is an list that Jeff suggests you consider before heading down.

Fly Reels

Fly reels should be matched to rods in weight and line capacity. Reels need to be saltwater quality with high performance drag features. All reels should have a minimum of 250 yards of 20- or 30-pound backing.

Fly Lines

Shooting head lines are utilized a majority of the time. Integrated shooting head lines seemlessly mated to neutrally buoyant running lines cast and fish the best. Consult your local fly pro shop in matching shooting head lines to your rods for the best result. One reel or spool with a floating line is a good thing to bring as well. When the dorado bite is really hot, it is spine tingling to cast a popper on a floating line to boiling schools.


Choosing flies for any trip is half the fun of the journey. Baja Mexico saltwater fish are not extremely different from similar species around the globe. The standard tried and true baitfish fly patterns, such as large clousers, deceivers, ALFs and others, work well. There are East Cape patterns and variations that have been developed for fly fishing the area. Flies should range from size 4 for beach fishing up to 4/0 for offshore fishing.

Fly Fishing Accessories

Stripping basket
Waist or chest pack for beach fishing
Hook sharpener
Fishing pliers
Leader Material
Extra Fly Lines-Two of the most common sizes
Leader materia—12 lb, 16 lb, 20 lb, 30 lb, 40 lb and 100 lb.
Smaller sizes in fluorocarbon
Sunscreen—30 or 45 spf
Camera-extra batteries, film or digital storage cards
Stretch wrap medical tape for fingers

Fly Fishing Clothing

Technical fishing shirts—long sleeve and breathable
Shorts—comfortable with pockets and fast drying
Windbreaker or waterproof shell
Pullover sweatshirt or fleece shell
Rain pants or fleece pants for early boat rides on cool mornings

Personal Items

Dramamine or Scopalamine patch
Personal medications