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Puerto Vallarta on the Fly

Explorer C

This trip was sponsored by Southwest Airlines. All opinions are my own. 


I am a full-time fly fishing guide and guide service owner based in central Texas. I have been lucky enough to travel a fair amount to fly fish. I have a lot of destinations on my radar when it comes to places I want to visit to fly fish. Puerto Vallarta was not on my list. It is now and I would highly recommend it to any other fly anglers. 


When Southwest Airlines reached out to me about partnering with them to highlight some of their new destinations I was certainly interested. But I really didn’t know if Puerto Vallarta was going to be a good fly fishing destination. I had heard it was beautiful and an amazing tourist destination with great hotels and scenic beaches. I had also heard it had great offshore fishing. I just hadn’t heard anything about fly fishing. I did a quick Google search and found a local guide service called Snook Mafia. After looking through their website and Instagram page I booked a trip. I was going to fly fish in Puerto Vallarta! 

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My driver picked me up the next morning before the sun came up. It was about a 15-minute drive to the dock. There I met Carlos, the owner of Snook Mafia. We loaded up the boat and headed out as the sun was rising. It was an amazing sunrise, with the lights of the town below the mountains and the sun coming up behind the mountains, that alone was worth the trip.  

The trip down was super easy. I drove to Houston and took a direct flight to Puerto Vallarta. Because this was my first trip to do this type of fishing I brought quite a bit of gear with me. Four rods, 4 reels, and a large assortment of flies. In addition to that, I brought my camera gear. Because bags fly free on Southwest I didn’t have to leave anything behind. After a short flight and an easy ride to my hotel, I was prepped to try my hand at fly fishing for who knows what the next morning.  


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And then we started fishing. I hadn’t really done much of this type of fishing with a fly rod. We were casting from the boat toward the beach. Once again the scenery was amazing. Crystal clear water, sandy beaches, jungle, and mountains behind. At first, we just blind casted looking for fish. As the day warmed up we could see schools of larger fish chasing the baitfish to the surface. Carlos and his mate were able to maneuver the boat in close enough to the feeding fish for me to get a cast. Most casts were rewarded with a strike. I caught several species of jacks, mackerel, and my first roosterfish on the fly. The roosterfish is one of those bucket list fish for most saltwater fly fishermen so I was pretty excited to get my first one. I caught quite a few more fish that day and even though I usually practice catch and release we did keep a couple of the mackerel for a fresh ceviche lunch. What an amazing way to finish off a great day of fishing.  

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Getting home was just as easy. A short trip to the airport followed by a couple of hours in the air and I was back in Houston. I am already planning my next trip to Puerto Vallarta. Can’t wait for my wife to catch her first roosterfish on the fly!