Blue Marlin on The Fly, Costa Rica

Blue marlin on fly – the world’s top grand slam on fly destination

Marlin on the fly might just be the pinnacle of fly fishing. 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. 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 attract abundant life, and FADs have proved 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.

Long range mothership expedition

The marlin found in this offshore playground are small by marlin standards – 100-300lb 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 week with some sailfish and striped marlin mixed in. Targeting the prime season May-October new moons offer the best chance for truly outstanding fishing. The numbers speak for themselves, and when the fishing heats up boats can get shots at four to 20 marlin per day or more.

Living on a fully equipped catamaran

Due to the distance offshore (70-100 miles) this is a true expedition. Our marlin expeditions use a combination of fly ready sportfish vessels together with fully equipped catamarans as motherships to bring small groups of anglers into the heart of the action. Days are spent trolling up billfish for the fly, and at night we gather aboard the mothership for dinner and relaxing before returning to our respective bunks. And even though we are in the middle of the ocean the stability of the catamaran helps in reducing chop to allow for a good night’s rest. Living conditions are very comfortable with great food and alcohol, but 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.

Extensions to visit the Osa peninsula or other parts of Costa Rica can be organised easily. Described by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth” the wealth of naturally occurring wildlife needs to be seen to be believed.

100km off the coast of Costa Rica

The fishing grounds are located 100km off the coast of Costa Rica and accessed from the Osa Peninsula.

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