When anglers think of Costa Rica, the last thing on their mind is bringing along a 7ft, 3wt buggy whip. Now I’ll be honest with ya, I am pretty stoked this whole jungle trout fishery has flown under the radar for so long.
When I first came to Costa Rica I thought about the typical saltwater species everyone comes here for, roosterfish, tarpon, and big jacks! Not to mention the world class bill fishing that is found on the Pacific coast. However, despite all the gnarly saltwater action, something about trout has always had my attention.
Before I came down to CR I had done very little research on the freshwater fishery. I had dug up some stories about a funky fish called a Machaca and knew darn well there was rainbow bass. But what really caught my eye were the rumors of trout in the high mountain jungle.
As it turns out, decades ago many high elevation areas were stocked with rainbow trout. Since then they have spread all over the high moutain peaks. The cool jungle creeks and rivers are perfect habitat for these adaptable fish. Unfortunately for the traveling angler, most of the fisheries are extremely hard to get to. More often than not, road systems are on the primitive side at best. Honestly, this is most likely what has kept these places hidden for so long.
For the last 6 months or so I have been searching out these wild fish. With the help of google earth, some friends, and some good old ‘boots on the ground’ style exploration, I have found some of the most unique and amazing trout steams I have ever fished.
These small secluded creeks are overgrown with jungle vegetation, large fallen timber, and vines, vines, and more vines. Despite the extremely tight fishing conditions, the hungry rainbows make the journey worthwhile! I can honestly say that some of the places I have found have never been fished by another human with a fly rod. To me, in a world saturated with dudes with fly gear, that is something that is beyond priceless.
Capt. Jesse Males, is a fly fishing, snook snatching, kayak paddling, tarpon slaying, mountain hiking, manatee swimming fool from Central Florida. Over the years fly fishing has had a huge impact on his life and particularly on how I view the world we spend our time in. To check out more of Jesse’s work please visit him at backwaterflyfishing.com and follow him on Instagram @backwaterflyfishing