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Baja Mexico Fly FishingMy body starts panicking as I run out of breath, I turn to push off the bottom and ascend. I see the plug slip through my fingers, unable to do anything but seek the surface for air. I pull off the snorkel mask, gasp for breath, and feel the loss of the lure. Twenty bucks. Resting on the bottom of the Sea of Cortez. Yesterday I was casting that very lure out into a school of roosters teasing them into fly casting range for Justin. Today I’m searching for it, just within my reach. It’s an unusual day, looking to be a scorcher but threatening to blow hard enough to lower your skin temperature. I’m riding on the back of our quad while The Crumpster drives along the beach. Both of our eyes scouring the water, fly rod in my left hand, my right cautiously gripping the edge of the seat. Low tide affords smooth driving through the freshly swept sand. Along our drive roosters and jacks seemingly pop out of nowhere bestowing shots close to shore. With a hop, we take turns running, stripping line, and making casts ahead of the fish. Hearts race, adrenaline pumps, and you hope you brought your ‘A’ game, or at least aligning stars. There are times when I’m running along the shore chasing a fish, when out of the corner of my eye I spot a piece of beachglass. Maybe I’ll forget it in the frenzy of the hunt, or possibly I’ll pick it up on my walk back. This time, I spot a green and silver plug. The very one I lost several days ago lay there resting on a stick washed up in the sand. It’s nice getting one lure back today. As a large fish moves along shore at the speed of light, I perfect jumping from the moving quad to chase it. Running ahead, stripping off line, and out of breath, I cast. Strip, Strip, Strip…. A big jack follows my fly to my feet but runs into the shallow wash, turns, and beelines out. Sigh. On my walk of shame, I discover my chapstick I lost two days ago. Throughout that day, it slipped out of my pocket several times, thanks to a hole in the bottom. One of these days, I need to stitch that. As I am put-putting along, driving the quad, Justin jumps off the back at an alarming speed when his eagle eyes spot a grande rooster. He makes one double haul long solid cast a few feet ahead of it, and the fly sinks. I have a front row view as the rooster quickly turns, combs up, and chases his fly to shore. Its mouth opens and closes on the fly but somehow comes unbuttoned. I think the sea went silent. The intensity of these moments die while you stand there slack lined and out of breath. The light is quickly fading overhead and with it the keen ability to spot fish traveling towards shore. We suddenly see three ripping along the shoreline in just enough time to chase them in vain. But we hang in this spot combing the water with our polarized eyes. Within minutes, a school of Jacks come cruising by racing past us. Justin chases them down the beach to my right as I wait, looking for more. I see two massive schools sailing through the waves towards me. Frantically I grab the teasing rod, muster patience to unwrap the lure, and run along with them attempting to gain ground. I cast ahead of them, all the while yelling to Justin. Amongst the waves crashing he hears my cries and races towards me precisely when the school of Jacks crashes the water on my hookless lure. I crank the reel faster than ever, the Jacks speeding up their chase in unison. Justin lays a cast just shy of my lure and strips with might. The Jacks thrash at my lure and his fly as we both haul in line as quickly as humanly possible. I see four fish crash the sand in front of me as I pull the lure out of the water and witness Justin strip set the hook. Line rips off his reel with hypersonic speed. Not everything is just out of reach.Fishing in Baja is easily within your grasp too.