Conway Bowman = Mako Madness

Conway Bowman = Mako Madness

Words and Images Courtesy of Conway Bowman, Riversmith Ambassador

Editor’s Note:  Conway Bowman joined the Riversmith Team in 2023 and we always look forward to his epic-toothy-field reports…. Without further ado… Conway take it away!

It’s on folks!! Mako sharks have arrived in full force off the San Diego coast kicking off the 2024 Mako fly fishing season.

The fishing has been good…REALLY GOOD!!

We’ve been sight fishing, hooking and jumping Mako sharks upwards of 800 pounds. No joke!

It’s not all ‘monster-Mako-madness’...there are plenty of smaller “schoolie size” makos in the mix as well.  Sharks that are 60 to 200 pound are the perfect match for a 12 to 15 wt. fly rod. 

Small boat and big fish!

The best thing about sight fishing the fly to Makos is we’re only fishing a few miles off the coast allowing us to use 24-foot low profile hybrid boats.

Big flies

This season once again, big orange and red tube flies with a poppet head is my fly of choice.

Patience is a virtue

This is big game hunting. We are actually being hunted down by these larger Makos. Setting up in the right location, on the right tide and patience are the keys to success

Makos don’t spook! Once we find the fish… or they find us… anglers can have several shots at these fish they will often circle the boat.

Showtime…The Jump!!

This is what makes sight fishing to makos with the fly so unique. 

Once hooked, the sharks aerial display is like no other in fishing! They clear the water up to 3 times their body length (sometime this means 20 feet in the air) as they race away from the boat at 30 miles per hour.

All Catch and Release

My Mako program is 100% catch-and-release which ensures we will have Makos off the Southern California coat for years to come!!

Another word from the Editor: Our Ambassador Team is a critically important part of Riversmith’s DNA.  Our Ambassadors are recognized leaders in the community, subject matter experts in many different aspects of fly fishing, and most importantly provide Riversmith pointed and honest feedback as we develop new products.

1 comment

  • Dave Widby

    Shark fly fishing what a GREAT concept.
    Caught some 5 foot Lemon Sharks in Florida while down there fishing with PHW just before Covid hit, then I keep in contact to go back just to fish for sharks!!!!
    Where do I go to find more information on this program?
    Dave Widby

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.