Meandering Angler: Fishing with the chef

Capt. Patrick MacKenzie, an experienced chef and graduate of The Culinary Institute in Napa, who also has his own fly-fishing guide business based in Sonoma Valley.|

Capt. Patrick MacKenzie, Sonoma-based fly-fishing guide and chef, sent me an interesting report this week after returning home from an exciting adventure with the Costa Pro Team in Magdalena Bay, Mexico.

Patrick, an experienced chef and graduate of The Culinary Institute in Napa, who also has his own fly-fishing guide business based in Sonoma Valley, has been part of the Costa team for six years. This year he was one of the chefs for the Costa Sunglasses Striped Marlin fly-fishing and tagging event, held in cooperation with the Marline Institute.

“We were cooking for the Costa Pro Team. The objective of the trip was to catch striped marlin on a fly and then tag them,” Patrick said. “By the end of the second day, 15 tags were attached to marlin, with many more landed. It was a huge success and I’m so thankful to be a part of it. I got a chance to meet and fish with the whole Costa Ambassador team and made some great memories. Los Locos Outfitters ( was a phenomenal host.”

He arrived home toward the end of our area’s series of major rain storms. While happy to see all of the rain, it means he will probably have to delay guiding any fly-fishing on the Napa River and other local waters for a week or two. But you should contact him ASAP anyway to reserve a day to fish with him once local waters drop to fishable levels, 707-721-6700. Go to his website at for more information.

All of the freshwater running out of local creeks and rivers into San Francisco and San Pablo Bay has already supercharged sturgeon fishing there says Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. Several hard-core anglers even ventured out in between the most recent series of storms. Keith said one guy hooked three huge sturgeon in two hours fishing off China Camp. He said the sturgeon action should be outstanding this weekend.

He will have plenty of live bait at his shop. Call him at 415-456-0321 for more information.

Even if you might go fishing this weekend, take a break for at least one day and driver to Sacramento to Cal Expo in Sacramento where the annual Sportsmen’s Expo kicked off yesterday (Thursday) and runs through Sunday. Tickets are $16 for adults, while kids 15 and under are free. For more information and to buy tickets on line go to

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