After a 45-minute ride on a 31-foot Striker sportfisherman, I took a seat next to a 12-weight fly rod armed with a gaudy feather popper we called the "Pink Passion." The ocean was as flat as a tabletop, and signs of life-birds, bait, dolphins, and whales-were everywhere. I wasn't sitting long before Capt. Leandro Porras shouted, "Feesh! Feesh!" A big sailfish was doing a Zorro impression in our wake just behind the teaser. The bait-and-switch drill worked, and I tossed the Pink Passion into the spot left by the teaser. When the sail turned on the fly, I set the hook. Unfortunately, I set it with such force that I broke the leader. Feesh off. Capt. Porras looked down from the fly bridge and nodded. He'd seen it before. Dejected, I sat in the fighting chair reliving my balk. But no more than 10 minutes later, the mate spotted a trio of sailfish sunning just beneath the surface, their sails raised in the air like electric-blue flags. As the boat passed by, the fish slipped into the depths and then emerged in our wake swatting at the teasers. When my shot came, I managed to sink the hook and stay connected.