NOVEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER.
The summer fly fishing season is now in full swing, having recently returned from two Maldives trips, busy packing for our first fly fishing workshop at Rocktail Bay and then another trip to the Maldives. Please heed this simple advice if you have a trip planned – get out there and practise your casting and stripping skills. This will put you on top of your game and maximise your chances instead of constantly being frustrated when you see fish but cannot present a decent fly due to your lack of skills.
REPORT ON RECENT TRIPS
Couples trip to the Maldives: 7- 14 October
Aboard the luxury boat Conte Max, I hosted 6 couples on this trip, Pam due to passport issues sadly could not join us. With windy and variable weather conditions throughout the trip, sight fishing was always going to be a challenge but this did not deter Greg Keth who landed a bonito on the first day whist casting to feeding fish. Pieter Schoeman landed a very nice Titan trigger and Philip de Beer had a good tussle with a big trigger that took him well into his backing but sadly lost it in the end.
With little evidence of GTs and the other kingfish species that abound in these islands, we decided to focus on the triggers. Fishing these vast flats must rate amongst best trigger fishing in the world. The skill of seeing the fish, presenting the fly and then setting the hook to these wily and powerful fish whilst coping with wind and variable light conditions are a real challenge. Greg Keth and Roger Moss landed triggers while Eric Heyns managed to hook quite a few but did not land them. Roger also landed a very nice GT on the flats with his 9 weight and Paul Tack caught his first of several saltwater fish on fly – with practise Paul will enjoy a great deal more success.
As always, Conte Max and the crew provided an extremely comfortable environment, the company and camaraderie were top class and although the fishing was somewhat slow, the Maldives delivered another a great experience for us all.
A trip for more serious anglers: Maldives 20 – 27 October
Aboard a traditional safari dhoni, I was joined by five guests, three of whom were from the UK. John Maynard unfortunately had to withdraw from the trip at the last minute due to a health issue.
Our return to previously very productive areas did not offer any GTs and bluefin and this could only be ascribed to the lack of baitfish in the area. A first for me was landing a 1.3m blacktip shark that behaved like a GT on steroids when it attacked the 8/0 sin profile fly. Fortunately the fly was tied on a circle hook and together with a 100 pound monofilament leader that really held up well, I landed the fish after some challenging moments.
Once the weather settled down, this group experienced some of the most exciting trigger fishing imaginable. On these flats that stretch for kilometres and kilometres, Colin Sampson was the first to land a big titan trigger and this was followed in quick succession with more titans landed by Mark Johnson Watts and Mark Pettini (two). Determined not to be outdone by the English, Theo Prasinos landed a huge yellow margin trigger that was not photographed due to an unfortunate early release on my part… a big sorry Theo!! Albert Du Preez hooked several fish that all managed to throw the hooks after putting his 9 wt. outfit under some really serious pressure.
On subsequent days the group landed numerous bluefin and variety of other species and then we headed to a brand new venue for our last two days! This was an exciting and productive way to end the trip and a venue to which I fully intend to revisit on upcoming trips! Fertile flats on which bluefin, triggers, snappers and many other species abound are surrounded by deep drops offs with shoals of baitfish continuously being chased by bonito, bluefin and GTs.
It was here that Theo landed a yellow margin trigger, several bluefin by the group and a GT which I landed on a 9 wt.
A story that will be told for some time to come was Albert being set upon by a one of the meanest fish you will ever encounter in these waters, a crocodile needlefish (Tyosurus crocodilus). Albert was about to remove the fly from the 1.1 m fish when it lined him up and attacked him. This very brief encounter that was accompanied by wild screams and a new Maldivian water dance, ended with cuts to Albert’s legs and fingers and a very irate fish that left the scene feeling somewhat vindicated.
Maldives: the northern atolls
In February this year we fished these remote atolls landing GTs up to 115cm, 80cm Bluefin, 10 pound bonefish, big triggers and many other species. We also saw permit which will be high on the list of fish to target on the three trips planned for early 2015. Currently we have just three rods available on the first February trip so if you are keen to join me, grab this opportunity to enjoy one of the best value-for-money trips available.
16 – 22 FEBRUARY: $2990PP sharing 3 rods available
3 – 9 MARCH: $2990PP Sharing full
17 – 23 MARCH $2990PP Sharing full
The cost include seven days full board aboard a very comfortable safari dhoni, all hosted fly fishing, domestic flights and ground transfers.
The costs exclude international flights, bar, gratuities and travel insurance.
Rocktail Bay Saltwater fly fishing workshop
Planned to coincide with prime kingfish season, our very popular saltwater fly fishing workshop will take place in February.
You will be accommodated at the very comfortable Rocktail Bay Beach Camp and fishing will take place at various beaches within the Isimangaliso world heritage site.
Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your saltwater skills and techniques by attending this very comprehensive and practical workshop.
4 – 8 FEBRUARY 2015: Anglers R9700PP/Non-anglers R8300PP sharing 3 rods available
The cost includes lunch on arrival, dinner bed and breakfast, all guidance and tutorials by me, 4×4 transport to fishing venues.
The price excludes transport to the Rocktail Bay, bar, gratuities and park entrance fees.
Zethu is still under constant pressure to keep up with local and international orders. She will be tying up some very exciting new crab patterns that have proven to be very successful with triggers and permit.
THE UFUDU SHOP
We have stock of the revolutionary new Hardy Proaxis Sintrix rods and the Hardy Fortuna reels. Contact me for very competitive prices for these state-of- the- art and top end rods and reels.
Finally, practise and practise your casting skills before going on a trip, you will be well-rewarded for your efforts.
Tight lines and loops!!