Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fishpond Beavertail CHEST/BACKPACK

Built for the backcountry, the Beavertail features a high volume backpack with a detachable, low profile chestpack. Pack your waders in the backpack, secure your rod tubes and head down the trail. Another great fishing innovation from fishpond.
    Low-profile design
    Modular chestpack docks with backpack
    Main storage compartment with three interior pockets
    Zippered mesh interior pocket
    Molded “zip-down” fly bench with replaceable foam
    Attachment points for tools and hemostat
    Carry handle
    Padded contour shoulder straps for load control and carrying comfort
    Adjustable shoulder, sternum and waist straps
    Two large cargo compartments
    Secondary compartment features nine storage pockets CHESTPACK
    Low-profile design
    Modular chestpack docks with backpack
    Main storage compartment with three interior pockets
    Zippered mesh interior pocket
    Molded “zip-down” fly bench with replaceable foam
    Attachment points for tools and hemostat
    Carry handle

For further info please do not hesitate to contact us in the shop

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Latest Standings - World championships

The days standings of the world champs in New Zealand . Click on the link

Bet you the Kiwis wish they had some gold in their rivers!

Vlokkie and a " Propper " Yellow

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Want a taste of electronic Fly Fishing Magazines?

These are popping up on the internet every month now, some good and some real crappy! Interesting to note that more and more fly fishing equipment manufacturers are now putting paid advertisements in this new media form.

Follow this link for This is Fly and this link for Fly Fishing Life Magazine.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Something New

We are awaiting our new Fishpond gear products. Should customs decide to release the goods before Christmas we will be able to show you some new and innovative products soon.

I have picked just one : THE RODEO 31" ROLLING DUFFEL

This bag has room for everything you'll need. The Rodeo provides a spacious main compartment for your gear, regardless of your destination. Its well-protected bottom compartment is perfect for your travel rods or other equipment.

- Large main compartment with mesh panels to keep things organized
- Separate bottom compartment accommodates several 30" rod tubes or boots and waders
- Telescoping handle with positive lock for up/down positions
- 420 denier and 1680 ballistic nylon
- Compression straps
- In-line skate wheels for easy maneuvering
- Rigid PVC molded bottom
- fishpond Jacquard accent webbing handles
- Stands up while vertical ****
- Zippered front pocket for quick grab items
- fishpond molded luggage tag (Included)

We will let you know when the order is unpacked


Ricko & Murray

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Farquhar 2008 - King fish Quest

" Kings , Bump heads and Bones another Farquhar fairy tale "

Any Salt water fly fisherman's dream Welcome Notice

This was most probably the high light of the trip , a 90lb + Bump head parrot fish . Lu ( on the left )was casting at the school , about 6 fish feeding. After being smashed up twice , (the hook opened up completely ), Lu and the school of fish BUMPED into Dean.

Being the gentleman Lu always is he offered Dean a Velcro C , the fly was tied on, the cast was made and need less to say , the fish was hooked and landed. Well done Dean and Lu !!

Have a look at the video clip releasing the Bump head

On our fourth day wading the flats Ray and myself came across two Marble rays with pitch Black GT's . We casted our arms off , no takers, later walking right up to the fish and nearly lanced the with our rods. About 15 min later we spotted a nice fish moving , Ray put the fly on the spot , and after a PROPER pull landed a 93 cm ( measured , not estimated ) GT .

Both Andi ( The Fin ) and Duncan ( Hawk Eye ) also landed some really good fish. Duncan managed to land the most GT's on this trip he also could see them a mile away , hence the name.

He also manage to land a mother of a rock cod. This was done during our daily night fishing of the back of MV Illusions.

Andi "The Fin " nearly lost his rod after an epic battle with a huge GT in the "Straight of Goulette" . In a moment of rod rage , after the leader ( 130 lb ) broke , The Fin nearly send is rod into orbit . Halfway in this embarrassing moment he realized what he was busy doing and lucky for him could still grab hold of the fly line.

The next day he manage to hook and land 2 GT's in 4 casts , well done to "The Fin" what a great smile.

Andi also landed the biggest GT off the trip , unfortunately it did no count ( not on fly - must be honest ) , check this out!!Dean and Lu also had their fare share of NICE fish. Dean spend the one whole day on a Bommy ( rocky outcrop ) where he manage to land two really awesome GT's . He did get the biggest legal GT , a fish off well over a 100cm.

Dean's nick name is PH , if you are looking for a hunt off a lifetime , this is the man to talk to . Click on Hunt to go to his web site.

Rodney and Adrian Kretchzmar , father and son team also did their bit to give the GT's off Farquhar a decent dose of sore jaw. Rodney did spend a lot of time fishing for bones , while Adrian , on his third trip to Farquhar nailed a few GT's

We also had Bernard , our local popper expert on this trip. He manage to pop and land a fish the first morning , then some strange bug bit him and he fell ill for the remainder , a sad turn off events.

We even had our own Swimwear model along for this trip, have a look at the video clip.

She , I mean he also hooked and landed some awesome GT's , and he even looked after our guests.Thanks Lu.

Thank you guys for a awesome Farquhar experience, if any one else would like to find out a bit more you are more than welcome to get hold of me on

Tight Loops

TARPON – The Silver King

Tarpon – The Silver King

After watching Billy Pate’s “Hunt for Giant Tarpon” for the umpteenth time it had to happen. We had to go Tarpon fishing. A good client of ours, Paul Andrews was the man to ask about where and when. Paul has been fishing all over the globe, visiting Angola, Gabon, Florida, Mexico and of course Costa Rica for Tarpon.

The question to Paul was simple, “where would you go to catch BIG and PLENTY Tarpon” .His answer, without hesitation, Costa Rica. This Central American country host some of the globes best Tarpon fishing if you mention Big and Plenty in the same sentence.

Well, the question was asked, the answer given and the first e - mail sent. The reply from Jim Di Berardinis (Owner of the lodge) kept us awake for the next two weeks. According to Jim it was indeed the case, Big and Plenty, in the same place and best off all the same time!

It did not take long to get the group of willing fishing buddies together for this first time experience. There was only one problem, we still had a whole year and a half to go. Our trip was only booked for September 2007

According to Jim the best time to fish would be either April , May

September or October - spring or fall in the northern hemisphere. The reason being, during these months the weather and the sea are most likely to be stable. Yes, I know it is hurricane season in the Caribbean during September, but believe me, this far south the hurricanes have little effect.

The line weight rod recommended by Jim started at a 12 weight, but he was more in favor of the big guns 14 -16 weight rods. As far as reels and lines, as long as the drag could handle a Putco Bus on a downhill and take about half a mile of string you should not have a problem. Jim recommended intermediate line, this I will explain a little bit later.

The preferred choice of guns and bullets were as follows:

Two twelve weight rods - Thomas and Thomas H2 912s-4, one big gun – Thomas and Thomas Blue Water 14 -16 weight rod ( Purple Rain ), two back up 12 weight Rhythm rods.

I used the new Ross Momentum 7 reel, what a beauty. (A bit of praise, this reel handled Tarpon, Jacks, Marlin and Sailfish). Loaded on the Ross was one of the new Airflow GT lines, this line has a 60lb test core , it also incorporates the new Ridge Technology from Airflow, like they say in the movies , I like it when a plan comes together.

The most difficult was to find fly patterns for Costa Rican Tarpon. Even though the lodge offer flies as part of the deal, it is not the same catching your first Silver King on a fly you didn’t tie. We googel’d and yahooe’d and eventually with the help from a good client, Zoran, found a forum called: sexyloops .com. To my amazement a few guys fished Costa Rica and they tied their own flies too.

The fishing took place at the mouth of the Sixoala River; this is the south eastern border of Costa Rica and Panama. As you know, fishing in a river mouth you deal with discolored water, thus our flies had to be a bit darker and bushier than normal. We tied various Tarpon Toad’s (purple, black, olive and orange), Deep water Whistlers (Chartreuse grizzle, Orange grizzle), Brush Flies (very big profile that push water) and a few semper flies.

On 30 August, Charlie, Roger, Dion, Hanno, Piers and I boarded flight IB 6312. A year and a half has passed, this was it, the moment of tarpon, sorry truth. Our flight took us to Madrid where we would catch a connecting flight to Juan Santamaria International airport, one of Costa Rica’s two international airports. We would meet Andi, the seventh fisherman in our group at the airport.

After 32 hours traveling we stepped out into a wall of humid, Central American chaos. This was like nothing I have ever experienced, even though it did remind me a bit about home.

Outside the airport Andi was waiting, and our pick up to the Costa Verde inn was ready to go. The package included 8 nights but only 6 fishing days. The 2 extra nights you spend at the Inn either recovering or preparing for the long haul ahead.

Now this might land me in some deep water. (In Afrikaans we do have a better saying). Like Riley’s Bar in Alldays, Ronnie’s Sex Shop on the way to Grahmestown, your local watering hole on a Saturday afternoon, is the famous Blue Marlin Bar of San Jose.

The Blue Marlin is situated in the Del Rey Hotel, a must stop on your fishing Pilgrimage in Costa Rica. Believe me, this is not to be missed. Of course we did go there for the food only …., and boy what amazing steaks they had!

Being fortunate enough to get out of the Blue Marlin before we had to depart, we were on the road to Manzanillo. This was a journey of note. The transfer took place in a proper SA Taxi, but these guys will make our driver sweat. We headed south east to Limon. Limon is the biggest port on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. From Limon we traveled al along the coast through various small villages. It was clear this was the Caribbean, every body was friendly and had a proper Jamaican accent. Peurto Viejo was the second last village we passed through; little did we know what events would take place in this little town.Arriving in Manzanillo is like arriving at the end of the road, of course in a nice way. We were welcomed by Dolfi (lodge Manager) and his trusted old Nissan Safari. All our luggage was loaded into the Nissan, a few of the Elders too, and of we went to our new home for the next six days.

We were accommodated in the Dolphin research HQ, a really comfortable double story wooden house. There were 4 bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms, a kitchen, a very comfortable dining area and a freezer with lots of ice. Included in the package were 3 daily meals, all local drinks (beer, rum, gin… and soft drinks), very friendly staff and a guide per two anglers.

Now , as mentioned previously, this was our first trip for Tarpon, of course we saw all the videos , DVD’s , read all the books and had the dreams , but nothing could prepare us for what was about to happen.

We had half a gap to go fishing the first afternoon, needles to say, we did. Our boat parings were as follow: Dion and Piers, Charlie and Roger, Hanno and I and Andi all on his own. Arriving at the launch it was a scramble to get in the boats and out to the fish. The boats were 20 foot panga’s with a single 40 hp and a very knowledgeable guide, (these guys tried their best). On arrival at the river mouth I thought this was going to be one of those trips. The water was more orange than the Orange River itself, how we were supposed to hook a fish in this was above me. Well we were here, had all the gear, the least we could do was fish. I think the guide “Chun “saw the despair in our eyes, and very calmly said “Tarpon got, big eyes mon”

The highlands had a lot of rain and all this water came down the river into the big blue. We were busy on our second drift, when I saw a slight disbelieve in Hanno’s eyes. Could this be? He set the hook and all hell broke lose. Like a missile launched from a submarine this silver monster fired out the orange water. This was it! The Tarpon cleared the water at least half a dozen times before taking off to Panama. Hanno was giving this fish all he had. After a good twenty minutes the fish came to the boat for the first time. The moment it saw the boat it took off again, taking about 150 meters of string this time. The words of Billy Pate rang in my head “these fish think they are going to die “this was very visible in the way it fought. Forty minutes later the fish was next to the boat and ready to land, Chun grabbed the leader and very carefully pulled the monster closer to the boat. We were eye to eye with the silver king at last. Just as Chun griped the fish on the lower jaw the tarpon, with one final flick of its massive tail, launched itself out of the water and cut the 80lb leader. It was one of that slow motion Nooooo’s, followed by a few short Afrikaans three letter words as the tarpon slipped away into the orange water. Well, this was no walk in the park.

That night at the dinner table we learned Piers also hooked a Tarpon, but the fish threw the fly on the first jump. With Hanno giving a second to second run down of his tussle with the giant the scene was set for a unbelievable 5 days to come.

A typical day at the lodge would be Coffee and Toast at about 05:30, we would meet the boats at 06:30 then travel for about half an hour to the fishing grounds. We would have breakfast on the boat and be back at the lodge for lunch at 12:30. After a nice siesta we would be fishing again at 15:00 until dark.

After the rude awakening of the previous afternoon all the spare tackle went with in the boat, just in case. The technique used to fish the river mouth consists of one long drift from the mouth out to the sea. We would cast and retrieve our lines but this turned into hard work and our flies were more out of the water than in.

I was on Andi’s boat for the morning session when Delroy , his guide, recommended we keep our lines in the water and only give some action to the fly by retrieving only about half a meter and leave the line to be pulled out into the current again. This for sure was not the most exciting way of fishing but this way your fly covered the water the complete drift. After a few drifts we decided to go and fish a different spot. This was also a river mouth but a much smaller river than the Sixoala. While fishing at the Gandoca mouth we saw some Tarpon rolling, just out of casting distance, this kept us going for the rest of the morning. Eventually we decided lines up; Andi chucked the rod underneath his arm and started a proper Mozambique double handed retrieve. I was looking at the jungle behind us when I saw a silver flash behind the boat. I could hear the reel playing our kind of music even before I could shout Tarpon. The fish ate his fly on the double hand retrieve and was busy pulling string at a rate of knots. Andi fought the fish like a pro, (according to him) and boated the second Tarpon of the trip.

The afternoon we decided to fish together again, this is when I found my comfort zone while Tarpon fishing. Delroys boat had a really nice platform on the nose, a little bit small for standing on, but ideal to use as a seat. With my feet over the gunnels and my but on a life jacket I could not be bothered if the Bulls came stone last in the Currie Cup. While enjoying my throne, I felt a soft, tap – tap, half asleep I set the hook and out came the Tarpon. When I opened my eyes again I was on the second step of the boat palming the Ross Momentum. This fish was leaving. I saw the fly line disappear, then my 50m mark on the backing and then my “start the motor “mark. Through all the shouting and screaming Delroy managed to get the boat going and we quickly picked up on the backing. This fish kept me busy for a good forty minutes before I had it next to the boat. Lucky for me Andi had this all worked out, he would grab the tail and Delroy the lip; they would lift the Tarpon aboard, take photos, and then release the fish again. Well, this was exactly what they did. With Swiss precision they lifted a 90lb tarpon clear out the water, I was told, sit down and smile, the fish was lifted again and put back to sea, all in less than 30 second flat.

Getting back to Peurto Viejo, Friday nights are Reggae Nights in Peurto Viejo. We were enjoying a few Imperial’s ( the local version of Castel ) in the beach bar when out of the blue , about , 20 custom police showed up. In about 10 seconds we were the only people left in the bar , except for the barman of course. Now, if you travel on the Caribbean side you are suppose to keep your passport on you all the time. This we only found out later off course. The we I talk about is Andi and myself. When the police asked for pass ports Piers, Hanno and Dion had no problem, they had it on them. As for me and Andi, a completely different story. No Passport, no Go .We were asked to get in the van , when we started to speak Afrikaans these guys got really upset , but this is a story all on its own. Thanks’ to Hanno, who went back to the lodge, we only spend 3 hours in jail.

Back to the fishing, we just started our fishing our fourth session when Piers hooked into a fish. The Tarpon cleared the water half a dozen times then took off. Little did Piers and Dion know this was going to be an hour and thirty minute fight. After the battle the fish was next to the boat and then for the first time a really nasty obstacle reared its head. HOW are we supposed to get a fish of this size into the boat? There is also another kink to this fishy tale, but you have to ask Piers himself, give him a ring at Laxtons, it will be difficult to stop him talking. Witnessing the stamina and raw power of Piers’s tarpon the previous day Dion decided to bring out the big gun. Dion hooked into a nice fish of about 80lb, and within half an hour he boated the fish, his mega Loomis did him proud.

The following morning I fished with Dion on Chun’s boat, we both had our big sticks out. Drifting on the northern side of the mouth Dion hooked into good Tarpon. At first the Tarpon did not do much. Sure it was jumping all over the place, but it did not pull miles of backing from his Tibor Gulfstream. We were having a casual discussion of how to land this fish when we saw the size of the thing. The moment the Tarpon saw the boat he made a “run “for Panama. Dion had the fish next to the boat several times but every time we had a re-run of the previous time. After abut the seventh visit to the boat the fish came in side ways, Chun nodded, this was the moment of truth. Slowly I pulled the Tarpon closer to the boat, stuck my hand into its prehistoric mouth, and then, I could not grip it. I literary could not get my grip wide enough to cover the lower jaw of this monster. There we were ,a massive Tarpon and no way to get it on the boat. What a moment to share with a long time fishing buddy, thanks Dion.

On Charlie and Rogers’s boat they had another problem. Between the two of them they JUMPED the most Tarpon, but they could not hold on to the fish. After day three Charlie and Roger were known as the TEN SECOND boys. They could not keep a fish on for more than ten seconds. After dinner we would discuss the days fishing, various techniques used, including setting the hook. At this point a full demonstration would take place, but to no avail. It had to wait until the third last session for this demo to find its place in the technique folder of the Ten Second boys.

We were coming to the end of one of the most rewarding fishing experiences we ever had. The sheer number of fish hooked ( 69 ) , landed only 17 , the raw power on the end of your fly rod , the glint in a guides eye when he knew he did well. All of this and more is what we experienced on a Tarpon trip of a lifetime. I also have to mention we caught about thirty Yellow Wing Jacks ( Yellow fin Kings) , the biggest being 85cm. Again, thanks to Jim, Dolfi, and all our guides and off course our lovely cook.

We will definitely be back, with our passports, and this time we will take only Big Guns.

If you whish to join us on a tarpon experience , please contact us at FlyFishers Unlimited on 011 705 1190 or via e mail :

Farquhar Test Post

Forty Days At Farquhar

We have just completed five magical eight day trips at Farquhar Atoll in the Seychelles and all we have brought back from this un spoilt piece of heaven are stories of battles won and lost, many good laughs and the hope that our children will one day get to experience the beauty of such a place.

Farquhar is situated approximately 10 degrees south of the equator and is about 770KM south, south west of Mainland Mahe. It is a fairly large Atoll approximately twenty odd kilometers long and eight kilometers wide at its widest point. The inner lagoon is on average, with the exception of a few very deep areas, about 5 meters deep and the fish life in and around the atoll is mind blowing. We book our trips a year in advance otherwise you can’t get the available weeks and the right tides. The down side of this long term planning is waiting for the trip to arrive. The anticipation becomes suffocating and after all the planning and preparation around tackle and techniques you are mentally exhausted before you even arrive at your destination. Half the fun is preparation they say but a year of preparation is just too much for the average soul to handle.
We have already booked four trips for 2007 so here we go again with all that preparation and talk and we have just returned.

We would like to share with you some of our experiences, the highs and lows and a little on the preparation and what you need and need to know when visiting Farquhar for the first time.

Getting There

Getting to Farquhar involves a 5 hour flight from Johannesburg international to Mahe and a possible two or three night stay in Mahe. This depends on your trip schedule and when the charter flight leaves.

What to do while you wait in Mahe? Well, at Casurina where we stay, there is a grassy flat full of snapper, small (and sometimes not so small) kingies and the odd Bonefish and Permit. Herman (bonehead) Botha managed to take fifty odd fish in a day while playing around in front of the hotel. If you do not whish to fish and you are saving yourself for the big event then relaxing on a beach chair with a Seybrew beer is a great way to kill a day or hire a taxi and do a bit of sight seeing.

The charter flight is about an hour forty five minutes and you land on Farquhar early morning.

The Floating Hotel

All our trips to Seychelles are done through MV Illusions.

Chris meets us at the airstrip and gets us all going with tales of fish landed and lost while we take a short drive in a tractor driven trailer which transports us and our R200 000 plus Rand’s worth of fishing gear. Chris always has a good laugh at how much gear we bring, but as I say in true retailer, style you can never be too prepared.

Chris and Des Welgemoed run a very tight operation and their vessel is a seventy two foot live aboard that can sleep twelve plus crew. We take eight people on each trip so space is never an issue. Chris built the boat himself and knows every nook and cranny, which is very comforting from a safety point of view. It consists of the very important galley, a very comfortable lounge with hi-fi and TV. There are three top rooms two on suite and the lower cabins with bunks. He has two tender boats used to get us to the various spots and while he makes sure we are catching fish Des, with the help of a cook, takes care of all on board duties and administration. They make an excellent team.

The Fishing.

What is the big draw card for Farquhar? The opportunity to sight fish on the flats for Giant Trevally, Bonefish, Triggers, Permit and host of other species which grow to very large sizes in surroundings that no photograph can really do justice.

Be prepared to lose tackle. A couple of fly lines lost and rods broken is not uncommon on Farquhar.

Depending on tides, a typical morning starts with a breakfast and quick re cap on the previous nights briefing for our plan of action. It’s a big piece of real estate, as Chris puts it, so we spread out in groups of two across which ever area we are going to target. Two way radios on our person keep us in contact with each other for fishing up dates and safety.

Saltwater fly fishing is like going to war, except it’s a lot more fun. You choose your weapon, “a 12wt today at Mananha gaps” and choose your bullets, “some flashy profiles and a couple of poppers” put on your uniform, “ my stripping gloves, Polaroid glasses, hat, buff, Marl walker shoes, back pack system with re-hydration bladder and some spare lines and bullets. You hit the flat running as you jump off the tender boat, with Chris screaming, GT’S 12 o’clock and closing Go! Go! Go! All your preparation and casting practice goes to pot as the GT’S close in. If everything goes your way, you connect with the fish and after an epic battle you finally subdue the enemy. As you hold it in the water and marvel at its size and power everything makes sense. All the money and time you have spent preparing for this exact moment has finally been worth it- every minute and every penny. Your fellow soldiers gather round and congratulate you enjoying the moment almost as much as you do. The release of such a magnificent fish is a fitting close to a perfect battle. Like I said - it is like going to war except a lot more fun.

GT Mania

A couple of stories concerning the GT’S from the trips come to mind. AJ, on our first trip, was fishing around the wrecks with Chris from the tender boat as it was too deep to stand. He hooked a good G’T only to have the braided loop joining backing and fly line part on him. Chris was quick to the draw and started the motor and chased the fly line crabbing it and threading it back through the rod guides. A quick make shift knot joining backing once again ensured AJ landing a G’T of about 28LBs. Bernard on the second trip spotted a G’T while fishing a small southern Island called Goleitte. He ran down the beach to intercept the fish and cast the popper way ahead of the fish. So fast was the Kingie he never got to strip the fly once and the fish had it in its mouth. Andy had never fished for GT’s and by the six day of his trip was wondering if he was going to get one. (We had really bad weather) On one of the gravel bars he took two Kingies a 28lb and 30lb in the space of ten minutes. Later that day he hooked his third and nearly ran out of backing. Once again Chris started the boat, picked Andy up off the flat and chased the fish into the lagoon. The fish was landed and Andy is needless to say on one of our trips next year. Then there was Ricko’s GT. The kind of fish you never forget. Ricko hooked a bus of a GT at the ocean edge of the gravel bars, close to rats and mice. The fish headed towards the lagoon at pace and Ricko had to continually untangle his line from the coral Bomies. Ricko has discovered a new use for re-hydration bladders. He blew air in the bladder situated in his pack (luckily most of the liquid had been consumed), which helped him float across some of the deeper areas. This went a long way in less salt water being consumed a he was dragged across the flat by a huge fish. After half swimming and half running for about 300m odd the fish was lost. The sheer power of such a fish and total lack of control from your side burns a memory in your mind that you will take to your grave. Such is the GT fishing at Farquhar. It is not easy and you have to be ready and be prepared to put in the effort but the reward is worth it.

Dem Bones Dem Bones

Then there is the Bonefish. I have heard some people comment that fly fishing for Bonefish in the Seychelles is easy, and “we don’t count the bone fishing”. Well I agree it is easy most of the time but the second comment is really shallow. There are not many places around Africa that boast the kind of bone fishing Seychelles has to offer and some of the best venues in the world do not come close to the flats of the Seychelles. We did five trips to St Josephs in 2004/2005 and on one of our trips an American house dad joined us. He looks after the kids, writes for fly fishing magazines and fishes around the world. After the trip I asked him what he thinks about the bone fishing and this is was he had to say. “I have fished Belize, Cayman Islands Costa Rico, Bahamas and the Andros Islands and the Bone fishing here, although a bit more physical, is far better. When you visit Farquhar for the first time, catch as many bonefish as possible, because there are not too many opportunities to fish for these spectacular game fish. It is all sight fishing and to watch a bony pounce on your fly and run you into your backing a number of times no matter how much pressure you apply is spell bounding. Farquhar is home to both flats bone fish and oceanic bone fish. They are the same, fish just living in different environs. The Bonefish at Farquhar are on Average big. Herman (Bonehead Botha) managed to take fifty bones in one day which was a goal of his. Now you know why we call him Bone head. His biggest was around 10Lbs and the average 6lbs. On our first trip we came across a couple of shoals of Bonefish and for a couple of hours we hooked Bonefish after Bonefish. At one point we had seven of us into fish at once and we moved closer together for some action shots. It was real Willie Wille Wallie stuff, one rod under this rod ducking from side to side as we tried to land them simultaneously. Five managed to land their fish and we had one rod casualty.
Awesome stuff! So if anyone tries to tell you the Bone fishing does not count cock them a deafy.

The Holy Grail

If ever there is a fish that haunts us it’s the Permit. Permit are a really difficult fish to catch and you need to dedicate time to be successful. Mark Kalmann spent three days at St Joseph going after Permit and never managed to get one. On his trip with us to Farquhar he finally got what he deserved the illusive Permit.

He spent a good hour chasing the fish and changing flies before one of a pod of two decided to take his offering. Billy and Murray spent a good two hours trying for a permit off a pod of four in the Bay of Pigs only to have one have a half hearted look at the fly. Such is the Nature of Permit fishing. On previous trips to St Josephs, which is a Permit Mecca, if a couple of the anglers manage to connect and land a decent Permit through the season there is cause for celebration. Farquhar has good populations of Permit and it is up to you to dedicate time to these fish if you whish to maybe get one. The problem is dedicating all this time when there are so many other fish to target.

Pull the Trigger

A fish you often see in large marine aquariums with a real attitude problem. They eat crabs, shrimp and probably small fish if they venture to close. Fishing for triggers is as exciting as fishing for Bonefish. There tails flap above the surface as they look for crabs in the coral Marls and Turtle grass. They are pretty finicky when it comes to presentation and flies so it is a real hunting game.
When you look at a Trigger he is about as Hydro dynamic as bucket yet can swim you into your backing and reef you in no time at all. Some say you only land one in twenty you hook when fishing for them along the surf edge. The power of even a small trigger is impressive. Billy caught a large Yellow Margin Trigger on the flat that was minding its own business on a small piece of turtle grass. The fight the followed was spectacular to say the least and Billy is a Trigger convert. When you land one he looks at you and you know all he wants to do is bite you with those nasty teeth. Triggers are notorious for crushing the strongest hooks and destroying flies so beware.

The blue holes

Much of Farquhar consists of deep blue holes surrounded by turtle grass, sand bars and coral Bomies. If you think the Kingies cost you tackle then try and play in this battle field. Hump head Wrasse, Spangle Emperors, Grouper and Rock Cod to name a few reside in the blue holes. One particular fish comes to mind. Murray, Wayne and Andy were fishing the blue holes between, South Island and Gollitte. Murray cast his 6/0 clouser across one of the big holes and had barely began stripping the fly when a Hump head Wrasse jumped the fly. He was fishing a twelve weight and there was no stopping the fish. It shot back into its cave where it thought it would be safe. Enter Wayne! Wayne followed the line to where the fish had swam into its cave and after hoisting Murray by his back pack from one Coral Bomie to the next proceeded to look down into the hole for the fish. Wayne could just manage to see the back of the fish and slowly lowered the butt end of his rod down into the cave. A quick prod of the fish spooked him and he swam out at which point Murray through all his body weight (not much) into stopping the fish from swimming into another hole. It did swim into another hole and the procedure was repeated and luckily they managed to land the fish that was around 12lbs. This fish came after landing a number of 7 to 8lb Spangle Emperors. Andy also hooked a large Rock Cod which buried itself in a cave and after giving slack the fish swam out to be finally landed. This all happened in a space of about an hour max. The tide was pushing in so we had to get onto the tender or we could have had fun for hours tag team fishing for all sorts of nastie’s in the blue holes.
These holes hold many species including, Blue Fin, Grouper, Rock Cod, Emperors, Snapper, Triggers, Rainbow Wrasse and the occasional GT.
The fish are big if you have some old twelve weight lines you don’t mind wrecking take them along. I would target these areas at spring or neap low as it is easier to move around.

Tackle requirements

If it is your first time to the Seychelles you here all the advice from those that have been and you try to plan as best as possible. The one thing we have learnt from trial and error is to plan each day before it arrives. Check out the tides, decide which type of fish you are going to target during that particular session and stick to it. If you are going for GT’S then that is it. Because as you see some bones and start fishing for them with your lighter stick the GT’S show up. This happened to Murray on gap one at Mananha gaps. Walking up the gap with a 10 weight after taking oceanic bones he should have changed to a twelve. By the time the GT showed up it was too late. He had a cast at it and hooked it but it was over before it began.

A 12wt rod with floating line is the set up of choice for the GT fishing. Be sure to take some spare twelve lines and a spare 12wt rod. A nine or ten weight is fine for the bones and ignore those that talk about a 10wt being way too heavy for bones. Let us tell you why. You carry two rods with you on the flat. A 12 for the GT’s and a 10 which is perfect for permit and Triggers. What are you going to do, carry a third rod in an 8wt or 9wt? It just does not make sense. Besides a bonefish will pull you into your backing two or three times whether you are using a 10 wt, 9wt or 8wt. If you try to stop it will pull the hook free or break you off.

There is no real need for intermediate or sinking lines unless you want to fish off the back of the main boat at night, in which case a sinking line is useful. Thirty GT flies and about twenty or so Bonefish flies will cover you for a weeks fishing. Supplement this with a few specific crab patterns for Triggers and Permit.

Good Polaroid’s, hat and quick drying long sleeve shirts are a must. Some wear long quick drying pants and some wear shorts. It is up to you but remember the sun is not your friend. Stripping gloves and sun gloves, are in my opinion, absolutely necessary to protect your hands from cuts and the sun. Good foot wear can not be over emphasized. You are walking most of the day while you fish and it is important your feet are protected. Complement your wading shoes with gravel guards to stop sand entering your boots. A stripping basket is a hassle but there are certain areas you can not get away without one. Take a spare hat, glasses and foot wear because if any of these are lost or damaged you are in trouble. You need to carry water with you on the flats so a pack system for rehydration bladder or water bottle system is needed. We sometimes spend the whole day out and you must have drinking water. If you carry a camera make sure it is water proof all well protected as it will get wet.

That covers the majority of what you need and if you are not sure we have excellent saltwater checklists at the shop which we can e-mail you. We are retailers so I could add another ten or so items you must have, but the above are the basic requirements you should not be without.

As we think back on the last five trips we are already booked for next year. We know we have another year of planning the painstaking wait is going to get too much in the end - but we know it is worth it and we are sure you would agree!!

Murray & Ricko