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Memories from Sudan, Dubai and Oman – 2015

blog-May-3-2015-1-camel-crossing-in-omanI have to slap myself to believe I’ve been saltwater fly fishing for five straight weeks out of Dubai, Sudan and Oman.  This has been no less than insane.  No doubt there were ups and downs and fishing overall was tough.  But saltwater fly fishing is always tough especially when you go this far from home.

 

blog-May-3-2015-2-largespot-pompanoA very sincere thanks to Tourette – Fight it in Africa for bringing me back to Sudan, Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for providing all the great fishing in Dubai and giving Granny and I the opportunity to fish Musandam, Oman and to our new friends Ray and Kerry Montoya who not only gave us great advice on self-travel in Oman but also loaned us all the camping gear to do it.

 

blog-May-3-2015-3-winston-simms-scientific-anglersLast but not least, one can’t fish the ocean for five weeks without the best gear in the world.  Thanks very much R.L. Winston, Simms Fishing Products, Scientific Anglers, Abel and Ross Reels!

 

Here are a few more photos from the trip

blog-May-3-2015-4-talang-queenfishGranny with a nice talang queenfish from Dubai

blog-May-3-2015-5-crab-fly-patternCrab fly pattern for largespot pompano

blog-May-3-2015-6-bluefin-trevallyBluefin trevally

blog-May-3-2015-7-osprey-in-omanOsprey living in Strait of Hormuz

blog-May-3-2015-8-queenfishingJumping queenfish!

blog-May-3-2015-9-musandam-roadsA remote road in Musandam, Oman

blog-May-3-2015-10-ocean-activeNick Bowles of Ocean Active still battling his queenfish

blog-May-3-2015-11-jeff-currier-blogHundreds of hours and many late nights to keep up with this blog!

blog-May-3-2015-12-parrotfishParrotfish on the fly

blog-May-3-2015-13-camping-in-omanGranny sleeping in missing the morning beach walk for permit

blog-May-3-2015-14-golden-trevallyGolden trevally – one of eleven new species caught this trip

blog-May-3-2015-15-jeff-and-granny-currierPartying down in Dubai last night

blog-May-3-2015-16-dubai-fountainsDubai Fountains

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

End Big and Fly Home – A Golden Last Day Fishing Dubai

blog-May-2-2015-1-spice-market-in-dubaiIt wasn’t the end of the world not fishing yesterday.  Cameron, Granny and I traveled from Musandam back to Dubai in the morning.  We got to Nick Bowles house and relaxed.  We visited the spice market, fish market and Nicks Ocean Active fishing shop then I caught up on the blog.  Then I did my presentation “Fly Fishing Through Midlife Heaven” for a few of Nick’s friends and customers before yet another scrumptious barbecue feast.

 

blog-May-2-2015-2-flyfishing-in-dubaiThis morning Granny slept in and continued to relax.  Nick and I went fishing one last time out in front of Dubai.  Although Granny has fished her butt off this trip and deserves serious RR the last few days here in Dubai, I wish she came.  Fishing was absolutely silly!

 

blog-May-2-2015-3-flyfishing-for-queenfishFirst of all, today’s queenfishing was the best I’ve ever seen.  We got a very early start.  Conditions were calm and fish were busting all over the place. Schools of baitfish were flying through the air looking like mini light shows everywhere you looked.

 

blog-May-2-2015-4-nick-bowles-ocean-activeNormally Nick doesn’t fish and I was beginning to wonder if he knew how to fly fish.  Today because it was just he and I, he broke out the goods and yes, he can fly fish.  Nick can fly fish well and he dropped a sweet cast on the first bust we reached and landed this dandy queenie!

 

blog-May-2-2015-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-dubaiNick and I went back and forth for the next two hours and brought ten queenies to hand.  That’s not to mention another dozen or so we jumped and lost and laughed because the fishing was so unreal.  I tell you man, these are the days you live for.

 

blog-May-2-2015-7-flyfishing-for queeniesFishing for queenies was so good we started leaving fish to find more – perhaps find some golden trevally or even the yellowspotted trevally.  Each place produced more birds and more queenfish.  But then we did see something special.  As Nick was watching a queenie dart side to side behind his fly, behind it and slightly deeper was a golden trevally.  His gold glow, dark stripes, broader shape and elongated pectoral fins gave him away.

 

blog-May-2-2015-6-golden-trevallyThe golden wouldn’t eat Nicks fly and sank out of sight.  I had the same thing happen one hour into this trip on Day 1 back on April 4.  Since then the image of that fish hasn’t left me.  That day Nick told me my best chance for a golden was to go deep and strip slower.  Golden’s have a reputation of being lazy and the queenies beat them to the fly every time.  The idea is to get your fly below the feeding queenfish so the golden’s don’t have to compete for it.

 

I lost a tremendous golden trevally in Christmas Island twenty years ago and have wanted one ever since.  Right then on Day 1 I took Nicks advice seriously.  I switched from my queenfish catching intermediate line to my 300 grain Streamer Express and let it sink after each cast.  Then I stripped at a slow trout-like pace and hoped.  I sacrificed catching queenies, but I’ve caught plenty, I wanted a golden.

 

I didn’t get that golden we saw on Day 1 but I tried and tried.  Then the next day out with Mike LaSota (fishing with Mike seems like years ago) I caught a few queenies then went back to the 300 grain and continued to try for that golden.  I even tried with Granny last week.  But the elusive fish eluded me again.

 

Today I purposely pushed the golden out of my mind so I’d bang up some fish on the final day.  I fished my intermediate all morning and caught a bunch of queenies.  But when that golden showed up behind Nick, that was it.  Out came my 300 grain and the dredge began – unsuccessfully for over an hour.

 

blog-May-2-2015-8-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-golden-trevallyNick and I were literally finished and were heading back.  In order to get back we had to pass where Nick had the golden follow.  Nick asked if I needed anymore casts and I said the usual, “Ok I’ll make a couple more then let’s beat it”.  It was a good call, on my first cast, as my fly was plummeting I got a thud.  That’s all it felt like at first.  A thud.  But then the thud took off.  I’m no expert on queenfish, but this didn’t feel like a queenfish!

 

I rarely let a queenfish take me into my backing.  Whatever this was got me to the backing quickly.  Not only that, he easily took fifty feet of backing with him and was running deep.  My Ross Momentum LT 5 was cranked and the pull of the fish actually turned the boat.

 

blog-May-2-2015-9-jeff-currier-golden-trevally-dubaiIt’s key not to let a fish get too far away if you can help it.  When you hear someone say, “The fish took me 300-yards into my backing” that angler either lost that fish or is an expert on exaggeration.  I don’t know what kind of snags lay in the bottom of Dubai Harbor but I’ll guess whatever I had on did so we stayed close as possible.  I tightened my drag after the first big run and Nick fired the engine and followed.

 

The consistent pressure on my fish began to pay off.  Within minutes my fly line was back on the reel and Nick had me directly over my fish.  I could tell I had a member of the jack family because I could feel the fish swimming in circles down deep and he was using his wide flank to make my lifting difficult.  But what kind of jack was this?

 

blog-May-2-2015-10-flyfishing-for-golden-trevally

After a long wait we saw him.  It was a jack alright.  A full size golden trevally.  His stripes were faint as was his golden glow but his extra wide body and long pectoral fins gave him away.  I held back my happiness remembering the disastrous ending I had with an Africanus two weeks ago.

 

blog-May-2-2015-11-jeff-currier-fly-fishing-for-golden-trevallyI hoisted with my 9-weight and Nick got ready to pounce.  I got the hefty golden to the surface and in one quick sweep Nick clenched the boomerang sized tail.  I landed a new species – a long sought after species – the golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)!

 

blog-May-2-2015-12-golden-trevallyMy persistence paid off.   There’s nothing better than working hard for something then finally succeeding.  And best of all, like many times before, this was a last day fish.  In fact this would be my last cast of the trip.

 

blog-May-2-2015-13-jeff-currier-in-dubaiTo say Nick and I were pumped up doesn’t hardly describe it.  We were ecstatic.  So excited we went directly by boat to the Dubai Yacht Club for beers.  Unfortunately it was too early.  They don’t begin serving alcohol till noon.  We’ll remember that for our next celebratory fish which will hopefully happen again soon.

 

blog-May-2-2015-14-nick-bowles-ocean-active-dubaiI officially broke down the Winston’s and packed away the Ross and Abel Reels.  I have tons of salt to clean off at home in a few days.  Granny and I fly home late tomorrow night and get in the front door in exactly 50 hours.  Jet travel is incredible.  Now we’re headed out Nicks door for the Dubai Mall to check out the aquarium then out to party down on our last night.  Tomorrow I’ll close the books on Sudan, Oman and UAE with some final photos and thoughts from this incredible trip.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Last Day Fly Fishing in Oman

blog-April-30-2015-1-flyfishing-in-musandam-omanMusandam, Oman is most famous for is its enormous sized giant trevally (GT).  I’ve gone hard for the GT’s for only a few hours each day here then been side tracked with dredging, milkfish and other fish.  There’s nothing wrong with chasing everything but now was time to focus on GT’s because conditions were perfect.

 

blog-April-30-2015-2-strait-of-hormuzToday we not only went to what I’ve labeled the “gateway” from the Gulf of Oman to the Strait of Hormuz, but it was calm enough that we went through the rocky passage then another twenty minutes out into the Straits.  We went to what Ocean Active calls the Military Base, a mere 21 miles from the Iran coast.  A special place that few guests reach due to time, weather or rough seas.

 

blog-April-30-2015-3-strait-of-hormuzWe were so close to Iran that we shared the waters with Iranians.  As we arrived at the Military Base (the base is situated on a massive island rock) you could see Iranians in their small fishing boats crossing the Strait of Hormuz to fish the Omani waters.  It’s technically illegal, but the Omani’s don’t hassle them as long as they use hook and line and not nets.  I can respect that.

 

blog-April-30-2015-5-winston-fly-rods-and-abel-reelsCameron had me start popping along the farthest northern island in all Musandam.  There were rocks and bait and a current rip moving so strong it simply had to have big GT’s in it.  I was relentless in my pursuit especially after a mini trevally (MT) (a GT under 10 kilo) exploded on my popper and I missed him.  But long story short, I chucked my 12-weight for seven straight hours, first with my sailfish popper, then I downsized to this popular concoction and finally I dredged a giant chartreuse Clouser.  Despite some of the finest looking water I’ve ever dropped a fly in, the mammoth GT’s would not cooperate.

 

blog-April-30-2015-6-granny-currier-in-omanGranny doesn’t care about catching unearthly beasts.  She stuck to the “let’s have some fun” program.  While I was laboring she kept my 9-weight bent most of the day dredging a small Clouser down deep from the back of the boat.  At one spot she caught so many fish in a row she attracted the attention of some Iranians who had to join in the fun.  Granny out fished them ten to none!

 

blog-April-30-2015-7-flyfishing-for-rainbow-runnerGranny picked up several new species for herself.  She caught a handful of halfspotted grouper, Russell snappers and a few more of her favorites, the orange-spot trevally.  She also landed this small rainbow runner, one of the finest baits in the ocean.

 

It was sad times at the Musandam base tonight.  I broke down my rods and cleaned the salt off them. Today may have been the last day of fishing on this classic adventure.  There’s a chance the 9-weights will come back out in Dubai but that remains in the air.

 

blog-April-30-2015-8-jeff-currier-rigging-for-trevallyThe last three days of the trip go like this.  Tomorrow we return to Dubai and Nick Bowles house.  Tomorrow night I’m doing my PowerPoint presentation “Fly Fishing Through Midlife Heaven” for Nick and his Ocean Active customers.  Then two days taking in the sights of Dubai with Granny.  Hopefully I’ll get out with Nick one last time for queenies and have one last crack for the elusive golden trevally.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Blacktip Trevally on the Fly – Musandam Oman

blog-April-29-2015-1-sunrise-in-musandam-omanI can’t get over Musandam, Oman.  I’ve seen most of the world but never any place like this.  The region is really unique and our ninety minute boat ride north to the top where Musandam juts into to the Strait of Hormuz provided another spectacular sunrise.

 

blog-April-29-2015-2-flyfishing-the-straits-of-hormuzThere’s sort of a gateway where you go from the Gulf of Oman into the Strait of Hormuz.  Basically you travel up the east side of Musandam in the Gulf of Oman all the way to the top.  Both mornings it’s been fairly calm and easy boating.  Then you come to this jagged rocky opening between two mountains of rocks.  Once side is attached to the mainland and the other side is the face of a rock island.  When you pass between them you go from gentle seas of the Gulf of Oman into the frothing whitecaps, wind and waves that is the Strait of Hormuz.

 

blog-April-29-2015-3-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-gtsUndoubtedly, it’s a place where big fish prowl.  Cameron has had his best luck on the turbulent side so both mornings I braced myself and launched some bombs while struggling to stay on my feet.  The entire time here yesterday I tossed the sailfish popper.  I started the same way today but despite my efforts I can’t bring up a giant trevally.

 

blog-April-29-2015-4-saltwater-flyAs always I have heaps of rods, reels and lines to cover most situations or in this case possibilities and I asked Cameron if dredging a pushy fly down deep might get the job done.  He liked the idea.  I already had my second 12-weight Winston rigged with my Ross Momentum LT #8 reel and a 700-grain Bluewater Express sinking line.  I tied on a black brush fly and handed the rig to Granny.

 

blog-April-29-2015-5-flyfishing-for-giant-trevally

Granny’s reaction was, “I can’t cast this?”  But when dredging a 700-grain line you don’t need to cast (See last day in the Seychelles).  I had her feed out the entire fly line – straight down.  Then I tightened the drag on my Momentum almost all the way.  I had her brace herself then point the rod tip straight into the water and strip as fast as she possibly could.  It’s a ton of work and the girl gave up on it way too quickly.

 

blog-April-29-2015-6-jeff-currier-fishing-omanI took the rod and went to work knowing I had to prove something.  I let that line go down then shoved half the rod down in the water and stripped so hard my left shoulder aches tonight.  As we drifted and bounced along I kept going.  Finally I got rocked!

 

blog-April-29-2015-7-blacktip-trevally-fishingI don’t know what’s down beneath the surface in the gateway as far as structure but looking at the rocks out of the water I have to assume it’s rocky below.  If you can help it in this situation, DO NOT let your fish make much of a run.  Keep a slight bend in the rod and have confidence in your tippet.

 

blog-April-29-2015-8-blacktip-trevallyThis size of this fish greatly surprised me.  Seriously, the first minute I was sure I had a good size giant trevally.  It’s hard to believe a 12-weight can be bent so much.  But slowly the fish gave up.  And when I landed him he was much smaller than expected.  But it was a new species for me – a sharp-looking blacktip trevally (Caranx heberi).

 

blog-April-29-2015-9-jeff-currier-and-blacktip-trevallyThis is actually a good size blacktip trevally.  What’s neat about this catch is that until this trip I was completely unaware of the species.  While I was at Ray Montoya’s house in Muscat he showed some fish pictures and he was holding one.  I wanted one right then and now I have one!

 

That was the first time Cameron has ever seen a blacktip trevally in Musandam.  There are plenty down south but up here this was a first.  After the catch Granny was in the game and she went to work and for the next two hours we took turns and tried several promising spots.  Nothing.

 

blog-April-29-2015-10-orangspot-trevallyI appears now the blacktip trevally was a lucky catch.  Not only was he the one and only big fish of the day but even the Strait of Hormuz went calm and like yesterday, the only fish we could find were Granny’s new favorite, the orange-spotted trevally.

 

blog-April-29-2015-11-fishing-for-sharksWhile one good fish in the first two days may not satisfy most, I am very happy tonight with the new species for my list.  One of the local boats here got a memorable fish as well.  A bull shark that took four guys to hoist up on the boat launch.  We’ll head out on our last day tomorrow. . . .

 

A special thanks to Ocean Active for making fly fishing in Musandam, Oman possible!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in Musandam Oman

blog-April-28-2015-1-oman-flyfishing-ocean-activeI’ve proven that if you have a day long flight layover in Dubai you’re crazy if you don’t go fishing with my friends at Ocean Active.  But what if you have more than one day?

 

blog-April-28-2015-2b-fishing-musandam-omanMy friend Nick Bowles, owner of Ocean Active, not only offers guides out of Dubai but also to neighboring Oman.  Depending on the time of the year he runs trips in Southern Oman and to the north.  The north region is called Musandam and after spending much time with Nick, Musandam appears to be one of his favorite fishing places on earth.

 

blog-April-28-2015-2-flyfishing-in-musandam-omanGranny and I and guide Cameron Mundy arrived at the Ocean Active base in Musandam yesterday afternoon.  It was only a two hour drive from Dubai therefore if you have two days you can do this trip.

 

blog-April-28-2015-4-fishing-in-musandamBase is a simple accommodation with comfortable air-conditioned rooms, each with their own bath and an equipment room with plenty of area to rig.  Once we settled in, the manager of base, Nuru from Sri Lanka, cooked us up a dinner of fresh grilled steaks.

 

blog-April-28-2015-5-flyfishing-in-musandam-omanWe slept well but short.  Due to the wild nature of the region and long distances covered by boat, fishing starts early and you’re back early afternoon.  Cameron had us up at 4 AM and at the marina loading the boat in the dark before 5 and we took off at the first glimmer of daylight.

 

blog-April-28-2015-6-flyfishing-in-musandamWe motored north and watched the sun light creep down the flanks of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains that drop directly into the sea.  They are like Fjords in Alaska only these are bone dry and you can see desert species of vegetation.  Nonetheless the scenery is stunning and reminds me of no place I’ve ever been.

 

Our first stop was for busting longtail tuna.  The busts lasted only a few seconds and unfortunately that would be our story for the day.  We’d spot some birds and see a couple splashes then the fish would be gone.  We worked hard at this style of fishing for a good couple hours before Cameron and I agreed it was a waste of time.

 

blog-April-28-2015-7-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-longtail-tunaNext we went to a shallow reef and I started by blind casting a sailfish popper hoping to raise a giant trevally (GT).  This sounds like a tedious task but with my Winston 12-weight SX and my custom made 100lb core Titan fly line from my friends at Scientific Anglers I could bomb that thing out there.  I quickly raised a GT but he refused.

 

blog-April-28-2015-8-halfspotted-grouperSeeing the GT right away was encouraging but an hour later he was the one and only.  We saw a free jumping sailfish also but couldn’t tease him up.  I decided to make a few deep runs with my 9-weight and a 300 grain and picked up an assortment of fish ranging from Russell snappers to halfspotted grouper.

 

blog-April-28-2015-9-milkfishThe sea turned to glass shortly after 9 AM and fish activity went dead.  Calmness isn’t the norm for the ocean and just like in freshwater, most species get spooky and hide deep.  I continued blind casting for GT’s, dredged and we drove around hoping to find activity.  That’s when we found a school of milkfish.

 

blog-April-28-2015-10-flyfishing-for-milkfishMilkfish (milkies) look like oversized bonefish, or better yet like supped up grass carp.  Milkies feed on algae and other plant life like their freshwater cousins.  They are extremely difficult and rarely caught on fly.  I’ve had a few opportunities and dabbled but my best shot was in Sudan last year where my friend Mark Murray connected and landed this monster.

 

blog-April-28-2015-11-milkfish-fliesThese milkfish may not have been feeding.  In Sudan (I also watched a client fish to them in the Seychelles) the milkies swam along in huge schools with their heads above water and mouths open funneling algae soup into their mouths.  These milkfish only had the tips of their massive sickle tails out of the water and seemed to be playing with each other rather than feeding.  Granny and I tried a variety of algae like flies for nearly three hours without any luck.

 

blog-April-28-2015-12-flyfishing-for-orangespot-trevallyAt about 3 PM Cameron called it.  It sounds early but remember the day started at 4 AM.  On the way home we stopped at a place the guides call White Rock (covered in bird turds).  They usually catch lots of huge queenfish here but it was still glassy calm and there were no signs of life.  Granny dropped a dredge and picked up this very nice orange-spotted trevally.

 

blog-April-28-2015-13-jeff-currier-in-musandam-omanToday wasn’t the first butt-kicking of this trip.  I’ve had more than a few tough days.  That’s life with a fly rod in the salt, especially your prodding new waters.  According to Cameron we need to hope for some wind and stronger current lines and tidal changes to improve our fishing chances.   Today was simply too nice.  Stay tuned. . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Granny Lands Her Queenfish

blog-April-27-2015-1-jeff-currier-flyfishing-in-dubaiGranny and I had coffee at 5 AM with Nick Bowles and one of Ocean Actives guides, Cameron Mundy, this morning.  Cameron has been guiding in Southern Oman and returned when the season ended last week.  It was time to take Granny in front of Dubai for her first queenfish.

 

blog-April-27-2015-2-flyfishing-for-queenfish-in-dubaiI’m not sure what the snafu was but the Coastguard wouldn’t let Cameron launch us from the city.  We had to drive an hour to where Nick and I went last year the day we met.  It turns out it was a gift from the fish gods, the queenfish were busting everywhere two minutes out of the marina.

 

blog-April-27-2015-3-granny-currier-flyfishing-in-dubaiWhile Granny went right after the queenies with my 9-weight and a Clouser, I continued my pursuit of a golden trevally.  You may remember I made a serious attempt earlier in the month for goldens after a big boy followed in one of my queenfish.  According to Nick and Cameron, the golden trevally are somewhat lazy and feed less aggressively underneath the pillaging queenfish.  The idea is to let your fly sink deep and strip it in at a normal pace.

 

I hooked up to a heavy fish down deep instantly.  The tug got my heart going and I got towed around for nearly ten minutes.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a big queenfish snagged in the side rather than the sought after golden.

 

blog-April-27-2015-4-granny-currier-queenfishGranny meanwhile was chucking away and getting numerous visual queenfish follows.  Queenies have a habit of darting back and forth behind a fly and not eating it.  This went on the first hour before finally she hooked up and landed her first.

 

blog-April-27-2015-5-jeff-and-granny-currierNext we broke the rule of all rules, we left fish to find fish.  We motored all the way in front of Dubai where we originally intended to fish.  The journey turned into a nice Dubai tour for Granny but no fish were found.  Here we are in front of the Atlantis the Palm Hotel.  If I was rich I’d stay here because there are glass rooms entrenched in an aquarium!

 

We caught a few more queenfish at our starting point then packed it up early to begin our last adventure of this trip.  For the next three days Granny and I are fishing with Cameron in the most northern part of Oman, the region called Musandam.

 

blog-April-27-2015-6-musandam-omanMusandam is unique in that though it is Oman it’s actually separated from the rest of Oman by a sliver of UAE.  It’s an exclave as you can see it as the red part on the map.  Musandam is so rugged it wasn’t till just recently that you could access it easily by land.  It took us about three hours to get there driving from Dubai.

 

blog-April-27-2015-7-flyfishing-in-musandam-omanWe are staying on the southeast corner in Dibba, Oman and tomorrow we’ll travel by boat to the northern tip and fish the rocky shorelines and the islands in the Strait of Hormuz.  The Sea of Hormuz is the narrow entry into the Persian Gulf and is controlled by Oman and Iran.  This area is a specialty of Ocean Active and is home of the monster giant trevally!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Recovery Day in Dubai

blog-April-26-2015-1-jeff-currier-drinking-in-dubaiToday was only the second day I didn’t fish since I arrived in the Middle East on April 3.  Though my friend Nick Bowles, owner and founder of Ocean Active, offered to take Granny and I fishing, we decided it was time for a rest.  And rest we did.

 

We arrived in Dubai almost two hours late last night.  Instead of landing at midnight we circled in a holding pattern for more than an hour.  We landed and 1:30 AM and cleared customs back into the UAE at 2 AM.  By the time we arrived at Nicks it was 3 AM.  It was a long day from our campsite in Oman.

 

blog-April-26-2015-2-the-mall-of-the-emiratesWe took the entire day to relax.  Granny read magazines and I checked in on the Cubs (I’m happy here!).  Then I played Fantasy Baseball and did some writing on the blog.  Our only physical activity was when I took Granny to The Mall of the Emirates and showed her the famous indoor ski area (you heard me correct).

 

blog-April-26-2015-3-dinner-in-dubaiNick and his wife Michelle are cool folks.  I only met Nick last year when I passed through Dubai and now Granny and I are staying at their house.  They treat us so much like family that tonight we in fact enjoyed a family dinner outside.  We could get used to this stuff. . . .  Oh and tomorrow Granny might catch her first queenfish!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Return to Muscat and on to Dubai

blog-April-25-2015-1-sunrise-in-omanGranny’s and my last Omani sunrise was a good one.  Instead of enjoying it from the camp chairs I made coffee and watched as we headed north for Muscat.  We arrived at Ray and Kerry Montoya’s house around noon.

 

It was sad unpacking our RAV4 rental.  An epic chapter in our lives has come to an end.  Once empty there was nothing but heaps of sand and salt dust on everything.  I hope the car agency doesn’t look underneath and find anything they can charge us for.  We put this car through the test!

 

Ray and Kerry were out fishing from Muscat and they kindly let us use their house even before they returned.  The first shower in ten days was luxurious and we followed that up with a few cold beers that Ray left us in his fridge.

 

blog-April-25-2015-2-ray-montoya-in-omanWe just finished up a great night with the Montoya’s with dinner, drinks and stories from our trip.  We are presently on a Swissair flight back to Dubai.  We’ll arrive in Dubai at midnight and should be to my friend Nick Bowles house by 2 AM.  We’ll likely rest up tomorrow but return to our fishing adventures the day after which include Dubai and Musandam with Ocean Active until we begin the long journey home Sunday.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

One Last Permit Grind – Flyfishing in Oman – Day 9

blog-April-24-2015-1-camping-in-omanSleeping in the wadi last night seemed logical to escape the dew that’s woke us up many a night here in Oman.  We were a few miles from the ocean so the air was dry and there was a perfect breeze.  But fifteen minutes after we put our heads down the breeze stopped and the first mosquito attacked.  Then another.  Then the buzzing of gnats.  Then another bite.  We procrastinated putting on repellent and by the time we did we were chewed up.  The dew came also and it was a poor night sleep.

 

blog-April-24-2015-2-camping-in-omanWhen daylight arrived, despite being haggard I boiled water for coffee and took in the surroundings.  Although the wadi was a tough location for a good night sleep the oasis like place was stunning to watch the sun rise.  So beautiful that both Granny and were awake and soon ready for another day of fishing.

 

Unfortunately today was our last day fishing in Southern Oman and it was shortened because we needed to make some tracks.  The wadi is about 775 km from Muscat and we return our rental car in Muscat at 2 PM tomorrow.  The plan was to pick a spot, spend four hours there and drive within 300 km of Muscat.

 

blog-April-24-2015-3-flyfishing-for-permitWe decided to get a good chunk of the drive out of the way before fishing and went to our first fishing stop of the trip, the place we named Dead Whale Beach.  The challenge with this decision was that it’s a permit beach and we needed high sunlight to see them.  We had to make it there by noon so we took off and covered almost 300 km in two hours!

 

blog-April-24-2015-4-permit-fishing-in-omanWhen we got there we were disappointed to see the pea green color we left here more than a week ago.  Furthermore the temperature felt the hottest it’s been all trip.  We opted not to drive on the beach and I burnt the heck out of the bottoms of my feet just crossing the beach from the car to the water.

 

As you should expect, my last effort for a permit was huge and I walked the entire beach and back.  I’m not sure the distance but it’s a lot.  So much that Granny sent me on my own and told me I was out of my mind.

 

blog-April-24-2015-5-flyfishing-in-sudanLooking back now I’d say Granny was right.  After the foot burning incident I walked myself into a coma.  The heat, my inability to spot a fish in the pea green water nor see a tail took the life out of me.  I made it all the way to the far end where I caught the potato grouper and back – five hours of walking and not one cast.

 

blog-April-24-2015-6-flyfishing-for-permitI must have looked beaten from miles away.  Granny met me near the car just to tell me “she told me so” (what are wives for?).  She tried to take my pack from me to ease the rest of the walk but naturally I refused.  I’m a sicko that likes to punish myself for fish and I was to finish the job.

 

I reeled it in at around 5 PM then we drove for two hours and we’re north of Duqm.  I’d liked to have traveled further but I was exhausted and the camels were out.  Hitting a camel with the RAV4 on the last night would be a disaster.  We’re presently a long way from a beach parked a few hundred yards off the main highway to Muscat.

 

blog-April-24-2015-7-camels-of-omanSadly this is our last night of camping.  Tomorrow once we return to Muscat we’ll ditch our rental and spend the afternoon and evening with our new friends Ray Montoya and his wife Kerry before catching a late flight back to Dubai.

 

THIS TRIP IS NOT OVER.  We’ll fish more in Dubai and return to Musandam in the north of Oman for three more days of fishing.  Stay tuned!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Rest Day with the Pompano – Oman – Day 8

blog-April-23-2015-1-flyfishing-in-omanI definitely lost my mind for a few hours after the Africanus episode yesterday.  Granny and I ended up in Salalah, Oman.  The trip there happened because I kept driving south looking for rocky points and a rematch with an Africanus.  Eventually I accepted that the occurrence was a rare one that may never happen again.  A fact that has me a little crabby this morning.  I was so close to landing that one.

 

blog-April-23-2015-2-salalah-omanSalalah is a big city and surprisingly green.  It’s so big that I hated driving there and spent a lot of time white knuckled to the steering wheel getting honked at.  Not knowing where we were going and one of the biggest roundabouts you ever saw were a little stressful.  We found a jumbo grocery store and loaded up on eggs, fresh veggies, pasta, water, cookies and coke.  We didn’t find fuel canisters so the canister we’ve been milking will be for coffee only and cooking will be done on a fire.

 

blog-April-23-2015-3-flyfishing-for-permit-in-omanWe figured we’d camp near Salalah but the area has tons of construction going on and much more population than the coast we’ve been traveling on.  Therefore I broke our “no driving at night” clause and after filling our cooler drove all the way back to the beach we stayed at last night.  The camels on the road had me down to 45 km per hour but we love this beach the best so far and we have only two days left.  We may as well enjoy.

 

blog-April-23-2015-4-largespot-pompanoAnother day here was a good call because the bait balls were running all day.  Largespot pompano were terrorizing up and down the beach.  We’ve really taken a liking to catching these guys.  They’re aggressive, great fighters, good looking and delicious tasting.

 

blog-April-23-2015-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-pompanoAlthough the largespots were corralling bait they were suckers for my crab patterns.  The difficulty was being able to reach them.  We kept the rods rigged and sort of kicked back around camp watching the nearby bait balls.  When we saw them pushing towards the beach we got up and ran there.  If you could reach with the cast you were hooked up immediately.

 

blog-April-23-2015-6-largespot-pompanoWe caught a bunch of the largespot pompanos today.  We also saw three permit.  The last gave me my best chance of the trip.  He cruised the beach in and out of the waves and I got at least six excellent casts.  He seemed to see my fly twice.  He tailed on the fly aggressively and I thought I had him.  Unfortunately I strip set and pulled it away.  The second time he was ready to eat, the smallest largespot we caught stole the fly.  The permit spooked and I thumped that largespot with a smile for tonight’s dinner!

 

blog-April-23-2015-7-wadi-in-omanWe must return our car in Muscat the day after tomorrow.  Our beach heaven is 600 km from Muscat so at 5 PM we decided we should get up the road a bit if we want have time to fish tomorrow.  The plan is to fish the parrotfish place we fished on the way down.  Hoping to sleep with less dew on us we are camped several miles from the sea in a beautiful wadi.  There’s a gentle breeze so no bugs and this pompano melts in your mouth!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing