Archive | 2016

The Last Day of this Month Long Journey

December 13, 2016

 

The wind stopped and the normal heat was back for our morning of fly fishing in Dubai.  The sea was glass which you learned earlier on this trip in the Seychelles, isn’t exactly ideal for fly fishing.  Nonetheless, Nick Bowles of Ocean Active, Sam Vigneri and I went out to toss of the fly rod one last time for this trip.

 

Not only was the ocean flat but it was stirred up from the five days of horrible wind.  We couldn’t find clean enough water for queenfish until we went an hour out to sea.  We finally found the queenfish but their attacks on baitfish were sporadic at best.  Sammy hooked up to the first after two hours of chasing.

 

While landing Sammy’s queenfish we found a baby hawksbill sea turtle with so many barnacles attached to his shell he couldn’t swim.  Hawksbills are listed as “critically endangered” so we took him aboard and later delivered him to the Turtle Rehabilitation in Jumeirha.  No doubt they will remove these growths and release him back to the Dubai waters.  Hopefully he gets himself a good hundred years of life!

 

We’d end up catching a queenfish each.  No comparison to our first morning a week ago but it was a nice way to spend the last morning regardless.  We worked our way home at around noon.

 

 

Sammy’s and my last vacation event was to go up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.  The elevator ride to the 148th floor was so fast our ears popped.  Up top we could feel the building sway but the view was one we won’t likely forget.

 

 

 

 

This insane-wonderful trip comes to an end in a few minutes.  Sammy and I are about to board our flights for home.  If all goes well we should be home in 36 hours.  It’s been an incredible journey through South Africa, Lesotho, Farquhar Atoll in the Seychelles, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  I hope you enjoyed the ride.

 

Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope to see you all during my Fly Fishing Show tour and thanks so much to my incredible sponsors that make my far-flung fishing possible:

Yellow Dog Flyfishing AdventuresFlyCastawayOcean ActiveWinston RodsYetiBauer ReelsScientific AnglersSimmsCostaKate’s Real Food

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Weather Cancels Fishing Day in Dubai

December 12, 2016

 

The torrent wind continued to rip at 6 AM this morning.  Nick and I had our coffee and decided there was no need to torture ourselves trying to catch a fish.  Instead, Nick worked and Sammy and I chilled out and toured Dubai.

 

 

 

 

I led Sammy through his first mosque.  Then we nailed burgers and beers at Serafina, my personal favorite hang out at Souk Al Bahar overlooking the fountains and under the Burj Khalifa.  Then we did my other favorite thing in Dubai.  We entered the Dubai Mall (world’s largest) and visited the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

 

Although our flights home aren’t until late tomorrow night, tonight was our last real night of the trip.  I don’t need to tell you we went big.  Nicks tour began like our first night at the Al Qasr Hotel.

 

From there we went to Nicks second favorite bar in Dubai, the Bahri Bar overlooking the waterways and the Burj Al ArabNick and I had a few tall beers while Sammy went the Mojito route.

 

We weren’t done.  Sammy requested a top-notch restaurant and he took Nick and I to the Times of Arabia for Lebanese food.  It was un-flipping believable.  I recon next time I pass through the Middle East with Granny we’ll drop in to Beirut, Lebanon for a few day’s indulging this great food.

 

A perfect night partying in Dubai must end in style.  Sammy led us out on the deck at the Times of Arabia for the Shisha.  They have a full menu of tobacco choices.  I enjoyed a mix of apple and mint.

 

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.  We’re living large here in Dubai and the wind has stopped.  Tomorrow morning we’ll make it to the water one last time.

 

Dubai is a common place for a layover.  I highly recommend extending the layover at least a day.  Get rid of the jetlag and wet a line with my friend Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for some queenfish and more!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in Abu Dhabi

December 10 & 11, 2016

 

It was a little crisp loading Nicks truck and hooking up the flats boat yesterday morning.  I didn’t know it got that cold in the United Arab Emirates.  It must have been only 60°.  Toss in the howling wind – it wasn’t looking good for our exploratory adventure for flyfishing in Abu Dhabi.

 

We went for it though.  Fishing the unsheltered waters of Dubai was impossible and we weren’t going to sit around and visit the world’s largest shopping malls.  It’s less than a two-hour drive down to Abu Dhabi.  We pulled into a marina at 10 AM and launched the boat.

 

Indeed the wind was strong here too.  Luckily, some of the waters of Abu Dhabi are protected with islands and manmade channels.  There’s a few buildings helping to block the wind as well.  Nick felt we could at least give it a go.

 

Our first move was to pick up Nicks friend, Trevor.  Trevor is Nicks partner in Ocean Active and recently moved from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.  We meandered through the peculiar water channels to another marina and picked up Trevor.  Sammy says the buildings around here make him feel as if he’s fishing in a Dr. Seuss movie.

 

Once we got Trevor we headed out fishing.  Nick’s been here a few times but admits there’s plenty of exploring to be done.  Highest on his list is to find fish on the flats.  Yes, I said flats.  Here’s one.  The problem for us today was the wind and furthermore, Nicks boat is too big for poling and the bottom is too soft for wading.

 

We wind drifted the edge of the flats.  We tossed Clouser’s sinking them off the edges and into holes hoping to find some fish.  Casting was hectic in the wind.  Nicks has caught queenfish and golden trevally here as well as some grouper species.  Though we were chucking and stripping, all eyes were on the flats hoping to see a protruding fish tail among the whitecaps.

 

 

 

We didn’t spot any fish and eventually we couldn’t even cast.  The wind steadily increased and at noon it was so bad we were laughing.  That’s all you can do.  The wind jumped to a steady 35 knots and gusted up a sandstorm.  We were lucky to be sheltered in a narrow channel where we waited it out.  It took at least an hour.

 

At 2 PM the wind began to drop.  As ridiculous as it sounds, 30 knots were welcome.  Although Nick and I got back after it, Sammy was not taking the weather as well.  I believe he changed my name from “Monsoon” to “Sandstorm Currier” because I’ve actually seen many sandstorms.  Most were far worse than this during my travels through India, Egypt and Sudan.

 

As you would expect, the Currier persistence never let up.  I could see that if I stopped trying the boys might want to pack it in.  Casting and stripping is all I did like a machine.  Like a closer having to pitch a whole game.

 

And you know it, at last I stuck a fish.  The strike not only caught me by surprise because the fishing was so slow, but also it was fierce.  It hit like a freight train then held its ground.  But only for a few seconds.

 

To my delight, the fish was a new species for my list.  He’s either a brown spotted grouper (Epinephelus chlorostigma) or a duskytail grouper (Epinephelus bleekeri) or an orange spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides).  We’ll figure him out later.  Bottom line is that we didn’t get blanked today.  And in fact I caught two of these snazzy looking groupers.

 

We packed it up at sunset.  Considering the conditions, we could pat ourselves on the back.  It was flat out miserable out there but we fished all freaking day!

 

We parked the boat in a marina and headed for Trevor’s house to spend the night.  Trevor and his wife have very nice apartment overlooking the water.  And you guessed it, we divulged over a barbecue to die for!

 

December 11, 2016

 

We had full intentions of fishing hard again today.  We got out early and drove the boat all the way to Abu Dhabi harbor.  At first the wind was tolerable but its strength grew fast.  By noon it was once again no less than horrible.  Unlike yesterday, today we reeled it in early and we are presently back at Nicks.  The weekend in Abu Dhabi was challenging but it’s always great to see new water.  Two more days left of the great fishing trip. . . .

Dubai is a common place for a layover on the way someplace fun.  Get rid of the jetlag and wet a line with my friend Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for some queenfish and more!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Storm Kills our Fishing in Dubai

Nick Bowles, Sammy and I made an attempt at fishing today in Dubai.  We took Nicks flats boat out but the wind was huge.  Not only that, the temperatures reached a high today of 70°.  That’s pretty cold for here.  We pulled off the water after two hours of struggling and no queenfish.

 

Resting this afternoon wasn’t all bad.  It was Sammy’s and my first real rest of the trip.  I caught up on the blog and drew a queenfish on Nicks Yeti Cooler for fun.

 

We went big again tonight on the town.  Nick led us up to the Vault Bar in the Marriott’s Marquis Hotel.  This is the tallest hotel in the world and about the fanciest place I’ve been to in recent memory.  We all had to dress up a bit.  We had a few $15 beers then returned to Nicks for dinner.  Check out this drink menu!

 

 

The weather will actually get worse for the next two days.  Its undoubtedly going to kill our fishing.  But we don’t give up easily.  In the morning we will drag Nicks flats boat down to Abu Dhabi and give it a try anyhow.  Whether we can catch fish or not, I’ve not been to Abu Dhabi so it will be a new experience.

 

Dubai is a common place for a layover on the way to the Seychelles.  Stretch it out and get rid of the jetlag by wetting a line with my friend Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for some queenfish and more!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Return to Flyfishing in Dubai

The night was short.  Sammy and I flew a redeye from Mahe, Seychelles to Dubai, United Arab Emirates arriving at 4:20 AM.  I slept 3 hours so at touch down I was rested and ready to bust through customs.  Sammy tagged along wearily for two reasons.  He was tired but also on edge.  This is Sam’s first time in the Middle East and like many Americans, he’s expecting trouble around every corner.

 

I’ve spent much time in the Middle East and particularly in Dubai.  I can tell you the people are wonderful; the culture is amazing and I’ve had nothing but great experiences.  I love it here and soon after customs we were at my friend Nick Bowles house scrambling to get our 9 and 10-weights rigged for sunrise.

 

Nick is the owner of Ocean Active.  Ocean Active is a tackle shop/fly shop and a guide service that specializes in fishing around Dubai and the neighbor country, Oman (Granny and I fished Oman in 2015).  He’s gradually adding Abu Dhabi as well and in fact we’ll head up there later this week to do some exploring.  If you ever come to Dubai or can arrange a layover of a day while enroute somewhere else, fishing with Ocean Active is a must.

 

We didn’t make the water by sunrise but it was close.  Nick and his mate Noan motored slowly out of the harbor while Sammy and I rigged up size 2 Clouser’s for queenfish.  Good colors are chartreuse and white or gray and white.  Most important is that the flies are sparsely dressed. Queenfish can be finicky.

 

Fishing under the city of Dubai is amazing.  If you fly fish often I’m sure 99% of it is done in remote places as far from humans as possible.  Usually the more humans the worse the fishing.  But not here.  The Tallest Block in the World looms over every cast, boogie boarders come close and parachuters jump from a plane above you.  Yet there are fish.  Sammy was awestruck.

 

We weren’t fifteen minutes out of the harbor when near the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel we found our first school of bait busting queenfish.  Nick and I watched as Sammy came to life and launched his cast.  One strip and he was hooked up.

 

There are several species of queenfish.  These are the talang queenfish (the biggest) and here in Dubai they often reach 15lbs.  This bad boy was a lunker and he beat the daylights out of Sammy.  No doubt he wasn’t expecting it.  The best thing about queenfish, unlike jacks that they’re compared to, they jump several times.

 

That first fish blew Sammy’s mind.  No doubt, after a challenging week in Farquhar he wasn’t expecting to be holding a huge fish two hours after arriving in Dubai.  But trust me folks, this place has an unbelievable fishery.  As long as I keep sticking fish with regularity here in Dubai, Nick Bowles and family will be stuck with me!

 

Sammy tore it up this morning landing ten big queenfish!  I was struggling from the back of the boat landing only the occasional queen while he was bent constantly.  These fish stretch the arms so bad Sam was begging me to switch places so he could rest.  I refused with a smile on my face.

 

This week stopover in Dubai is no doubt for fishing.  But it’s also meant to be a “true” vacation.  Sammy has a stressful job and hasn’t been away from home for this long in 25 years.  For me, I’m about to start a three-month speaking tour giving seminars and talks on fly fishing.  This week will include some relaxing.  We reeled in at 11 and motored through the Tallest Block in the world for a decadent lunch – courtesy of Sammy.

 

 

Our plan was to eat at the Yacht Club.  For the second try in a row (Nick and I tried after landing a huge golden trevally 2015) we were too early for beers.  Instead we headed to the outskirts of town and had a phenomenal lunch and beers at 101 One and Only.

 

After lunch Sammy slugged out yet a few more queenfish.  I battled Sammy to stay in the back of the boat where I accepted an afternoon blank.  Such is life.  It made my day to see Sam catch so many amazing fish.  It was truly a fishing day for the history books for any angler.

 

There is some beat news.  “Monsoon Currier” strikes again.  A storm front has moved in and will last the next four days.  In the Middle East, this means 30 knot wind with gusts to 40, cold temps (upper 60°s) and believe it or not, possibly Dubai’s first rain in a year.  Nick took Sammy and I to see the incredible Al Qasr Hotel then to the outdoor establishment, Pierchic Bar.  I can honestly say I froze my butt off.  There’s been a huge drop in temp since we got off the water this afternoon.

 

Despite exhaustion, when we returned to Nicks around 10 PM tonight we lit up the barbecue.  Nick broke out the fine red wine and we stayed up catching up till the early hours.  Life is so damn good.  I just hope tonight wasn’t our last barbecue of the trip due to this dang weather I caused!

 

Dubai is a common layover enroute to the Seychelles.  I highly recommend staying here at least a day.  Get rid of the jetlag and wet a line with my friend Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for queenfish and more!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

All Great Journeys come to an End – Hurry up and Book the Next – Farquhar!

When a long-awaited trip comes to an end its sad.  I booked this Yellow Dog Hosted trip to Farquhar in the Seychelles back in October 2015.  Seems like yesterday and now it’s over.  Life is passing way too fast.  Which is exactly why I’ll keep doing as many of these trips as my time allows.

 

I awoke early this morning and made a few casts off the back of the Maya’s Dugong then reeled it in.  Our fishing wasn’t what we expected but after putting this blog together, the group caught numerous amazing fish.  It’s been an excellent trip with one of the best group of folks you can imagine.

 

I’m almost certain I will return to Farquhar around the same time in 2017.  For next trip the rebuilt guesthouse will be open and ready. While the Maya’s Dugong was a great platform due to the 2015 cyclone, the new accommodation promises to be comfortable, spacious and easy.  Already some of the guys on this trip asked for first dibs meaning the trip will fill fast.  If you’re interested contact me sooner rather than later.

 

This wild blog run hasn’t ended.  Sammy and I are flying to Dubai at midnight arriving there at 4:20 AM tomorrow.  We should be chasing queeny’s by 7 AM with my friend Nick Bowles.  Then later in the week we’ll be exploring the flats of Abu Dhabi.  Be ready. . .

 

Enjoy a few last photos from Farquhar 2016

Our GT fishing was slow but Darrel put one more on the board yesterday.

Lance dredged up the most unusual catch of the week – one of many species of goatfish (yes Lance, I’m jealous!).

Sammy didn’t get his GT (yet) but his array of species has been unbelievable – a spectacular bonefish.

Tom with a stunning bluefin trevally off the beach.

John with a hefty spangled emperor.

Good luck catching a green jobfish on the fly other places around the world – Steve.

Skip with a monster yellowlip emperor fish!

The GT’s were hiding.  We’ll get em next time – African marbled grouper.

Thanks for following the blog!

Join me next trip!

Getting to these amazing places and catching unfathomable fish doesn’t happen without the greatest sponsors a fishing bum could have.  Thankyou – Yellow Dog Flyfishing AdventuresR.L. Winston Fly RodsBauer Fly ReelsSimmsScientific AnglersYetiCosta SunglassesKate’ Real Foods

Still have plenty of room for a beer sponsor. . . . . 

The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world.  To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Weather Change for the Last Day at Farquhar

A change in weather arrived last night.  You could feel the Maya’s Dugong rocking side to side as you slept.  When morning came and I went out on the deck and there were storm clouds and strong wind.

 

We went from one extreme to the other, but it was our last day so despite the threat of stormy weather everyone grabbed their gear and climbed aboard the skiffs.  It didn’t matter where you went, it was a rough boat ride.  Luckily it wasn’t raining but my Simms rain jacket was essential for protection from the boat splash.

 

I fished with Sammy and our guide was Peter King from Mahe.  Peter guided me last trip and we had a stellar day which included catching a saddleback grouper.  Peter is considered one of the top giant trevally guides at Farquhar.  He put Tom on his yesterday and has seen the most GTs this week.  Sammy had an incredible last two days with numerous species but he’d put this trip through the roof with a giant trevally on the last day.

 

We went straight to Peters favorite GT spot.  It’s a tiny sand-spit of an island and there was strong current from the outgoing tide.  The wind was howling off the open ocean a short distance away.  There was static in the air and the terns told me something was going to happen.

 

We scanned the waves of the deep flat for an hour.  In the distance beyond casting range Peter pointed out three big GT’s chasing bait.  He assured Sammy they’d make it in range if we stayed patient.  Sure enough they did and Sammy went into action.

 

Sammy’s cast couldn’t have been more perfect.  All three giant trevally saw his fly hit the water and came charging.  Sammy crouched down and stripped like mad.  The faster you move your fly the better for GT’s.  One devoured the fly but due to the excitement, instead of strip setting Sam lifted his rod and did a trout set.  The equivalence of buck fever.  There was no chance to drive the hook into the hard mouth of the GT.

 

Sammy was upset with himself, but you can’t look back.  We do this sport for fun.  I’ve been saltwater fly fishing for over 25 years and I can’t recall a trip where I didn’t screw up at least one good fish with a trout set.  We fly fishers are human.  Strange humans but humans nonetheless.

 

That was it for Peters island spot.  We waited another hour but there were no more chances.  The wind began to lay down and the sun came out.  It was time to move.  We took a boat ride and beached in the Farquhar Atoll lagoon.  Then we hiked across the thickest part of the island for the ocean flats.  The damage from last year’s cyclone was a sight to behold.

 

I love the flats that butt up to the open ocean.  The fish are tough but there’s always a lot of action with a variety of species.  While Sammy and Peter didn’t give up the quest for that big GT, I went to catch some fish.

 

I started with a few cast to triggerfish.  They’ve humbled us all week and continued to do so.  Then I got into school of nice bonefish and landed a few.  Then I caught this pompano.  There are many different species of pompano and this one I’ll need to look up.  He’s very similar to the largespot pompano I caught in Oman but definitely has smaller spots.

Matt Cosson identified him as the three spotted pompano also known as the small spotted dart.

 

It was a nice afternoon to end fly fishing Farquhar 2016.  I almost always had something to cast to.  Sammy had the same luck of spooking triggers and landing some bonefish.  What he caught that was special was this sea turtle!

 

 

 

 

We rapped it up and tonight I finished all sharpie art projects that needed to be done.  While most the fish I drew this week were locals of the flats, James Christmas had me draw tigerfish in his XXL t-shirt.  The thing looked bad ass if I do say so myself!

 

Though today was our last day fishing on Farquhar, the blog will remain fun.  First of all, I’ll sum up the trip and show more photos of cool fish tomorrow.  Then for me and Sammy, it’s off to United Arab Emirates for another week of saltwater fly fishing with my pal Nick Bowles of Ocean Active.  Stay tuned. . . . 

 

The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world.  To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Magnificent Catches from Farquhar – Day 5

I was giving my presentation “Fly Fishing the World’s Best Flats” in Bozeman, MT this day last year and had computer problems.  Luckily there’s always someone in the crowd to help.  On this night was Darrel DeLeon.  Darrel got my pics up on the big screen and everything ran smooth.

 

In my presentation I have a piece about Farquhar.  I go through the story of stalking and catching a bumphead parrot.  Its mind blowing for those not aware of this species.  When done, Darrel was extremely pumped and said he was going to Farquhar with me.  Well, Darrel sticks to his plan and today we fished together.

 

We fished with Matthieu and started out with an hour of fly fishing for sailfish.  That didn’t go well so we switched to dredging.  That went ok.  I nailed this attractive white-blotched grouper and a few other interesting things but sending flies to the depths wasn’t red hot.

 

Like most in the group, Darrel came here with high hopes of catching a giant trevally so we spent two hours drifting two excellent GT flats.  We hoped to spot a ray or a shark and find one feeding off the back.  Big sharks and rays stir up food for other fish as they swim.  But nada.  The GT’s are absolutely hiding somewhere.  Our theory is that they’re out deep escaping the warm water.  The good news however is the weather was about to change.

 

The storm threat only lasted an hour.  We got rained on for about three minutes then the sun came back and the seas grew calm again.  Matt and Darrel walked for bumpies while I did the same the opposite direction.  I had one of the coolest eats from a bumpy and had him all but landed.  He made one last effort at a massive coral housing.  I leaned on him hard and the dang fly pulled loose!  I settled for this good-looking yellowlip emperor.

 

Darrel also hooked a bumpy.  I photographed the whole thing.  You can see Darrel setting the hook with Matt by his side.  If you look hard you can see the bumpy tail sticking out as he ate Darrel’s crab pattern.

 

Then it was game on.  The bumpy was in Darrel’s backing so fast it was a laugher for me because I know this fish first hand.  They went chasing.  Sadly, the bumpy dragged Darrel and Matt to neck deep water.  Darrel couldn’t stop the big green fish soon enough.  When he added max pressure the bumpy was a half mile away and the hook pulled out.  That’s life with bumpies!

 

It was fun day with Mr. DeLeon.  And when we got back to the Maya’s Dugong there was big news – Tom Hansen landed our first GT!

Also, my man Sammy smoked today and landed some incredible fish.  Let’s start with two (not one but two!) Napoleon wrasse!

A bohar snapper of a lifetime!

It’s been a challenging week but if you keep your fly in the water you never know.  There seems to be a change in the weather.  I believe it helped our fishing this afternoon and should carry into tomorrow.  Time to break out the sharpies. . . .

 

The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world.  To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Unnerving Calmness Continues at Farquhar Atoll – Day 4

We awoke to one of the flattest, calmest days I’ve ever experienced on the ocean.  The abnormal still air weather won’t break leaving us with yet another difficult day of flats fishing.  But how could you complain when you’re fishing in the Seychelles while friends and family are home in the cold dark days of December in the northern hemisphere?  You can’t.  You grab your rod and go for it realizing that on Farquhar Atoll one fish can make an entire trip.

 

I was back with Sammy.  The first three days for Sammy had been tough.  We started with a dredge which quite frankly, Sam wasn’t too keen on doing.  But dredging takes a strange skill in fly fishing that requires a few days to get the knack of.  He just needed one more session to learn the feel for keeping his fly near bottom.  Lo and behold, suddenly it clicked for him starting with this unusual fly rod catch of a honeycomb grouper.

 

Sammy dropped right back down and proved he not only gained the knack for dredging, he flat out mastered it.  In two hours, he landed over a dozen of these lunker African marble grouper, several bohar snappers, numerous small dogtooth tuna and some bluefin trevally.  It was an epic arm-stretching morning with doubles several times.

 

Our guide was Mahe, Seychelles local, Gerry Nourrice.  It’s my first experience with Gerry and all I can say is that he’s a super cool knowledgeable fishing guide.  He knew where all the pinnacles were for dredging and then exactly when it was time to move to the flats.  Our flat today is called Runway because it’s just off where we landed on our plane five days ago.

 

I had a fishing finding request that may surprise you.  I wanted to catch some bonefish.  We often get so keyed in on the “glamor species” that we neglect one of the finest saltwater fly rod game fish off all.  Gerry knew where to look and Sammy and I banged up a heap of bones to take off the flats fishing edge.  At least one flats species was cooperating.

 

One massive cloud moved overhead around noon making spotting fish difficult.  Without the wind we were stuck with the poor light indefinitely.  The good news however is tailing fish show up whether its cloudy or not.

 

 

While some of the tailing fish were bonefish and triggerfish, the majority of them were emperor fish.  The blue spangled emperor, like the bonefish is often overlooked.  I wouldn’t fish for them all day but every once in a while you need that “fish fix”.  Make a decent cast and you got em!

 

 

 

The three of us walked the flats for over four hours.  I ventured on my own and had a blast catching more bonefish.  The tide was dropping most of the time and many of the cool animals from crabs to moray eels to whatever these spidery starfish are showed themselves.  It’s really neat to take the flats slowly and observe while you hunt for fish.

 

In addition to the bonefish I cast to two different species of triggerfish that are here, the Titan triggerfish and yellowmargin triggerfish.  The triggers have been ridiculously spooky but today I had four eat my fly.  Three I couldn’t hook including one that ate six times all the way to my feet as I stripped and one that I hooked then he ran towards the coral.  I had no choice but to try and stop him and in doing so broke him off.  Frustrating times.

 

Additional frustration came when I hooked two bumpies.  The problem is that each were feeding in coral head infested waters.  They ate and I had no chance at stopping them from the sharp leader breaking structure.  That was it for me.  Sammy had about the same.

 

We called it a day after about 15 minutes of dredging.  We got yanked a few more times and ended with yet another double with groupers.  The rest of the guys had similar days.  Everyone did well dredging, caught some bonefish and cast unsuccessfully to bumpies and triggers.  John caught this green jobfish.  There’s been a few of these elongated snapper-like fish caught this week.  But only a handful of GT’s were seen and none caught.  Four days and not one giant trevally caught.  Very bizarre.

 

It’s a lovely sunset.  Me and the guys are sipping beers on the top deck.  The ocean looks way too calm and peaceful for any change in weather for tomorrow.  I’m about to break out the sharpies like I’ve done every night for almost three straight weeks.  Life is good here at Farquhar Atoll.

 

The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world.  To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Species Bashing on the Fly – Day 3 at Farquhar

When hosting trips, I prefer my guests fish with as many different guides as possible.  All Farquhar guides are excellent but each has a unique personality, unalike favorite fish, skills and ideas.  This variety of guides allows you to try new things and learn, keeping the week interesting.  Today I went with Nick Isabelle and partnered with friend Steve Fitzsimons.  Sammy went solo.

 

Skip Brittenham went alone with my guide of yesterday, Matthieu Cosson.  They went straight for the milkfish.  Skip had seven take his fly, fought two to the boat and landed one.  Despite my long desire to catch one of these remarkable fish, my luck with them hasn’t been good.  This is an incredible accomplishment and I am stoked for Skip!

 

Steve Fitzsimons and I met in 2013 when he was a guest on one of my hosted Amazon trips.  Steve’s been enjoying catching the weird fish this week so today we went on a hardcore species hunt.  My favorite thing to do.

 

 

 

Species hunts at Farquhar start with a dredge (a heavy fly on bottom in deep water).  I dredge with my Winston Boron III 12-weight matched with the line I helped design for Scientific Anglers, the Sonar Big Water Taper Max Sink.  This line sinks faster than a bowling ball and most importantly has a 100lb core.  Attached I use a straight piece of 100lb mono for leader.  Grouper, snapper and giant wrasse (to mention a few) pull so hard it’s ridiculous.  Yet if you let them run they bury you in the rocks and coral leaving you with weak knees.  Instead I bare down with brute “Currier” strength and don’t allow them an inch.

 

Our first stop led to some shoulder dislocating tugs.  I sank a big black fly down deep and went to work.  I landed a blue colored African brown marbled grouper and this gorgeous yellow-edged lyretail.

 

We dredged a few more spots and I picked up two brown colored African grouper but all in all the bottom feeders of the sea weren’t feeding heavily.  Nick suggested we move to the deeper flats to look for giant trevally and perhaps a Napoleon wrasse – a fish not yet on my list.

 

The flat is called Napoleon Dynamite.  The depth is about six feet and mostly covered in sand.  The area is dotted with coral heads and turtle grass attracting many species of fish.  Steve got a quick but unsuccessful shot at a nice size GT.  I smashed up this honker of a blue spangled emperor along with a few humphead snappers.

 

Next, a life fact of an aging body, I sprained my stripping shoulder.  Basically, if you ever sprained your ankle and thought you were doomed only to walk it back to normal ten minutes later, this is what happened to my left shoulder.  I was still casting but striping like a gimp.  Naturally a Napoleon wrasse of Volkswagen proportions engulfed my fly.  I hooked him good but when it came to putting a halt to his run, my shoulder gave in.  The Napoleon buried me in the coral and broke my 100lb leader like it was 7X.  Redemption however came in the form of this pouty faced African marbled grouper.

 

Humphead Snapper

The drift across Napoleon Dynamite went for an hour and Steve and I caught bohar snappers, yellowlip emperor, longnose emperor, bigeye trevally and probably more I can’t think of.  It was a sensational session and the species were racking up.

 

After lunch the ocean flats were perfect to hunt big trevally, bumphead parrots and triggerfish.  The area wasn’t huge so I hung back and let Steve wade with Nick.  Soon I found myself wading away from the breaking waves of the ocean to the dead calm heated waters on a waist deep flat.  I added a bluefin trevally, honeycomb grouper, needle scale queenfish and a bluespotted grouper to the day’s list.

 

I caught a heap of cool fish.  They never stopped coming.  The highlight was casting to Titan triggerfish (also known as mustache triggers).  These guys have proved to be the most finicky fish this week and when you do get one to eat your fly they’re hard to hook.  But persistence always prevails and I landed this dazzling one just for fun.

 

My highlight was a lemon shark I had no business casting too while wading, especially by myself.  I was just wrapping things up.  My fishing had slowed and in the distance I could see Steve and Nick returning to the boat.  I was about a ¼ of a mile away.  Then I saw a shark dorsal coming down the flat toward me.

 

“Sweet”, I thought to myself.  I’ll hook this shark and the boys will arrive to help me land it.  The shark reached my casting range and I launched.  I stripped my fly to scurry away from him as he approached and in a scary-effortless move he devoured it and he was on.  When he felt the hook he exploded and the once thought to be 4ft long shark was closer to 6ft.

 

Sharks fight you on the flats like in a heavyweight match.  They put on an awesome fight.  So much that it annoys me when anglers avoid them rather than cast.  By now I had my hands full and I began hollering and waving my hat to the guys.

 

They were to me in less than five minutes like the fire department getting to a fire.  Nick was hoping I had my big Napoleon but soon realized it was a shark big enough to cause some grief.

 

An intense battle went on between me and the shark while Nick collected tools to handle the big fish.  This is not a common occurrence for the guides here but one they are trained to handle.  Soon Nick was with me and I hoisted the now tired shark on to the flat.

 

Things were looking good.  Nick approached the shark with caution.  I had his belly dragging on the turtle grass.  But in one quick swoosh he thrashed and showed his teeth and bit through my 100lb leader.  I was bummed but I believe there was some relief in Nick!

 

It was an insane day of species bashing.  Steve and I racked up a spectacular list of fish somewhere between 12 and 15.  I’d caught all before but one I don’t have on my list because when I caught one last trip I never got the photo to identify him later down the road.  This is the one.  He’s some sort of emperor but not sure which yet.  If anyone can figure it out, please contact me.

Matt Cosson identified it as a dark colored yellowlip emperor.

 

Other than Skips outstanding milkfish the rest of the group caught an array of oddball stuff but not one giant trevally.  This is a very strange week for these fish.  This one that I drew with my sharpies on Justin’s shirt tonight is as close as we’ve got so far.

 

The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world.  To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

preloader