Bluefins and Bonefish – St Brandon’s Atoll

by | Apr 17, 2017 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

I love the morning no matter where I’m at.  If I’m home, on the Henry’s Fork, the Nunya or drinking my 5 AM coffee with Scott and Ben here at St Brandon’s Atoll in Mauritius.  For me it’s the best time of day.  After a filling breakfast of eggs and bacon it was off to the flats.

 

I matched up with Ben again and for the first time ever I fished with FlyCastaway guide Milan Germishuizen.  Milan is a 6’ 6” fish spotting machine that’s been chasing fish on St Brandon’s for three years.  He picked Ben and I a couple of his favorite crab flies and off we went.

 

We drove way south.  Our boat ride was 1 hour and 10 minutes.  We ended up on a flat called Bipolar near a small commercial fishing community.  You guessed it, we went looking for yellow permit.  Lo and behold, after an hour of nothing, just as we returned to the boat two nice permit began tailing.  This may have been my best shot of the week.  I dropped my fly right between the two which ended up lining the closest sending them both running.  Ugh. . . .

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway

Next was a beautiful island and flat.  There was white sand for miles.  It was stunning.  Milan sent me the direction of permit while he and Ben hunted everything that swims.  I heard them get a few shots at bluefin trevally.  I made a cast to a bonefish and picked up a new species by accident.

 

I know this fish is a member of the wrasse family but dang if I can figure what kind.  One of the guides, Brendan, looked at my photo and thinks it’s an immature Napoleon wrasse.  No doubt it’s that 3rd new species for me this week but until I get information it will go down as the “mystery wrasse”.  If anyone can help this would be greatly appreciated.

 

It turns out this is not a Napoleon wrasse.  It is a rock-mover wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus).  Thanks Sean at Nervous Waters Fly Fishers and my South African friend Ed Truter.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway

This second flat was tough.  I didn’t see a permit and like yesterday, the bones were both finicky and spooky.  We moved to our third flat and finally our luck changed.  Ben and I both got out of the boat and chased down a couple bonefish.  Ben landed a nice one about 7lbs.

 

I know that I should have been stubbornly waiting out the permit but there are so few around its time to enjoy some other fish.  And believe me, I’m still watching for them, I simply won’t skip other opportunities from here out.  On this flat there were quite a few bluefin trevally cruising.

 

The bluefin challenge today was that they refused our trevally flies on the 12-weight making us fish to them with crabs on lighter tippet.  Most of this week I’ve been chasing the bones and permit with my 8-weight Boron III Winston and 16lb SA Flouro.  That’s pretty light for a bluefin trevally because they are strong and specialize in cutting you off in the coral.  I had three tail on my fly beautifully but the first two won and broke me off.

 

Perhaps I put in the extra effort on my third bluefin but I knew from the get go he wasn’t getting away.  Just like the previous two, he tailed on the fly the way fish do in my dreams.  Once I hooked up I ran backwards.  Normally I don’t like to increase the distance between me and a fish but in order to crank down the drag and keep this fella out of the coral with 16lb tippet I needed some line stretch to absorb some pull.  As you can see it worked out!

 

After this flat we ate lunch and a storm came on us fast.  We barely got rained on but the wind and dark clouds made us wonder if things would get extreme.  It was very difficult to spot fish for the rest of the day.  We began our hour-long boat ride to the lodge at 3.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway

Bonefish and bluefin made up our list for today.  Oh, and the wrasse.  No doubt fishing has been tough this week.  Everyone is sort of scratching their heads tonight.  This being said however, fishing is still damn good when you look at the size of these bonefish.  This is Nick posing with an 8lber from this morning.

 

As I’ve done each night, I made a trip around Rafael Island on foot before hitting the hors d’ oeurvres and party with the guys.  There wasn’t much going on but the sunset was to die for.  Time for dinner and preparation for out last day on St Brandon’s Atoll.

 

Although this may not seem like an obtainable adventure – actually it is.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

2 Comments

  1. Sean

    If you were in Hawaii, I’d say you hooked a rockmover wrasse, Novaculichthys taeniourus but you’re not so I’m not sure.

  2. Mark Cooper

    keep it coming buddy love the stories

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

Archives

Sponsors