After a very peaceful and relatively decent night sleep I awoke to a cool breeze at about 5:45 am. All anglers stirred with anticipation for a big day of fishing. I rigged up a 7-weight incase we hit a good tigerfish spot today and then joined the Africans for some fresh brewed coffee that Jonathan was kind enough to share. After a hard boiled egg breakfast we set out towards the massive east arm of Lake Nasser. It’s a branch of the lake that rarely gets fished as it is about as far into the boonies of Lake Nasser as you can get.
Mikey and Warpath tied up some spectacularly huge flies and they are determined to try trolling them. Warpath even designed a super neat way of sinking them deep down to where the giant perch live. I think it’s really cool the boys are eager to try different things. I personally love the shore fishing so when they said trolling was what they wanted to try to start today, I had Suka drop me off at an island.
My island was gorgeous. What you look for when shore fishing on Lake Nasser are ledges and crevasses between the rocks just off the bank. Nile perch hang in these places and ambush their prey. Usually, the better the hiding spot the bigger the perch are that hold there. Great looking ledges about five feet deep have been so reliable in the past for me that I get nervous everytime I present my fly to such a spot. I know it’s possible that a real “heart-attack” (100lb +) fish could bolt out and grab my fly.
After fishing my way completely around the island over the course of an hour, I did not catch a single fish. This was very surprising as in past years; an island of such quality would at least produce several small Nile Perch and perhaps a nice tigerfish by casting off a point into the deep. The only encouraging sight was about a 10lb cruiser that I got a great cast too, but like yesterday he looked but didn’t eat.
The boys had no luck trolling either so we set off into the east arm. Suka dropped us off at several more islands along the way. While Mikey filmed and observed, Warpath and I got the skunk out of the trip each by landing a few puffers. Yes, I do mean the puffer fish that one would find in the ocean. This lake is the only place in the world where I have found freshwater puffer fish. They are really cool fish that aggressively take the Nile Perch flies.
At lunch time, the consensus of the group was slow fishing for all. A couple small Niles had been landed but in general, fewer than normal fish numbers had been seen. After lunch we continued to ease our way into the east arm, island hopping and dredging every good looking Nile Perch spot imaginable. Warpath and I each landed small ones but surprisingly not a ten pounder even spooked out of the rocks. I did however get a cast to a fast cruising beast. It’s always hard to judge the size of such monster fish but this one was big. I’d been fishing blind off a deep point. I was literally starting on my right and thoroughly working each cast about ten feet to my left until I covered the area. After my last cast on the left, I launched a backhand cast to start to my far right to work the whole area again. As I dropped my cast, just fifteen feet away a huge Nile Perch was cruising just below the surface. This fish looked to be about 70 lbs, but not having much experience viewing such fish for all know he could have been 25lb. It didn’t matter; doing my best to stay composed, I stripped as fast as I could to get my fly in sight of him but before I did he sank out of sight. I let my fly sink accordingly and with each strip my heart beat hard in hopes I would feel the grab. I didn’t.
At dinner time the troops returned from the afternoon of fishing and there was some good news. Jonathan had landed a 14lb perch and one just under 10lb. This was good news for all as it shed a new birth of confidence throughout. After a nice meal and a few beers we all retired early to be strong for tomorrow.