Day Five – Small Islands Big Fish

April 24, 2010 

blog_april_24_2010_1[2] The weather has broken. Finally, it’s warm enough to sleep outside the sleeping bag and you can walk around at sunrise with your shirt off again. This is the comfort zone I’ve learned to love in Egypt over the years. Unfortunately the wind is still whipping around, but luckily it’s out of the west instead of the northeast. I live by an old saying I picked up in Wisconsin, “Wind from the east – fishing the least. Wind from the west – fishing the best.” It stands true everywhere I go unless I’m south of the equator. We flipped things around some today. Jonathan Boulton and I haven’t wet a line together since our trip here in 2007 so today we did. Mikey filmed us all morning as Jon will be a great addition to the movie.

blog_april_24_2010_2[1] I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s still windy. Our camp was somewhat protected from the wind, but when we boated around the first island to the open lake, “Wham!” Huge whitecaps and a gale wind. We all chuckled as we are getting used to the challenges of Egypt 2011. Suka took us out to a group of about seven small rocky islands. These were so tiny that it took less than fifteen minutes for Jon and me to fish completely around them. Basically what we did was pull up on the leeward side of the island and we rock hopped and fished opposite directions. When we met on the windward side we’d reel in and head for the next island. We did this around two islands and caught a couple dinkers, but on the third Jonathan hooked up to a good one.

blog_april_24_2010_3[1] Believe it or not, this entire week of filming will only be a ten to twelve minute segment in Mikey’s movie. The finished product will be a two hour conglomerate of many fantastic fishing destinations. With that in mind, Mikey really just needs one fish fight and one nice fish. All the great scenery, wildlife (which I haven’t even mentioned) and life around camp puts the story together. Mikey, had just put down his camera to make few casts himself when Jonathan squealed. Although Mikey missed the hook up, he got the camera rolling for most of the battle including several jumps. It was an ordeal slipping the Boga into the jaw of this beautiful fish because I was on my belly getting knocked around and doused by crashing waves. And as most big Niles do, this perch had serious lock jaw. Finally the Nile cracked a smile and I clamped my Boga in there. I handed Jon the fish in a nick of time as a rogue wave swept me off the rock and into the lake. We all laughed as I climbed back up like a drenched dog. This fish brought on a sigh of relief from all of us as Mikey had him a killer movie! 

Jonathan’s fish weighed 16lbs. We all know of how these mighty game fish can reach more than 200lbs, but trust me, any Nile over 10lb on a fly rod is a catch of a lifetime. Jon and I went on to fish the rest of the islands. We each landed a nice tigerfish and a Nile just under 10lbs. The eat of the perch I caught painted a picture in the memory bank of Jon and me for a very long time. We were on a miniature island. It was more like a naturally formed jetty of jagged rocks about ten feet wide and one hundred feet long. It was very deep on both sides. It was one of the strangest geological formations I’ve ever seen. I prowled and dropped casts up one side and Jon the other. We were both looking ahead which is why Jon too was able to see the fish eat my fly. 

blog_april_24_2010_5[1] I dropped a cast to one of the most ideal looking Nile Perch spots imaginable. It was a true ledge. Under this ledge must have been a bottomless cave, a place that every Nile Perch dreams about for a home. I let my fly sink so that even a perch far back underneath could see the dancing fly. On my second strip a blur of silver shot out and hammered it. I’m sure I let out a girlish screech while Jon screamed, “Mikey! Get the camera!” 

I knew after the violent strike that no matter how big or how small the fish was, I had my hands full. Just the abundance of jagged rocks waiting to sever my leader or fly line scared me. When the fish decided to race completely out to the end of the narrow island and back down the other side, I wasn’t surprised at all. With no fear of slipping, breaking a leg or becoming a bloody mess, I bolted after him. It was a good thing because this fish went around and under every protruding rock he could find. Staying on his tail allowed me to miraculously steer my line clear of most the fish losing dangers. Once around the point, Mr. Nile went down deep to where he actually got himself stuck. I ventured waist deep on a submerged unstable shelf and with my rod arm fully extended and the power of my 10-weight Ross rod I lifted the fish from his hold. The one thing about Niles is if you can get through a crisis situation you usually get them. Sure enough, the exhausted fish came to the surface and Jon slipped in the Boga. It was an 8lb Nile with the attitude of a beast. Due to the treacherous terrain and the fear of dunking an expensive camera, Mikey got to us only in time to film the release. No big deal as the fish was not the hawg he pretended to be, but what a thrilling battle. 

blog_april_24_2010_6[2]Jonathan and I were both fishing weightless flies on fast sinking lines. After I worked the prime water in hopes of another perch, Mikey wisely went in with one of his gorgeous jig flies. The shear weight of his monster fly calls for his 12-weight. The fly itself not only gets to the deepest of ledges but has spectacular movement. I only wish I could tie flies like Mikey and Warpath. Just as I finished the trek back to our boat, Mikey had one. Grabbing my camera, I headed back across the island right behind Jonathan. We got there just as Mikey landed a gorgeous 15lber! Mikey the clean up man had subdued yet another fantastic Nile. 

We didn’t know it, but we had a two hour ride to meet up for lunch. Suka had no idea we would have such success on these seven islands and thought we’d be fishing near the lunch spot by now. It was time to leave this fantastic chain of islands. We had done our jobs and Mikey got a morning of filming we can’t wait to see. After a fiasco if not being able to find the houseboat and arriving for lunch two hours late, we finally joined the rest of the group. Although none of the others had big fish success like us, everyone was catching fish. Things are good on this part of the lake!

2 Responses to “Day Five – Small Islands Big Fish”

  1. Beckles May 5, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Great stories and photos! See I do read the blog :>) Beckles

  2. Jeff May 5, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    I’m glad it gets read. Heck, I’m missing a day on the Henry’s Fork tomorrow because I need to write about day 6. Day 6 was the big one!

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