Fly Casting for Kingfish

April 7, 2011

Madagascar – Day 8

I literally lit up my computer here to type away at today’s blog and an obnoxious cockroach that was obviously attracted to the light blocked out the screen! Yikes! It would have been worth it if only he hissed as I swatted him away. Shucks!
Anyway, there’s not much to write about today. On George’s advice we dedicated the morning to fly fishing for kingfish. A kingfish is what most of the world refers to as “trevally”. In many parts of the Indian Ocean, particularly South Africa, Mozambique and apparently Madagascar; they call all the trevally a “kingfish”. And a king he is. I can contest to that because in 1996 I landed a 90lber on Paris Flats in Christmas Island. Luckily, on that day I was specifically targeting them so I was using a Ross 12-weight. Had I not been, I would never, never, never had even a remote chance. They are extremely powerful fish. (Now every bug of night is attacking my headlamp. This will be very fast.)

We hit about four of Georges favorite trevally spots. All were rocky islands with beautiful coral reef and strong tidal currents. I got tossed around pretty good launching casts first with big poppers, then big streamers and then finally dredging with heavy Warpath Jig flies. Not only did I not see a fish. Not even a follow. George and his mate were dragging a live sardine suspended behind the boat while jigging bottom with bait and all they caught were two little groupers like the one in the picture – absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could have nailed one of those on the fly. But fishing was truly SLOW. The sea can definitely go quiet on you. Tides change. Weather, which has been beautiful, can also change in ways we don’t notice such as wind and barometric pressure.

Unfortunately we fished for trevally unsuccessfully all the way till about 1 PM. Our original plan was to go till noon then bottom fish like we did yesterday but time slipped away. We then began the slow trip home hunting for birds and tuna. We found a school of feasting yellowfin right away and Granny got one good cast to them without a strike and we never saw them again. We travelled slowly for over an hour before finding our next flock of diving birds. This time there were frigate tuna everywhere and Granny and I each picked up a mere one. Then they were gone. There must be plenty of natural food in the water and they just wouldn’t eat our flies. In fact, one tuna puked up an assortment of foods from tropical fish to baby squids. Well, at least we didn’t get skunked and have Carpaccio again for appetizers for us and the crew at camp!

Today was our last fishing with George. George was a real treat to fish with. It’s hard to know if you are hiring the right guy when visiting a remote country like Madagascar but we lucked out. Not only was George very knowledgeable of where the fish live in his waters but he was a great guy with a lot of fun ideas to make our days enjoyable. I’d recommend George to anyone wanting to fly fish in Madagascar.

Damn! The cockroach just spun out in my beer glass. It’s time to turn off this headlamp and enjoy a cold one in a new glass with the Carpaccio and Granny and the staff. We don’t need to get up early in the morning so time to have some fun. Tomorrow we are chilling out as they say. That’s tough for me to do so we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll fish from the shore here and do some snorkeling. The snorkeling is supposed to be some of the best in the world.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing Website

One Response to “Fly Casting for Kingfish”

  1. Erik April 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I don’t think the cockroach will drink much… 🙂

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