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Fly Punk - Issue 3

  • Text
  • Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Trout
  • Carp
  • Lure
  • Dordogne
  • Suir
  • Flies
  • Thailand
  • Sharks
  • Reel
  • Pike
Fly Punk - No tweed, wicker baskets or trousers tucked into socks. Just a free digital magazine aimed at the fly fishing punk ... Read on and join the party ...

BONE FISHING IN FRENCH

BONE FISHING IN FRENCH POLYNESIA (WITH SHARKS) ― stephen eder― I t all begins on the edge of a frozen pond in Woodstock, New York. I’m standing ankle deep in crusty snow whipping my 8 wt. in the 30° F breeze. Dude, I’m practicing my double haul cast because I’m about to go on a fly fishing trip of a lifetime and I don’t want to blow it. My destination is Rangiroa, located in French Polynesia. Rangiroa is the worlds second largest atoll. It was formed by a lava dome that collapsed a gazillion years ago. My mission: catch a bonefish - and the ones in Rangiroa are among the world’s largest. Weeks earlier, I began researching YouTube bone fishing videos. Boners like the shallows where they forage for little crabs and other goodies. Glib experts warn that these shallow flats are often raked by high winds. You have to have a good double haul cast to get your line out through these gales or the only way you’ll ever catch one of these skittish fish is if it dies of laughter watching the wind send your fly into your face. On my first back cast, the business end of my line snags the windshield wiper of my Subaru. When I climb up the snow bank to free the tippet I try to act like this was part of my plan. Weeks later I arrive at toasty Rangiroa airport. 93° F 1000% humidity. I’m here directing a documentary film shoot on sharks. Whenever I can, I get up early to practice my double haul on the ocean side of the atoll, hoping if I can cast in the heavy winds there, I might have a chance of getting the line out a respectable distance inside Rangiroa’s coral confines. The shoot ends successfully and next morning after the crew departs for the States. I rush down to the dock by Rangiroa Divers to join the one man who can make my bucket dream come true: Ugo Angely. Half Italian, half Polynesian, Ugo served as the skipper of our camera boat. A mass of muscle, stealthy intellect and intensity, Ugo’s booming voice cuts through the wind so cleanly he almost blew out the eardrums of our sound mixer one day. Using his marine radio is a mere a formality. Ugo knows “the flats and where are the bonefish.” So far he only knows me as a film director, but as far as fishing’s concerned, he has no idea if I’m just another careless poser who will plant a fly in his neck. Ugo’s boat, manufactured by Tahiti Nautic Center, is operated from a cockpit in the bow. Ugo can steer with one hand and harpoon Mahi Mahi with the other. As we clear the cement wharf , he puts the pedal to the metal. Two hours later we are on the far side of the 43 mile-long, 16-mile-wide oval-shaped atoll. The flats where we anchor are breathtaking, and the heat is intense. I thank the fish gods that the winds are kind of manageable. Ugo and I load my backpack with my extra rod, some water bottles and a point and shoot camera. We slip overboard into what feels like bath water and immediately we are dogged by a half dozen, yard-long black tip sharks and blue remoras. Ugo dials down his voice volume from fortissimo to subito. “Steve I don’t like the sharks, they are a pain always.” We wade a dozen yards from the boat 14 | 15 www.fly-punk.com

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