11 months ago

Fly Punk - Issue 4

  • Text
  • Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Trout
  • Rods
  • Streamer
  • Barbel
  • Google
  • Anglers
  • Carangue
  • Stream
  • Poisson
  • Custom
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 ...

I n June of last year, I

I n June of last year, I had the chance to work in Polynesia for 5 months. I had already been there a few years ago and had managed to catch a bonefish on the magnificent atoll of Rangiroa in the Tuamotu. However, I keep with me the memory of a failure or more so of a dream passed just out of rod’s range, which disappeared as fast as it came, two fishes had appeared in front of me and magickly vanished before I could even attempt a throw. This mirage, by the sayings of my guide, was named “Blue Carangue”, while coming back to Europe, I was researching it on the internet and stumbled upon photos of those fishes splendidly dressed. So when my boss sent me again at the edges of the world, I had only one idea in mind, catch one of those beautiful fishes. It was on the atoll of Tikehau, again at the Tuamotu that I went hunting the beast. That fish doesn’t reach the gigantic size of the “GTs” however its sumptuous dress and aggressivity make its fishing very entertaining. Fly fishing is extremely underdeveloped in Polynesia, nothing in the shops of Papeete and the few hotels offering guided fly fishing do it at (too) high prices. The best option is therefore to find a well situated average guest house. I was lucky to choose one (http://www.hakamanu. com/) perfect for fly fishing. Even if there is fishing guides the flats zone is huge, with an important density of blue carangues. You could walk in the water all day without meeting anyone. However, the coral is sharp and the sun burning hot, it is indispensable to be cautious, shoes, long sleeved t shirts anti-uv, cap, a scarf to protect the neck and nape, and also a good slatter of sunscreen. I had never caught those fishes before, and it took me some time to understand the good method to use. The carangues often move in small groups of few individuals in shallow waters in search of prey. The first time I saw one, all my body shivered as I tried to keep my cool by breathing slowly, I threw my streamer one or two meters in front of the fish, who was looking at what had just fell ahead of him, I started to strip slowly, miming an injured or sick fish, the carangue grew closer, observing, and turned back, intrigued but not convinced by this prey which clearly didn’t had any interest to her. Later, on coral bay, I noticed on my left side a sizeable specimen, I crouched, then sent the streamer two meters ahead, the moment the streamer hit the surface, small mullets I had not noticed founded themselves under the impact and started jumping, scared by this fly fallen from the skies. Needless to say, as soon as the carangue saw them fleeing, she chased after them without giving the slightest interest to my streamer. This is when I understood that to make them bite, stripping faster will be needed, as well as avoiding to land my fly on flocks of translucid mullets… And so, when I saw the third fish, I knew what to do and the carangue threw herself on the streamer to swallow it, I would set the hook, and the fish would launch into a powerful rush, the strength of a sea fish is extraordinary when looking at the size/ power ratio. After a furious struggle, the fish finally gave up and I finally could get a closer look at this beauty of nature with its dress as blue as the lagoon in which she lived. After a traditional photo, she was sent free. I had noticed that another technique could also work. If in a zone judged good, you don’t see any fishes (in the present case a grazing wind would create ripples on the water surface making fishing on sight very difficult), try any way to throw your streamer as far as you can, bring it back with vivacity, if carangues are in the area, you can be sure that they will come from very far away to see this frantic prey. If they do not have the time to swallow it on their first try, they will surely get it at the next opportunity as they show a disconcerting voracity. Much like other carnivorous fishes, the fact that they are often two or more increases the odds of success of the fisherman thanks to the competition between predators. I remember a scene where two fishes were fighting other my streamer and it was the fastest who got hanged by my line. It is still important to note that we are speaking about sight fishing and so, just as with trout it is a difficult feat to strike with good timing, and the misses might be numerous, I speak of experience. For example, if hooked too early, before the fish even had the chance to close its mouth on the fly, or too late, it will let it time to spit it out. And believe me, they are as fast to do it as they are to rush on their prey. For the equipment, I opted for a 10-foot rod or a 9-foot, with a simple 3 meters in 35/100. For the flies, I had success with the “Deceiver Cockroach” in bright yellow and white and the “Rooster fish sardina”. During this my stay, I had the chance to catch another specie, the cane beak is greatly appreciated by the locals, culinary speaking. Less big than the carangue, I found it to be stronger in the first rushes but less resilient. I did not manage to fish it at sight, however while you walk about the flats, you will notice deeper zones, pools of a darker shade of blue. I tried my luck in one of them, and after a few strips I felt a stop, a tag, then nothing, missed or unhooked. I tried to strip again to bring back the fly, as soon as I started any motion I came to a new stop, much stronger than the former it hooked the fish that furiously tried to escape. After giving much efforts and fights, the cane beak gave up and I released him. It is unlikely that I will ever go back to such paradise on earth at more than 20 flight hours of Europe. But I hope that one day I will catch some permits, “GTs” or even one of those gigantic Tarpons in other place on our beautiful earth. Because sight fishing on the flats can be very addictive, I must admit becoming a fanatic of it. If the experience tempts you, you have been warned. 24 | 25

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