Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Return of the FlyAngler - VI

With only a scattering of outings in the past 3 months, I'm really looking forward to my upcoming Maldives trip in Apr. This lack of angling activity has consequently resulted in the dwindling of my postings. However, I hope that this new season will signal the beginning of a better year.

As a prelude to my coming pilgrimage, Moses suggested that we hit a new haunt for a spot of saltwater flyfishing. David, a relative newcomer to flyfishing, needed more practice before we hit the beaches of Lhaviani Atoll next month.

The weather had been especially kind to us, the previous evening had ended with ominous dark clouds and a heavy dousing over in the west side of our tiny island but Moses later confirmed that the eastern beaches were spared the deluge.

Since I was the designated driver for the outing, I got up at 5am, much against the wishes of my slumberous body. By the time I had picked up Albert and David, and was on the way to Moses, a sliver of light was already peeking over the horizon.

The tide was just turning and while we set up our gear, we could see the exposed rock wall, barely a meter wide, that separated the small lagoon from the open waters. A group of lure anglers had taken up positions on the near side of the wall. With rods in hand, Surf Candy at ready and stripping baskets, well, just hanging, we bid our fellow anglers "good morning" and politely made out way to the far end of the wall. They've had a few misses on poppers and were still enticing the odd chase.

The crisp morning sea air woke every of my senses and I felt rejuvenated; I was in my element. We were on the lookout for the nervous waters that signaled the arrival of the bait schools but other than the wind-formed rips, everything was quiet. off to our left, our luring buddies let off a serious of howls and we turned to see a fabulous Queenfish raising plumes of white mist in a series of jumps. Much encouraged by the good fortune of our brethren, we increased the frequency of our casts into the jade waters ahead of us.

Despite being new to flyfishing, David was handling his flyline very well. Though not a champion distant caster by any measure, he was able to work a decent coverage of the water before him. Scanning the horizon, Moses noticed a couple of gulls diving into the waters way out. Bait School! But they were way out of reach, nonetheless, it was good news. Turning to check on our friends to our left, I suddenly heard a screaming reel to my right. David's 6wt TFO was nearly bent over. Much to his credit, he worked his loose line like a seasoned angler and guided it till he was to the reel. Then letting the reel take over, David worked the unknown assailant with short pumps and sideways pressure. Constantly changing directions to try to disorientate the fish, he regained the line he'd lost till the fish was just 15m away.

However, the fish was still very green and took off on a few tail walks, trying its best to shake the surf candy loose. It was a Long Tom and a huge one too. With each jump, David pumped and bowed to keep tension on the fish. It did not taken much longer for the leader to come within an arm's reach. Though subdued, it was still challenge to land the fish. The hook was lodged in the eye of the Long Tom and to lift the fish up by the leader would've killed it. The tide had risen but the water was just beyond my reach and I had to wait for the next crest to lift the fish to the Bogagrip's grasp.

With the bogagrip securely gripping the teeth-laden jaws, the fish was quickly raised.

A quick photo with the David and we tried to remove the hook from the eye without doing more damage.

Fortunately, the hook let go its grip without much resistance and the fish took off under its own power.

David went on to catch another Long Tom, albeit a much smaller one. Obviously, he was just as delighted.

As for the rest of us, we had to be content with misses or the odd small 3" groupers that dominate the rock bottom and the shallow lagoon behind us. To end off a great session, David bought us all a nice breakfast before we went to the shop to recount our morning's adventure to those with a willing ear.


Anonymous said...

Mel thanks for your posts on Maldives,hope to see full report of your upcoming trip.

Went to Lhaviyani in march for a "family vacation" and I had a morning off fishing in a flat in the north of Faadhoo. Good fun but not successful as you were.

will be back next december.

mizlan said...

wow..nice fishing blog..keep up your good fishing,please visit my blog about snakehead fish baitcasting at Labuan,Malaysia

Adam said...

Nice catch, I enjoyed reading your blog.

I am based in Abu Dhabi - UAE

You can read about my fly fishing adventures at

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