A JUNGLE SLAM Oman
POLLY, WANT A CRACKER The Indo-Pacific
PERMIT PARADISE New Zealand
100 DAYS IN PARADISE
Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free online fly fishing magazine
Photo by Damien Brouste
WELCOME... We have just returned from Iceland. There, we fished for massive and hard-fighting brown trout in a beautiful and well-hidden river a grueling 7-hour-drive from Keflavik Airport. With only two-and-a-half days on our hands, we were eager to make the most of it, and we therefore fished hard and with very little rest. Not even winterlike weather, which made for wet, windy and bitterly-cold conditions, was enough to dampen our spirits. On the very last day – irrespective of the fact that we had an early morning flight the next day - we ended up fishing the whole day, right until the official fishing curfew at 22:00. When we were finally packed up and ready to leave, we were completely exhausted. Needless to say, there weren’t enough caffeinated energy drinks in Iceland to keep us awake the whole way, and we had to use every additional trick in the book to prevent us from falling asleep at the wheel. (It was pretty noisy at times)! Nope, we’re not the most sound or intelligent people. But we’re passionate about what we do. And so are the people who’ve contributed material to this issue of In the Loop Magazine. With us this time around, we have fly fishing profiles such as Stephan Gian Dombaj, Paulo Hoffman, Florian Kaiser, Jordan Oelrich, Barry Ord Clarke, Damien Brouste, Jako Lucas, Johan du Preez, Gordon P. Henriksen, and Nikolaj Korsholm. Enjoy! Tight Lines// The In the Loop Crew
Photo by Damien Brouste
A Jungle Slam Adventure by Stephan Gian Dombaj Would the real Permit please stand up by Jako Lucas Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no place like home by Jordan Oelrich 100 days in paradise by Florian Kaiser Tasmanian Dare Devils by Damien Brouste Polly, want a cracker? by Gordon P. Henriksen And much much more...
Contributors STEPHAN GIAN DOMBAJ
In the Loop Magazine C/O Cast Away Media Org no: 999 320 147 www.intheloopmag.com
By Rastivo.com for Solid Adventures www.solidadventures.com
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is one of the most influential fly fishing journalists and photographers in the new Millennium. Stephan is extremely dedicated to the sport, and he splits his time between guiding and travelling. Having written for a myriad of renowned magazines across the globe, Stephan has become a household fly fishing name, and he continues to amaze with his spectacular photography and adventurous mindset.
Jako Lucas is a young and innovative South African photographer, guide and adventurer, who targets anything with a fly rod, so long as there are some considerable thrills involved. Jako fishes all over the globe, and as a professional guide he spends his time in Norway, Mongolia, and the Seychelles taking good care of fly fishing clients from all over the world. Besides his guiding, Jako run Cpt Jack Films, producing epic fly fishing video material from world-wide destinations. More at http://vimeo.com/user23981289
We choose not to print this magazine and we are happy not to use paper and harmful inks as used in a conventional printing process. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.
is a Denmark-based angler who is always looking for his next fly fishing fix. Fishing is his drug, and he loves to share it through inspiring photos, articles, and videos. Nikolaj takes pride in going on self-planned budget trips, where he is either living in a car, tent, or simply on the ground. He has been fishing everything from tricky salmon in Denmark to rod-breaking kingfish in New Zealand. His passion for Nature is the reason why he founded the environmental initiative, #PlasticintheBasket, which inspires anglers all over Europe to collect plastic when wrapping up their fishing trips. His mantra is to lead by example. For more info: www.instagram.com/plasticinthebasket
GORDON P. HENRIKSEN
Gordon P. Henriksen is probably the most well-known fisherman in Denmark. He hosts a Danish fishing radio show and he is a tv-host on various programs on national Danish television, National Geographic Channel, and Youtube. He is into most kinds of fishing, but he especially loves sight fishing and fly fishing in both Danish and foreign (warmer) waters. You can follow Gordon on Instagram: @Gordon_p._henriksen
Florian has fly fished for more than twenty-five years in the northern and southern hemisphere in fresh- and saltwater for many different species - enjoying outdoor sports, mountain biking, photography, and good wine along the way. Fly fishing is only one of his hobbies, but probably the one he loves the most. In his everyday life he is a business consultant. Florian is an ambassador for Marlo Reels, Scott Fly Rods and Stroft leaders. Follow his trips and adventures at http://theflyfishingfamily. blogspot.com
is an avid sight fisherman. Based in New Caledonia, he satisfies his fly fishing passion by stalking big bonefish. When ever the stalking on the flats proves adequate, he looks for Tasmanian or New Zealand trout that are just hours away. Damien spends precious amounts of time with his camera trying to show the world how beautiful the sport of flyfishing is - and he has a special knack for capturing the magic moments. See more of Damien’s images at www.dbflyfishing.com
Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, Jordan’s obsession with fly fishing began at a very young age. Jordan joined the fly fishing industry at 17 years old as a shop employee, capitalizing on every possible chance to further his knowledge on local fisheries. Jordan began guiding at 18 years old, and now owns Interior Fly Fishing Co. out of his hometown of Kamloops. The constant pursuit for new fly fishing ventures has led Jordan to a multitude of destinations including Belize and southern Costa Rica in pursuit of tarpon, bonefish and any flats species that will chase a fly as well as steelhead across the Pacific Northwest. Aside from guiding, Jordan is also a published photographer and writer as well as a fly tying instructor during the off-season. For more info: www.interiorflyfishingco.com
WANNA CONTRIBUTE? Do you have any great fly fishing photos, videos, or stories that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always looking for quality material for In the Loop Magazine, and we look forward to reviewing your material.
A Jungle Slam Adventure PART 1 Stephan Dombaj and Paulo Hoffmann from Fly Fishing Nation spent the better part of the last two months, fishing for Dorado, Peacock Bass, Arapaima, and more exotic jungle fish. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pt I of a three-piece adventure trip.
By STEPHAN GIAN DOMBAJ
Video has killed the radio star… and social media has killed the good old modest reports in fishing magazines. Today, we are looking at a never-ending stream of destination reports and pictures on Facebook and co. This hype for more, better, and crazier things has left us jaded and numb. And while there are still many places left to discover, the majority of the destination angling crowd went straight back to the good old classic – established, well managed and most of all seasoned fisheries with a good reputation. Only a few nut jobs out there are still trying to push this very tiny “industry” into the last corners of the planet where logistics, time and security issues outweigh the actual adventure and recreational fishing benefit. I can tell, I am one of them. Having said that, I do enjoy a well-established operation and that’s why Paulo Hoffmann and I decided to fish a bunch of classics with a twist in the Amazonian basin. This is a brief story about dorado explorations, monster peacock bass, the illusive arapaima, a story of failure, victory, and many other things and… judging by the state of our hands and fingers, Paulo and I must have worked 24/7 shifts in a barbwire factory without gloves.
Golden Dorado I am not going to waste any of your time on romanticizing our fascination with the dark heart of the South American Subcontinent, the darkest jungles of Africa or the raven black nights in the lush forests of east and south-east Asia’s. Long before Disney’s Junglebook, the secrets, adventures, and dangers of jungles have sparked the wildest fantasies. We are naturally drawn to this very source of our curiosity and the idea of chasing some of the most furious and sought-after fish in the heart of the jungle is a temptation that very few people dare to resist. For many, and I count myself as one of them, fishing really is just the excuse to venture off to these wild places – it’s an excuse to be in the jungle. And it’s a very good one indeed. The pursuit of golden dorado has experienced a revival after footage from the almost chalk stream-like headwaters in Bolivia emerged about 10 years ago: Pictures and films of wolfpacks marauding the edges of shallow plateaus in search for sabalo and
other baitfish, often followed by violent feeding frenzies and massive fish cutting the water just like GTs on the flat would. It was just the right thing for the hungry crowds in front of their screens. Extravagant, extra violent, extra gold, extra exotic… Dorado were back in the game! Although, to be fair, it was never off. Lefty did it more than 30 years ago - in Argentina… the Río Paraná, the cradle of the Dorado hype. Two young local explorers ventured off to scout the headwaters of the river, a tributary of the Maniquí River – a system that’s in close proximity to the already established and hallowed dorado lodges in the Bolivian jungle. A fairly new approach and one of a few serious attempts these days to tap further into the wilderness heart. A large junction pool on the river caters for 6 anglers at a time, with mountainous thrones on a high cliff towering over some prime dorado, pacu, and catfish waters. The explorations deep into the headwaters are a fairly new approach. As a program in the making, satellite
camps are utilized to push into the smaller tributaries and headwaters in search for dorado and co. To make a long story short, it’s rough, wild, and adventurous, and I absolutely love it. If you don’t mind the strenuous efforts to get up to the headwaters, you will be rewarded with excellent sight fishing for dorado, that have probably never seen a single fly or lure in their lives… But be warned, in these skinny headwaters, it’s a very intimate, the battles are close-quarters, and these fish are incredibly aware of what’s happening around them. If you think that a New Zealand trout in clear water can be skittish, wait till you see a 10kg golden dorado with its omnipresent guard up patrolling its hunting grounds. The typical fast and furious approach will only result in frustration – mainly in the form of bow-waves pushing up river away from you. Most commercially tied flies are either poorly tied or not tied on the right hooks. These two K.O. criteria knock most flies off the counter for a serious jungle predator tour. In my humble opinion, Tiemco’s SP600 and
Gamakatsu’s SL12S are amongst the best irons out there when it comes to hook strength and the ability to penetrate a bony jaw. Fulling Mill’s warm water and saltwater lineups have a great range of large baitfish and deceiver pattern, most of which are tied on either of these two hook models. These are the flies you are looking for when talking jungle predators, and golden dorados are no exception. The gin clear water of the upper and Maniquí headwaters dictates a subtle approach. Classic Dorado pattern like the “Andino Deceiver” or “Predator Pounder” are still amongst our favorites – rather, though, for faster flowing water or murkier/cloudy conditions generally call for smaller flies and a proper imitation of the natural prey – the all-abundant sabalos. This is especially important when the fish have a lot of time to set sight on the fly. “Cowen’s Magnum Baitfish Blue” and “Dougie’s Perch + Roach” are great baitfish pattern that come quite close to what we are looking for in these cases.
In these tricky conditions, you are looking for a realistic baitfish pattern that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sink too fast â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially when you sight cast for fish. The ability to lead the fish enough and letting the fly slowly sink before moving it can be crucial. In the pandemonium of a feeding frenzy, a stunned baitfish will just move slightly and will be easy prey for the attacking hunters. Another reason why I love to fish synthetic baitfish patterns is the fact that they just hold up much longer than other flies tied with natural materials. Any golden dorado, no matter its size, will utilize every single tooth in its mouth to rip these flies to pieces. They will thrash around, grind their teeth, and literally chew them apart. A classic Andino Deceiver should never be missing in a dorado fly box, it might only live for a couple of fish, however. Fishing in faster rapids, pocket water or in heavy structure, these weighted flies (Andino Deceivers or Predator Pounders) will make a huge difference, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I still fish them a lot. Once they hit the water, they are fishing right away, even when the current is trying to push the fly up.
Especially in tight spaces – log jams, heavy cover, pocket water, etc. – the fly needs to ‘fish’ instantly, and its natural movement and the ability to push a lot of water while at the same time sinking quicker is unrivaled by any other fly IMHO. I like to keep it simple. A selection of Andinos in black & red, black & chartreuse and black & orange (alternatively: Predator Pounders in similar colors) and baitfish pattern in fairly light and natural colors sets a good base for your Dorado fly box. I always keep a few sharpies handy and like to color the synthetic fibers of my baitfish flies darker/more colorful in order to match the prey or whenever the situations askes for it. Some surface flies (Poppers, Pole Dancers, Titanic Sliders, etc.) and divers, which you can play around with, will top your box up. No matter how well those flies are tied, however, the sharp teeth of these fish will tear up any fly, sooner or later. Depending on where you go and for how long, pack enough flies or take an emergency fly repair kit (super glue, thread, spare lead eyes, synthetic fiber, etc.), to be able to quickfix your fly or recycle your hooks.
Would the real Permit please stand up?
By JAKO LUCAS Photography by JAKO LUCAS, JOAQUIN AROCENA, HENRY GILBEY, CAMERON MUSGRAVE, KEITH ROSE-INNES and ALPHONSE FISHING
If you ever mention the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;permitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to any avid fly fisherman who has been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to fish for these fish, you can expect a variation of reactions. Some, if not many of them however, will result with a tear in the eye. In my personal opinion I see permit fishing as a love/hate relationship, or more precisely: I love to hate permit.
To take this to an even higher level is to compare the Atlantic permit with Indo Pacific permit. This is a subject that has the potential to start endless debates and is seriously taboo. To clear this up, we spend most of our time on the outer atols in the Indian Ocean, thus we guide and fish for the Indo Pacific permit predominantly. In saying this, my time spent fishing for Atlantic permit is a fraction of time compared to time spent for Indos. Having spent over 9 years guiding on these pristine flats for many different species I can honestly say that the Indo Pacific permit is the one fish that haunts my dreams. The reason for sharing this deep passion for Indos vs Atlantics with you is a comment a client made not too long ago when I was guiding. I told him that the area that we will be fishing has the potential of producing permit. He turned to his friend and said, “don’t worry these Permit are much easier to catch than Atlantic Permit”. I managed not to give him a death threat and we moved along. Needless to
say I must have shown them over 20 Permit, of which, they caught nothing. So lets see why I am of the opinion that our Indo Pacific Permit are harder to target.
Atlantic Permit vs Indo Pacific Permit - What is an Indo Pacific Permit?
Indo Pacific permit are also known as Silver Pompano or just Pompano (Trachinotus blochii) and is a member of the Carangidae family and a relative of the Atlantic permit (Trachinotus falcatus). For those of us based in the Indian Ocean we see them as the baby brother of the Atlantic Permit but what they lack in size they sure do make up in attitude! For this reason we simply refer to all fish belonging to this family and found in the waters of the Indo-Pacific as permit. The one point to argue is the size difference; I have landed an Indo permit close to 30lbs with clients, which is considered a once in a life time experience. Generally, you’ll find them more likely between 6lb-15lb.
Compared to the Atlantic permit you will find fish of over 40lbs and between 20lb30lb more regularly. In my opinion, Permit are the ultimate quarry to catch on a fly. They are fast, powerful, beautiful, spooky and suspicious of any unnatural food presented to them. Fishing for them demands dedication and commitment as there will certainly be days, weeks and sometimes even months with little chance of reward. To find Permit, you have to think like a Permit. To catch Permit, you have to know where to find them, what they are eating and then hope and pray they woke up on the right side of the bed! Habitat and Tides Juvenile permit inhabit sandy shorelines and shallow, sandy or muddy bays near river mouths while adults move out in schools to
clear seaward reefs. Juveniles are found in small schools, while larger adults are usually solitary or in pairs. We also see the juveniles crushing with sting rays in St Brandonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Permit feed primarily on sand mollusks and other hard-shelled invertebrates; however they tend to spend the majority of their time in deeper water in lagoons and drop-offs, close to coral ridges and bommies. I have even found specific coral bommies that had shoals of resident fish and every time I took clients to have a look, they would swim towards the boat for a closer inspection. Permit love to feed on crabs and other forms of crustacean and if the tide and area allows for safe passage, they will jump at the opportunity to feed in the shallows where these prey items are abundant. So much so, you will be surprised at how shallow the water needs to be for them to sneak onto the flat.
I have found flats with a mottled bottom and a fair amount of turtle grass to be the best areas to focus on. This type of bottom provides cover and food for a vast array of marine life including the ‘crabby’ treats that permit love to wolf down. Areas, which have this type of bottom, and which are found close to the lagoon edge or surf usually yield your best chance of success. But best keep in mind, however, these fish have the ability to appear and disappear at any time and any place. We call this the David Copperfield effect! Why are Indo Pacific Permit so hard to catch? There are many different factors that you need to consider before even thinking of catching an Indo Pacific permit. Here are some of the essential criteria, which have brought me success: Fly selection - always fish the fly with confidence… If you’re not confident with the fly, cut it off and tie one on, which either you or your guide believes in. Secondly, have a clear plan in your mind on how you are going to fish the fly i.e. are you going to strip it or just let it sink and keep tension. These fish are feeding very shallow and are very exposed so they are very aware of their suroundings, this means that the weight of the fly and the presentation are huge factors. The flies for Atlantic permit tend to be a bit bigger as you find these fish in deeper water. This also means if the fish is in deeper water he is a bit more relaxed.
Spotting – You are obviously limited with the amount of water you can scan accurately whilst wading in comparison from when you are fishing from a skiff. Be 100% focussed, stay alert and look for any sign of a fish, a tail, nervous water, gold and silver flakes shining back at you in the water. These fish have feeding paths that are notoriously difficult to judge. Once you’ve spotted the fish, make certain you know where the fish is and even more importantly where its head is facing before you cast. It can’t eat the fly if it lands behind it, and should this happen it will most likely end in the fish spooking off the flat. When fishing for Atlantic permit you will be fishing from a skiff the majority of the time. This gives you a huge advantage when it comes to visibility! Positioning – Putting yourself in the correct position in anticipation of the fish, and for that matter before you cast, is paramount. Make very slow movements, it is very important you make sure the fish does not spot you… Basically don’t try
and run down the Permit like they were a herd of buffalo. Especially over a mottled bottom, you will be making a lot of noice wading. The advantage of having a skiff is that when you can spot them from further away you can position the boat quietly by pulling into range. Casting - This goes in line with positioning, you know your own ability to cast, but try and make it as easy as possible to make a quick and accurate cast. Keep the false casts down to an absolute minimum; they will only alert the fish to your presence. This coincides with line management. Casting from a boat gives you more elevation to turn over your fly. Line Management – Make sure your fly line, leader and fly are free of tangles or any obstructions before you make the cast. If you spend one second looking down at your line to get it untangled, you can lose sight of the fish or spook it! Casting from a boat, you don’t have the line drag nor do you have to contend with current or your line getting caught up on structure.
Fly Positioning - Most important of all, the fish has to see the fly. This sounds very obvious, but too many times I have seen people cast a fly just in the direction of the fish hoping that he will see it and eat, this is unfortunately the most frequent error I have come across. I am a firm believer in presenting the fly close to the fish and not leading him by a substantial distance. Put it on his nose. The only time I lead a fish is when he is sitting in a bit of current so that I can get the fly down and swing it in front of his nose. Fly Movement – Although I have seen fish take the fly on a quick or large strip, on most occasions I prefer to let the fly sink to the bottom and then make one or two small strips to get tension on the fly. Watch the fish’s body language for a reaction and ensure you remain tight to the fly. Because you are also standing higher on the boat you have better visibility on the fly and can fish more effectively with regards to the fish’s body language and the possition of your fly.
Setting the hook – In my opinion anglers are generally too gentle on the strike and end up not getting sufficient hook penetration once the fish has eaten the fly with many fish being lost even before the fight. Once you think the fish has eaten the fly, make a long deliberate strip until you get tension, at all times keeping the rod tip down. If the fish has not eaten the fly, this will prevent you from pulling the fly too far away or out of the water. The Fight - After managing to keep your cool and getting an eat, keep stripping until you are sure the fly is in the mouth and set the hook by strip striking the fly line. Make sure you get all the line under control until you are on the reel, keeping tension at all times. When the fish takes off try to follow it and stay as close to it as you can, remember the fish probably wants to get into deeper water and you are not on a boat. The fish is going to use its girth to stay side on to you and he is going to try and rub the fly off on the bottom.
Maintain tension! Stay calm and just tire him out. If all goes well and the stars align and you get the opportunity to land the fish, grab hold of the fish’s caudal and hold on tight. These fish are notoriously strong and can kick hard when you grab hold of them! In the case of Atlantic’s you are already on the boat, and if the fish would run you into trouble you can just follow him immediately. We have had may fish lost because we just could not follow them quick enough! Summary Indo Pacific Permit are very close to my heart and I have probably lost many years off of my life span chasing them. What I love about them is that they will challenge you as an angler to the maximum, there is no room for error!
What I would like to bring home is not that Indos are better and harder than Atlantics, it is just the way that we target them and the enviroment that we do it in. I was once told, “It is like comparing a 10lb Trout in Southern Argentina with a 6 foot feeding line, to a 6in Cherry Salmon in a spring creek in Japan that is super spooked. To get that Cherry Salmon to eat is exceptionally difficult.” And that is where the challenge lies. Good Luck Know that when you start fishing for permit you are setting yourself up for some very tough times but it is probably one of the most rewarding fish to catch. There is a reason why they are called the holy grail of fly fishing. Watch out…….it can be very addictive!
For more on Indo-Pacific permit
COSMOLEDO INDO-PACIFIC PERMIT by In the Loop Media
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KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA:
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s No Place like Home Having a wild obsession with fly fishing and growing up in the interior of British Columbia is a match made in heaven. I have had the opportunity to fish some incredible destinations around the world, but the sheer diversity of the Kamloops area always makes it easy to come home. With over 100 lakes in less than an hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive time, one can never say they are short on options.
By: JORDAN OELRICH
After over a decade of relentlessly pursuing every corner of BC’s stillwater fishery, many days spent fishing begin to blend together. However, there are always those that stand out, both the fish that you are lucky enough to land and the ones that leave you wondering. I’m here to recount two fishing experiences that have etched themselves into my mind to a point that just the mere thought of them brings me to another place. #1 – Against All Odds: British Columbia’s trophy lakes are a challenge at the best of times, the fish often have an abundant food source present and a PHD in “Fly Inspection 101”. The purr of the engine increased as I climbed in elevation, this is the middle of May but still there are snowflakes dancing across my windshield. The barometric pressure was in the basement, high winds and sleet were forecasted, why did I think I had any business choosing this day to chase double-digit rainbows? Because sometimes the fish gods smile upon you, even in the most unsuspecting of times. After an hour of embracing the vehicle’s heat, my fishing partner and I arrived at the lake and stepped outside.
“Wow, we’re the only ones here!” I said half-jokingly. The fierce wind brought the air temperature to something you would expect on Christmas morning, not in the heart of springtime. We leisurely put on every layer possible, set up our rods and took the cam straps off of our boats. This was going to be cold, very cold, but it only takes one trophy rainbow trout to warm the hands and the soul. Many of our “trophy” lakes are managed as catch-and-release, have a massive population of free-swimming scuds (freshwater shrimp), and have a purposefully low population of fish that inhabit them. If you add all this up, it is the recipe for fish that will easily break the tenpound mark. Do they come easily? Absolutely not. Are they worth it? Of course, why else would I be pushing my boat into the water as a wall of precipitation quickly approaches? The air temperature was hovering 5 degrees above Celsius, with the howling wind making things that much chillier. I drop my anchors and send out two lines, each rigged with a
small chironomid pupa. I am parked on a shoal with one line set at 5 feet, the other at 7. I could’ve fallen asleep in my little one-man aluminum boat, there were no bugs hatching and only ten minutes in I was already chilled. In a near trance-like state, I look up to see a strike indicator is buried as the line is swimming through the water. “There he is!”I lift the rod to no avail. There he was, I guess. I couldn’t believe I had even managed to convince a fish to eat in these conditions, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. In the first hour I had hooked 6, landed 3 and was filled with a slightly optimistic feeling about the rest of the day. The bite was steady, the fish had likely adjusted to the low barometer that had been present for the few days prior, and there were just enough chironomids hatching to get them on a feed. After a few moments of stagnancy, I had a fish take my indicator down with such force that the 4X tippet was broken before I could get the rod out of the holder. I was shaking with adrenaline, figuring I had just blown my shot at a trophy fish while my frozen hands tied on a new bug.
As I was casting, lightning struck again on the other rod and caught me totally off guard. The reel was singing before I could get a hand on the cork, and as I set the hook I watched a fish that was surely in the ten pound range clear its entire body out of the water. Before I knew what was really taking place, I was into my backing as the fish cartwheeled in the middle of the lake. There is no way to prepare for such chaos, but these are the moments that validate suffering through less than ideal conditions. After a few minutes, I had the fish on a short leash as it made a few attempts to wrap itself around the anchor ropes. I reached for my net as my heart began to beat faster and faster, the silhouette of the fish suspended in the water below my boat not helping my cause one bit. I diligently played the fish until I could get her laying on her side, and on the first attempt slid her headfirst into the net. This was easily the biggest fish of the spring season for me that year, and my partner rowed
his pram over towards mine with his camera in hand. I grabbed the tape, and she measured 29â&#x20AC;? from the tip of her nose to the fork of her tail. All of a sudden, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize how cold it was or how hard the wind was blowing, if this were the last fish I ever landed on a fly rod I could die a happy man. Still shaking, after a few short photos and a quick admiration of what a special fish this truly was, she swam off with ease to hopefully be caught again on another occasion. I did not put my line back in the water immediately, instead I took a moment to take in what I had just experienced and appreciated the fact that even though conditions were against us that day, it only takes one moment like this to make the day a total success. #2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Pattern Broken: My seventeen foot stillwater craft slid into the lake off the trailer, my mind wandering to previous memories of a lake that had brought me both heartbreak and incredible success in years past.
This was my first trip to this body of water for the spring, as I had convinced myself I had it “sworn off ” after so many unsuccessful trips the year before. Sitting on a body of water for eight consecutive hours with no results has a way of breaking down your confidence levels sometimes. My fishing partner Dave and I made our way to the far corner of the lake, I kept my outlook optimistic and my expectations fairly relaxed. Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are lucky just to have the chance to go fishing in a beautiful place like this, number or size of fish landed aside. We dropped anchor in 19 feet of water and each set our chironomid imitations at different depths, his at 17 and mine at 15. We sat and talked for nearly an hour, our conversation never interrupted in the way that we were hoping it would be. As a faint hint of discouragement began to wash over me, I decided to move my rig up two feet in the water column. Before I knew it, a rod-ripping grab
took place as the indicator shot below the surface. I was sure there had to be a big fish on the other end of the line, and though my assumption was not correct I was met with a healthy rainbow of 14 or so inches. I figured that perhaps moving my fly up in the water column had something to do with it, so back out it went. Again, another fish that was a perfect clone of the last one latched onto my fly. A tight line is a tight line, but where were the big ones? This pattern continued for five straight fish, all roughly the same size, and as soon as my fly would reach its desired depth another fish would eat it. We began to joke about how we might be fishing in the “nursery”, my laugh was interrupted by the strike indicator submerging mere inches below the surface. I leisurely grabbed the rod and set the hook, preparing myself for another cookie-cutter rainbow on the end of the line. The fish immediately swam towards me, feeling fairly similar to the last five fish that had eagerly climbed on my fly.
As I continued reeling, something felt off. There were no vibrating headshakes making their way up the line, and as I tightened down on the fish I realized the pattern had been broken. I felt as though my line had been tied to a submarine, with the fish leisurely towing me around without yet noticing it had been hooked. Suddenly, hell broke loose as the fish turned around and emptied the fly line and a generous portion of backing off of the reel. The fish leisurely pulled as much line as it pleased, occasionally turning and swimming straight towards the boat to give us a good scare. I was trying not to let my mind wander to what could possibly go wrong at this point, as I knew the list was long. After multiple diligent attempts to get the fishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head turned towards us, finally we were able to get her in the basket. The measuring tape read just past the 28inch mark, and the girth resembled that of a rugby ball. I realized as I watched a massive tail propel her back to the depths that no matter where or how far I travel in pursuit of new fly fishing opportunities, there is no place like home.
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100 Days in Paradise
New Zealand has so much to offer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and not just for us fly fishermen. The beautiful country south-east of Australia is the perfect place to spend valuable time vacationing with loved ones. Or even better: Why not combine family time and time spent on the water, fly fishing?
By: FLORIAN KAISER Photography by: INES AND FLORIAN KAISER
Seize the opportunities that your fly fishing life offers you! I’ve followed that maxim for years, and – along the way – I’ve been lucky enough to realize an extraordinary fly fishing trip here and there – some of which, certain people might even call “the trip of a lifetime”. A few of my adventures have lasted for several months, and I’ve gotten them under my belt at least a decade before the terms “trout bum” and “blog” were even coined. The first of those involved five month of fly fishing and mountain biking in the western part of USA back in 1995. Over the years, life has changed dramatically, as have politics and overall focus. Fly fishing, however, is still on top of the list. I am lucky, because my partner and, nowadays also wife, was bitten by the fly fishing bug two decades ago just weeks after we met at University in Sweden, where I signed up for an M.Sc. and - you might have guessed it: for some local fly fishing. Fast forward to 2012: Our first child was on the way and we started to
think about a parental leave destination that would be fun for all three of us. In Germany, you are allowed to say ‘farewell’ to your job for up to three years with every child you have. As we were planning for the period around the first months of the year, the hemisphere was up for little debate: South. And as we’d been to New Zealand twice before, knew about the uncomplicated nature of travelling there, and were aware that the odd BIG trout was swimming around in its rivers and lakes, we quickly decided that to spend +100 days traveling and fly fishing the South Island of New Zealand. Please don’t get me wrong: The following is definitely not about luring you into travelling to crowded New Zealand rivers. (It might already be too far up on your bucket list, to begin with). It is rather about exploring opportunities, following your dreams, being willing to accept certain limitations and overcome hurdles. Also, it’s about a young family collecting memorable impressions and lasting moments – together.
Preparations are essential: It’s all about getting your hands on every bit of information concerning the destination and – of course - the fishery, listing some special PoDs (Points of Desire, such as that secret remote river with its trophy trout). Drawing up a rough plan will aid in not getting lost. But most of the fun resides in simply wandering around and seeing where the “big blue” leads you. Nevertheless, what is needed in most cases - and this is what I refer to as ‘limitations’ – is the ability and willingness to scrape together the necessary funds during the months (or years) before the trip. Especially if you’re not willing to live on a super low budget while traveling. At the same time, you’ll most likely have no income while you’re away and there are certain unavoidable running expenses. At this point in your dream (or actualization) process, you are well aware that it will set you back in the five-digit-Eurorange and that it might be a sidestep in your career. But, honestly: it will
not deter you. The gains are much bigger than the combined losses. Our plan was to head all the way to New Zealand, but we could have gone elsewhere. Out of personal experience, I know that there are several destinations ideally suited for a nomadic fly fishing lifestyle; for instance the US (irrespective of the current political climate). Canada and Scandinavia are also ideal examples where river access is fairly easy and traveling with a young family is feasible and convenient. Furthermore, South America might be added by those with prior experience. For sure, New Zealand is THE dream destination for many fly fishermen. Success, however, isn’t necessarily granted. You have to be flexible change plans often, and in strategically poignant ways. Especially with the weather patterns, frequent storms and heavy rain that can be typical for a South Island New Zealand “summer”.
We did our homework! And having fished New Zealand for a total of 10 full weeks in the past, we took certain precautionary steps. We fished with several guides (Bruce, Mike and Scotty), I got to the point where I could probably recite every single line of John Kent’s local river bible, we studied maps, we refamiliarized ourselves with long leaders, and I honed my fish-spotting skills. All in all, we were perfectly prepared for another “trip of a lifetime” - or as some trout bums would say; “living the dream.” When you set course for such a long trip with your partner or family, your fishing priorities need to be made clear in advance. The joys of travelling were the main thing on our agenda, and we were flexible when it came to adding another day to a regional visit - or to simply move on. Obviously, fishing, oftentimes, became “highly important”, particularly to me. Yet, equally as often, simply enjoying the “here and now” was at the top of our list. Sometimes, the fishing was outstanding. Sometimes, the place was outstand-
ing. And at times, we spent several days in one spot. Our plan was to camp most of the time. However, during the last half of our trip, we found the amenities of a fixed roof (holiday home) to have a special appeal. Good food and excellent wine were essential ingredients during the whole time. The memorable moments and stark impressions a family adds to their common memories are of such high value. There will obviously be different perspectives on these experiences, but all of the participants are keenly aware of the individual stories they’ve gained along the way. Our son Tobias, for instance, took his first steps in Napier on the North Island and did his practice runs in a winery the day after. After approximately six weeks of traveling, something happens to you. You get used to that daily routine: Traveling around and fishing becomes your task, your occupation. This state of consciousness - knowing that you are just there to enjoy and fish, is special. Experiencing such a thing is a true gift and privilege.
And now a few pieces of general fly fishing and traveling advice, which also apply – and perhaps especially, to New Zealand. follow the local rules and etiquettes! Do not overuse the resources: Treat the natural resources carefully and gently, do not stay at any given site for more than three days, fish barbless, practice C&R, talk to other fellow fly fishers in the area and coordinate plans. Compensate for the carbon footprint you leave behind when flying around the globe. Don’t be a fool! Now, be courageous and follow your dreams! Even if it’s just for four or five weeks in Scandinavia. Start dreaming and planning right away! Those rare escapes from everyday life will open new precious horizons and whisper sacredly to your fly fisher’s heart. Follow the river and your dreams all the way to paradise - wherever that may be”. For a much more detailed travelogue concerning the abovementioned trip (and other trips), check out: http://theflyfishingfamily.blogspot.com
EXPLORING THE OUTBACK:
Tasmanian Da PICTORIAL | PART ONE New Zealand is known world-wide for its spectacular brown trout fishing. Tasmania, which is located a little to the West - just South of Australia, has much the same potential for producing massive brown trout in pristine rivers and lakes - but it is quite unexplored and under-exposed compared to New Zealand. Accompanied by a couple of friends, I recently set out to charter the Tasmanian outback in search for trout. We had no idea what to expect, but we had our camping gear, supplies, camera equipment and fly fishing rods with us - in addition to lots of adventurous drive. It turned out to be more than enough for a great fly fishing adventure! The trout were there, they were hungry, and most of them had never seen an artificial fly before. Photography by DAMIEN BROUSTE
Tasmania is a part of the Commonwealth of Australia and is located 240 kilometres to the South of the Australian mainland. The Tasmanian main island, which is the 26th largest island in the world with its 68.000+ km2 of land area - is a massive wilderness that is quite sparsely populated. (More than half of the island’s population of 500.000 citizens reside in the state capital Hobart). Tasmania is named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first European reporting of the island in november 1642. Much of the island is formed by volcanic upwellings and it is rich in mountains, cliffs and massive rocks. The island is also rich in lakes, rivers, and creeks - and most of these are inhabited by trout. Trout were successfully introduced in Tasmania 150 years ago due to the dogged determination of a group of men, who were mind-bent on bringing trout and salmon eggs the 8000km from England to the island. The first attempt was done back in February 1852 with the shipping of 50.000 ova on the 454 ton barque ‘Columbus’.
Despite intricate tray, cooler and water flow systems, the experiment failed - and so did consequent ones. Lots of experience was gained in the process, however, and in April 1864, after a 91 days long journey via Melbourne, the first shipment of trout and salmon ova arrived in New Norfolk, Tasmania. They were transported 6km to the Derwent Valley using bamboo poles resting on shoulders, and here, the 20 sealed boxes, which simply consisted of wet moss and ova, were opened with fear and trembling. In them, 300 surviving trout ova were extracted in addition to a good number of live salmon ova. In May 1864, plenty of salmon and 300 healthy brown trout hatched. And while the ensuing salmon stocking was never succesful, the trout thrived, grew and multiplied. Furthermore, the Derwent Valley ‘Salmon Ponds’ hatchery became instrumental in introducing trout in New Zealand. They were brought over in 1872 and quickly prospered.
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Scientific Anglers: FLAT MONO IS BACK It’s been a while since there’s been a really good flat mono shooting line on the market. Scientific Anglers have now launched its new Absolute Shooting Line Flat Mono, which should appeal to all the casting nerds and distance freaks – or, simply, to those who are concerned with effective casting and covering water with a minimum of false casting. According to Scientific Anglers, the benefits are as follows: • • •
Rectangular line profile reduces line twist and increases grip in fingers Hardness is tailored per size for optimal shooting with low memory in any condition Vibrant colours that are easily tracked at distance
Scientific Angler’s Flat Mono comes in four different sizes, ranging from; 25 – 50lbs. For more info, please visit the European distributor: www.flyfisheurope.com
Loon Outdoors: NEW FLY TYING TOOLS This year Loon Outdoors have released three new fly tying tools that are additions to their Ergo fly tying tool line up. They are the Ergo Squeezer Tweezers (for retaining, tweezing and picking up materials), Ergo Comb (for untangling materials) and Ergo Hackle Plier (for palmering and hackle work). The tools are made out of stainless steel and come with ergonomic easy-grip handles. For more information, please refer to www.flyfisheurope.com
Products in focus Simms: G3 GUIDE TACTICAL JACKET The Simms G3 Guide Tactical Jacket is a versatile high-performance jacket designed to fish under the worst imaginable conditions. As Simms puts it; “your problems may all fade away the second your line hits the water, but the storm around you will rage on”. - Protect yourself like a pro from the elements with Simms’ G3 Guide™ Tactical Jacket. Durable, lightweight three-layer GORE-TEX with water-tight cuffs provide a waterproof seal that keeps you dry even while tailing or releasing your catch of the day. Stash every piece of tackle in your arsenal in seven convenient pockets. The packable Storm Hood adjusts to fight the fiercest downpour. For further information and retail prices, drop by www.flyfisheurope.com
Lightweight Durability: WATERWORKS-LAMSON LITESPEED G5 The fifth generation of the, by now, legendary Litespeed boasts a higher retrieve rate and narrower spool for improved line handling, an integrated drag cassette for a stiffer frame, and an ergonomic drag knob. A new version of our Hard Alox provides a more beautiful and consistent finish. One of the world’s lightest full drag reels—infinitely durable—the Litespeed G5 is engineering alchemy. In this new version, you get: A higher retrieve rate. An improved ergonomic drag knob for better grip. Plus, a stronger, more structurally-sound frame and narrower spool for improved line handling. The drag housing is also integrated into the frame to save weight and decrease overall width. The reel comes in sizes ranging from 1,5 (WF3,4,5) to 4 (WF10/11). For additional information, please visit: www.flyfisheurope.com
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Fly Fishing in Iceland
Johann du Preez
Name: Johann du Preez Nationality: South African Age: 27 Web/Insta/Facebook: @johann_dupree (Instagram)
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live, how old are you, and what do you for a living? I am a 27-year-old South African fly-fishing guide, currently working for Tourette Fishing. I spend most of my time on location somewhere in Africa. Over the last three years, I have guided in five countries across the dark continent for everything from triggerfish to GTs, bonefish, tigerfish, catfish, yellowfish and even trout. I am actually an architect, but architecture sucks, so I chose the outdoor life over the office life. I would do it a hundred times over.
The South African Perspective
Photo by BRENT POULTNEY
Johann du Preez
The South African Perspective When did you get started fly fishing? The first time I picked up a fly rod was on the Sabie River when I was 14 years old and the rest is history. It quickly turned into an obsession and since that day I have spent way too much money and time on this silly sport. I have no regrets though. Did it coincide with you starting to do art? I have been drawing for as long as I can remember; the first thing I ever drew was a baboon that looked more like a cross between bigfoot and a dog. Art is probably my first passion, but fly fishing comes pretty damn close. What is it about fly fishing that inspires you to do fly fishing art? There are just so many different fish out there and so many cool things that I see on the water everyday that it is impossible to not be inspired. Having a lively imagination also helps. In your opinion, are there any important similarities between art and fly fishing? Every single part of fly fishing is an art in some way or the other. The two are actually very hard to separate. It certainly is the most artistic way of fishing; from tying flies to casting there is art in all of it.
Photo by JAKO LUCAS
Johann du Preez Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re from South Africa where so much fly fishing talent seems to emanate from. Why is that do you think? I think SA has bred some of the greatest fly-fishing guides and fly-fishing fanatics because we are pretty reckless and passionate bunch of guys, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just in our blood to seek adventure. South Africans are always looking for the next challenge and we are not scared to work hard - and fly fishing guiding fits like a glove. Why did you get into painting in the first place, and why have you decided to paint fly fishing motives? What inspired you? Painting and drawing have come natural to me since I was a kid, I am just very lucky that fly fishing and art is so compatible. It has become an inseparable concept for me. How do you split your time between fly fishing and painting? I guide close to 300 days of the year and the only time I get to create art is after hours at night or on those rare offdays. It is a tight squeeze to fit both of those in especially because I enjoy doing both equally. I also tie flies, edit photos and make short films in my spare time, so sleep is usually minimal. What is your favourite species of fish to target and why? On African soil there is nothing that beats a tigerfish, especially Tanzanian tigerfish. They are sexy, strong fish and no freshwater fish hits a fly harder. I also have a proper obsession with triggerfish. They are some of the most interesting and fun fish to chase on the flats. They can also be real assholes.
The South African Perspective
Johann du Preez
The South African Perspective
Johann du Preez
The South African Perspective And what is your favourite place to fish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and why? The Nubian flats in Sudan is right up there as one of the coolest locations I have fished and guided. It is a stunning place; I have never seen such a harsh contrast between desert landscape and marine paradise. There are loads of cool fish that eat flies. It is also one of the harshest places when it comes to tackle, we explode a couple of fly lines, rods and reels every week, that is always fun! If people want to buy one of your illustrations - or order one - where can they go? The easiest way to get hold of me is through: Instagram: @johann_dupree Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am on location most of the time, so just be patient I will get back to you.
By IN THE LOOP MEDIA
Laxa in Laxardalur is, perhaps, one of the most overlooked brown trout rivers in Iceland. It is, however, undoubtedly one of the best! This film was shot during 2,5 days of fishing on the river in early June 2019 - a hectic few days that provided spectacular fishing for brown trout averaging an impressive 60,5cm. For more information, please refer to: www.icelandangling.com
CAPT. SHANE SMITH
They just keep coming...
The awards, that is. IFTD Best of Show Overall, IFTD Best Saltwater Fly Rod, Gray’s Best, Field & Stream Best of the Best, American Angler Gear of the Year, Yellowstone Angler 8-weight Shootout, Fly Fisherman Best Saltwater Fly Rod, Fly Rod & Reel Kudos Award, and so many more… Thank you all, we’re honored to receive the recognition.
Scott Fly Rod Company
2 3 5 5 A i r Pa r k Wa y, M o n t r o s e , C o l o r a d o 8 1 4 0 1
A L L L O V E TA K E S W O R K .
SACRIFICE AND COMPROMISE.
TIME SPENT MASTERING THE MOODS AND TEMPERAMENTS, THE EBBS AND FLOWS. M A K I N G R O O M F O R T H E M O M E N T S T H AT C O U N T, W I T H T H E P E O P L E W H O M AT T E R .
B E C A U S E T H I S I S W H AT M AT T E R S .
W E T D O G S I N T H E B A C K S E AT, Y O U R T U R N AT T H E W I N C H , A N D T H E R E W A R D S O F C O M I N G I N L A S T O F F T H E W AT E R .
YOU GET ONE LIFE.
FISH IT WELL.
The door to Dream Waters
Pictures by Turneffe Island Resort, Martin Ejler Olsen & Rasmus Ovesen
Belize offers some of the most spectacular tropical fishing imaginable with great numbers of resident tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook, and barracuda. The mainland is mostly known for its tarpon and snook fishing, but out to sea Turneffe Island Flats – a big coral and mangrove atoll complex – provides the adventurous saltwater fly fisherman with some of the best fishing there is to be had. Turneffe Island Resort is a luxury lodge situated on its own little idyllic island in the Southern part of Turneffe Islands – and it is a great point of departure in terms of fly fishing the whole Turneffe Island area. The resort houses around 30 guests who overnight in beachside apartments and cabanas.
Aside from the housing facilities, the lodge consists of a main building with a cosy dining hall, an outdoor pool area with its own terrace and bar as well as a marina. About two-thirds of the visitors on the island are there to dive and snorkel on some of the exceptionally beautiful and fascinating diving sites in the area. The rest are typically there to fish, and they are in good hands. A total of eight passionate and highly professional guides work at the resort, and they know every single flat, every mangrove tidal current, and every reef in the overwhelmingly big and geographically chaotic island-complex as if it was the back of their laborious hands.
Typically, you’ll leave for the flats at eight o’clock in the morning - right after breakfast. And then you’ll fish until five o’clock in the afternoon - both wading and from the cool and practical boats. This means that you have about nine hours of flatsand open water fishing every day, and this is more than enough to try out different spots and different fish. , is one of the best The Belizian kitchen rneffe Island Resort Tu . and the kitchen at food here is amazing e is no exeption. Th
Between them, they have in the vicinity of 200years of experience guiding, and most of them are born and raised on Turneffe Islands, which has given them an enormously shrewd understanding and appreciation of the whole eco system.
The season stretches across the whole year, since permit, bonefish, and barracuda can be found on and near the flats year around. But if you want to go full-hearted for a grand slam, or if you are a sucker for tarpon, the period from mid-May until the end of September is the optimal time to visit the lodge. The average size of the fish is impressive, and every year 200lb + fish are caught.
For more info, check out www.turnefferesort.com. Here you can find up-to-date prices for housing and guiding and book your own trip.
STIMULATOR By BARRY ORD CLARKE
“Something that causes and encourages a given response”. The original pattern is from the American fly tyer Randall Kaufmann and is probably one of the most popular flies in North America. Originally tied to imitates the adult giant stonefly, but will fish just as well as a hopper or caddis fly.
This well dressed pattern is for fishing rough fast flowing water, where it can be seen easily at distance and it floats like a cork. Stimulators are versatile, and although look difficult, are relatively easy to tie, again, it’s all about proportions! By varying the size and colour, you can imitate most adult stoneflies. The Stimulator can also be tied with rubber legs, like Madam X. This is a great attractor pattern that will bring fish up to the top, when most other
patterns fail! When fishing use the same presentation as a caddis fly, streaking the stimulator over the water’s surface, especially in windy areas. Stimulators float well in rough water, but on calmer drifts, I find it fishes better if you trim the hackle on the underside so that it floats a little lower in the water, and strip it hard with short pauses through the surface over possible fish lies.
MATERIALS: Hook: Mustad C53.SNP BR curved nymph # 6 -12 Thread: Dyneema Tail: Elk hair Body: Golden yellow Antron floss Body Hackle (Golden Badger or Furnace) Wing: Elk hair and crystal hair fibers Dubbing Thorax: Golden Stone Hackle: Grizzle
LOS ROQUES |
BESPOKE HOSTED TRIPS & SYNDICATE WEEKS FO
OR REAL ANGLERS | INFO: ALEX@FFNMEDIA.COM
Polly,Want a cracker? On my recent trip to Oman, I discovered a new species that has become one of my favourites, and now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hooked and can only think about getting down there again to chase these colourful and curious creatures with a fly.
By: GORDON P. HENRIKSEN
“A FEW TWITCHES AND THE PARROT ACTUALLY TURNS TO FOLLOW“ There they are. Three of them. Easy to spot in their bright green, orange, and blue colours like little tanks covered in bright graffiti street art, lighting up this amazing, rocky Omani coastline and screaming at me to come catch them. They are certainly not hard to spot hovering above the tan coloured rocks and corals, but they are constantly moving around, and every so often a big wave crashes in, and I lose sight of them for a few seconds. Getting a good cast in and presenting the fly to big fish that constantly change direction is a challenge. Sometimes, when I do get a decent cast, they are spooked by the “plop” and take off, or even more often there is simply no interest in my fly. Trust me, I have had my share of failures. And these three are no different. Extremely frustrating! The phrase: ”Polly, want a cracker?” keeps coming to my mind as I try to
feed this fish a stupid hook with some feather, rubber, and plastic on it… I switch to a different fly: A crab with small bright-orange legs and walk another 500 meters down the shoreline in search for new bright targets through my polaroid lenses. There he is! A lone cruiser close to the shore, feeding on some small crustaceans in the break. I get in a good position for the wind and take a cast almost diagonal with the beach so as to not spook him. Perfect! A few twitches and the parrot actually turns to follow the crab for a couple of meters, and just as I am about to run out of space and pull the fly up on the shore he casually picks it up. I feel a small tug and go for the strip strike. I feel almost no resistance, and I am still far from setting the hook in the parrot’s hard beak of a mouth. The fish jets off in a scurry towards deeper water. Dammit!
Why aren’t there parrotfish on all the covers of the fly fishing magazines? Why is everyone talking about the challenge of catching permit and not these parrots? Why do the fly line manufacturers make GT-, permit-, and redfish lines – but no parrot lines? Why do fly shops sell selections of permit flies but no parrot flies? It all baffles me! I, for one, have certainly found a new species that I can’t recommend enough to anyone who loves sight fishing in shallow and clear water. This fish has everything you can ask for if you are a fly fisherman up for a challenge – and a whole lot more. It’s all about ”The Game” - about the chase. And the fact that parrot fishing is such a challenge is exactly what makes the feeling so sweet, when I finally sit there in the waves with my fly rod and pose with my first parrot on the fly. There it is in its bright blue and pink colours. A heavy, bulky, and extremely funky fish – unlike anything I have ever caught before. As I release the fish, high-five our guide Henk, who has filmed it all, and hug my fishing buddy Jakob, a feeling overwhelms me. You know - that very special feeling that only we fishermen understand. That feeling when we catch a fish of our dreams, reach a goal, and when endorphins somehow just melt inside our brains to produce a sensation of joy unlike anything else.
Unexpectedly, a parrotfish was the perfect outlet for this high. The combination of an extremely visual hunt along with plenty of challenges and frustrations makes this success so incredible sweet, and I, simply, cannot recommend fly fishing for parrot enough! I am definitely no expert on fly fishing for parrotfish. –I have caught more than one - but less than three... Nevertheless, I will try to give you a quick breakdown of the practicalities of fly fishing for parrotfish. The challenge is definitely not to spot them! They light up on the rocks and reefs in their bright green, pink, and turquoise colours - crazy funky creatures! They are fish that have evolved with a mouth like a parrot’s beak – evidently perfected for eating algae, molluscs, limpets, and other crustaceans off the rocks, and sometimes even coral. Maybe you could tie up a fly that looked like a barnacle and pin it down on a rock and wait for a par-
rot to come by. But better yet – you actually have a shot at chasing them down and seeing if you can entice them with a shrimp or a crab – for who says ‘no’ to a tasty snack? Well, actually, a parrot does… They are not aggressive and not used to chasing their food, since they mainly live on algae and crustaceans, but they will take the occasional crab that swims by. In terms of gear, a 9-weight is about right. Expect to be putting lots of pressure on the fish to steer them around rocky reef edges. They will not directly try to break you off on the reef, but they will take some good runs and make turns and generally make the fight a challenge, depending on the number of obstacles in the area… A floating fly line will do the trick in most circumstances, but an intermediate line can provide an advantage when casting in the swells to get a more direct contact through the waves. In terms of leaders, I would go about 20 lbs. with a 30 lbs. bite tippet.
“ FLIES LIKE ALPHONSE CRAB OR FLEXO CRAB SEEM TO BE GOOD CHOICES “ Their mouth – or should I say ”beak” – is one hard sucker, so a thicker bite tippet and pliers to get the hook out are a must. Polarized sunglasses and a billed cap are, off course, a must for any type of sight fishing, but two other things you will want is a stripping basket and a pair of shoes that will work well when you jump around on the rocky reef chasing the fish down. I love my Crocs, which double as sandals when I am on dry land. A stripping basket is a must, since you will be fishing in waves and swells, and there will be lots of rocky areas for your line to get tangled up in. Danish angler, Kristian Thomassen, has developed a very sturdy self-draining stripping basket called ”Baskette” made for Scandinavian coastal fishing, and it does the job perfectly for parrots. With the above-mentioned gear, you are ready to jump into the waves and chase the parrots!
In terms of fly choice, I would lean against what works for permit. Crab flies like Alphonse Crab or Flexo Crab seem to be good choices. I caught one of my parrots on an ultra-realistic shrimp pattern called Kern Lund Shrimp, and I am sure there is room for experimenting with mollusc and snail patterns – however, crabs and shrimp do seem to be seen swimming more often… In terms of presentation, the main goal is to get the fly right in front of the fish. Sometimes they are on the move, and often they have their heads down and frequently change direction. A few slow strips seem to get their attention, and we had many initially turn on the fly only to lose interest later. However, this is what makes the fishing so intriguing. Figuring out the best fly and the best presentation is what keeps me wanting to come back for more, again and again!
And when you finally do get a parrot to eat your fly, the hook-set will often be a miss. Their big beaks are hard and impossible to get the hook into, so you hope to get it set in one of the soft parts inside their mouth. Once you are hooked up, your next hope is that it will decide to take a run out into deeper water and be ready to follow holding your rod as high as possible, so the fly line doesn’t get caught on rocks and reefs. We used the breaking waves to pull the fish in closer, and the moment your buddy throws his arms around your first parrot and secures it, is most definitely a moment to remember. Yeah, we are simple people that get excited over catching difficult fish in clear water – and the more times we fail the more excited we get when we finally succeed. Parrots are perfect for this kind of experience. Going to Oman? Oman is definitely a spectacular place to visit. It is rated among the top 5 safest countries to travel in in the world, and - more importantly - the landscape is absolutely breathtaking.
Fishing over sand, coral, and rocky reefs with huge cliffs as a background makes for unique and fascinating sceneries. On our trip to Oman we fished with ”No Boundaries Oman”. This is an awesome group of guys who primarily fish for monster GT on spinning tackle but have lots of knowledge of the area and are offering clients more and more in terms of light tackle and fly fishing. The beaches and areas they can take you to are not only breathtakingly gorgeous, but have hardly seen any fishermen at all. No Boundaries have a nice little lodge set up in the tranquil town of Shumayiyah, a couple of hours drive north of Salalah, and from here they run three top-equipped fishing rigs that they can run up and down the coast or take out to the secluded Hallaniyat Islands. While you are there you should not only focus on the indo-permit and parrots, but make sure also to toss some poppers around for the monster queenfish and bream that inhabit their waters. www.noboundariesoman.com
ACT FILES// Camel kebab If you do go to Oman you will see camels all around for sure. They are all over, and in Salalah you must go to one of the joints that serve camel kebab. The meat is tasty and full of flavour, somewhat similar to lamb â&#x20AC;&#x201C; perfect for a shawarma or kebab. Do it! God save the queenie! Oman has so much more to offer than just the parrots. We caught over twenty species on the fly the week we were there, and the variety of fishing there is insane. When tossing a popper, you have no idea whether a GT, spangled emperor, bream or queenfish will strike, and seeing a big queenie (or three) chasing you popper down and smacking it in a big turn and putting you into the backing seconds later is an insane feeling worth doing again and again â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which we did!
# Plastic in the Basket An Interview with Environmentalist, Nikolaj Korsholm It’s basically nothing more than a hashtag, but #Plasticinthebasket has transformed from a simple idea and concept, spawned in the mind of a young Danish fly fisherman, into a movement – an international campaign, that helps clean up beaches across Europe. We’ve sat down with Nikolaj Korsholm, the vigilant man behind Plastic in the Basket, about his concept and how it all started. It’s wonderful to meet someone, who has used his wit and passion for the environment to come up with something so brilliantly simple – yet so potent and powerful.
Photos by MARTIN EJLER OLSEN and NIKOLAJ KORSHOLM
For those who aren’t yet familiar with Plastic in the Basket, can you tell a little bit about what it is? #Plasticinthebasket is a very simple initiative and philosophy that encourages fly fishers to collect plastic waste when returning from their fishing trip along the shoreline. Being a Scandinavian coastal fly fisher, I carry a line basket to collect stripping line when fishing. This basket is perfect for collecting plastic. Sadly, it is easy to fill up the basket, but every little bit helps, it’s a fun thing to do and we encourage people to share photos of their baskets full of plastic to inspire other anglers to follow their example.
How and why did come up with the idea? Well, it started around 3 years ago on the Island of Bornholm. Every year, a bunch of fly fishers meet up
for a fly fishing session, #Bornholmsession, to fish for coastal seatrout. It’s as week full of arduous fishing, great food, wacky competitions, and loads of memorable moments. One day, we were coming back from a random fishing spot and found loads of plastic along the coastline. Our initial thought was that someone should do something about the problem, but we soon realized that we were “someone”. It might as well be us instead of someone else. We had our line baskets strapped onto our hips, so we came up with the idea of collecting plastic in these baskets. It took only a few seconds to fill them up. A few basket-fulls of plastic were now gone from the coast, but unimaginable loads of plastic were still lying along the coasts of Bornholm. As many before us, we turned to social media for help. We created #Plasticinthebasket, hoping that our fellow anglers on Bornholm would help collect plastic. I posted it on my Facebook and Instagram page and when we came back to the house, people were already talking about the hashtag.
How severe is the plastic problem in Denmark, where you live – and the surrounding Baltic area? It is very hard to say how severe the problem is. I only see the physical evidence of plastic scattered along the coastline, when I am out fishing. When my eyes opened to this problem, and I started collecting plastic, I have never returned from fishing without being able to collect a full basket. No matter where I go, there is always plastic around, which has been carried by the sea to our coastlines. I fish around Zealand and the islands in the southern Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is surrounded by Eastern European and the Nordic countries. These have rivers that stretch deep into the mainland. Research has established that many of these rivers carry the plastic waste that we end up finding along the Danish coastline.
What has the response been like – and do you see satisfying progress? Man, people are amazing at sharing this story and we are overwhelmed by all the positive feedback we get from anglers all over the world. We couldn’t have hoped for all of this love getting sent our way, but it’s an important driver for us. People are frequently sending photos of their full baskets, or if they do not fly fish, they send pictures of a net full of plastic waste. We are sharing as many of these pictures as possible on our Instagram page to keep encouraging people.
Do you think you’re starting to make a difference for the coastal environment? I believe that one basket of plastic less in nature makes difference. Everything else I am doing, is just talking about it.
One angler is not enough to clean up the coastlines, but if we unite all the baskets, we can make a difference. Act locally but think globally: That’s why sharing is so important. Some organizations are selling recycled wristbands, recycled bottles, or recycled bags to keep their organization going. It is great that so many people are supporting organizations and that, in return, they will help remove plastic from the ocean. (I know one organization, where you can buy an item and, in return, they will remove 1 kg of plastic in the ocean). It’s an admirable idea and one that I’ve supported myself, but I think about it this way: If you go out and collect a basket, you will easily and effortlessly remove 1 kg of plastic yourself. If you share a photo of your “plastic waste catch” on your social media account and 10 of your friends follow your example, you have helped remove 10 kgs of plastic. If their friends do the same, you will have helped remove 100 kg of plastic and so on. Today, #plasticinthebasket has been used over 1.000 times, which probably equals over 1 ton of plastic being re-
moved from the coastline. I would like to believe that is making a difference.
What are the plans for the future? Any new initiatives that people should be aware of? Our plan is to keep inspiring people through pictures, videos, and talks. We are not an organization as such, but we want to become more organized, so more anglers across Europe will start picking up plastic when out fishing. We are easy to get in touch with via our Instagram page, so if you want be part of this movement, please send us a message, and we can share the initiative together.
Lastly, do you have any advice for fellow environmentally-engaged fly fishermen across Europe and the world? Remember to talk about being responsible in nature.
Our dream with #plasticinthebasket is that plastic removal during fishing trips will be just as natural as breathing. It is important to teach this to our fellow anglers and our kids and keep talking about it until talking about it is no longer needed. You can do even more by being aware of what you buy. Reduce your use of plastic and do not buy single-use-plastic. Plastic is a great material, because it is light and extremely durable, but make sure that it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end up in nature, and reuse as many times as you can. When it is time to dispose plastic recycle as much as you can. It all starts with you. Check out Nikolajs video below and start putting that #PlasticInTheBasket
IN #Plastic INThe BaSKET
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ecosystems across the globe and thei precious fish stocks. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
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plastic change NASF
North Atlantic Salmon Fund
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