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ISSUE #7 | Q3 2019

ICELAND THE BREIDDALSA & JOKLA RIVERS

BELIZE FLYFISHERMEN’S HOLY GRAIL

FRANCE

MULTI-SPECIES TRIP

TANZANIA JUNGLE TIGERS

DJIBOUTI FISHING IN THE GULF OF ADEN

+ N EW TACK LE, LAT ES T I GFA R E C O R D S , F I S HI N G AR T AN D MOR E . . .


CONTENTS

ISSUE #7 Q3 2019

6 Editorial

60 What’s new

8 IGFA

64 Djibouti

12 France

78 Iceland

Being truthful

Latest records and news

The Léguer river’s salmon

A selection of the latest tackle

The Gulf of Aden

The Jokla and Breiddalsa

26 Tanzania

108 Belize

44 France

128 Fishing art

Tanzanian jungle tigers

French seabass on the fly

Flyfishermen’s holy grail

Tyler Hackett


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64 108

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WHERE ARE WE TAKI

ICELAND

BELIZE

FRANCE


ING YOU THIS TIME ?

TANZANIA

DJIBOUTI


EDITORIAL Dylan Smith Editor in Chief

Being truthful Part of our editorial angle is to always be truthful, no matter what. We will never lie in our publication. Writing an article on a trip on which you didn’t catch any fish isn’t easy, but we prefer not falling into the trap of sensationalism. In fact, writing such an article makes you realize that fishing isn’t just about catching fish. So if from time to time you happen to read an article with no fish caught, please don’t blame us. We sometimes get skunked just like anybody else !

Dylan Smith

COVER SHOT: A Lutjan snapper from the article on Djibouti article p.64


SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES T H E

W O R L D ' S

B E S T

F I S H I N G

D E S T I N A T I O N S

Editor in chief Dylan SMITH

Contributors Charlotte Chilcott Matthieu Moos Rudy Van Duijnhoven

Special thanks Iskander Mermet IGFA Strengir Enjoy Fishing Kilian Lebreton Aardvark Mcleod Aden Fishing Sportfishing Adventures magazine, published quarterly, is independently owned and operated by DMS Editions. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without prior permission. For inquiries, contact the editor: editor@sportfishing-adventures.com


IGFA NEW RECORDS

IGFA

NEW RECORDS Newman’s Smallmouth Buffalo Washington angler, Darryl “Rockfish” Roberts, achieved his first IGFA World Record by setting the new AllTackle record for redbanded rockfish. This 7.74-kilogram (17-pound 1-ounce) fish smashed the previous record of 4.44-kilograms and was caught while jigging in La Push, Washington.

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Hornhardt’s Great Barracuda Junior angler Chloe Hornhardt set the new women’s 3 kg (6 lb) Line Class record with this 16.42-kilogram (36-pound, 4-ounce) great barracuda. She was fishing in Kendrew Island, Australia, when the fish struck her trolled lure. At just 13-years-old, this is Chloe’s 14th IGFA World Record.


NEW RECORDS IGFA

Valkamaa’s Zander Tomi Valkamaa has set the new Zander All-Tackle Length record with this impressive 78-centimeter fish. He caught the record fish in Saltvik, Finland after enticing a bite on a curly jig. This is Tomi’s fourth IGFA World Record for zander.

Gallant’s Atlantic Snook On April 6th, 2019, Regina Gallant finally caught a record fish she had been chasing for quite some time. Regina set the new women’s 3 kg (6 lb) Line Class record with this stunning 12.25-kilogram (27-pound) Atlantic snook. She landed the fish after a twenty-minute battle in Indian River Lagoon, Florida, and earned her first IGFA World Record. Gallant’s catch beats the existing record that’s been on the books for 24 years by four pounds.

Ng’s Ladyfish IGFA representative Kelvin Ng set the new men’s 8 kg (16 lb) Tippet record with this 5.56-kilogram (12-pound, 4-ounce) ladyfish. Kelvin was fly fishing in Langkawai, Malaysia, and gave the beautiful fish a ten-minute fight before landing and releasing it.

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IGFA NEW RECORDS

IGFA LATEST NEWS

The Striped Bass Roadtrip Playbook Mutilated Fish Captain Fly Navarro of Fly Fishing Zone and IGFA Marketing Director Jack Vitek explain IGFA rules regarding mutilated fish.

Watch video

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The striped bass roadtrip playbook by Nick Honachefsky.

Read article


NEW RECORDS IGFA

IGFA Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund To Support Bahamas Angling Community Read article

Lifetime Membership Offer For a limited time, new Lifetime Members will receive a great package of goods, such as a choice between two Shimano reels, two IGFA 80th Anniversary Yeti Ramblers, IGFA/Pelagic gear hat, and a Dr. Guy Harvey signed and personalized lithograph.

More info

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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THE LEGUER RIVER’S SALMON Photos by Dylan Smith & Kilian Lebreton

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A peaceful pool on the Léguer, near an old mill.

ew people know that it’s still possible to catch salmon in Brittany. Indeed, some rivers like the Léguer offer an exciting playground for lovers of this fish. Even if it’s not as abundant as before, it’s still possible to capture a beautiful springer or a grilse. The average annual catch reported between 1987 and 2014 is 39 spring salmon and 50 grilses. This small granite-bed river in Côtes-d’Armor has a more favorable context than the neighboring rivers for sal14

mon, with a more preserved valley and less agricultural pollution. All the pastures and breeding grounds around the Leguer are obliged by law to be naturally organic. During our stay, we were amazed by the amount of insects and birds at the water’s edge. Organic, bio-crops not only improve the quality of water for salmon, they also do a great job for the local flora and fauna. It’s a beautiful 58km tea-colored river, winding between fields, forests, and villages with someSPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

It’s a beautiful 58km tea-colored river, winding between fields, forests, and villages.


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The Léguer river flows through ever-changing scenery of forest and pastures. All crops grown around the river are organic, which guarantees excellent water quality.

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times huge blocks of granite in the water, which form excellent salmon stations. The brown trout are also present in number. We saw hundreds of surface gulps during our hunt for salmon, which make you want to return with a 5 weight and dry flies! We had the pleasure of fishing the Léguer with Kilian Lebreton, a local guide who knows perfectly the numerous rivers of the region. In addition to being a certified guide, Kilian is extremely ac-

tive in the management and maintenance of this beautiful river. With him it’s possible to fish for salmon with the fly rod or the spinning rod, according to your preference. After a breakfast in our lodging in Kéranraix, a restored former mill along the banks of the Leguer, Kilian arrives to take me fishing. We embark on one of the river’s fly paths in the middle of the forest. The conditions are good, with a sufficient level of water and rain that continues

Kilian with a nice Léguer salmon on the switch rod. 18

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The brown trout are also present in number. We saw hundreds of surface gulps during our hunt for salmon.


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The Léguer’s waters are clear and have a beautiful tea color.

to fall. We fish with switch rods, floating line with different polyleaders depending on the speed of the current. Rather short, these rods are perfectly adapted to fish the Leguer. Indeed, the stream is not very wide and the banks are quite crowded, especially in the middle of the forest. The posts are never the same, and you have to know how to make quite technical casts between trees and blocks of granite stones. An excellent exercise to per-

fect one’s technique with the two-handed rod! Kilian explains the basics of this fishery and the behavior of Breton salmon, and we start to prospect. After only a few minutes, Kilian hooks a fish in a small pool but it breaks off. «Let’s hope it will not be the only one we touch» he said. We continue to venture into the forest. The rain has stopped and big mayflies make their appearance much to the delight of Breton trout. Scarabs, beetles, dragonSPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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The surubi catfish not only have amazing patterns, they also put on a great fight! 20

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A little break after having a follow-up can sometimes make a huge difference. Have a drink, pick another fly, and give it a try !

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A happy angler with a fresh Breton silver bar.

flies and other insects swarm along the Leguer at this time of the year. Without a doubt, these forests are in excellent health. After a delicious Kig Ha Farz, a typical breton stew, we return to the river to try another course located after one of the many reservoirs of mills. These remains once represented obstacles for salmon, but today fish passes are installed or, more conveniently, some stones are removed on the edge of the reservoir. This creates a «rift» in waterfalls, where salmon can rush up the river. We methodically 22

work the different spots and Kilian takes a small trout but the salmon remain difficult. The following day, we try a certain stretch of the river in the middle of the forest. The place is incredibly peaceful, the only noises we hear are those of birds, insects and water. Fishing is sometimes like hiking off the trails as you have to trudge along the river while trying to remain discreet so as not to disturb any fish. We stop near a tree which had fell right through the stream, forming an interesting vein of water. A beautiful post that seems to shelter many trout, as evidenced SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

Gearing up for the Léguer Kilian recommends using 10’6’’ or 11’8’’ switch rods. The adapted polyleaders are : 8 feet when there is a lot of water (slow, fast or super-fast depending on the water) or 5 feet intermediate when the water is low. The best fly colors for Brittany’s salmon are orange, yellow, red and black.


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by the many surface gulps we observed. Kilian starts fishing just down the tree and I start 50m down. After an unsuccessful survey, I return up the river and find Kilian making me big gestures: I have to go around the border because he just had a follow-up! I join him discreetly, but even after a little break and a change of fly, the salmon unfortunately refuse to bite. We finish up on another stretch of the river deep in the forest, with a slower current, but just as abundant in trout gulping! We methodically fish on beautiful posts with drowned trees and large blocks of granite, and end up on a pool called «cuckold pool» because it can sometimes avoid getting skunked. But, alas, once again we cannot tempt a fish on our flies.

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I don’t know if we should consider ourselves happy not to have caught any salmon in this pool! This time, the river had won. We had only two days and weren’t in the best fishing period, but we still had a great time in these lush Breton forests with Kilian, who taught us a lot. To have the best chances, we advise you to stay at least 3-4 days in April-May (the best months according to Kilian). During this period there is still enough water in the rivers and beautiful salmon runs with fish of 7-8lbs on average. The Breton silver bar is an elusive challenge and even when none are caught, it makes one realize that fishing is not just about catching fish, it’s also a moment of sharing and adventure, in respectful harmony with nature

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TRIP CONTACT To book a trip in prime time for salmon on the Léguer river in French Brittany, contact Kilian: l eb r et o n en i r l an d e @ gmail.com 00 33 6 32 85 10 97 celticfishing.com


COLOMBIA TRAVEL

Experience fishing on another planet. ellidason@strengir.is www.strengir.com

#fishonmoon #strengir


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TANZANIA

TANZANIAN JUNGLE

TIGERS Text and photos by Charlotte Chilcott & Andrew Luedke

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A beautiful specimen of Hydrocynus Tanzaniae, Tanzania’s endemic tigerfish.

orn and brought up in Africa, the appeal of fishing a remote river valley in Tanzania, for one of Africa’s most iconic freshwater species, the tigerfish, was never going to be one that I could resist. What is the draw? What makes sets Tanzania apart? Hydrocynus tanzaniae. One of five species of tigerfish and endemic to Tanzania, tigerfish in these river systems grow to significant size and the record (non-IGFA) is a 28

28 lb fish, landed in 2014 by Andrew Thomas on the Ruhudji. They have a distinctive gunmetal blue adipose fin and are, in the main, less bright than their more common cousin, Hydrocynus vittatus which has a much wider distribution throughout Africa and would be your target species fishing further south on the Okavango and on the Zambezi. Thankfully, Tanzania is one destination where the charter flight limit isn’t difficult to make. Flies take up the maSPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

Tigerfish in these river systems grow to significant size and the record (non-IGFA) is a 28 lb fish.


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jority of my allowance. Clothing can be kept to a minimum as laundry is done daily. I travel with two 9′ 9# rods for tigerfish (one Hardy Proaxis and one Hardy Zephrus) and a 9′ 5# Hardy Proaxis if conditions are right to target yellowfish. Reels are two Hardy Fortuna X2s and my elderly Hardy Demon. I have two spare Sci Angler 350 grain sinking lines, 1 spare Airflo tropical floating line (Airflo work well in the heat) and an intermediate line that I’ve never used but take just in case.

On the leader front, a full spool of 45 lb green Maxima and a couple of packets of knottable wire. Having spent the night in Dar-es-Salaam, the following morning, before the city is fully awake, you head back to the airport for your flight down to camp. Two hours later, the empty spaces give way to small patches of cultivation and tiny villages before they make way for the mountains. Beyond the mountains we caught glimpses of rivers – not yet one of ours – and finally, I saw the

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emerald green on the wetland and knew we couldn’t be far away. With one fly over to make sure the runway was clear we passed over the vehicles heading from camp to the runway before descending towards our little strip of dirt. Wheels down. Dust in the air. What I find particularly captivating about fishing here is that with two rivers to fish, the Mnyera and the Ruhudji, the team of eight splits in two and one group head off to the Ruhudji while the other

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Like all tigerfish, the Hydrocynus Tanzaniae has fierce jaws that require extra caution during handling. Knottable wire leaders are highly recommended.

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team remain on the Mnyera. I was to fish the Ruhudji first and loaded up, we set off. The drive to the Ruhudji river valley takes you through Miombo woodland, through dry riverbeds, open plains, tall grassland and riverine forest and starts with a bush style river crossing. On the way, we saw bushbuck, waterbuck, red hartebeest and several groups of warthogs and numerous species of birds. The Ruhudji is special. On my first trip I caught two 12

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lb fish one after the other, on the swing, in consecutive little riffles behind clumps of phragmites. Both came in hot and hard on a little blue and white bait fish pattern. Anywhere else in Africa, a 12 lbs fish is a fish to be justifiably proud of and it is worth hanging on to that thought because in Tanzania, fish under 10 lbs are considered small. The Ruhudji is a beautiful river. Like the Mnyera it is wide but it has more form, more structure and with the

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The Ruhudji is special. On my first trip I caught two 12 lb fish one after the other, on the swing, in consecutive little riffles behind clumps of phragmites.


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shallower water and the larger sand banks, it somehow seems lighter. The camp on the Ruhudji is a very simple one but there is something truly special about it. There is a small communal reed structure as you drive in and beyond that two Meru style safari tents with ensuite flushing loo and shower. Down on the sand bank, a long canvas tent provides cover for all your meals and beyond that, camps chairs around the fire for an evening of fish tales. Simple in the extreme, this river calls to the adventurer, no matter how deeply buried. 34

Like all freshwater game fish, tigerfish don’t like pressure changes. It doesn’t really seem to matter what the weather is doing as long as it is constant. Hot and still is favourite but consistency is key. Whilst on the Ruhudji, the pressure was constantly changing and I was getting little taps to the fly but with few serious commitments. With several fish landed, ranging from 5 lbs to 8 lbs, I was praying for more settled weather. At the tillers, our boatmen Six and Sayedi moved us around with a skill that SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019


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The Mnyera and Ruhudji rivers offer great possibilities for the adventurous angler. The Ruhudji is a bit shallower and has more structure than the Mnyera, which is bigger and deeper.

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only comes with many years on the river. You need to land your fly as close as you can to the structure as the bigger fish will be lurking within. That inevitably means that you regularly hook up to tree trunks and limbs but the trick is to get your fly moving fast as soon as it hits the water. It prevents you hooking into the immediate structure but the initial splash will have garnered interest and you need to capitalise on that with a fast moving fly. Leaving the Ruhudji, we made our way back to the Mnyera where we crossed paths once

more with the other group. The camp on the Mnyera is permanent, used by anglers for a few months every year. It is still very simple and is comfortable enough but most importantly, it is the gateway to another phenomenal river system. A wide river, the Mnyera lacks the form of the Ruhudji and to me “feels” bigger and darker. The trees are more imposing, the structure in the river seems bigger. Birdlife on both rivers is incredible but seems more prolific on the Mnyera. We had the most incredible luck seeing

Tying a beautiful fly that will be wrecked on the next day ! 38

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Pel’s Fishing Owl, three times in two days. Another avian treat were the Palmnut Vultures that are a rarity elsewhere. Weaver bird nests line the riverbanks and the cry of the African Fish Eagle is the sound of “home”. As you move between pools and seam lines, you have constant aerial activity around you while storks and egrets stalk the shallow water for baitfish. By now, the pressure had settled and on the second afternoon, my flies were obviously tempting, my hooks were sharp and the fishing


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You better watch your fingers with these aquatic demons !

gods smiling on me. In what seemed like quick succession I had landed a 9 lb and a 10 lb fish and then a few hours later, I landed a 12 lb and 14 lb fish in quick succession – all of them on “Stu’s Blue”, a simple blue and white baitfish pattern. Happy to sit down

and leave the rest of the day to my boat partner, I flicked my fly towards the bank for one last half-hearted cast and BOOM. A 15 lb fish nailed that rather beaten up fly. It was an afternoon I will remember for a very long time. What was interesting was that SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

the three fish had all spawned so add 2lbs – 4lbs per fish and they were edging up towards that magic trophy number. Looking back, the frustration of those tough days early day on the Ruhudji was quickly forgotten. I didn’t get as many 39


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Uniquely among the African tiger fish, the Tanzanian tigerfish has a blue adipose fin, while other species have a black one.

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hits as my boat partner, Ronnie, but I was happy with my conversion rate. I stick them hard, keep the line tight and don’t let them run. You don’t play a Tanzanian tigerfish on the reel, in fact there’s no ‘playing’ at all – you have to bring them in hard. Everyone has their own technique and mine works for me. I’m right handed and between strips, clamp down hard on the line with my first two fingers and release pressure only slightly as I strip line in. That way the line is tight as I bring my hand back up to strip again. If I get a hit then, I can set

with the rod as my left hand comes back up the fly line. Keep the rod low, be ready for the jump and keep the tension on. The take is hard and the fight brutal but rewarding. With reasonable clarity, conditions were perfect for a popper. Watching a popper that isn’t popping, but disturbing, the water is mesmerising. Watching the blunt nose of the fly pushing water ahead of it, listening to the sound of line running through fingers. Pick up, cast again and repeat.

Watch, listen. Pick up, cast again. Watch the water moving, listen to the line. When the explosion comes you are rocked out of your somnambulant state by the sheer power of the fish hitting the fly. A beautiful 15 lb fish rounded off my week and looking back, any week that sees tigerfish of 8 lb, 9 lb, 10 lb, 11 lb, 12 lb, 14 lb, 15 lb, 18 lb and a magical 20 lb fish landed is truly extraordinary. It is a truly unique experience, a stunning destination with the ultimate quarry and I can’t wait to go back

TRIP CONTACT Aardvark McLeod specialise in fly fishing holidays worldwide, in both freshwater and saltwater. Closer to home, they offer day tickets, guiding and multi-day trips.For more information you can contact them: Email: mail@aardvarkmcleod.com Tel: +44 (0) 1980 847389 aardvarkmcleod.com

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m +27 82 748 7290 [GMT+02:00] t +248 422 9700 [GMT+04:00] e reservations@alphonsefishingco.com w www.alphonsefishingco.com PHOTOS: TALWEG CREATIVE & ALPHONSE FISHING CO.


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FRENCH SEABASS ON THE FLY Photos by Jean Baptiste Vidal & Dylan Smith

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A decent sea bass caught by our guide Jean Baptiste.

here is one behind your fly, strip faster! says Jean Baptiste. Indeed a black shadow is out of the border and am my fly at full speed. Suddenly, between two strips, the fish engulfs my fly, fish on! After a few minutes of fighting, we admire a superb Breton sea bass with a dark back. A quick photo shoot, and the fish is released. This was the first fish with Frenchmen Jean Baptiste Vidal. A fly fishing guide since 2005, Jean-Baptiste has 46

guided for large foreign companies like Nervous Waters, Untamed Angling, Frontiers and Ponoi River Company. Based in Brittany in the Finistère department, he was able to guide in Argentina, Russia, Bolivia and Iceland among others. Since 2014, he works as a guide in Brittany as he builds up his family having now a daughter of 3 years old. He guides for salmon, shad and trout and since 2018 for pike and sea bass. It is on this last fish that we will concentrate our efforts for three days. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019


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The common sea bass (dicentrarchus labrax) is a superb sportfish of the family of the moronids that lives in the coastal waters of the North-East Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. This fish has a longevity that can exceed 25 years for a weight greater than 10 kg. However, individuals over 5 kg are now rarer than before. Jean Baptiste proposes to fish them by boat or on foot in an estuary for sight fishing, from mid-April to the end of November.

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We begin by fishing on a river estuary by boat. The Carolina Skiff used by Jean Baptiste is perfectly adapted to fly fishing: a flat bottom to navigate in shallow water, two platforms for fishermen, thermal and electric engines and a state-of-the-art fish-finder. Top-level equipment to make beautiful drifts and prospecting properly with his fly! Only a few minutes after putting the boat in the water, we start to get to work. The

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Jean-Baptiste opens the hostilities with a nice little sea bass and we continue our drift along the rocks.


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Jean Baptiste’s fly patterns are very effective and cast like a charm.

patterns we use are all handtied by Jean-Baptiste during the winter months. They are beautiful tapered streamers with light colors that launch quite well. They must be placed near the rocky edges battered by the current and tufts of algae. The sea bass are active and we record a lot of curious follows. Jean-Baptiste opens the hostilities with a nice little sea bass and we continue our drift along the rocks. Some fish come out of nowhere in 5 meters of depth SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

and grab your fly at the boat, a feast for the eyes! The small specimens are often in small groups, so you have to know how to profit from a hooked fish to hook another! The large specimens are solitary and much more suspicious ... It’s very dynamic fishing, and imperative to know how to bring back a fly very quickly. As Jean-Baptiste told me «do not hesitate to really strip like a moron!» The mastery of the backhand 49


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Seabass love to hang where the tide’s current hits big rocks. The numerous oyster beds also create excellent structures to fish around.

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cast is also essential in order to cast during windy days. The next day, we try a different South Brittany estuary, slightly different than the one we had fished the day before. We start by exploring the many oyster beds. Oyster traps are usually located in bays sheltered from bad weather, so the water is often relatively calm and therefore clear. The sea bass then hunt in shallow water, looking for mullet, crabs and other prey that have come to shelter or feed near these structures. A floating fly line is then ideal to avoid getting hung, but having an intermediate line can be useful. Jean-Baptiste

sometimes uses gurglers on these spots, which give spectacular attacks, even with small specimens. We caught some medium sized fish, then went to the coast to make a long drift of more than one kilometer. We methodically explore each corner, each clump of algae, but the activity seems to be declining, not a follow-up during the drift! Just before seeking shelter from the wind in the harbor of Port Manec’h, we try some casts near the house of the SNSM building (National Society of Rescuers at Sea). While he was talking about a

Yellow pollack on the fly ! 52

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In the process, he will also take a small ... yellow pollack ! A first for Jean-Baptiste with the fly rod‌


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End of the fight for this sea bass. It is such a beautiful sight watching them engulf your crab imitation a few feet from you.

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The golden gray mullet are tougher than you’d think. This specimen sure had stamina !

sea bass, Jean-Baptiste takes a good hit! After a nice fight, the fish is in the net. It’s a beautiful specimen with a dark back, just like the tint of the algae from which it came. Jean Baptiste explains to me that the sea bass often mimic the color of their hunting grounds. Some have light gray backs, others have almost black backs! In the process, he will also take a small ... yellow pollack! A 56

first for Jean-Baptiste with the fly rod… For the last day, we went fishing for sea bass on foot. En route in the car, Jean-Baptiste explains how much this fishing is like hunting: you have to be discreet, have the right timing, and sometimes stay posted for a long time on the same spot, waiting to see a sea bass glide by and be able to put your fly under its nose. The places we fish are small creeks of briny water SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

that are full of life at certain times of the tide: sea bass, salmon, mullet, shrimps and crabs, they are all there! Jean-Baptiste parks the car and we take a small path. He warns me that we’ll walk a lot today and that I shouldn’t take too many photos of each spot. Indeed, finding these areas took a lot of time, and he wants to preserve these places for his customers. He even refuses to guide people


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living in Brittany! We fish with imitations of crabs tied by Jean-Baptiste, on #8 floating lines. Green crabs are, according to him, the favorite of big sea bass. The beautiful specimens are lazy and willingly take a small imitation properly presented. You have to stay on strategic points and wait for a sea bass to come and inspect the shore edges for shrimp or crabs. Some fish don’t hesitate to feed just at the water’s edge, right in front of you! It is then necessary to cast as discreetly as possible, without making too many false casts so as not to scare the fish. On the advice of Jean-Baptiste, I positioned near a big rock against which the current runs strongly and wait for the passage of a fish, while he goes 50 meters further to another spot. The mullet are

Jean Baptiste also guides for salmon and shad in French Brittany. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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Jean Baptiste with an impressive sea bass caught while sightfishing on foot.

in turmoil, some are so big that they’re sometimes confused with a big sea bass. Suddenly, I hear Jean-Baptiste calling me: there is a fish of almost 3kg in front of him. I watch him put his fly ... Too far, the fish didn’t even notice the imitation crab! Jean-Baptiste bites his fingers. 20cm closer and it was in the bag! He then tries a few blind streamer shots at the spot I was watching, and takes an angry juvenile sea bass. We change locations again and navigate large rocks that overlook a sort of «flats» in Brittany, with large tufts of seaweed and rocks, where sea bass come to feed. It will be even more important to be 58

discreet to avoid spooking the fish. We wait, each of us at his post, but no sign of fish. We were going to change places, when two sea bass appeared in front of us below. In the heat of the moment, I pitifully placed my fly, but that didn’t seem to bother the two fish that were rushing on it. One of them sucks my fly: «Hook it! Jean-Baptiste told me. The fish is on and runs at full speed in shallow water, what an incredible sensation. No doubts they love these imitation flies! We admire this fish for a few photos, take the fly from the corner of its mouth and release it on the flats of Brittany. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019


FRANCE TRAVEL

Finally, we attempt to take a mullet on fly in some of the surrounding shallow mud creeks. It is not entirely clear what these fish feed on primarily, but Jean-Baptiste uses small nymphs that look like a small invertebrate. The mullet schools are easily identifiable but difficult to approach because you must walk through 50cm of mud…Waders and good physical conditions are obligatory! We have to hurry because due to the changing tide so the fish will be harder to find. We then put the fly on the trajectory of a school of mullet and we give a light twitch when the fish are on it. After a few minutes, I hook one! I had never taken a mullet by rod and must admit that I was impressed by

the power of this fish for its size. The one I’d hooked had so much energy that we ended up thinking it was foulhooked but once landed, it was properly hooked in the mouth! A superb specimen of golden gray mullet. Jean Baptiste then hooks another, which is unfortunately lost. The tidal conditions become less and less interesting for us and it is time to return. French Brittany definitely has a lot to offer for the fly-fishing enthusiast. To have great chances of hooking the seabass of a lifetime on the fly rod, the best months are October and November. I personally can’t wait to hunt for those big boys again with Jean Baptiste’s excellent company

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

TRIP CONTACT Jean Baptiste speaks fluently English and Spanish. To book a flyfishing trip for sea bass in French Brittany, contact him here : enjoy.fishing@hotmail. fr +33 687 303 456 www.jeanbaptistevidalguidepeche.com

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TACKLE NEW GEAR

?

WHAT’S

NEW

LIVETARGET ERRATIC SHINER The Livetarget Erratic Shiner Flutter Spoon has bridged the tradition of old spoon craftsmanship with a new generation of tech-savvy production to create the first-ever anatomically precise flutter spoon. Made using Livetarget’s Injected Core Technology, the Livetarget Erratic Shiner Flutter Spoon features a lifelike inner core that mimics a small fleeing baitfish, while an exo-skin gives it an erratic wide wobbling action that brings the core to life and triggers fish to strike. The inner-core also produces a pulsating metallic flash that simply can’t be replicated by traditional style spoons to draw-in nearby fish.

$8.99 | livetarget.com

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BLUEFIN USA SOLAR SECOND SKIN This technical tee is the ideal one for a long day under the sun, swim or for any outdoor activity. Designed with a regular fit and flatlock construction, the long sleeve rashguard is made of a very soft, silky touch, microfiber -spandex blend. It wears just like a “ second skin” tee and protects against chaffing like a top quality rashguard.

$35 | bluefinusa.com


NEW GEAR TACKLE

CYBER FISHING SMART SENSOR

VMC BLADED HYBRID

Cyberfishing brings fishing rods into the modern age. A world where every cast is counted and saved; where all your catches are recorded with a single touch; and where you can build an online map of your fishing hotspots. Simply attach the light device on your rod and start mapping your catches !

Modeled after a longtime secret among pros, the VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short 1X Hook combines VMC’s razor-sharp hooks with a touch of flash that will make your baits stand out from the competition. Built upon a 7548 short shank black nickel treble hook, the VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short 1X Hook features a resin-sealed swivel and a black-nickel willow blade that adds a glimmering accent to your presentation.

$79.99 | cyberfishing.com

$6.29 | rapala.com

SHIMANO SLX DC BAITCASTING The Shimano SLX DC Baitcast Reel brings Shimano’s most advanced casting system ever into the realm of affordability. The brand’s legendary quality is unmistakable in the low-profile SLX DC, starting with its palm-friendly, all-metal Hagane® body; extremely tight and rigid, this design prevents body flex, ensuring smooth, balanced winding with exceptional cranking power. Altogether, it’s the perfect framework for the unmatched precision of Shimano’s extraordinary DC braking technology, a computerized cast control system that monitors the reel’s spool speed 1,000 times per second and automatically applies the correct brake pressure to prevent backlash and maximize casting distance.

$189.99 | fish.shimano.com

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TACKLE NEW GEAR

EFFZETT PIKE SEDUCER The casting version of the Pike Seducer is lighter and by that perfect for active fishing. The 18cm version can be casted with a normal spinning rod and even casting the 23cm Pike Seducer is no problem. This medium fast sinking lure is the right choice when you are fishing over deep weed beds or if the fish are feeding near the surface.

A good match for skinnier baits such as mackerel, mullet, sardines and herring. This is a slow sinking lure that will swim relatively quickly back and forth just under the surface. 6» - 2.65 oz - 3/0 hooks.

6.90€ | effzett-fishing.de

$23 | poombahplugs.com

GILL ROCK SOFTSHELL JACKET The Rock Softshell Jacket offers the perfect combination of thermal protection and comfort with a water repellent finish. The 2-layer stretch fabric and hi-loft thermal lining makes it lightweight and warm enough to wear all year round, as an outer layer or a layering piece. Finished with zipped handwarmer pockets and adjustable cuffs and hem for cold weather protection.

156€ | gillmarine.com

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POOMBAH GLIDER SKINNY


NEW GEAR TACKLE

YETI LOADOUT GOBOX Having your gear accessible and protected is non-negotiable for almost any pursuit – and yet typical gear cases aren’t built to stand up to the demands of the outdoors, and lack organisational capabilities. Built to be nearly indestructible, the LoadOut GoBox can endure seasons in the sun, negative temps in the field, and the daily abuse of being lugged in and out of the truck, the boat, and the blind.

299.99€ | yeti.com

MADCAT PROPELLER TEASER . The body has no less than 4 wings, making it spin frantically, even at slow speed. Ideal for triggering attacks from aggressive catfish. Recommended for use in less pressured waters or for those moments when the catfish are on a feeding frenzy. Absolutely top of the bill, state of the art clonk teasers. A-STATIC, meaning: rubber coated, to minimize the electric field that spooks catfish. Note: the coating can wear off during usage.

madcat-fishing.de

SALT LIFE TAHITI SUNGLASSES Salt Life Tahiti Brown Fade Sunglasses are made in Italy with high-quality polarized glass lenses allowing you to see images crisper and clearer. The performance designed frames are lightweight, offering extreme comfort for extended wear in the sun.

$169.99 | saltlife.com

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TRAVEL DJIBOUTI

DJIBOUTI

THE GULF OF ADEN Text and photos by Matthieu Moos

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F

The true gangster of the seas : a mean GT !

or years I’ve been searching for the giant trevally (caranx ignobilis, commonly called GT) around the world. Spots aplenty but, apart from a few, a lot of disappointment. I then decided with my friends, to try the new destination of the moment, the archipelago of 7 brothers in Djibouti, with the young but very experienced organization, Aden Fishing. The magic operates at arrival, we have just made a non-stop direct flight of a little over 6 hours. We are rested, full 66

of energy and happy to feel the sun on our skin arriving from freezing cold weather in France in this month of April. For a giant trevally destination such a short trip is highly appreciable. After a brief transfer, we arrive at our destination. Located a hundred kilometers from the capital, the Archipelago of 7 brothers is composed of 6 islands and 1 peninsula called Ras Siyan, strangely resembling a shark fin. Legend has it that a ship carrying seven brigand brothers, Siyan, Hamra, Rounda, SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

This place has practically no human activity. The Yemeni conflict further north does not help. The landscape is incredibly lunar and beautiful at the same time.


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DJIBOUTI TRAVEL VENEZUELA

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The waters of the Gulf of Aden offer a variety a species to target.

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Tolka, Adda, Horod and Komaytou, capsized here with their pirate’s booty. The brothers managed to escape on boats which themselves overturned and thus gave rise to 7 islands. This place has practically no human activity. The Yemeni conflict further north does not help. The landscape is incredibly lunar and beautiful at the same time. The volcanic rock contrasts with the turquoise blue of the sea. The lodge is located on a sandy tongue bordered on the one hand by the sea to the east and on the other by a lagoon dotted with mangroves

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to the west...Magic! Two new bungalows on stilts perfectly integrated in the landscape, a bathroom and a restaurant are at our disposal. After a brief installation, we are already on the Mad Max, a boat of 9 meters perfectly adapted to the area’s conditions which can accommodate up to 4 fishermen. All the necessary equipment is on board: a rare product for the destination. We leave the mangrove to reach the islands of 7 brothers just 15 minutes by boat from the camp. I really hope that the giant trevally will be

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

The giant trevally are the queens of the destination, the locals call them «The Porsche» because of the violence of their strikes.


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DJIBOUTI TRAVEL VENEZUELA

A Giant Trevally of this size is a real challenge on a spinning rod. Top notch tackle is the norm as these fish will wreck average gear.

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TRAVEL DJIBOUTI

Big mackerel on the popper !

present, I have prepared myself physically and mentally for 6 months! The giant trevally are the queens of the destination, the locals call them ÂŤThe PorscheÂť because of the violence of their strikes and ensuing runs! The most commonly-used technique is the popper but the stickbait, the jig and the fly all have very good results too. Giant trevally are present all year round in Djibouti with a notable decrease during the winter months (November to February). The most com74

mon species are wahoo, barracudas, red carp, sharks, tuna, dolphin, dozens of species of trevally and grouper etc... Winter is marked by the presence of another extraordinary fish, simply the fastest: sailfish. Also called the Cheetah of the Seas because of its speed or the Sea Horse by the Yemeni because of its presence. It is a real privilege to have such a combative and elegant fish at the end of the line. The technique here is to lure them with teasers and then throw a stickbait or flapper in front of their rostrum. In addition to a gratifyingly intense fight, SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

First throw, first splash and first attack. My spinning reel is literally singing.


DJIBOUTI TRAVEL

the attack of this fish is also superb. Here we are on the zone. Our guide places the boat parallel to Boeing Island and our 3 poppers are immediately sent into surface swirls. First throw, first splash and first attack. My spinning reel is literally singing. A monster, springing from a wave, has just swallowed my lure and rewards me with an hallucinatory departure. My Stella doesn’t sing anymore, it smokes. The beast hurts my back with head shots of a rare violence. I profit from a slack moment that will last only a second, as the animal slips cleverly into the current

and the goes back to stealing tens of meter of braid. I cannot take it anymore, my back and my arms are paralyzed. After 15 minutes of fighting I see a silvery reflection under the boat, 25 meters below, she finally surrenders. It is a superb giant trevally of nearly 50 KGS that I have just faced. I am impressed. It’s my first day, my first hour on the spot and I’m just realizing the incredible wildlife that resides here and the magnitude of the task that remains to be done during the week. My dream is finally realized; I have not yet finished my week but I

reserve immediately for the next year as the destination is purely magical. Many double hook-ups as well as triples will be to our credit during the days to come. Fish from 15 to 35 kg are caught in series. We attempt a stop over a wreck located at 42 meters in depth. The jigs are immediately cut during their descent ... the king mackerel abound ... We get some grouper and red carp and 2 giant barracuda estimated at more than 20 kilos each. The madness and the frenzy continue seemingly non-stop. We notice feeding splashes a bit fur-

Very big barracudas are common here, they always put on a great fight. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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ther away, we try our luck… The gannets roar in the sky and suddenly, plunge at full speed towards the surface and dive into the waves. Bonito and dolphin also contribute to the carnage. The sardine school is literally persecuted on all sides by predators. A few popper casts later, a superb attack breaks the silence. An amazing shower of gushing water causes my friend’s reel to scream in anguish... After about ten minutes, a beautiful silky shark is brought back to the boat. Estimated to be close to 2 meters, it will detach itself at the boat and regain his freedom. In total, more than 180 fish will be caught this week. My GT will remain the record but a dozen fish estimated at 40 kilos were caught. On the menu, sharks, barracuda, wahoo, red carp, several spe-

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cies of trevallies or groupers were to be captured. We also fish the lagoon. Yellow barracuda and other GT are in the game. We also see permits chasing crabs in the sand. My experience as a fly fisherman obliges me to imagine that bonefish are also in the corner ... I’ll get there next year! Finally, we find ourselves on the way back returning us inexorably to our daily gray routines. A last drink and a last meal with the team of Aden Fishing to punctuate this wonderful stay and here we are on the plane. The memories fuse in my head, I cannot help but dwell on all those good moments at the camp between friends, these Herculean fights, the smile of the local Djiboutis... In short, how can one not return to Djibouti ?

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

TRIP CONTACT To book a trip to Djibouti in prime time with Aden Fishing, contact them here: adenfishing@gmail.com 00 253 77 76 54 28 adenfishing.com


SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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TRAVEL ICELAND

ICELAND

THE JOKLA & BREIDDALSA RIVERS Text and photos by Dylan Smith & Strengir

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I

Release time for this Icelandic salmon.

n recent years, Iceland has experienced enormous tourist development. This volcanic island located between Greenland and Norway is the least populated European country, with 360,000 inhabitants for 103,000 km2! In addition to its beautiful landscapes, glaciers and geysers, it’s also a real paradise for the fly fisherman. The country is absolutely filled with streams, lakes and ponds of all kinds and sizes. Having crossed the

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island from West to East by car, I can tell you that as fisherman, we literally wanted to stop hundreds of times to admire these breathtaking fishing spots! The least visited region, Eastern Iceland, offers a wide variety of interesting fishing opportunities away from major tourist routes. This is where the Strengir organization operates, on the Jokla and Breiddalsa rivers and their tributaries. The organization is led by SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

I can tell you that as fisherman, we literally wanted to stop hundreds of times to admire these breathtaking fishing spots.


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SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL ICELAND

Strengir guide Nordine swinging his fly through a big Jokla pool with the two-hander .

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Throstur Ellidason, a true pioneer in salmon stocking. After having started on the Ranga River in 1984, and encouraged by good results, Throstur releases today thousands of smolt in several rivers in order to supplement the natural stocks. The Breiddalsa, for example, had a catch of about 100 salmon per season when the program started in 1997. It is now at about 1200 fish caught there, a great success! The released fish are from wild spawners caught in the local rivers. They are acclimatized and nourished in small ponds fed

by tributaries of the big rivers, then released so that they can descend the streams into the sea. They will spend one to four years there before returning to reproduce. They remain in the same exact river where they were born. The mortality rate of smolt at sea is extremely high compared to the rest of the country, because in this region the sea is winter extremely rough, but the fish that return are on average much bigger. The Jokla Located not far from the town

A healthy 54cm sea trout from one of the Jokla’s tributaries, the Laxa river. 84

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ICELAND TRAVEL

Strengir’s lodge on the Jokla river.

of Egilsstadir, the Jokla is a river with a special history. We can even say that it’s one of the few places in the world where a dam has been beneficial for salmon. In fact, few fish returned to this glacier river’s waters because it had the highest density of silt of any river in Iceland. The few fish that supported the conditions would spawn in the crystalline waters of the tributaries. But in 2006, the construction of a hydro-electric dam at the top of the river changed everything. From then on, it retained water resulting from the glacier SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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ICELAND TRAVEL

melt and allowed clear waters during a good part of the summer. The dam, combined with natural salmon and salmon stocking have given birth to a whole new river. It works so well that Throstur will soon stop releasing smolt in the Jokla, as salmon naturally breed naturally today in sufficient numbers. It’s indeed a sublime river with ever-changing scenery; sometimes narrow and embedded in canyons of all sizes and sometimes wider with pebble bottoms. Some places have never been fished before, and each of the guides at Strengir has his own little

«secret pool»! The river is divided into beats, themselves divided into pools, which allows for rotations of groups of fishermen. The three most interesting tributaries, the Fossa, the Kalda and the Laxa are on the lower part of the Jokla. Besides the salmon, there is also a nice population of arctic char, seatrout and brown trout. A real paradise for salmonid lovers! Strengir’s lodge is located in the countryside 5 minutes’ drive from the river. Here, a 4x4 is essential to be able to access the various pools and beats, certain routes take the form of safaris on Icelandic stones, pebbles and meadows!

Amazing scenery on the very productive Holafljud pool. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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A reliable 4x4 is essential here. Although the lodges are always very close to the rivers, accessing the differents beats cannot be done by foot or with a «regular» car.

88 SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019 A nicely marked brown trout for Markus from Glen Lough.


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Strengir guide Snaevarr scouting the Laxa’s waterfall.

Holafljud, the most productive pool on the Jokla is also one of the most beautiful. This little gem is embedded in the cliffs and the water that flows there is a beautiful hue of blue. It’s not every day that one has the chance to cast his fly in such a magnificent setting…The rods 90

most commonly used for salmon are either 9 to 9½ foot single-handed or a 12-13 foot double-handed rod, in 7, 8 or 9 weight. Accompanied by our guide Snaevarr, we have the chance to go there for a morning session. A few minutes of obSPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019


ICELAND TRAVEL

Smolt delivery in one of Strengir’s acclimatizing ponds on a Breiddalsa tributary.

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The Breiddalsa river flows through one of Iceland’s most beautiful valley, the Breiddalur.

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servation from the heights and we already see salmon splashing! We are in late June and it is still very early in the season, but the water levels are good and the very first fish have started to swim up the river. We begin by fishing the surface with hitch flies, then changed to flies that work deeper and deeper until we find where the salmon are holding. We each fish our turn for 1520 minutes, interspersed with breaks in order not to «stall» the fish. After an entire mor-

ning without any bites, we only had one turn left. Snaevarr climbed to the heights to scan the water while I was fishing. Suddenly, while I was in my thoughts in the middle of another swing, I feel something at the end of the line and see in the distance big silver flashes in the water, I’ve hooked one! Almost immediately, the fish breaks off... Snaevarr, who was able to observe the scene at the front row, is as peeved as I am! While returning to the lodge, noticing my silence, he reassures me and tells me

Strengir’s modern and comfortable lodge on the Breiddalsa. 94

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

I can tell you that as fisherman, we literally wanted to stop hundreds of times to admire these breathtaking fishing spots.


ICELAND TRAVEL

A superb sea-run arctic char from the Breiddalsa estuary. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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TRAVEL ICELAND

A single handed rod can be useful on the smaller tributaries. This Laxa sea trout couldn’t resist a Red Frances.

that it happens to all salmon fishermen regularly and it’s part of the game! The next day, Gerard and Francis, two French who came to fish with Strengir, will land a triplet of salmon in this same pool. After a delicious warm meal 96

at the lodge, we go fishing again, this time on a tributary of the Jokla river: the Laxa. Do not be fooled by its small size, this river produces each year good numbers of beautiful salmon. In fact, the day we left, two fishermen each took a salmon over 90 cm SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

in this crystal clear tributary! Once on site, I decided to use a one-handed rod with the very practical Hybrid fly line from Vision. The hybrid tips of this system allow for very quick depth adjustment for presenting the fly. I tied on a Red Frances from Sa-


ICELAND TRAVEL

lar Flies and began to survey down the river. After only a few minutes, a fish takes my fly and I see again big silver flashes in the crystal clear water. Snaevarr, who was fishing further away, comes running to help me. Suddenly, the fish jumps completely out of the water and we can identify it: it’s actually a beautiful plump seatrout! This time the fish does not break off and gives me a great fight punctuated with regular jumps. Once in the net, we can finally admire this beautiful fish. «It’s a very respectable fish,» Snaevarr tells me. We continue and fish a rarely-explored part of the

Jokla where the Snaevarr’s secret pool is located before finishing downstream of the Laxa-Jokla confluence. We fished a very wide and deep pool, each of us spaced by 50 meters, when suddenly a big swirl appeared behind my fly. After several passages in the same place, no luck. Snaevarr approaches me, and asks me if he can try a few shots where I saw the fish. It’s enough for him to land another superb sea trout! Near the estuary of the Jokla, it’s possible to catch sea-run arctic chars, provided you fish there at the right tide! We went there one morning, accompanied by Nordine,

Suddenly, a big swirl appeared behind my fly.

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The Jokla has a great sea trout population. During our stay, a French angler caught a monstrous 63cm specimen.

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fish fight remarkably well for their size. In fact, many Icelandic fishermen prefer them to salmon! The Breiddalsa

Snaevarr with a Jokla sea trout.

another excellent Strengir guide. We arrived on a huge black-sand beach. Nordine shows me where to throw and knots his secret char fly on my 5 weight rod. We have to strip quickly and explore quickly, because the tide 100

presses us. With the crystal clear water and the black sand bottom, it was easy to follow my little white streamer by sight. I stripped mechanically when suddenly, the little white point I was watching disappeared! Fish on! These SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

The Strengir organization also has another lodge on the Breiddalsa river, about an hour and a half drive from the Jokla. This is without a doubt one of the finest lodges in Iceland, nestled in the countryside with its panoramic view on the Breiddalur valley. The food is delicious and the comfort is excellent. It’s a pleasure to warm up there in the evening after a long day of fishing. There is even a sauna and a jacuzzi available. The Breiddalsa, which is located a few hundred meters from the lodge, is a medium-sized river that meanders in one of Iceland’s most beautiful valleys. It is known for its beautiful waterfalls, at the foot of which it is possible to catch salmon, and it is also home to beautiful brown trout! One of the most productive pools on the Breiddalsa is called Skammadalsbreida and it’s also not far from there that the local priest took a salmon at the season opening, the day we arrived! One afternoon, we were able to assist Throstur with a smolt delivery. A large truck joined us near one of the ponds where these baby salmon are acclimatized.


ICELAND TRAVEL

The Breiddalsa’s iconic waterfall.

A fresh sea-run arctic char from the Jokla estuary. Good fun on a 5 weight rod ! SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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Tributaries produce big salmon each season.

On board, a precious cargo: tens of thousands of smolt distributed between several tanks. Each tank must then be emptied into the pond using a huge pipe. It’s somewhat like using a fireman’s hose to deliver fish and is quite unique. The sea run arctic chars are also present in the Breiddalsa 102

estuary. During the summer in Iceland, the night hardly falls, it is therefore possible to fish for char at 4am in daylight! On the spot one morning with Nordine, we immediately see activity. A few casts with the secret char fly and I am quickly hooked up! My little Galvan Torque starts to sing, while the fish gives me a great fight. The SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

During the summer in Iceland, the night hardly falls, it is therefore possible to fish for char at 4am in daylight!


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arctic char that come up the rivers are not as colorful as their non-anadromous cousins. They have a beautiful color between cream and silver, and are very hardy and energetic. They are known in Iceland as particularly good-tasting fish. Next up, Nordine lands, at our surprise, a plaice (European flat fish) on the fly! Despite difficult conditions at the beginning of the season, it was a successful trip‌perfectly orchestrated by Strengir. This organization does an admirable job in managing

its rivers, and is an excellent example in salmon stock management. If you are looking for a high-quality English-speaking service in East Iceland, these gentlemen are absolute professionals. The guides are very experienced and teach you a great deal about salmon fishing in this beautiful country. For now, the beautiful wild rivers on which Strengir operates are still little known in the world of salmon fishing. My advice: seriously consider an angling adventure here as these rivers are destined to become world famous

TRIP CONTACT To book a flyfishing trip in East Iceland’s finest rivers, contact Strengir : ellidason@strengir.is 00 354 567 5204 www.strengir.com

The interior of the lodge on the Breiddalsa. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

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TESTED & APPROVED ICELAND

TESTED& APPROVED IN ICELAND GALVAN TORQUE

JOHN NORRIS P3 EXTREME DISTANCE We used the John Norris P3 fly lines on a 5 weight rod with a Galvan Torque and it performed very good. This fly line has one of the best value for the money on the market. Cheaper than the competition, this line is a unique combination of ultra-low friction coating, superbly balanced profile and outstanding shootability.

9.99£ | johnnorris.co.uk

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The Galvan Torque is the first reel released with Galvan’s very strong Torque drag system. It is a beautiful piece of machinery and it feels tough, very tough. We really enjoyed our 5-weight model while fishing for sea-run arctic char, and loved the sound of the drag. Lightweight and very solid, the Torque series reels are saltwater safe and will always deliver, even in the toughest conditions. Made in USA and available in Green, Clear, Black, Blue, and BurntOrange in 3 to 12 weight.

$345-$535 | galvanflyreels.com


ICELAND TESTED & APPROVED

SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS AMPLITUDE ANADRO The Amplitude Anadro is the first series of lines to feature the revolutionary AST PLUS slickness additive. It is designed for anglers looking after extra-long casts. Made of braided multifilament core, it has two textures on the same line for maximum performance : the Floating Texture on the tip section for the ultimate in flotation and the Shooting Texture for longer casts. Paired with the Ross Evolution LTX below, we caught sea trout in Iceland and sea bass in French Brittany on this line and it performed very well with various techniques, flies and conditions.

$129.95 | scientificanglers.com

ROSS EVOLUTION LTX This newer version of the Ross LT is true masterpiece of art and engineering. With its fine cut, it is shockingly lightweight, yet very durable and tough. The drag is four times stronger than its predecessors, but still very smooth and the handle is made of canvas phenolic rod, which increases in grip when wet. This reel had no problem withstanding weeks of intense fishing in Iceland and French Brittany. Available in black or platinum in 3 to 8 weight.

$385-$395 | rossreels.com

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SALAR FLIES SALMON FLIES The guides at Strengir were very impressed by Salar’s flies. Tied on excellent Partridge hooks, you immediately notice the quality of the tying process and the material used for these products. Salar flies has a big selection of salmon patterns on their website to match your next fishing trip!

salarflies.com

DAIWA NINJA FLY ROD

MAKO EYEWEAR GT SUNGLASSES The Mako Eyewear GT are stylish polarized sunglasses for fishermen. Their polycarbonate lenses are equipped with oleophobic coating, hydrophobic coating, and anti-reflective coating. The frame is lightweight and flexible, and the rigid case its sold with can be very useful. Available in 8 lens colors with a black frame.

$230 | makoeyewear.com

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The Ninja Fly range includes compact 4-piece «fly» rods made of carbon with SIC butt rings and a cork handle. They have great value for the price and have a fast action. We paired it with Galvan’s Torque reel and caught several sea-run arctic chars on this great rod. Sold with a carry tube with handle and strap.

60€ | daiwa.fr


ICELAND TESTED & APPROVED

VISION HYBRID FLY LINE Vision’s new Hybrid fly line, is a true game-changer. This innovative system from Vision consists of a running line integrated into the head. It is designed to be used with a variety of Hybrid tips, sold separately. First choose your style : Scandi, Skagit, Switch or Single Handed. Then select the proper weight of the belly for your selected style from Vision’s recommendation chart. We found this system very useful when switching spots from a big river to a shallow tributary, or when we wanted to work our fly a bit deeper. It will take you about 2 minutes to switch the tip and you’re all set for the changing conditions

89€ | visionflyfishing.com

VISION XLV SWITCH REEL The Switch reel by Vision can be used with a single handed rod or a switch rod. It features a powerful drag, an EVA handle, a closed frame and a large arbour. It also has a built-in counter balance and is precisely weighed to match switch rods with a length of 11 ft. to 12,6 ft. It performed perfectly against a nice Laxa seatrout.

279€ | visionflyfishing.com

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FLYFISHERMEN’S HOLY GRAIL Text and photos by Rudy Van Duijnhoven

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BELIZE TRAVEL

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The holy grail of Belize: a mighty permit.

he school of permit is approaching at a fast rate, which becomes visible through the bow wave in the shallow water in front of us. I put down the crab imitation several meters in front of the first fish and allow it to sink. The first fish have passed the weighted pattern, when suddenly the line goes tight. A permit had grabbed the crab on it’s escape route and I set the hook into a massive fish. The hooked permit keeps following the school and within a short period of time the fly line that was lying on the 110

front deck disappears though the guides. The drag system of the fly reel was set rather tight before we made our first casts and it starts working immediately. The fish swims on, despite the considerable resistance of a deeply bend fly rod and the heavy drag setting and 50, 100, 150 meters of backing follow the hooked fish. The permit produces a big swirl on the surface for the first time and decides to move in another direction. I manage to bring some backing back on the reel, but these I loose just as quickly again when the fish jumps into a higher gear. Our guide Dion keeps the front SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

The first fish have passed the weighted pattern, when suddenly the line goes tight. A permit had grabbed the crab on it’s escape route and I set the hook into a massive fish.


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BELIZE TRAVEL

The cry for joy when a permit is landed. Every single catch is a big achievement, as permits are well known for being finicky.

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A selection of permit flies as they are used on Turneffe Island.

of our flats boat aimed in the direction of where the fish is running to and Kate closely watches the whole fight, wondering how it will end. We are three quarters of an hour into the fight before I am able to bring the fish within reach and Dion is able to grab and lift it into the boat. A magnificent permit, close to 25 pounds at least, I am over the moon with this catch. 114

We quickly take some pictures and than the fish is returned to the water, her salty environment. Kate steps up to the front of the boat, the hunt is on for the next fish. The school of permit from which I to managed to land one, has moved to deeper water and is now out of sight. Largest atoll Turneffe Islands is an atoll SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

of fifteen by forty five kilometers (the largest in the Caribbean), situated in front of the coast of Belize in Central America. Most of the atolls on this world are formed by volcanic activity, but this is probably not the case with Turneffe Island. In the 16th and 17th century it was a hiding place for pirates, from here they attacked Spanish ships that were loaded with gold and other expensive


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Highly concentrated when a school of permit comes closer.

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TRAVEL BELIZE

goods. Belize was called British Honduras in the past, it is the only country in Central America where English is the main language. The Turneffe Flats Lodge was build on the atoll in the first part of the eighties and it is well known for it’s excellent fishing and service. Many of the guests return here every year because of this. Next to the fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, barracuda, etc., one can also hold diving holidays here, join in eco tours, go snorkeling

or just enjoy a relaxed stay. The lodge has nine flats boats available, so a maximum of eighteen fly fishers or spin fishers can try their luck here. Because of the size of the atoll, one will only seldom be close to other fishermen. Pilgrimage Bonefish can be caught here all year long, tarpon mainly in the warmer period of the year. The main attraction of the atoll and the reason why many fly fishers make a pilgrimage to Turneffe Island is

Turneffe Flats Lodge has several types of guest accommodation. 118

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BELIZE TRAVEL

ÂŤPoling the flatsÂť in search of permit and bonefish.

the permit. In the lagune in the center of the atoll as well as on the different flats we saw, in the period that we were there by the end of January, several schools of permit every day. And those schools of permit did not just consist of only a few fish, the schools could be as big as over a hundred fish. It is an impressive sight to see such a big school of permit, consisting of fish from ten up to maybe thirty or forty pounds, pass the area where you are in. The tools of the trade that are used for fly fishing for permit consist

usually of a fast, nine foot saltwater fly rod build for a line class #10. The sturdy, reliable fly reel is filled with a floating WF10F tropical saltwater fly line and 200 to 300 meters of 30 lb backing. The leaders that are used have a length of nine to fifteen foot, depending on what you can handle. The breaking strain of the tippet is around sixteen to twenty pounds. The weight of the crab fly depends on the depth of the water where we find the permit. On water of around two feet SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019

It is an impressive sight to see such a big school of permit, consisting of fish from ten up to maybe thirty or forty pounds.

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BELIZE TRAVEL

A good sized Turneffe permit for this angler.

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deep chain eyes are all that is needed. When the water is five foot deep or more, we have to make use of tungsten or brass eyes. For fly fishing for bonefish on Turneffe Islands a fly rod for a line class #8 is heavy enough. There is nearly always a wind blowing and there are enough bonefish with a weight of over five pounds to justify this line class. When these fish put on the turbo booster, it is not hard to imagine what happens. The fish is running at considerable speed already

and goes into next gear... Tarpon is found on the island in sizes of baby tarpon up to over a hundred pounds in weight. Fly fishers that aim for the big boys usually go for an outfit build for an #12 line. Casting to schools When the permit are searching for fooditems, they will move rather slowly through the shallow water and the black back and tail fins are visible regularly. When a school is on the move, than you will

The author with his first permit on Turneffe Island. 122

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It is best to place your crab imitation well ahead of the fish. This way you are less likely to scare the fish.


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TRAVEL PERU BELIZE

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BELIZE PERU TRAVEL

Permit are true crab eaters, this one couldn’t resist a greenish imitation.

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see this in the form of a bow wave that is moving quite rapidly. Only every now and than a swirl or a fin becomes visible. On the flats the permit will follow in small groups consisting of only a few fish the deeper channels in the sandy or coral bottom. In all of these cases it is best to place your crab imitation well ahead of the fish. This way you are less likely to scare the fish and you can imitate the way a crab tries to escape. When danger approaches a crab, they will not start swimming but instead they will dive to the bottom, hoping to find a hole in which they

can hide. This behaviour we should try to imitate with our patterns as well, so let the fly dive to the bottom in full sight of the fish and fish it than only very slowly back in your direction. When a school of permit is moving fast, it sometimes works to put a crab imitation right in the middle of the school and let it sink there, but only do this when the other method did not bring any strikes. Follow the advice of the guide, first regarding the direction and distance that you have to cast and than regarding fishing the fly. The guide will bring you after a first, unlucky presentation in

front of the same school of permit again,with the engine or by poling. The guides of Turneffe Flats have, without exceptions, a lot of experience in fly fishing for permit; make good use of that knowledge. The take of a permit surely does not mean a landed fish in all cases. Of the five permit I managed to hook in a few days time, I managed to land only one. The other fish threw the hook, took a shortcut through the mangroves or they managed to cut the tippet on a sharp piece of coral. You therefore need to pack some luck as well on your first or next permit trip

TRIP CONTACT After taking care of the border formalities and collecting your suitcases, you will find a representative of the Turneffe Flats Lodge that will drop you of in the harbour after a twenty minute car ride. The boat ride with the big game boat will take about one hour and forty minutes and than you are greeted at the lodge with a nice welcome drink. You have arrived in the permit capital of the world! More information can be found at www.tflats.com

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ADVENTUROUS MAHSEER FISHING TRIPS IN NORTHERN INDIA’S HIMALAYAN OUTBACK info@himalayanoutback.com himalayanoutback.com


FISHING ART TYLER HACKETT

FISHING

ART E

quipped with an ink roller in one hand and a fly rod in the other, Tyler Hackett enjoys creating pieces of art and finding places to drift a fly in and around his home waters of the mountain west. Tyler has been interested in both art and fishing for as long as he can remember, and gets a lot of satisfaction from combining the two. The traditional process of making woodcut prints is important to him because of the way in which it parallels the art of angling. “Time spent in the studio, drawing, preparing

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pieces of wood, carving and creating a finished print remind me directly of the preparation for and time spent on the water in search of fish. To me both of these “arts” require patience, thoughtful repetition, and attention to detail in pursuit of wellearned rewards” he says. Tyler lives and works in Salt Lake City Utah, with his two young sons. When he is not fortunate enough to be out on the water or otherwise exploring the outdoors with his boys, he can be found working on prints in his backyard studio. Visitors are always welcome ! SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q3 2019


TYLER HACKETT FISHING ART

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FISHING ART TYLER HACKETT

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TYLER HACKETT FISHING ART

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FISHING ART TYLER HACKETT

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TYLER HACKETT FISHING ART

MORE ON TYLER HACKETT HERE : wanderingbluelines.com

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MEDIA SEEN ON THE WEB

SEEN ON THE

WEB

CATCH MAGAZINE Río Grande Fly Fishing Todd Moen films Scottish angler Gordon Armstrong as he fishes the Argentinian stretch of the Rio Grande at the Estancia Maria Behety Lodge.

KANALGRATIS PERCH ON POPPERS Team Galant goes fishing for perch on topwater lures druing the summer heat.

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G.GOZDZ TOPWATER SNAPPER Capt.George joins Capt. Cody Chivas out of St.Pete beach and travels 90 miles out in to the Gulf in search of red snapper on top water plugs and fly

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SEEN ON THE WEB MEDIA

BLACKTIP H MONSTER TARPON FROM THE BEACH

Blacktip H goes fishing for giant tarpon from the beach during the annual mullet run with a fan.

LANDSHARK OUDOORS JIGGING FOR AMBERJACK Landshark Outdoors goes deep sea fishing for amberjacks with Tyler Degraff in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Kombi Tours Uganda's Most Adventurous Tour Company

info@kombitours.com +256 (0) 7569 33773

Nile Perch fishing & Wildlife safaris in Uganda

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Sportfishing Adventures - Issue 7 | Q3 2019