*the next few posts will be out of order, and will be reorganised on conclusion of the series.
If satan ran the oceans and not Poseidon, and if he particularly disliked fly fisherman, then I imagine he would have designed the reef in front of me.
A double layered coral shelf, razor sharp with holes in its “ceiling” or the shelf closest to the surface of the ocean. Then add a decent 3ft surf break, and 40 massive swallow tailed parrotfish. He would make this reef particularly enticing, as the others are all steep drop offs only fishable from the banks. Then he’d make a beautiful creature particularly colourful, so as to catch fly fishermans eyes as they tailed aggressively on the shelf. On the business end he’d put a nautical bolt cutter.
Enter fish hungry Peter, exhausted from the swim in through rough surf and climbing 3 sand stone cliffs, so particularly fish hungry now.
Ive always wanted to catch one, and never had success in the Seychelles. Crab on, rod rigged, here I go. I decided to hang back and chase the fish right on the beach. First cast and a follow. Hmmm. Second cast and a follow. Third cast and I know theyre going to eat. This time the fish doesnt tail, it just swims up and annhialates the crab. I set the hook, and rod up this thing takes off faster than anything Ive experienced in a long time. Its instanlty into backing from a few rod lengths away when I feel no more movement. Its stuck. Damnit.
At this stage I didnt know the game. I thought these fish were swimming into a cave (if youve dived youve seen them in there), I would eventually learn that they clever bastards were in fact threading me through the shelf. In a hole, then up and out the next, and repeat.
Hmm, Ill teach these guys. Next I tied on 15lb (12lb before). Unfortunately the shoal had learnt something, and so I had to rest the spot for an hour or so. On my return something odd, theyd chase the crab, and then spook like all hell, taking the rest of the shoal with them on sight of it. Leader shy. Very leader shy. My stop to catch a parrot has now become a mission on its own. How do you stop a 20lb parrot with a razor sharp beak thats spooky as all hell from reefing you…in hell? By now id lost a good 7 or 8 fish, in various ways. The fights lasting not much longer than a few seconds as they streaked across the shelf. The frustration of having these fish also spook to the entire shoal is infuriating.
Wanting to mix things up a bit I headed back out, walking a few beaches and casting on each pinnacle. Then the boat appeared on the horizon. Damn. The pick up. Already. Murphy had a speacial surprise waiting for me on my walk back. The first geet of the trip streaking accross the backline of the shallow shore break. Three rods rigged in hand. A 9wt for Parrots, 10wt for Permit and the 12 for the Geets.
I throw the 9 and 10 down and high tail my way across the sand, stripping off the rio leviathan as I go. I get to the fish maybe 100m from where I started, exhausted. I cast the massive brush fly ahead of the fish but as I shoot the line the surf break hits me square on the chest, knocking me off my feet and wrapping the line around me. This is not easy. The conventional guys didn’t see a fish today and almost don’t believe the shaky adrenalin filled mess that can’t climb over the high gunnels in the rough backline. It’s game on. Luminous parrots and 100lb gts in satan’s forest.