I met some interesting fishing folk on my trip to the Red Sea last week. Since two pairs of the six Tourette Fishing clients on the trip were well acquainted with each other (respectively), I teamed up with Jeff Tyser, the only other solitary fisherman on the boat trip and shared a wonderful fishing adventure with him on the Nubian desert islands and atolls (of which you’ll hear about more in my next post). Jeff was the classic quiet and laid-back kind of fly fisherman that could whip out an eight weight line in two back hauls and nail a 10 lb bluefin kingfish on it with a casual smile on his face. I was intrigued by his fishing skills and our conversations covered topics that included technique, exotic fishing destinations and also Jeff’s honeymoon trip along the entire South African border. Besides gripping tales about his honeymoon trip, various interesting fishing stories and news can be seen on his blog, Pass The Map: http://www.passthemap.com/
This is a particular interesting fishing story that I felt relevant to share with Feathers and Fluoro readers…(This story can be seen on http://www.passthemap.com/queen-pool/)
My friend Ben has an uncanny (and enviable) knack of tangling with very good fish on a very regular basis. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to watch him get his best yet: a huge largemouth yellowfish, sightfished on a tiny beadhead nymph of all things. What made the whole situation even more ridiculous was that Ben was fishing his trusty smallmouth rig: a 5-weight rod with 6lb tippet. For those of you who don’t flyfish, that’s a bit like taking on a Samurai warrior with a flick knife.
With all the spawning fish in the shallows at the moment, we decided to head out to a venue with some deeper runs and pools. A largemouth is always a possibility in this kind of water, and Ben had swum across to the opposite bank in search of one. He was perched on a little rocky outcrop when he first caught a glimpse of the behemoth. From his body language, Myles and I could tell he had spotted something of considerable proportions. Exhibiting the patience of a hungry leopard, Ben crouched down amongst the rocks and waited, hoping for his fish to return. A short while later, it did exactly that.
The little nymph plopped down in just the right place. With the grace of a brown trout sipping on mayflies, the old girl sucked it in. All hell broke loose as she tore off up a side channel, then charged back downstream into a large pool. Twenty minutes later, after a few close calls with a submerged tree, Ben gently worked her into a backwater where, hands shaking, he was able to tail her. Quite conveniently, he had also managed to be towed back across the river by this stage, meaning I didn’t even have to get wet to snap a few pics. After a quick photo session, we watched in awe as the Queen swam strongly back into the depths of her pool.
A fish this size could probably take out an Egyptian goose. It’s hard to say what it was doing eating a number 14 bead head nymph. But who cares. Well done, Ben! I don’t know many people who have spent as much time working out the Vaal. If anyone deserves a fish like this, it’s you.