Sitting at home like everyone else under this worldwide Coved19 Lockdown, I’ve had the chance to dig through some old folders of fishing pics and trips that have never seen the light of day. Two old trips stood out for me, both from my time spent in fly fishing in Exmouth Western Australia with one of my oldest friends Jono Shales who I grew up skateboarding and fly fishing with.

I was chatting with Jono recently and we were discussing how things have suddenly come to a grinding halt and how all his trips have been rescheduled or outright cancelled for the year. It was a sobering reminder of just how far down the rabbit hole we have gone as a species. Are we to all now feel satisfied that we had the chance to do these things and were lucky enough to experience it while we had it? Will future generations only hear of the world that we once took for granted? Or, am I overthinking this and things will bounce back? I feel sick to even think it.

Being able to jump on a plane from OR Tambo and land in Perth 9 hours later and then get a connecting Qantas flight was all it took to get to Exmouth. Not anymore. Australia’s borders are closed and we are all stuck at home avoiding a plague.

EXMOUTH FACT BOX (from Wikipedia)
Exmouth is a town on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia. The town is located 1,270 kilometres (789 mi) north of the state capital Perth and 3,366 kilometres (2,092 mi) southwest of Darwin. The town was established in 1967 to support the nearby United States Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt. Beginning in the late 1970s, the town began hosting U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to Learmonth Solar Observatory, a defence science facility jointly operated with Australia’s Ionospheric Prediction Service. Exmouth has a current population of around 2 486 people.

When I think of Exmouth it reminds me of a good skatepark. By that I mean that it has all the right terrain and fish I am looking for (cos I look for fish in a skatepark…I’m weird like that) all in close proximity to one another, as well as incredible off shore fishing just a short boat trip out. On top of that, the weather is consistently pretty good all year round, unless your name is Conrad Botes and you get hit by a hurricane (check out issue 7), and he still came right.

Anyway I won’t bore you with what we did every day because ALL we did every single day was fish and laugh until we couldn’t anymore. We spent the majority of our time fishing across the gulf were we would set up a base camp and head out each day chasing packs of queens and tailing Goldens as well as what ever else came along. When back on the Ningaloo side we would shower a week’s worth of grime off, restock for the next week across the gulf as well as a day or two spent fishing the Ningaloo reef and flats.

Below are some pics and a video clip from Trip one. Trip two will be posted in the next few days. To see more of Jono’s Exmouth escapades and photos check out www.exmouthflyfishing.com.au/blog/ or follow him on Instagram @exmouthflyfishing.

Queenfish

Jono, Bus Queen

More Queens

Blacktip reef shark

Jono, Golden from the Mangroves

fishing in Exmouth Western Australia

Grip and grin

Basecamp

Evening recovery

Gearing up

Spangled emperor, Ningaloo Reef flats

Baby golden, Ningaloo Flats

Jono, Ningaloo bonefish

Jono, rockcod

Tusk fish

fishing in Exmouth Western Australia Spanish Mackeral

Muppets

fishing in Exmouth Western Australia Last Ningaloo golden of the trip

Leather paw

Part 2 coming soon mate….

Get the Mission Fly Mag in print

Looking for something good to read?

Shop for The Mission Fly Mag print issues here or read the mag online, for free, as always.