A New Species – Bull Ray

A New Species – Bull Ray

Bull Ray on Fly

Ok Ill admit I thought this was a Duckbill.  After looking at a few pictures I think its actually a Bull Ray, or Common Eagle Ray.

The conditions at Langebaan were absolutely perfect yesterday.  1.8m of swell, not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind.  The water clarity was incredible which meant sight fishing in the surf would be a possibility.  I was hoping for Steenbras.

I hiked up and down the beach when all of a sudden I spotted a ray.  Then two, then three, then four.  They were feeding up and down a shallow sandbar and you could see them gliding in each of the waves.

I quickly tied on a crab fly and presented it ahead of the biggest fish a few times.  On my fourth presentation it started following quickly and looked like it was going to take.  With about 20cm between fish and fly a wave broke and I lost sight of both in the wash about 10m off.  I dropped the fly and waited for the water to clear.  As it did I saw the ray tail on the crab and pick it up.

Now Ive heard some pretty good things about the fighting abilities so I was expecting fireworks.  And I wasnt disappointed.  As with most crab eaters (that expect a bite back) there was the usual split second delay.  As the fish felt the pressure all hell broke loose.   Watching that fish race and surf through each set of waves was an awesome sight.  Its been a while since Ive seen my backing.

My Crab Fly selection in the Surf box.
Perfect Conditions
I always carry scissors for trimming and modifying flies. This one needed to be made smaller.

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