DAY3 (09 December 2013)
We wake up to watch the sunrise and I immediately see birds diving into baitballs just off from where we’re sleeping. Theo and I grab our spinning rods while still in our pyjamas and take off down the beach. Its not long and we’re into fish. Not the giants of the past, but at least something. The next 20 minutes produces a Wave Garrick, Bream, Shad and some stripey guys that pull seriously hard. We called them the poor mans rooster. We make the call to stick around for two more mornings.
Packing for the day and spirits are up. We immediately start realizing just how badly we shopped at Carrefour in Muscat. Lunch will be corn flakes and milk powder.
After the hike in we put our gear down off the rocks and tinker with our rigging. Theo takes off for bream and immediately I spot something. Its a massive perm, digging around in rocks like a blacktail or small reef fish would do back home. Its a setting you’ll never expect to see permit in, in its dazzling rivelry. Im starting to realise im dealing with a different fish here. I get way low and stay off the rocks, and present, my heart is in my throat.
Perfect cast, nothing
Perfect cast, nothing
I took a gopro vid of this entire stalk. 43 shots at this fish. 4 fly changes, 18 or 19 of those perfect. I get slow follows, sometimes the absolute finger. Ahh, my old friend the permit. I find two more on the reef and manage a good 20 more presentations, the smaller fish isn’t having any of it. Then on the left side of reef I spot a big boy riding the surf. On presentation two I set and immediately drop the fish. School Fees.
The consolation is a cool little bream that takes the crab while doing a headstand over a rock, Trigger style. After a whole bunch of head shakes he throws the fly. One of those days.
Day 4 (10 December 2013)
We’re up high on a rock face having an orange and a strategy session. None of us say it, but there is disappointment. The permit shots are enough to keep me going, but Theo is feeling the pinch, its drying up. And then I spot something.
“Theo! Massive Bream! Get out there! ”
He takes off down the cliff, carefully down amognst the crabs and mussels. Hes doing his best through deep water and im screaming like mad
“Still moving! 50m ahead, moving faster than you! Keep going!”
I get out my camera, the fish has changed direction and Theo is on it. He drops a cast and Im snapping away hoping for the most awesome photo series. The fish chases, and then nothing. It either sees theo or loses the fly in his sand cloud during his retreat. Argh.
“GO! Big fish!”
Theo closes on this one quick, but its not a Bream.
Then I spot something crazy 60m behind Theo. 3 massive Geets, the largest is pitch black. Its friends are the silver variety, and not as big. We only have 9s and 10s today, and these geets are moving too fast
Liking the geography I suggest we keep pushing East.
Its tough going, high cliffs, Wadis and some climbs, but we solider on. Theo is feeling the work and its gone quiet behind me. Ive got vitamin P driving me and Ill hike hundreds of kilometers, whatever it takes. But Theo doesnt know how high that permit high is, so he doesnt have it pushing him.
After some time we make our way entirely round the way, and walk down a Wadi (Lagoon) into a beautiful beach. Not 5 paces later the two biggest permit Ive seen surf a wave right ahead of me, the same depth parallel to the beach. I get three shots in before they head off into the deep, the water clarity is disappearing, and we can’t understand it.
We continue the hike to the reef, and halfway to it there is a shoal of bait being herded by 3 bream. We take shot after shot, but they don’t want our coolaid today.
We make it to the reef exhausted, and I spot something very cool. A shoal of Surgeons tailing on it, not a common sight anywhere. I present everything to the buggers but I don’t have my surgeon specials with me. We mess around a bit more before our desperation and exhaustion causes us to flag down one of the cuttlefish boats. Shew.
I suggest a move South tomorrow, the fish are disappearing, and we need more food. We spend the late evening catching stumpnose, blacktail and wrasse for the braai. The wrasse is insanely delicious.