Indian Ocean Chronicles: Day XVII
12-Weights and Boats
Barjack the Angler 12-weight Purgatory Reef Indian Ocean March 12, 2011
So I’ve done a lot of riding my bike around and standing with a 12-weight looking for trevally. Good work if you can get it, but I feel the need for a change. Today I think I’ll get in a boat and blindcast a 12-weight for four hours. The first three were brutal; we were in 15 feet of gin-clear water over coral and somewhere around cast #247 the line comes tight. Well, not really: by this time I’m in a near vegetative state, trying to keep focused but fading, and that damn fish hit so hard it pulled the line out of my hand! Then it swam towards the boat and rocked me; 40-pound floro on 300-year old coral equals get another fly out of the box. Retie. More casting… and more. The kid with me said there was another spot he normally does well at so we head over there.
We show up and there are blue fin trevally busting on my first cast: ‘bout freakin’ time. The next half hour is snapper mania—sweetlips, red-colored ones, some other kind… I have no idea. After I landed the 6th fish homeboy looks over at me and say’s “I think I need to learn how to flyfish”. He hooked three fish on top-water, one a monster that rocked him and two others that came off. He knows I throw fish back so after I had released a few snapper he casually mentioned that those are the size he normally keeps. So I kept the next couple. Why not? There’s a little place here that will cook them up three different way with fries and drink for like six bucks. After a day like this I feel I deserve a little fresh fish.
So, I’m jazzed up and casting and stripping as fast as I can when suddenly my hart skips, then starts beating twice as fast to make up for lost time; everything goes silent… BLACK TREVALLY behind my fly… and he turns off!
We get back to the dock at 11:30 and it’s just about low tide, so as I bike back to the room I figure I might as well go fish some more. Shoulder and wrist not happy, but nevertheless I swap pants for shorts, shoes for flip-flops, and the old 12-weight for my 5. Hit the sand bar for bones I get out there and the tide stays slack and there are bones milling around, the first three I cast to show interest but don’t eat. So after fly change…..change…..change….tippit change…..fly change a bone rushes up and eats: nice fish. After a few runs get him in. I now am decent at landing bonefish—swing the fish in, turn him belly-up and slide the (barbless, thank you Davin) fly out. When you turn the fish back over, slowly rub your finger between his eyes and then let him go. If you don’t do this the fish will dart around upon release, further attracting any sharks or cudas in the area, but if you do it they will slowly swim away, relaxed.
As the tide starts to push in I once again see that GT that puts Giant into Giant Trevally. Damn! With my 5-weight? Really? I casted anyway, but (of course), no love. So now I’m thinking I have to hit that spot on the incoming, looking back at historical data on tides it was always the beginning of the incoming I’ve seen that bastard. I also saw my first Cuda today, with a crab fly on. He chased it all the way ‘till the leader was in the guides (no, I didn’t jump on a coral head this time); he was a little closer then I wanted him to be, but I walked away unscathed.
Tomorrow is another sunrise; I plan to hit bones in the AM then the mythical GT’s on the incoming… tomorrow is the day.