St Brandon’s Blog: 11-20 Nov 2015
On arrival at St Brandon’s we were greeted by extremely calm conditions and a starlit night sky. The first day subsequently started off with a bang, all the guests managing to land their fix of Bones while getting a few shots at some big Permit in-between! Jeff made the most of his opportunities placing the fly two feet in front of a group of small Permit. He tightened up and set the hook. After a valiant struggle our first Permit for the trip made it’s way into the guide’s net! Not massive by any means but an Indo-Pacific nonetheless and a fish to be cherished! After a few photos the fish sped off and we took some time to reflect on what a special place St B really is. Not a bad out by any means!
Day two saw more extremely calm conditions and no clouds to speak of. Great weather, but knowing the atoll this can make fishing challenging by its high standards. As it turned out, the fish were quite spooky but that did not stop everyone from climbing into some solid shallow water speedsters. Matt Hammond in particular got stuck several good-sized Bonefish! In addition plenty of Permit were seen tailing throughout the day, however with no cover and no chop the fish were super aware and not having any of it!
Day three saw some exciting skinny water Bonefishing, specifically where there was an influx of cool ocean water over the flats. Becca and Harry Murphy reveled in some technical skinny water Bonefishing, whilst Matt Hammond managed to land his first St Brandon’s Permit after a small group of them were spotted trailing a stingray. It took a few casts and a fly change before one of the fish broke away from the ray and ate the fly. Awesome!
Day four saw a fair amount of high water on the flats. This saw the Bluefin Trevally piling up on the coral ridges. Brian O’Keefe experienced the impressive power and stamina of a large Bluefin after it demolished his fly and tore off into the surf. A extremely experienced angler Brian used some low rod angles to break the fish’s spirit and land his prize. Despite the high water there were still some very good Bones around, Brian Jarvis managing to land a stunning 27-inch brute.
Our second last day was pretty eventful! Brian O’Keefe made a few perfect casts at some big GT’s hanging around “Bi Polar” but for some reason the fish just would not commit much to our frustration! After stalking a Permit for a good 10 minutes, Jeff was ready to take the shot. The fly landed and sank down to the broken coral bottom. The current swung the fly right into the fish’s feeding zone that was about 3ft away from the fish’s head. The line however was yanked pulled out of Jeffs hand prematurely as a Needlefish picked up the fly!!!!! The Permit spooked and the rest is history. BLEAK!!!! Dave from Alaska had some good chances at a big tailing Permit in amongst a school of Bonefish but sadly he didn’t connect. A very enjoyable day out, despite the near misses and as usual the Bonefish ensured there was still some good fish landed throughout.
By day six everyone was fairly jaded, nonetheless everyone strapped on their boots and jumped on their guides’ skiff for the day to give it one last day of effort. With very little water movement the Bonefish seemed fairly relaxed on the flats but were still proved quite picky. Becca however managed a beautiful 8lb bonefish, which was real highlight and most deserved! Dave on the other side of the scale experienced GT fishing ST Brandon’s style. A big Nurse Shark was spotted feeding in the surf zone. Dave jumped off the boat and chased the fish on foot. Once he was in line with the fish he made the cast. First strip and the fish engulfed the fly. Sadly however this is where it all went wrong, as the fly obviously never made a solid connection and just popped out! Gutted!
The last morning saw everyone get stuck into some good sized Bonefish, which in turn was a fitting end to the trip and another hugely successful season on the atoll! In addition Dave did however manage some revenge on the Trevally, a beautiful Bluefin Trevally coming to hand!
Becca, Harry, Brian, Jarvis, Jeff, Dave and Matt. It was an absolute pleasure to fish with you all. We hope to see you guys in the near future.
Lastly, a big thank you goes out to Brian O Keefe for providing some outstanding images!!!!
Until next season.
St Brandon’s Guide Team