Farquhar Blog 1-8 November 1017
This week on Farquhar we welcomed a group of 10 guests onto the atoll for the second week of our opening season in the new guest house. The new guesthouse was built after the huge cyclone Fantala devastated the atoll in April 2016. It was a diverse group with guests coming from the US, UK, Tanzania and South Africa. Many were 1st timers to Farquhar Atoll but there were also a few repeat guests who just can’t get enough of this pristine fishery. After a short flight from Mahe our guests arrived mid-morning and were eager to get stuck into some fish. After being shown the newly built and upgraded guest house, which impressed all with it luxury and comfort, we had a short briefing for the week and a well-deserved lunch. After lunch we got stuck into tackle set-up to make sure everyone was set for a solid week of fishing. With all our guests chomping at the bit to try and land that fish of a lifetime they headed out for a short afternoon session to get their casting eye in and have some fun.
On day one all the guests were up early and rearing to go, hoping to sample some of the incredible fishing Farquhar has to offer.Coming to the end of neap tides we had a mid-morning low and with a strong south easterly blowing. This meant there would be good amounts of cool water being flushed into the lagoon keeping the fish happy and feeding throughout. The morning started off with dark skies and squalls, making spotting fish tricky but our guests made the most of it. The weather improved as the day progressed and so too did the fishing. Congratulations to Jefferson for landing his first Trigger fish and to Tony for landing his first GT (a beautiful fish measuring in at 82cm) as well as a sizable Bluefin Trevally. Hein got his first GT too (73cm) and Angelika managed to land a beautiful Napoleon Wrasse, one of the many species her and her husband racked up for the day. The bump head parrotfish were around as well and Rich landed is first one, a stout 88cm specimen. A day of firsts for many of our guests!
Our second day out on the flats saw us moving into the full moon spring tides cycle which cause a lot of water movement throughout the atoll. These tides bring in huge numbers of predatory fish and are ideal conditions for hunting GTs, there was a morning falling tide meaning some solid wading time on the flats. The GTs were around in good numbers and some of the guests managed to capitalize; a huge congratulations must go to Eugene who managed to get a fish of 111cm riding on the back of a big lemon shark! A well presented cast and a slow long strip caught its attention, the fish rushed and engulfed the fly and after a solid tussle the battle was eventually won.
A few hours later Ferdi (Eugene’s dad), who has had some nightmare experiences with big fish on his previous visit to Farquhar, landed another trophy GT! He got his sweet revenge with a GT breaking the meter mark, the 101cm specimen was in perfect nick. Jeff also managed to get his first GT ever on fly, what a great achievement. All in all it was a good day out with lots of fish around and various species coming to hand.
Clear blue skies greeted the guests and guides on day three and everyone was optimistic and hopefully that yesterday’s trend of trophy GT’s will continue. As the week progresses guests start focusing on their goals and target species for the trip. For some anglers its a new species of fish, for most return guests however it is mostly revenge and settling old scores! Sadly our idea of perfect conditions and the fish’s ideas aren’t the same. Bright sun means the water on the flats can get really warm and even though it was a “perfect day” the fishing was tough and guests had to work for their fish. Farquhar continuously throws us curve balls and with warm water covering most of the atoll the fishing was tricky. The guests made the most of it and still managed to land some impressive catches.
The GT’s were extremely lethargic and stubborn with many refusals and only a few willing to commit to the fly. Congratulations to Jeff for landing yet another GT, this time it measured 93cm. The fish was hooked over the turtle grass flats at a spot we call Helmets and the eat was insane. The fish rushed the fly only to refuse it at the last second. We thought all was lost as the fish started swimming away, but then against all hope and expectation she turned around and charged the fly again, eating right at the rod tip!
Later the day was a proud moment for Angelika as she landed her first Farquhar Permit. This fish required some technical fishing making it all the more special. Guest also landed lots of bonefish, they were in the surf, on the flats and over the turtle grass. The biggest one was landed by John and measured 55cm. There were large pods of Bumpies around in the surf and a few were hooked but after some epic battles the Bumpies won the day. The Triggers were around but as stubborn as ever. The weekly species count kept growing with some impressive specimens landed in and amongst the coral heads.
A moderate easterly wind and bright sunshine were the conditions on the fourth day. We were now in the middle of the full moon spring tide cycle with huge volumes of water being pushed on and off the atoll. A 12pm low ensured we got to fish a few solid hours of the dropping tide as well as the following pushing tide. Some guests opted for the white sandy flats and turtle grass areas whilst the more adventurous whose legs were up for the challenge took on the surf. Arriving at the surf they were greeted with milky water but thankfully it was still cool from the night before and the clarity improved as the morning progressed. Congratulations has to go to Jeff for completing his Grand Slam and landing a GT, Trigger and Bone at the runway on the northern tip of the atoll. It took some really impressive and technical fishing to achieve this as conditions were tricky. The Trigger of 50cm was hooked on the dead low in the surf in a foot of water – this fish ran around numerous coral heads before being landed. Then came the Bonefish and to complete the slam an hour into the push Jeff found a GT cruising with a Lemon shark. He made the cast and the GT peeled off the shark and smashed the fly. Congratulations is also due to Gehard for landing a GT of 82cm.
The GT’s are coming out in good numbers, the Triggers are starting to play ball with a few being caught and some tussles ending in broken leaders. The Bonefish continue to come out in good numbers and keeps the rods bent.
With the week slowly but surely drawing to a close our guests have all had some great shots at a few trophy Farquhar fish. Some came to hand and others caused sleepless nights and nightmares. The latter being the case for Rich who had a few shots at GTs but unfortunately none of them this far worked out. Happily for him, he managed to convert his chance and land his first GT measuring in at 83cm on day 5. This fish was hooked during a surf walk on the runway over the dropping tide. He found the fish cruising in the cuts in the exposed coral reef. After losing a few metre plus fish this week Tony was also eager and driven to get it done. Congratulations to Tony for achieving his personal best GT of 101cm while wading the turtle grass patches near the surf. This GT was spotted cruising against the current during the dropping tide. Tony ran ahead of the fish, made the cast and the fish exploded on the fly with an epic chase and eat.
Niall landed another GT (he continues to rack them up). The 96cm GT was cruising with a few Blue Fin Trevally, thankfully it was the GT that got to the fly first! Ferdi managed to land a solid 79cm blue fin off south point in the afternoon during the push ing tide. There were some big GTs hooked on day 5, some were landed and some got away (one snapped a fly line and one found a coral head). The Bonefish were still around in huge numbers with a few solid fish being landed. There were also a few Triggers hooked but sadly non landed. The fishing remained good and guests also landed a few large Grouper species.
Onto the final day guests were looking to end the trip on a high and use their last chance to land that special fish. The atoll had a lot of clear blue cold water on it and with a morning high tide we headed out for the day. There was bright sunshine and little to no wind and conditions were perfect for fishing. Our guests spread out over the atoll and had shots at some really big fish – some battles being won by the fish and others by a few of our guests. Rich got it done a few hours into the push in the afternoon session, he managed to land his personal best fish, a GT of 93cm. This fish was coming in from the surf smashing bait fish that had been packed into the bay, well done Rich! The final day’s fishing was the perfect way to end off a trip with the GT numbers remaining solid. The bonefish were still around but the Triggers were few and far between today on the bigger tides. There were a few Bumpies hooked but non landed. As some of our guests had achieved their targets for the week they opted to sample the variety of species this pristine fishery has to offer. It was a case of “close but no cigar” with a big Napoleon Wrasse being hooked only to run in and out of coral heads. As can be expected the fish was lost but the encounter still makes for memorable moment!
The species account was really high for this week with some incredibly beautiful fish landed. All in all a phenomenal week enjoyed by all our guests who have travelled from far and wide to come and fish with us. Most of them are already checking dates and making plans to return to one of the gems of the Indian Ocean next season , we hope to see you there again next year!
Tags: Fly Fishing, Seychelles