Farquhar:15-23 Nov 2016
After almost unbearable anticipation, we are finally back out on Farquhar Atoll after Cyclone Fantalla’s arrival in April earlier this year. Although one is left with no doubt as to the strength of mother nature when you first land on the atoll, equally impressive is the strides which have already been made in rebuilding certain key infrastructure and general clearing, as well as signs of new life as the islands vegetation is visibly rebounding. Most importantly the lagoon and ocean water both look alive, with little if any signs of stagnant green water….things were looking good! Joining us on our return were six highly excited guests who were equally anxious to get out on the flats to see who was around! After the clients settled into their rooms on the Maya’s Dugong we were straight into business as we headed out onto the flats for a quick afternoon session.
Considering we only had a few hours out on the water, we saw a considerable amount of fish around with some good sized Bonefish and Triggerfish tailing on certain turtle grass flats. We also saw some good sized GT’s around and boy did we make it count. Louis Kruger hit the ground and our season running in a big way by landing a 119cm fish. A special catch for all of us, but especially for Louis as this enormous animal is now his biggest GT on fly. The massive fish was spotted cruising with a smaller partner in crime on a white sand section near “ the Gaps” and after a well presented cast and a couple strips the fish charged in and engulfed the fly. A solid fight ensued (including Louis’s backing being tested on multiple occasions) before the fish was landed and celebrations began. All in all a very productive start and considering the amount of baitfish around it looked as if we were in for a treat.
We headed out early for our first full day out on the water. As we had hoped there were good numbers of GT’s around and although we probably lost too many for our liking we did make some opportunities count. Stephan and Gustav are now well and truly GT addicts as they each landed their first. There were also huge numbers of Bluefin Trevally around and we managed to get some good numbers to hand. A very enjoyable day!
Our third day started off really well with Chantal getting it done on a solid GT, after a tricky cast into the wind. Next up was Abri who also landed his first ever GT on the fly. Congrats Abri! The fishing was just getting better and better, no doubt the abundance of cold clean water attracting loads of fish onto the flats. Species bashing in particular has been incredible with snappers, groupers and a host of other exciting critters darting out from bommies to eat our flies and in so doing providing some truly thrilling times for our anglers. Only the Bumpies have been a bit shy and that is no doubt due to the fact that they have been hanging around the drop offs due to the strong tides. Some epic surf side Bonefishing was also had on the eastern side of the atoll, with huge schools tailing happily on the expansive turtle grass sections that extend out onto the coral bottoms.
Day 4 looked promising with clear skies and a good south easterly wind helping the cold water flush over the flats. The Bumpies were tailing in big schools over certain turtle grass flats and as such it was no surprise when Chantal landed a big Bumpy measuring 109cm. Congrats Chantal! After a well executed cast ahead of the tailing fish, which allowed the current to move the fly into the perfect position, the big fish tailed on her crab imitation and the rest is history! Shortly after that she also landed a giant Triggerfish, a species which she had been chasing hard over the past few weeks! Overall the fish are still in full feeding mode throughout the atoll. As such more good sized GT’s and Bluefin also came to hand.
We managed to land our second GT over a meter on Day 5. The big fish which had idled across a sandbar on the back of a Blacktip shark had no hesitation in demolishing the ever reliable tan Brush Fly which was perfectly placed. Congratulation’s to Dale on getting his personal best GT, the fish measuring 103 cm! In addition to this special fish, we also managed to land a massive Bluefin which measured 86cm. This particular flat had been on fire throughout the week, with huge shoals of GT’s and Bluefin moving along the sand bank and smashing the bait balls congregating on the side of the main channel. In addition the Bumpies are still feeding happily, sadly though we hooked a few but they became unbuttoned! The Bonefishing on the eastern side of the atoll is still very much on fire.
We headed out in search of a Sailfish during the high water period on Day 6 and managed to raise some good fish! Added to which we got one to stick after it turned away eating the fly on the way out. After a spectacular fight which included some serious airtime, we managed to bill, tag and and safely release the fish. Congratulations to Abri for landing his first Sailfish, a beautiful specimen which measured 186cm. We then headed out onto the flats and landed our 3rd GT over a meter. This was Dale’s second GT over 100cm for the trip and was extremely well deserved as he kept his cool when presenting the fly to the fish. We saw and caught a few more GTs’ during the rest of the day, these hugely adaptable predators sitting on the back of some large sharks or stingrays. Lastly, massive congratulations to Chantal for landing our first Indo-Pacific Permit for the season!
Our 7th and final day saw us heading into the neap tides, with a late afternoon low tide. We headed out in search of more Sailfish during the morning session where we again raised more fish. Although quite a few were pricked and lost, Louis got it done when he landed his first Sailfish that measured 183cm. Once we got onto the flats, the group enjoyed more great Bonefish, GT and Bumpie fishing. All in all it was a great day to end off our first week of the season. Furthermore the atoll looks in great shape, with the high numbers of GT’s and Bluefin being a really good sign Cyclone Fantalla is now well and truly behind us!
Until next week
The Farquhar Guide Team
Tags: Bonefish, Bumphead Parrotfish, Fly Fishing, FlyCastaway, Giant Trevally, Milkfish, Permit, Seychelles, Sight Fishing, Triggerfish