St Brandon’s Blog: 10 – 19 November 2012

IMG_8776The time had finally come for our 2012/2013 St Brandons season to kick off. One could feel the excitement on the MY Gryphon whilst we enjoyed our first dinner onboard after meeting our clients for the week. Two of the clients joining us this week are well known fly fishing film director and producer Chris Paterson and fly fishing photographer Jim Klug from Confluence Films. They joined us on this trip to shoot some footage for a segment in their new fly fishing film to be released end of 2013.

We had some heavy weather forecast for later in the week and we wanted to get to the atoll as soon as possible to maximise our fishing time. After a 30 hour cruise due to rough seas we finally woke up on the pristine St Brandons atoll.

KLUG_St_Brandons_2012 (9 of 298)We quickly helped to set up all the rods and got all the tackle ready before heading out to the various flats and small islands for the days first days fishing. Jim and Chris were to spend the day with Gerhard to try and get some good bonefish footage. I accompanied Tim for the week; we decided to head to a little storm spit called District 9. On our arrival we were welcomed by a good size permit that swam right passed us but not giving us a shot. We didn’t have to walk far before finding a big shoal of average size bonefish in the 7-8lb range. John and Rich managed to land a good couple of fish before they slowly started to move off as the tide was pushing. Tim and Rich saw some big GT’s moving onto the tip of the sand spit and tried to get cast to them while John and I chased some other Bonefish while seeing the frequent permit making an appearance. We had three permit that followed the fly right to the rod tip which got us pretty excited. The day continued with some good bone fishing with fish up to 9lb being landed. It was also really cool to see some beast GT’s in the area and we got very excited to wad the week will produce. We all got back to the boat as the sun was just setting over the blue horizon, once on the boat it wasn’t difficult to sense that everyone else also had a good day on the atoll. Stories of shot at GT’s and permit making appearance in big numbers got everyone excited for the weeks fishing.

IMG_8755Chris and Jim were able to get some amazing footage of the bone fishing that St Brandons have to offer. Bonefish of 5lb+ in shoals up to 100 fish wasn’t uncommon on the flats and we had more double hook-ups on bonefish than singles. After a good Dinner on the Gryphon everyone sneaked off to bed to get a good rest for the next day.

The tides for the week was fairly high so the plan was to go for the classic bonefish on the flats first thing on the push, this made for some classic sight fishing for Bonefish as the water pushed onto the massive white sand flats. As the water got higher over the flats one could see GT’s making a feast of the baitfish moving on the edge of these flats it was important to try and get a fly to these big fish before they feast on the baitfish.

KLUG_St_Brandons_2012 (15 of 298)One of the best things for me was the number of Permit that we saw every day. In total we only landed four permit for the week but this doesn’t do any justice for the number of fish that we saw and had casts at, but I guess that is permit fishing. Willy one of the French clients got an especially nice permit of 13lb’s on the last day thanks to Nick’s good guiding skills.

KLUG_St_Brandons_2012 (181 of 298)We constantly had an eye on the weather forecast for the week and we were all relieved to hear that the weather had cleared up for the rest of the week and we could continue to fish as planned. A good number of Bonefish over the 10lb range got landed by most. All in all it was a really successful week with quality fish being landed by everyone. Tim and I both managed to land GT’s over 100cm, my fish giving me an especially hard time as I hooked it on a 9 weight outfit. A fish I will never forget. Blue fin Travally was found in abundance all over the atoll. Tim also managed to get a big yellow lip emperor while fishing on the flats. This was a good start to the Season. Looking forward to what St Brandons will produce in the following weeks.

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