St Brandon’s Blog: 28 Oct – 7 Nov 2016

_aks2284Our final trip for the late 2016 period on St Brandon’s had arrived and with it a very excited group of people. Dan “Rooster” Leavens from the Stonefly Inn & Outfitters based out of Twin Rivers, Montana had brought a group of friends out to our tiny piece of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with new friends Julian and Joris joining them. We were pumped to sign off on a massive high and deliver some world class angling they would never forget!

_aks2586Day 1 brought with it some wonderful Bonefishing as the clients all got stuck into good numbers of fish as the fed happily in skinny water. Many Bluefin Trevally were also landed and Joris De Scheeper caught a beautiful 69cm fish that was harassing some baitfish on a coral ridge. The Permit too were around and although we had shots at them the fish ultimately had the final say. A solid start to what would be another outstanding week on St. Brandon’s!

_aks1942Day 2 proved to be just as action packed as the first. The great Bonefishing continued in the morning whilst we experienced cooler water temperatures on the flats, with everyone revelling in the ideal conditions. There were numerous shots at Permit throughout the day but just as before the fish eluded us. The highlight of the day was however a 96cm GT caught by “ Rooster.” He spotted the two GT’s cruising the back edge of a flat and made the cast. As his fly hit the water the pitch black charged in and smashed the fly. Despite the fish tearing off into a coral garden, “ Rooster” fought the fish like an absolute champion and after a very intense fight his guide tailed the fish and the celebrations began. A couple of great photos were taken of “Rooster” and his prize GT and the fish was released. A great moment and one which he will surely not forget in a hurry!

img_0139The third day of the trip started off with more excellent Bonefishing in the morning, the bigger fish seemingly around in greater numbers with their average being in and around 6lbs -8lbs. In addition to the world class Bonefishing on offer, some of the atoll’s more colourful and unique species came out to play. Julian Robertson landed two good sized Golden Trevally along with a very big Green Spot Trevally which measured 69cm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe larger bones were around again on Day 4, with multiple fish between 7lb-9lbs coming to hand. “Rooster” was on a roll and landed a spectacular double-digit Bonefish, another St. Brandon’s trophy to add to our growing list for the season. With all the Bonefish around there were a few shots at the GT’s have specialised in hunting them. These fish are most often then not massive specimens, with their fork lengths often in the region of 120cm. Having been around the block a few times due to their age and primarily on the look out for 6-8lb Bonefish, getting them to eat five inch Brush or Semper is not as easy as it sounds. Nonetheless they are an impressive sight and fish we are going to get the upper hand on someday soon. The fish of the day was without a doubt Julian Robertson’s massive 16lb Indo Pacific Permit. He fished the fish for over 30mins making multiple fly changes without any response until eventually the Massive Permit tailed on his tan Merkin style fly and he set the hook. After a gruelling 17min fight the fish slid into the net and the biggest Permit caught on St. Brandon’s this season was landed. What a catch and certainly a fish of a lifetime! Cograts Julian!

imgp4935The Bonefishing proved to be much tougher on day 5 with a lot of warmer water holding on the flats. This warm water did however bring with it a few more shots at the atoll’s elusive GT’s….sadly we could not get them converted. Julian Robertson continued his impressive Permit streak with another two smaller fish! Permit can be tough to fish for on the best of days and to follow his big fish with two more the following day shows some serious angling skill as well as why the atoll is so highly regarded as a Permit destination! After a challenging day out on the flats “Rooster” suggested a joke telling competition over dinner. What ensued was one of the funniest evenings we have enjoyed at the guesthouse to date. Rooster ended up winning the contest with an absolute screamer but I can unfortunately not repeat it in the blog!!!!

img_1653Day 6 brought with it better Bonefishing, the atoll once again alive with fish. There were very good numbers of Permit out on the flats again which provided some heart stopping moments. Julian had another cracker and landed his fourth Permit of the week as well as a double digit Bonefish! Well-done Jay! Joris De Scheeper also landed a beautiful Permit that was slowly snaking and tailing in the shallows of a coral ridge thus bringing the Permit tally for the week to five. With the mood amongst the guests and guides really high we returned to Raphael Island for another fun filled evening which can you belive it involved an arm wrestling competition….enough said!

img_5965Our final day of the season was filled with some more great Bonefishing, with Julian landing his second double digit Bonefish of the trip. His casting was extremely accurate and he fished the fly to perfection.The fish fought hard and had him into the backing on several occasions. Julian did well to keep the fish out of coral and eventually tired the fish out and got it to hand. Some photos were taken and soon the fish was swimming away from us while Julian’s smile grew bigger and bigger. The Permit were out in good numbers again but they weren’t as accommodating as earlier in the week. Five for the trip is not bad anyway!

Timgp5012his brings an end to another incredible season on St. Brandon’s. A record number of Permit were landed for the season as the fishery continues to deliver incredibly consistent fishing as well as the opportunity of landing that fish of a lifetime! We would like to thank all the guests who joined us over the past season, including our guests this past trip for joining us on the the atoll. We look forward to hosting you all again during the year ahead.

Until next season
The St Brandon’s Guide Team

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