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St Brandon Blog: 28 Oct – 7 Nov 2019

St Brandon Blog: 28 Oct – 7 Nov 2019

This week saw us fishing over a new moon neap tide which gave us plenty of wading time to the full variety of species the atoll has to offer.

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The Bonefishing was outstanding this week with all forms of opportunities presenting themselves. We enjoyed fishing to tailing fish in ankle deep water as well big schools in slightly deep water. A special mention goes out to Bill who was fishing the Indian Ocean for the first time. Bill managed to get stuck into great numbers of fish including a cracking 8.5lb slab. Well done sir! Randy also had some outstanding sessions landing numerous Bonefish for the week. A huge congratulation to Wessel for getting his 1st Bonefish on a fly rod on the first day of the trip and later in the week his 9.5lb fish proving to be our largest for the week.

IMG_0347The Permit were also around in decent numbers this week and we managed to get the guys into some really good opportunities, from tailing and cruising fish on the flats to fish high riding off sand banks and island structures, we had it all. A huge congratulations goes out to Andrew for managing to get it done, his 9lb fish slowly dropping down the flat when he presented the fly. The fish initially seemed to spook off the fly, but another cast was made, and the fish made no hesitations in inhaling the crab imitation second time round. Unfortunately, we did however lose a hooked Permit this week which is never nice, but that’s fishing and that’s why each fish landed is a special experience.

IMG_0938Good numbers of Giant Trevally were also around on the flats this week. We encountered fish riding on the back of Nurse sharks, big schools and single fish marauding bonefish in the shallows…any of these scenarios nail bitingly exciting. As it goes, we managed to have a few eat the fly as well as some missed opportunities, but Chris has done this before and managed to get it done with a gorgeous fish which measured 102cm! Well done Chris! Wessel also managed to get his 1stGt ever on a fly rod with a great 96cm fish, a really big fish for your first ever GT! The Bluefin Trevally were also around in decent numbers. Andrew managed to get a great fish which measured a whopping 78cm, congrats on yet another great fish. Bill also managed to get his 1st Bluefin Trevally on a fly rod this week adding to his species list. The golden Trevally were around in great numbers with Bill, Randy and Neil all managing to tick the box on this wonderful flats fishing species.

The week overall provided an abundance of variety, opportunities and species and as such look forward to sharing this special place with our next set of guests.

Until next week!

The St Brandon’s guide team

St Brandon’s Blog: 14 – 24 Oct 2019

St Brandon’s Blog: 14 – 24 October 2019

Anticipation was high as we headed into our fifth week of the season. We were coming off spring tides moving into the new moon neap tides as the week went on. This gave us ample wading time on the flats and allowed us to sight cast at the full array of species.

IMG_20191020_122220_2The Permit were around in great numbers this week with all of our guests getting numerous shots at this incredible species. We experienced an array of different opportunities, including both cruising and tailing fish on the flats, islands and coral ridges. Jim did not waste anytime opening up the week with an wonderful fish of 10lb. The fish was slowly free swimming along the flats with the pushing tide, Jim’s cast hitting the money a few inches away from its nose the fish. The fish slowly turned on the fly and engulfed the crab midwater before giving him a solid tussle before eventually coming to hand. Jim then managed to catch the next Permit he made a shot at, this one was holding on the lee side of a sand bar. Another well-presented fly and the result was two permit within an hour….a great achievement. Dan also managed to hook a decent Permit but unfortunately the fish came off a few seconds into the fight. Jim showed no signs of slowing down though, his 3rd fish coming to hand after it crushed the fly over some white sand… a pretty fish with long sickles. His 4th was a real beauty weighing 14lb, this fish spotted tailing whilst we were heading back to the boat to have a lunch. His first cast gained no reaction and the fish continued to feed up the flat, but his next cast landed about a foot in front of the fish’s nose and it sipped it in. We were now 20 yards from the boat. When the fish came to hand the screams scared most of the birds off the atoll… it was a great moment! Jim managed to land his 5th Permit later on in the week, this special moment capping off a truly remarkable week of Permit fishing for him!

IMG_4011The Trevally too were around in decent numbers this week, with Arthur opening the account on the first day after we located a pack of Bluefin Trevally, Giant Trevally and sharks in a feeding frenzy off one of the storm ridges. Arthur made a great cast at the GT’s and before he could even get his first strip he was tight into a great fish. After a solid fight, a beautiful 105cm fish was tailed. Great job Arthur! We saw a few other GT’s during the week with Ben unfortunately being bitten of by the one he hooked. All in all, we had some great shots and saw some really big fish smashing bait which always a great experience to have out on the water.

IMG_20191017_104657We experienced fantastic Bonefishing all week. Opportunities to fish in ankle deep water at tailing fish, small and big shoals on the flats, sand bars and island systems…our guests got to see it all! Although our largest fish was 7,5lb we did see and hook some really big ones, unfortunately we couldn’t land them. Let’s just say they don’t get that big for nothing, these really big fish are smart and need to be fished at with precision casts and even when hooked they know exactly where they need to run to cut you off. All in all, still some superb Bonefishing as per usual!

The atoll is in great condition and is teaming with an abundance of life. We all had a great time out on the water even during some tough weather periods. We would like to thank all the guests for their energy and sharing this wonderful place with us and look forward to fishing with them all again!

The St Brandon’s Guide team

St Brandon Blog: 7-17 October 2019

St Brandon Blog: 7-17 October 2019

Welcome to another week on this remote and exciting fishery. After welcoming our guests to Raphael Island, we set to work getting everyone’s gear up to scratch for the week of fishing that lay ahead.

IMG_9089Our guests experienced true St Brandon’s style Bonefishing with numerous opportunities to fish to tailing Bones in super shallow water presenting themselves throughout the week. Joe and Charles both came away with the largest fish of the week which weighed in at 7.5lbs, well done guys! Large schools of Bonefish that are ever present during big spring high tides kept our group of anglers busy which allowed everyone to catch loads of Bonefish during these periods of the day.

IMG_9113The atoll produced a fair number of opportunities to tailing Permit in typical fashion; on the shallow water flats and broken coral storm ridges. Charlie and Jim both experienced heartbreak by losing Permit that they managed to entice to their flies during the week. Charlie, who was determined to turn his luck around managed to make his next shot count from a high riding school of fish off a sand bar near the northern side of the atoll. Well done Charlie, the first Indo-Pacific Permit landed are always fondly remembered!

IMG_3916The Trevally fishing proved to be good this week with loads of shots at large Bluefin Trevally. Joe and Charles both made the most of their shots and each landed their first electric Bluefin Trevally on fly. Charles then went on to land a lively Golden Trevally and a 72cm Island Trevally; which is an awesome achievement well done Charles! The GTs proved to be a little difficult to come by and although we still managed to get the odd shot at some real giants, we couldn’t convert our opportunities.

We thoroughly enjoyed sharing this week on the flats with a group of new faces and we hope to spend time with you all again.

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway St Brandon’s Guide team

St Brandon Blog: 30 Sept – 10 Oct 2019

St Brandon Blog: 30 Sept – 10 Oct 2019

Our third week of the season and the second week of our group from WorldCast Anglers stay with on St Brandon’s Atoll was full of highlights and special fishing.

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We experienced springs into neaps which allowed us a little more time on the flats due to the smaller tidal ranges. The favorable water conditions allowed for periods of incredible Bonefishing with hungry tailing fish being the norm. The average size fish landed was in the range of 6lbs with the odd 8 lb, exceptional by any standards.

The Permit were around in good numbers this week with a variety of different opportunities presenting themselves. From tailing fish on the flats and around islands, to schooling fish cruising the edge of sand bars and lagoon systems. Even though we managed to hook a few of these difficult fish we were unfortunately unable to get any to hand.

IMG_8913The neap tides allowed us to spend more time on the reef hunting the different Trevally species that frequent these waters. Our focus was on finding these predators either riding on the backs of sharks and stingrays or free swimming in schools. We managed to feed some giants this week, unfortunately most of these fish got the better of us. Tom however had better ideas and made the most of his opportunities by landing a trophy GT measuring 103cm. George followed Tom’s example and went on to land a trophy himself, measuring 102cm. Both were amazing fish that these anglers will remember for a long time to come. Seeing these fish speed up to eat a fly with their eyes and head exposed out of the water while engulfing a baitfish pattern is one of the most exciting moments in saltwater fly fishing!

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The great Bluefin Trevally fishing continued this week with a couple special fish coming to hand. John landed a monster specimen that stretched the measuring tape to 72cm! We were also lucky enough to see the odd Golden Trevally tailing on some of the flats this week, George and Tom both added this special fish to their list of species caught for the week. Well done guys!

That concludes a memorable two weeks with a great bunch of guys from WorldCast Anglers. We experienced the highs and lows of targeting some of the most sought-after Indian Ocean flats species and made memories that we’ll all keep for a long time. We look forward to what the atoll has in store for us in the coming weeks.

Till next time,

The FlyCastaway St Brandon’s Guide team

St Brandon Blog: 23 Sep – 3 Oct 2019

St Brandon Blog: 23 Sep – 3 Oct 2019

The second week of the season welcomed a familiar group of faces from Worldcast Anglers who were to spend two weeks with us on this outlandish fishery. This fishing report describes the fishing experienced during their first week with us on the atoll.

IMG_20190927_091708The Bonefishing began in a sluggish manor due to the large tidal ranges we experienced over the spring tides. As the week continued our group enjoyed exceptional Bonefishing in super skinny water which our guests took full advantage of. The various landmasses scattered throughout the atoll produced good numbers of large schools from which we were able to get a couple great fish to hand with our biggest of the week weighing in at 7.5 lbs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe enjoyed incredible fishing on the Permit front with opportunities at tailing fish presenting themselves on the flats as well as around the islands. Congratulations is in order for George as he, on his first trip to the Indian Ocean landed a trophy Indo-Pacific Permit of 13.5lb! Chris also managed to pick a solid fish from of a school of high riding Permit that were found cruising along the edge of a lagoon which pulled the scale to the 10lb mark. He later added to his first ever Indo with another beautiful fish of 8lbs which brought his tally to two in one day, well done Chris! Zak got into the action too by landing a fin perfect 8 lber which was fooled into eating a fly as it tailed along a coral ridge near one of the major landmasses. Finally, Steve, on his first trip to the Indian Ocean and after losing 4 Permit this week managed to get the hook to stick properly with his last cast of the week and landed a fin perfect fish of 8 lbs, what a way to end his stay with us. Unbelievable action on the Permit front this week!

IMG_9751The Trevally fishing proved to be full of action this week with the larger tides bringing in some massive GTs and Bluefin Trevally. Subsequently our guests enjoyed great opportunities in front of these fish in just about every shallow water GT scenario; from finding fish on the storm ridges, islands and the shallow flats. Zak didn’t stop with the Permit and went on to land an awesome GT of 96cm that was found riding on the back of a stingray. The fishing gods were clearly looking kindly at George as he landed yet another fish of a lifetime, a trophy Giant Trevally that was found holding stationery in the current near a small island. All it took was a well presented cast and this fish exploded on the fly, giving a good tussle before eventually coming to hand and pulling the measuring tape all the way to 114cm! Well done Chris. As mentioned the Bluefin Trevally were encountered in good numbers and the largest measured close to 70cm. Other than these 2 iconic species we also managed to add 2 Island Trevally to to the species list which are always a bonus fish on the flats, Chris caught a monster of the species that measured 72cm.

As always it was a pleasure having the crew from Woldcast Anglers with us and we look forward to the next fishing week with this same group of anglers.

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway St Brandon’s Guide team

 

St Brandon Blog: 8 – 19 September 2019

St Brandon Blog: 8 – 19 September 2019

P9160371Our opening week of the 2019/2020 St Brandon’s season welcomed a small group of guests to this remote and pristine environment as two of the original group unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute (they were sorely missed). After a quick tackle setup ensuring all our guest’s gear was in good order for the next morning, we settled in for the night with an overwhelming feeling of excitement for the start of the season.

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The Bonefishing lived up to our expectations with a couple great fish coming to hand, the biggest fish reaching the 7.5lb mark which was hooked and landed by Alex. Our guests experienced what makes St Brandon’s so special with various walk and stalk scenarios playing out; from Bonefish accessing the flats in water so shallow that their whole backs were exposed, to large schools of fish in deeper water. We all appreciated the tremendous show and experience these fish provided us during the week.

IMG_3757The abundance of Indo-Pacific Permit that this atoll hosts is of special proportions and often delivers an opportunity to cast to trophy fish on any given day. From skinny water tailing fish on the flats and storm ridges to schools of fish cruising along lagoon edges and islands, the numbers often encountered is mind blowing. This week we managed to craft a couple great opportunities which resulted in hook-ups; however, we were dealt with some bad luck at inopportune moments which resulted in these notoriously difficult fish evading our eager hands. The sight of exposed golden sickles gives even the most experienced of anglers a few sleepless nights, these fish are certainly the holy grail of saltwater fly fishing.

IMG_8289The various Trevally species of St Brandon’s were encountered in decent numbers which resulted in Igor managing to land a good Bluefin and Greenspot Trevally. Unfortunately, the brutish large GTs that frequent St Brandon’s flats managed get the better of us as well and although we weren’t able to get any to hand we had shots at some real monsters. Encouraging still was the numbers seen and we hope to get a few to hand in the coming weeks.

All in all, we as a guide group and our guests enjoyed what was a fun week of fishing. Considering the challenging weather we were dealt we still managed to land a couple memorable fish and make special memories on some of the most beautiful flats on the planet.

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway St Brandon’s Guide team

 

St Brandon Blog: 22 – 28 May 2019

St Brandon Blog: 22 – 28 May 2019

The final week of the April – May 2019 season on St Brandons brought with it a sense of expectation as we were all keen to make the most of the final days we had left on the atoll. Needless to say, this was certainly one action-packed week!

IMG_5307Our guests were treated to phenomenal Bonefishing during the week with loads of larger fish landed. Some days the average size of the fish landed was as big as 6.5lbs. Many fish in the 7-8lbs range were caught with Tristan landing 2 large 8lbers this week. Terry, who was completing his third back-to-back week with us landed a solid 9.5lb Bone. Charles also landed a 9.5lb Bone but he landed an even larger fish when he hooked and landed a 10.5lb fish on the first morning of the week! An absolute monster of a fish and a fine way to end the season on the Bonefishing front.

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The Permit fishing this week was once again out of this world with our guests enjoying multiple shots at these prized fish and by the end of the week, we had landed 5 in total. Charles kept his great streak going by landing his first ever Indo-Pacific Permit on the first afternoon, while taking an early evening stroll around Raphael Island with his son Tristan. The fish weighed in at 7lbs and was surely a great moment for the father and son fishing duo to share together. Jarod and Justin who were both fortunate enough to join us this week for a bit of fishing and training on St Brandon managed to enjoy some world class fishing with each of them landing an Indo-Pacific Permit. Jarod’s beautiful 6lb fish was caught late in the afternoon with a deadly accurate cast, the fish moved all of 50cm and tailed on his crab imitation. Justin’s 7lb fish was caught earlier in the week while it tailed along a sandbar.  Arguably the most special Permit this week was landed by Tristan, not only was this 10lber his first ever Indo-Pacific Permit caught on fly but it also formed part of what would be and Indian Ocean Grand Slam! He had landed a GT and a Bonefish earlier that day, Well done Tristan!

IMG_5578We experienced excellent Trevally fishing on the last week of the season which is no surprise as we have encountered big numbers of Golden, Bluefin and Giant Trevally around the atoll this season. We were able to hook a couple Goldens this week with the standout fish caught by Jarod, who landed a strong 10lb Golden on the first morning of the trip. The Bluefin Trevally fishing picked up this week too with shots at many larger specimens. Charles landed a solid 72cm fish while Jarod kept his good fortune going and landed a 77cm Bluefin that was found while it was riding the back of 2 large Nurse sharks along with a bunch of other Bluefin and GTs.

IMG_5435Our GT fishing this week turned out to be fantastic with just about everyone in the group getting quality shots at these apex predators. 4 were landed in total for the week, 2 by Tristan with the aforementioned 90cm fish that led to his Grand Slam and a few days later he landed an even larger fish of 92cm; to land 2 GTs on St Brandons and pull off a Grand Slam is no mean feat! Well done Triston. Justin also got stuck into the atoll’s large GTs and managed to land 2 large fish in as many days. First, he landed a 110cm fish that was giving a school of Bones a seriously hard time and the next day he went one better and landed a 111cm fish that was caught while it was holding in the current just below a coral ridge.

Another fantastic season has come to an end on the wild flats of St Brandon. The atoll really did leave the best for last this season which left us all excited for what the coming September – November 2019 season has in store for us.

Until next time,

The FlyCastaway St Brandons Guide Team

 




St Brandon Blog: 15 – 21 May 2019

St Brandon Blog: 15 – 21 May 2019

IMG_8167We were treated to incredible Bonefishing this past week on St Brandons with our guests enjoying a wide range of different Bonefishing scenarios; large single fish in skinny water right through to big schools of fish in slightly deeper water. Of the larger fish that we were able to land this week, John landed Bones of 7, 7.5 and 8lbs during his stay on the atoll with us. Ed and Terry both landed 8lb Bones while Sidney came up trumps and landed the biggest of the week, an 8.5lb fish that ate the fly before an even bigger one could get to it! In total our group managed to land 331 Bonefish between 6 anglers with a solid 5lb average which is an impressive feat and once again shows that St Brandon is a premier Bonefishing destinatioin.

IMG_5132There were loads of shots at the Indo-Pacific Permit that call the atoll home. As usual we were able to hook a few but we were only able to land one this week. Robyn, the only successful angler managed to land her first ever Indo-Pacific Permit. Her 7lb fish was seen tailing on one of our more famous Permit flats and after she made a pinpoint cast with her self-tied fly, everyone involved knew the fish was going to eat. The fish took off at speed and after a couple nervy moments threading the fish through a coral garden the fish was netted! A couple quick photos were taken of the fish and then it was released to fight another day, well done Robyn!

IMG_1260The Trevally action was full of ups and downs this week with our guests having a number of good shots at the atoll’s large GTs. John, Ed and Frans all hooked monster GTs but unfortunately, the fish got the better of us and managed to get loose one way or another. There were however a couple of large Greenspot Trevally landed this week which provided great fun on the 9wt for Sidney, who landed 2 Greenspots of 63cm and 67cm while Frans landed the biggest of the week with a lively 69cm fish.

With that we ended another week on the beautiful flats of St Brandon, till next week.

The FlyCastaway St Brandon Guide Team




St Brandon Blog: 8 – 14 May 2019

St Brandon Blog: 8 – 14 May 2019

IMG_8017The fourth week of the St Brandons season started with high winds, cloud cover and squalls. This made the conditions tough but kept the water cool for long periods of time and thus led to spectacular skinny water fishing to large bonefish. The weather did stabilize later in the week doing a full 180 degrees, it went flat calm without a cloud in the sky. There were large numbers of fish landed everyday and the average size for the week sat at a solid 6lbs. Of the larger bones landed 2 fish of 7lbs were landed by Robyn, 2 of 7.5lbs by Ian and Sean and a 8.5lb fish landed by Robyn. Finally, Ray, who experienced some of the best of what St Brandons has to offer landed 2x 8lb bones as well as 4 fish of 8.5lbs, well done Ray! A few bigger fish were hooked but unfortunately, the fish had the final say. The conditions are perfect at the moment for a double digit fish to be landed so we are looking forward to what the coming weeks have in store for us.

_DSC3108There were once again multiple shots at the tricky Indo-Pacific Permit that call St Brandons home. With the variety of flats fishing scenarios on offer our guests enjoyed the challenge of fishing to these beautiful fish. There were a few hooked during the week but only one was landed. Ian caught his first ever Indo-Pacific Permit on the last day of the trip after persisting the whole week. Well done Ian, the hard work paid off!

IMG_4917The Trevally fishing proved to be tough this week, that said there were still multiple shots at large GTs and Bluefin. We are seeing good numbers of these fish around currently so the chance of one of our guests catching a fish of a lifetime is certainly on our minds while we wade the flats. Other than the larger Trevally species that call St Brandon Atoll home a couple of the less aggressive species were landed. Terry hooked and landed a respectable Yellowdot Trevally that was tailing on one of our famous Bonefish flats while Sean added to the species list with his first Golden Trevally of his fishing career.

This brings an end to another action-packed week on St Brandons. We’re all looking forward to what next week has in store for us.

The FlyCastaway St Brandons Guide Team

 

 

 

 

 




St Brandon Blog: 1 – 7 May 2019

St Brandon Blog: 1 – 7 May 2019

IMG_4465Our third week of the St Brandon April – May 2019 season began with heavy wind for the first couple days. This happened to compliment the fishing as loads of cold water was pushed onto the flats. The weather improved substantially as the week progressed and thus made the fishing conditions ideal with morning low tides providing our guests with shots at large Bones in super skinny water. A solid 5 – 6lbs average was enjoyed during the week with impressive numbers of fish landed in total. Charlie and Brandon both landed 7.5lb Bones while Christian, Johnny, Charlie, Mike and Brandon all managed to land impressive 8lb Bones during the course of their week on the flats.

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The Permit fishing this week proved to be tricky. We encountered several fish and had shots at most of them, however the Permit weren’t in a particularly forgiving mood. We were able to hook 2 Permit this week but unfortunately lost both fish.

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We encountered a fair number of the various Trevally species that call St Brandon Atoll home. Our guests had numerous shots at GTs, Bluefin and Golden Trevally daily. By the end of the week we had managed to hook 4 GTs and land just 1. The GT that did come to hand was found in textbook St Brandons fashion while it cruised on the back of a stingray, on a coral flat in the east of the atoll. Johnny and his guide ran up to get ahead of the fish and once they were in position they waited for the fish to move towards them. The first cast was short, Johnny stripped up quickly to send another one out, this time the cast was on the money. As he started stripping the fish showed interest and on his third strip the fish shot forward and engulfed the fly. It then proceeded to tear off towards the horizon taking an unbelievable amount of backing. After a long and intense fight the fish was eventually subdued and Johnny could finally hold his trophy 109cm GT in his arms. After a quick photo-shoot the fish was sent back with smiles all round. What a fish Johnny, congratulations!

With that we completed another week on the impressive flats of St Brandon. Our guests were blown away by the quality of the bonefishing they experienced and we were happy to be there to share in on the action. We look forward to what the rest of the season has on the cards for us.

The St Brandon FlyCastaway Guide Team