Sunday, 28 December 2008

Durban harbor flats fishing

So it was my mate David’s birthday yesterday and we decided to celebrate it with a fishing session off the sand banks in Durban harbor. We arrived around 08h00 just as the tide was going out. This is the closest thing to flats fishing Durban has, all be it for a short period of around an 3 hours. We waded out and it wasn’t long before we saw all manner of fish (Mullet, Springer, Grunter & Kingfish) darting between channels desperately feeding up before the sand banks became totally exposed. Conditions were perfect, slightly overcast with a slight breeze. It took only ten minutes before I was able to distinguish the recognizable shape of a decent sized Stump nose’s tail poking out the water. I cast my prawn imitation around 3m in front of its nose and waited for the fish to swim towards it. I found myself talking to myself wishing it to snaffle up the fly but it showed no interest. I took twenty or so steps forward, following it and re cast over it again….this time landing within two meters from its nose……It must have seen it…I said! It turned towards the sinking prawn but at the last moment it darted away. I cast several more times at it without any luck before it moved out in to the deeper channel of the Bay.
Dave spent the morning stuck to one spot, fishing for grunter with small crabs, while I slowly moved up and down the sand bank casting along the deep drop off areas.

Although I didn’t manage to hook in to a kingfish or Springer I did manage to catch this Flattie which took a minnow imitation. Its hard to believe but these fish are one of the best tasting fish in the sea and had it been bigger I would have had it on the Barbie last night. All in all a top morning fishing in Durban’s harbor, off the sandbank flats.

Monday, 22 December 2008

African adventures (II)

As soon as I stepped of the plane in Durban I was greeted with temperatures of +35’c…….yes it was hotter than a baboons arse sitting on a hot rock. The humidity was bearable but definitely noticeable….a far cry from the – 8’c I had left behind in Finland. Aaaah! its good to be back in Africa…….I just wish it was under different circumstances. All the sounds and smells came flooding back and I had forgotten how hectic even a small city like Durban was. I’m lucky in Finland if I see 20 people or more per day…….that’s unless I visit a town off course, but you don’t realize how busy and heavily populated a country is until you have visited Africa.

One thing is for shore though is I cant wait to get stuck into some saltwater fly-fishing again. I managed to tie several different flies before I left, some small minnow patterns as well as some larger mullet patterns for targeting ocean going Salmon.

I also tied some simple white feathered streamers with some red hackle tied in at the front and also some plain black streamers….pretty much what I would use for Pike here in Finland…..But they will be perfect for Garrick and Trevaley,Elf (Shad) in Sodwana bay up the north coast over the new year.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

My new playground

So I’ve now moved to Vaasa….to the island of Replot which falls under Finland’s 1st Natural world Heritage site “Kvarken”. The reason for the award is that the area is one of the few places in the world where the land mass is actually rising by 7mm - 9mm per annum.

Over the last 150 yrs, hundreds of small islands have risen from the sea bed and this has produced some of the best pike habitats that can be found in the whole of the Baltic sea. In fact the islands of Replot, Bjorkoby & Maraskar are regarded by many Finns as the best pike fishing waters in the whole of Finland & many of Finland’s record pike have hailed from the area.
This is probably due to far less netting by locals and also a stricter catch and release policy practiced by many of the pike fishermen in the area.

There is also a larger quantity of drop of areas around islands which form channels for their prey to swim between. Coupled with that, far more reed beds are found scattered along all the islands shorelines than anywhere else in the Baltic giving them better spawning areas as well.

Looking at theses images, I’m sure you will agree with me that that I cant wait to for next spring to get stuck into these Baltic Pike.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The need to fish

As the ice starts to freeze over the sea here in Vaasa I'm left wondering how much ice fishing I will get done this winter with a 3 month trip to South Africa just around the corner.I know one thing, I wont be as desperate as these buggers in wanting to drop a line through a small hole in the ice though.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Why do I love to fish

I have been asking that question for many years now and still haven’t come up with a solid explanation

Is it the hunter gatherer in me that takes me out fishing so I can provide a meal for the table at the end of the day. Ever since I can remember I’ve always brought fish home to eat. Maybe not so much when I lived in the UK but certainly in South Africa and since living here in Finland. Yet there are plenty of days when I go out and release everything that I catch… maybe its not the hunter gatherer in me after all!

Could it be the challenge of trying to outsmart the fish especially with a fly that I have tied myself, part of it?
Or figuring out where the fish might be and why it is there, is another aspect of the challenge, that also takes me fishing.
Or could it just be that fly-fishing is just another avenue for allowing me to get outdoors and be one with nature?

I do know one thing though, And that is when I am out fishing, I completely forget about anything remotely pertaining to my life. In fact it has to be the only activity I have ever done, that for those few hours while I have a fly-rod in my hand I truly couldn’t give a toss about anything, except enjoying that particular moment. Its as if my mind shuts down completely. I’m sure the factors above play a big part in the experience as well, but at the end of the day fishing is more than a relaxant……….Its a sole cleanser!

I leave you with this quote by Charles F. Orvis
"More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done."

Thursday, 11 December 2008

African adventures

Well the move to Vaasa has finally happened and we now have Internet connected so I'm back on line.Went fishing the other day all be it with my little bait casting rig but with a howling wind with a chill factor of -8'c I didn't expect to catch was just nice to get out for a while from unpacking and smell the ocean air again.
As I have mentioned before, although this blog is dedicated to fly-fishing for pike I will be in South Africa for the next 3 months due to family matters which means I will be doing some..........well lets rephrase that, I will be doing as much saltwater fly-fishing as I can, and also hopefully some fly-fishing for Yellow fish up on the highveld around Sterkfontein Dam or on the Vaal river, and also some trout fishing up in the Drakensburg mountains so if you see some different species its only me while I’m on my African adventures.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Pike fly-fishing porn

Have somebody you’d like to drag along for a days pike fly-fishing but are finding it hard to convince them, or maybe you are considering trying it out but still having doubts, or maybe you’ve been fly-fishing for pike for donkeys years and looking for some inspiration. Well here is a DVD that left me literally dribbling all over my leg. This is my idea of Pike fly-fishing Porn perfection.
PIKE ON THE FLY “In pursuit of the water wolf” by Barry Reynolds has to be one of the best pike fly-fishing films available. I have sat in awe and watched this several times over the last few months. 2 years in the making, Barry visits some of the best pike waters in North America & and in some of the best top water action ever filmed he gets stuck into so truly massive leviathans on the fly.
There is a special features section where Barry also shows you his favourite patterns, Leader set ups & fly line selections for all water depths.
For a preview of what is on the DVD then click on this link

So If you only ask for one present this Christmas then get
“In pursuit of the water wolf” check out where you can buy it.