Perhaps this entry shouldn’t be about the entire weeks fishing. I think I should rather save your time and my words, for just one day that I personally won’t ever forget. I don’t mean to suggest that the other five days were uneventful, they were anything but, it’s just that this day, this particularly magical day, over shadowed all the others by such a fantastic margin.
By the time it took the guides to stumble from their beds to the coffee station, we knew it was going to be a day for a spot we like to call Mexican. The tell tale signs were tides shifting off neaps, a lagoon that looked like a bowl of hard jelly and the fact that it was six in the morning and we already had beads of sweat running down our temples. All four of us sat down with our coffee, looked out into the hazy horizon and simultaneously said “Mexican”.
As part of the normal routine I packed kit and lunch as well as two P.E. gentlemen (Phil Kolby & Ken Bateman) into my boat and began the run to a spot well known for holding some decent bonefish. During the run down Phil told me of their previous trips to the Seychelles and how each one had been plagued by the worst luck imaginable. By the time we got to the desired spot I was determined to change their bad streak. A few large bonefish later I was already feeling that things were going our way, and when the tide started dropping with conviction I tore the guys away from the bones to play the ace up my sleeve.
A short run over the glassy water and soon we were atop the long ridge. The water was crystal clear, and 15m below the boat we could see powder blue surgeons in large loose shoals cruising amongst the sandy cuts in the rock. The teasing plug went out, and sure enough a group of black GT’s exploded around the hookless lure. We missed those ones, but the P.E. boys knew what to expect now… A few teases later and another group of half a dozen or so GT’s raced towards the boat. This time the flies were in the right place. One fly line slammed tight, and then another- a double up. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. Not far into the run a hook pulled. One GT was however boated, and moral was high.
There wasn’t enough time to celebrate though. We were on the fish, and we needed to make proverbial hay. After a quick photo the fish was returned to the cool blue and I was back on the teasing rod, while the fishermen stood poised with their rods cocked and ready for action. Again and again groups of GT’s would come up from the depths. Fish after fish was boated, photographed, and hastily returned. For hours reels screamed and they danced around the boat, sometimes staying out of each other’s way while a fish was fought, sometimes avoiding each other’s lines while they both fought a fish.
At one stage I had a minute to look around while the guys dealt with bent rods. All four of the boats were spread out over the reef. If I looked very carefully I could see at least one bent rod on each of them. All of a sudden I got an idea of how many GT’s there must have been along the reef. If I wasn’t already drenched with sweat the thought of hundreds of GT’s swimming below me would have got me pushing beads.
And so the day went, until an hour before we were due back at the lodge. The fish were around, but the crew couldn’t throw another line, or reel in another brute. Just as well, because by the time they called it, my hands and arms were at the very end of their threshold.
What a day!