Providence Blog: 11 – 21 April 2017 (Extended Tour)
Welcome to the final report of our March/April 2017 season on Providence. We greeted nine very friendly and excited guests onboard Maya’s Dugong for what could arguably could be the finest saltwater fly fishing tour on the planet, this group booking one of our highly coveted extended 10 night/9 fishing day experiences. Imagine that…9 full days of the most exciting and diverse flats and offshore fishing the planet has to offer. No wonder everyone was excited!
Day 1 – We started on a full moon spring tide, the massive tidal fluctuation on the flats giving us the opportunity to access certain spots of the atoll that are only fishable on these spring tides and focus our attention on the predatory species who enjoy the bigger tides. We had some bad weather for a good chunk of the day which made for some tough sighting but some of the group still managed to capitalise on some of the GTs prowling the flats. Best of all some of the large resident schools were moving around, these fish rampaging across the flats with one thing in mind – to eat anything they come across. A huge congrats to Ismo, who on his first Indian Ocean flats fishing trip, landed a 90cm GT when he and his group came across one of the schools tearing their way across the flat. The fish of the day however went to Michael who on our first day out landed the first fish over a metre, his prize measuring 105cm. Congrats Michael! The Bumpies were around in decent numbers too, but the super strong current associated with the tides made targeting them effectively a bit too difficult. Other than that we enjoyed some great species bashing, with loads of Snapper and Grouper coming to hand during our first day out. A solid start!
Day 2 – Clear skies and a nice breeze were provided to us on Day 2, ideal conditions for sight fishing the flats! Good numbers of GTs were spotted throughout the day and we managed to get a few to hand. Previous St Brandon’s guests Nicole and Kevin got stuck in on their second day of dedicated GT fishing, each of them landing their first GT before the day came to an end…congrats! Although not a GT, Tyler landed a fish of a lifetime when he hooked and subdued a 144 cm Barracuda, an absolute crocodile of a fish as I’m sure you can see from the image. Best of all was the fact that he had no wire attached to his fly, the fish perfectly in the scissors. The Bumpies and Triggers were around in solid numbers and although we managed to hook a couple their hook crunching jaws and boney mouths ensured some premature releases. Still a great day out!
Day 3 – The weather was a little up and down during the day, but the group still managed to get stuck into some good fish on the dropping tide. A huge congratulations to David for breaking his first fish over a meter with a 101cm on the wild side of the atoll where head guide Tim Babich decided to risk it for the biscuit! His two guests managed to hook nine GTs through the day, 5 of which were landed. We also enjoyed some great species fishing with loads of big Bohar Snapper and some Grouper coming to hand. Some good Bumpie fishing was thrown in, this time Tom managing to hang onto one, a beautiful specimen which measured 103cm. Congrats Tom!
Day 4 – Most of the group headed off to the wild side to do some more exploring and boy did it pay off! Good numbers of GTs as well a smorgasbord of other species jumped onto our flies, the Bohar Snapper population unreal and making it hard for the GTs to get to the fly in time! A huge congratulation however goes out to long time client and friend Tony for landing his 117cm GT….what a fish!
Day 5 – We enjoyed some more stable weather and with it a drop in wind speed. This allowed for calmer offshore conditions which provided some nice scum lines for our Milkfish. They were around in huge numbers, feeding off the surface which provided excellent opportunities which four of the group capitalised on. Congratulations to David, Tony, Ismo and Tom for landing their firsts on Providence Atoll. No doubt they won’t forget the incredible power, speed and stamina of the Milk. The GTs were a bit scarce with only a few coming to hand, the pushing tide bringing with it an influx of warm water. The Triggers however made more of an appearance with the weaker tides, with Nicole breaking the ice and landing her first ever Trigger on the fly.
Day 6 – We headed out to make the best of the dropping tide in the morning and Kevin made it count with a bus 113cm GT. The monster was spotted cruising slowly along the edge of a lagoon and Kevin threw the fly well ahead of it. The fish spotted the fly and instantly charged in and engulfed the fly, taking a few hundred meters of string and giving an intense tussle before finally coming to hand. The GTs in generl were around in better numbers today, many of which were spotted on sting rays. We had some great fun! The Bonefish too were around in good numbers and we managed to enjoy some great fishing, the average fish weighing a very respectable 6lbs or 7lbs. The good Triggerfishing continued, Tony really making his shots count by fooling two of the wily little devils! We also enjoyed some great bluewater action during the course of the day with both Dogtooth Tuna and some Sailfish making an appearance. Congratulations to Ismo and Michael for landing their first ever Sailfish on the fly, no doubt they are fish never to be forgotten and were yet another reminder why Providence is so highly regarded as a complete saltwater fishery.
Day 7 – We enjoyed some really great GT fishing during the course of the day, with good numbers landed by all of the teams. Although one can be tempted to become blasé when you’ve encountered fishing of such a standard, days like this should really be appreciated. The spotting, moving into position, the cast, the eat and of course the camaraderie shared with the end result a huge privilege each and every time it occurs. The excellent bluewater fishing continued this time on the GT front. Ismo landed the fish of lifetime when after a long tussle, a 134cm fish was tailed next to the boat. A special mention must also be made of David’s “Grand Slam”, landing a Milkfish, GT and a Bonefish in one day – not something which occurs every day. The Milks were still around and feeding hard, Kevin and Tyler finally landing their first of the trip after a number of them had been lost earlier on during the trip. Well done guys! All in all it was a great day out on the atoll and one we are sure the guests will not forget in a hurry!
Day 8 – The GTs continued to provide opportunities during the day, however some slick calm water and clear visibility made it tough to present the large streamers to the fish without them spooking. Nonetheless we still managed to get a few to eat and enjoyed them as much any other so far. The same could be said for the all species to be honest, good numbers of Bones and Triggers provided consistent targets but the slick conditions requiring some really skilful angling to get the job done. We did however get one of our highly prized Napoleon Wrasse during the day, these incredible colourful and almost clown looking fish never easy to pull away from structure once hooked.
Day 9 – The final day of our stay on Providence Atoll this season had arrived and with it mixed emotions. Although everyone was excited to head out and make a big last effort, a sense of disappointment lingered knowing we only had a few more hours on this very special fishery! Nonethless we went to it and enjoyed some really special moments. Dan landed 107cm GT, the fish taken out of a school, his two team mates also coming tight to smaller fish in the school at the same time. Exquisite chaos! Kevin also managed to get his first Triggerfish and minutes later a second one, with Tony managing another couple before his day came to end. To finish off the day Kevin managed to entice, hook and land a tank Barracuda, the 131cm crocodile putting up an incredible aerial display to close out a truly memorable 9 fishing days!
All in all it was a great trip to end our season. Granted we had enjoyed better GT fishing during earlier weeks, but we still enjoyed some great fishing for them and together with the huge numbers of feeding Milkfish, solid numbers of Triggers, Bones, Bluefin Trevally, Bohars, Napoleon Wrasse, Grouper, the odd Sailfish and Doggie….it would be wrong to want for more. In closing, we would like to thank everyone on this trip as well as everyone who joined us throughout this season for their continued support. We had a blast fishing with you all and hope to do it again in the not too distant future!
Until November…Tight Lines!
The Providence Guide Team