Where to fish? Global Tour Guide!!!
Our quick guide to early autumn hotspots for bank and boat
Now is the only time I tend to fish the north arm because you can get really close to the weed around Tim Appletons, Transformer and Burley. You have to observe a 50m rule in the south arm but there are huge weed beds 2-300 yards out from the shore around Manton and Cattle Trough. Fish Boobies over submerged weedbeds and be ready for a cracking overwintered fish or two.
Harbour, Normanton Bank, Three Trees to Fantasy Island along the south shore for fry or snail feeders. All these hotspots have their day now. But many anglers can’t be bothered to drive to the peninsula, where they’ll find solitude at Carrot Creek and Old Hall Bay and excellent chances of a good fish. Don’t leave without having a chuck at Barn Hill Creek.
Early autumn and beyond often sees weedbeds exposed due to low water on our reservoirs and Rutland – the No.1 reservoir in our Top 100 trout waters – is no exception. Where there’s weed there’s food; where there’s food there’s fish…and expect some big ones at this time of year. We asked former world champion Iain Barr for his preferred areas as we move into autumn.
ADDRESS Rutland Water Fishing Lodge, Normanton Rd, Edith Weston, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8HD
CONTACT 01780 686441
PRICES Day (8 fish plus catch & release) £26; Day motor-boat hire £27. Plenty of other ticket options.
SEASON March 11 2016 to January 31, 2017
Deep in the far south west of the Amazon Basin, the Secure River and its stunningly beautiful tributaries the Agua Negra, Pluma and Itirisama are as remote as it gets, and the Tsimane operation based here offers sight-fishing with 9wt rods for one of the most remarkable fish on the planet.
Freshwater Salminus brasiliensis sports a voracious appetite, an almost absurd golden fuselage and ranks of savage teeth, and they are an astonishingly aggressive predator. Watching these ruthless killers attacking the big schools of ‘sabalo’ baitfish in Tsimane’s tiny upland streams is truly blood-curdling.
Travelling upstream in a dugout canoe into the headwaters of these gin-clear rivers as they come cascading down out of the Andean foothills, you’ll encounter an array of astonishing flora and fauna, and no doubt make friends with the laughing children of the primitive indigenous Chimane Indians, as they swim in the river.
This tribe, who exist just as they did long before the conquistadors came slashing their bloody way through the jungle, live in loin-cloths and still hunt their supper with bow and arrow. The fishing offers everything from stealthy hunting on hands and knees for singletons lurking in tiny pools, to absolute mayhem as big dorado hunt in packs and tear their quarry to pieces.
Do your best to hold your nerve and pitch your baitfish imitation into the carnage before the frenzy is over. Steal yourself: dorado can range to over 30lb. They hit like a train and fight with a power that will astonish any trout fisherman.
Brutishly strong Pacu – the ‘permit of the jungle’, and big Surubi catfish that are genuinely catchable on fly offer some variety, but why would you want to bother when the big golden dorado are on the prowl? Seeing a big dorado clambering into the crackling heat of the jungle is a sight few anglers will ever forget.
CONTACT: Untamed Angling run the remarkable Tsimane Operation. This series of lodges and camps offer remarkable five star accommodation, delicious food, aircon and even, in some cases internet access. Talk to Rodrigo Salles at: www.untamedangling.com
TARPON FROM CUBA
FORTY miles off the Cuban coastline, Jardinas de la Reina was named for Queen Isabella of Spain by Christopher Columbus, when he first set foot here on his second voyage to the new world in late 1493.
On a typical day out on the water here, you will see almost exactly what Columbus saw – pristine white sand flats, turquoise water, blue skies, the odd mangrove, and precious little else…except fish. Lots of fish. JDR is teeming with all kinds of fabulous fly-rod targets.
Bonefish, jack crevalle, snook, barracuda and mutton and cubera snapper will all jostle for your attention, but for me at least, two fish stand head and shoulders above the rest. JDR is one of the very best tarpon fisheries in the world.
These huge, chrome-plated dinosaurs come cruising along the oceanside flats either as singletons or in schools of anything from two to two hundred. They can weigh anything from 10 to 150lb, and if you can keep your nerve, they will snaffle a well-presented fly, explode into the wide, blue Caribbean skies and contort your 12 weight rod into an eye-popping horseshoe.
If you can drag yourself away for an afternoon, your guide will take you hunting for the ultimate saltwater prize and surely the toughest fly-rod target in the world – trachinotus falcatus – the permit. These fish will break your heart a million times, but catch a permit and you may want to fish for little else. These fish make your heart beat faster than any other fish, and you’ll remember every one you catch until the day you die.
CONTACT: Filippo Invernizzi or Matias Giminez at Avalon www.cubanfishingcenters.com
ICELANDIC WILD BROWNS
ICELAND’S freakish ‘Ice and Fire’ landscape is like no other, and even before you pick up your fly rod, you know that you are in a very special place. Most people know Iceland as a salmon fishery par excellence, but many are less aware of the incredible trout and char fishing that this unique island can offer.
Lake Thingvallavatn is perhaps the jewel in Iceland’s crown – a magical fishery lying on the fault-line between the European and North American tectonic plates, where huge sea-trout have been trapped by geological shifts since the last ice-age.
These fish are surely the most magnificent wild brown trout in the world – chrome silver and peppered with ink-black spots, they instantly betray their sea-going past, and feeding on the almost limitless number of char that call Thingvallavatn home, they grow to almost undreamt of size.
Most of the time, these magnificent fish spend their time in the vast deeps of the lake, but in late spring, they head into the shallow waters in order to re-metabolise in the warm water provided by hot springs and stream inflows. They can then be targeted with a fly rod, and the fishing represents every reservoir trout angler’s wildest dream.
Fish averaging close to 10lb can be caught as they chase sticklebacks or – better still – sip tiny emerging midges from the surface film. I managed 10 fish for 82lb in one remarkable five-hour session, fishing with the 10ft 7wt rod that I use at my local Grafham Water near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, using soft-hackle emergers in the film on a full floating line.
My biggest fish was a stupendous 17lb, and it was an afternoon I will never forget. CONTACT: Joey Hafnfjord and Stefan Kristjansson run the fabulous ION beat at Lake Thingvallavatn, and they are represented by Tarquin Millington Drake at www.frontiers.co.uk Kristján Páll Rafnsson also has fishing on Lake Thingvallavatn, including the excellent Black Cliffs Beat, and also offers other fantastic char and trout fishing options in Iceland. You can contact him via www.fishpartner.com
CASA Vieja on Guatemala’s Pacific coast is THE place to catch sailfish on fly, and this peerless operation average no fewer than nine fish TO THE BOAT PER DAY on fly during sailfish season. Some people will tell you that the method of ‘tease and switch’, which involves attracting the fish to the back of the boat with a hookless teaser before the angler casts his fly is not proper fly fishing.
Ignore them. Seeing one of these fabulous creatures lighting up like a neon sign as they hunt furiously for the teaser they had been about to eat is incredibly exhilarating, and in the face of such adrenaline-fuelled mayhem, it’s not easy to hold your nerve.
Get it right and you will be privileged to see one of the great sights in flyfishing, as eight, nine or even 10 feet of Pacific sailfish crashes into your huge pink and white fly and jack-knifes into the air in the first of its trademark cartwheels.
Very few things are more exciting, but I know of one occasionally a small or sometimes not-so-small blue marlin will pop up behind the boat.
Ask yourself do you really want to hook that? Pacific sails are the biggest and the most obliging in the world, and Casa Vieja is without doubt the best place anywhere in the world to catch them on fly. Log onto www. casaviejalodge.com There are a wide number of flyfishing outfitters throughout the UK that can organise your trip for you, including: Aardvark McLeod, Frontiers UK, Roxtons/The Flyfisher Group and Fly Odyssey.
SEYCHELLES FOR GT
WADING in the warm waters of the western Seychelles, there are a myriad of species to target. Amazing, impossibly hard-fighting milkfish; huge, freak show bumphead parrotfish; the exquisite, lemon-finned Indo-Pacific Permit; a panoply of colour-spangled triggerfish and a million obliging bonefish will all cue up for your attention, but forget them all.
There is only ONE GT, and you should fish for nothing else. Caranx Ignobilis – the giant trevally – is simply one of the most exhilarating fish that swims – a big, bad brute that swaggers across the flats looking for trouble. Deliver it in the shape of a 6/0 baitfish imitation, and don’t give an inch.
To catch these fish demands nerve – I’ve seen grown men literally run away from a big, oncoming trevally, and when you are up to your crown jewels in the waves, the sight of a big mob of 200 and more chasing a hookless teaser that is being retrieved straight back towards you is not for the faint-hearted.
Hold fast, do up that drag as tight as it will go and hang on tight– a giant trevally will wolf down your pattern and disappear over the horizon as quickly as you can read this sentence. And that’s no exaggeration.
If you get lucky, and your fly-line, 130lb leader and flimsy 12wt rod hold together during the fight, you may just find yourself looking eye to eye with one of the most brutish fish in the ocean, and believe me, there are few experiences as memorable as your first tussle with a big GT.
CONTACT: Gerhard Laubscher and his team know the Western Seychelles back to front – contact them at www.flycastaway.com