Friday, December 24, 2010

Mola Mola on Fly - An Oddity

Every now and then something completely strange happens when you're fishing.  And its often more exciting rewarding than catching a targeted species.

This morning we were just off of Robben Island (Cape Town, South Africa) on a glassy day hoping to get some Snoek on the fly (Thyrsites Atun), also known as cold water Couta' in Australia or sometimes as Snake Mackerel (incorrectly).

We were fishing Rapala X-raps with limited success, but nothing throwing spoons in the hope to raise schools.  Then, quite commonly, we saw a Mola Mola or Sunfish on the surface basking and feeding on the millions on little plankton in the water.

I joked about having a cast until the joke became a dare... I tied on the only thing in my flybox that could immitate this.  An Arnies Milky Dream, designed for the Milkfish of the Seychelles.  A few casts using my 10wt, my OLD Tioga LA and a spliced and badly worn Rio Deepsea 500g.

About 4 or 5 casts in I put the fly just in front on the fish and our surprise the line went taught.  We laughed and not much happened...  Excitement turned to guilt.

I said to my friend that "well, drive up and lets take the fly out" and then... All hell broke loose.  Feeling the tension the Sunfish spooked, flipped over on its side, and using both its fins it took off at the horizon not much slower than a normal gamefish would.  About 100m into my backing and still going strong I started to worry, and looking up, it jumped Spectacularly straight out of the water.  We couldnt believe our eyes.

It jumped another 2 times at pace before going deep and using its flank.  About 45 minutes later, with bruises all over my stomach we got it next to the boat for the release.  INSANE.  I'll never look at one of these peaceful beasts the same.
The hookup
Surprised as it takes off- clearing line

Who would have thought - A Mola Mola breaching mid-run

Its like lifting a 30 strong school of Permit

45 Minutes later (and after chasing it with the boat) I finally have it beat
Gives you an idea of the size
The release
perfect hookup in the corner of the mouth
Arnos Milky dream / Egg Yarn Fly hybrid

Tying for Snoek / Experimenting with Silicon - Squid Fly

The Rapala X-rap that the Snoek cant swim past:

Lead wrapped and epoxied body:

Squid Fly:
Feathers and crystal flash are tied on a piece of 100lb mono doubled up and wrapped in fly tying thread.  The eye is attached to that back portion.  It is then tied on to the long shank hook.  The body shape is achieved with 60lb mono wrapped over and bent.  The hook shank is wrapped with lead.

The body is egg yarn with silicon.  I wrap the lengths of yarn over eachother three times and rub the silicon into by spreading it out on a sheet of wax paper.  Its then turned and formed over the monofilament body.


  Mola Mola on Fly
Sunfish on fly
fly fishing for sunfish
fly fishing for mola mola

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Ultimate Challenge FINAL CHAPTER -Spotted Grunter (Pomadasys Commersonni) - SUCCESS!

 After 10 years of trying to get one on fly I finally did the impossible.  I caught a Spotted Grunter (Pomadasys Commersonni) on fly.  My friends can stop teasing me now.  It is possible.

These 3 days I spent 13 hours a day wading and stalking fish during various tides, freezing my ass off being hip deep in 16 degree celsius water and battered my 15knt winds.

Then at 18:00 on the final afternoon two fish tailed during an unusually high tide 8m off to my 2 o' clock.  I dropped a cast about half a meter ahead of the fish... two strips and one of the fish began following.  On the third strip it took hard.

It must have been one of the least enjoyable fights of my life.  After 10 unsuccessful years of hunting Spotted Grunter on fly the thought of losing it after a hookup was absolutely terrifying to say the least.

I would say I had 6 real chances in those 3 days, which is a few less chances than I've had all year. I've never put this amount into a fish.  I have tried every fly, technique and spot imaginable.  Euphoria.  Now I can get on with my life....


The full story, parts 1 through 8:

-part one can be read here:
-part five can be read here:
-part six can be read here:  
-part seven can be read here:
-part eight can be read here:


Spotted Grunter on Fly
Spotted Grunter on Fly

Spotted Grunter on Fly

fly fishing for spotted grunter, spotted grunter on fly, grunter on fly, fly fishing for grunter

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Ultimate Challenge part 7 -Spotted Grunter (Pomadasys Commersonni) - Experimenting with Silicone (part 2)

I finally managed to find a live Mud Prawn.  Largely translucent with a diesel green/blue back.  My attempt to imitate;

-part one can be read here:
-part five can be read here:
-part six can be read here:  
-part seven can be read here:
-part eight can be read here:

Not sure what to call it yet.... Suggestions??

prawn fly
shrimp fly
mud prawn fly
sand prawn fly
crustacean fly
crawfish fly
silicon prawn fly
silicon prawn fly
silicon shrimp fly
silicon mud prawn fly
silicon sand prawn fly
silicon crustacean fly
silicon crawfish fly
bonefish fly
permit fly
spotted grunter fly
tarpon fly 
realistic prawn fly
realistic shrimp fly
realistic mud prawn fly
realistic sand prawn fly
realistic crustacean fly
realistic crawfish fly