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.
|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|
|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:
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.