This year our destination was Farquhar Atoll, a small pin prick of land a further hours flight out from Alphonse Island. Having appeared from different directions in the world we gathered in Mahé where we stayed at Ian Hodge’s house on Eden Island.
The following morning the taxi picked us up and dropped us at the IDC hanger for the usual squabble about weight. The Beachcraft 1900 winged us down to Farquhar which takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. The operation is run from a former private house on the island and although it is nothing like as comfortable as Alphonse it is more than satisfactory for those looking for a serious fishing trip. The five double rooms all have ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning. It is functional, but nothing more. The guide team headed up by Jako Lucas were waiting for us on the tarmac to welcome us to Farquhar, and we swiftly moved on to cover the accommodation in fishing tackle. The first afternoon after the initial briefing fishing is allowed around the island and although we did not see much it was good to get the arms going and the kit sorted for the first proper days fishing. Peter Moylan and I did spot a big GT in the back of the lagoon, but after coming to look at the fly once it did not want to play again.
The first day I fished with Frikkie Botha with Warren as our guide, As the 18′ Angler putted out of the bay toward our first spot on “Green Mile” Warren took a little time to explain exactly what the plan for the day was to be and also more importantly, why. The weather was not in our favour and proved a constant battle over the week, but that first morning session on “Green Mile” was excellent. As Warren and Frikkie moved down the flat towards a school of bump head parrot fish that were tailing further down I took shots at the numerous trigger fish tails on the outside wing. Warren had explained that bumpies moved up tide, and on turtle grass the best way to catch them was to put a crab pattern out in front of the school and allow them to move over it. Then it became more like Czech nymphing, watching the leader tip and seeing if it began to move away. Bumpies are very odd looking fish, and they actually lean over to inspect the fly before chowing it with their beak. Very shortly Frikkie hooked into one and it tore off across the flat before something cut the leader and it all went slack. There were three further schools meandering across the flat with their blue green tails waving in the air and he hooked up a further three times before they moved off in a huff.
The tide was beginning to push hard now but out of the corner of my eye I saw a black shape moving rapidly across the tips of the white sand fingers. A GT. I quickly switched the 9# to the 12# and while pushing my way through the thigh depth rising water began to whirl the size 6/0 poodle around my head before throwing out a long cast across its path. I gave the fly two big fast strips and the GT accelerated to attack speed before engulfing the fly in its bucket mouth. I set the hook with a strip strike pointed directly at the fish and then all hell broke loose as the fish changed up a gear to warp speed and my reel protested verbally. I cranked the drag on the big Hardy Fortuna 4X up and slowed its travel substantially before I began to pump the 12# Proaxis and wind. I have always been of the opinion that you should play GT’s as hard as possible so they have the most chance of recovering. After eight minutes of knocking it off balance and using my legs to gain momentum I had the fish within Warren’s eager grasp. My first GT of the week! It wasn’t huge by any means, 25 – 30 lbs, but I had forgotten how strong they were! As the tide was now pushing hard Frikkie and I decided to fish offshore to see if any sailfish were around, but it proved fruitless…
To continue reading the full version of Peter McLeod’s very entertaining blog entry about his adventures on Farquhar please click here…
For more information about fishing on Farquhar Atoll or many other destinations please click here to see the AardvarkMcleod website!