FlyCastaway Guide Q&A: Craig Richardson

Nickname?

Yeti

How did you end up guiding with FlyCastaway?

Tim Babich called me just after I had finished high school to come in for an interview. I’ve known Tim since 2008 when I joined the competitive fly fishing scene. I was hired by FCA and was sent to Pongola River Camp in Northern KZN.  After that, I guided on Sterkfontein Dam, and then I was sent to Farquhar in the Seychelles.

Where are you currently guiding and what make this place so special?

St Brandon’s Atoll. It’s 268 nautical miles from Mauritius. It’s one of the last places in the world that is completely wild. Very few people have ever visited this atoll, which keeps it pristine. The travel to St Brandon’s is an adventure on its own. The biodiversity that you would see during a day’s fishing is nothing short of mind-blowing!

Of all the fish you’ve caught, which has been the most memorable and why?

My first Permit. Indo-Pacific permit are the holy grail of Indian Ocean fly fishing. I stalked the fish for weeks with clients but we never managed to get it to eat a fly. On my off stay, I waited all day on the beach waiting to see him start tailing. After a very long wait I saw a golden day stick out of the water, yea I was pretty shaken up! I cast my fly to it and it didn’t even hesitate to eat! I set the hook. I only realised what was going on a few minutes into the fight. I landed him, got a few pictures and sent him home!

Would you say you have developed a unique set of skills in catching a particular species of fish, if so what species? Any tips you can share? 

I’ve spent a lot of time chasing the different species of Yellowfish in South Africa. I particularly like the large-scale Yellowfish. They are found in all the rivers around the area I live and I’ve grown up fishing for them, be it on a good old fashion earth worm or a neatly tied fly. They are incredibly pretty and particularly difficult to catch. My advice would be to fish smaller flies and thinner tippet as well as walk / wade slowly and carefully. They will show themselves if you take your time!

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