How did you end up guiding with FlyCastaway?
I was originally a client and was guided by the founding members for a native species called Large Mouth Yellow fish. I was 21 years old at the time and fishing crazy and really loved the idea of guiding and what FlyCastaway was doing at the time. Lucky for me, a couple years later I received a call from the FlyCastaway asking if I would be interested in guiding in the Seychelles. The answer was short, “YES” as they say the rest is history. 12 years later, I haven’t missed a season and still loving every moment!
Where are you currently guiding and what make this place so special?
I am currently heading up the guiding and mother ship operation on Providence Atoll, an atoll I first guided on about 5 years ago. Due to the increased pirate presence, we had to pull out then, and only now have returned to this pristine fishery. There are many factors that make this place special but the most relevant is the fact that very few people have ever set foot on her shores, which in this day and age is an extremely rare thing. Hence the fishing and the wildlife one finds on Providence is insane! It’s like stepping back in time to world long gone.
Of all the fish you’ve caught, which has been the most memorable and why?
Difficult question to answer – there have been some many awesome fishing experience that I have been privileged to experience over the years. If had to pick one, it would have to come down to a Large Mouth Yellow I caught in 2016, as I have been fascinated with my entire life. To say I am obsessed with them is an understatement and I have always maintained that, in order to catch them constantly, one’s angling abilities have to be at their best. This fish tests every aspect of your skill level. I have caught many in the past but I have always been looking for that one fish. It was in 2016 when I landed my first fish over 20lb – a great fish by any standards but the achievement goes deeper then just the fish. It was the build up to this moment the hours of work put in studying weather, water flows, the fish itself and tying flies. This fish had me tick all the boxes in order to get it in my hands.
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?
Between my brother and I, we developed a cool and very effective way to catch Sharp Tooth Cat Fish on fly, using a splash method where you splash the fly on the surface of the water repeatedly until you see the fish move to the surface near the disturbance, at which stage they engulf the fly. This method of fishing for them has become the standard and the same method has been used on other species as well.
I have also been key in the development of flies for a number of species, namely Large Mouth and Small Mouth flies. Over the years, I have also made major inroads in targeting Large Mouth in larger bodies of water and the use sinking and intermediate lines, which is very different to the normal upstream floating line methods that most anglers use. The tactics for this way of fishing have taken me a long time to work out and are still very much in the development stages. Sorry to say I can not divulge to much else for now.
I was also part of a method I called “bubble bashing” for carp, where one uses a small indicator and fly to target carp in deeper water, by way of looking for there feeding bubbles that they cause when feeding on the substrate. The idea is to watch the bubbles to get an indication of which way the fish are feeding and facing, then simply place your fly and indicator in the area where you think the carp is. It’s then a case of watching for any sign that the fish has eaten the fly. The process sounds tricky but, with practice, it is deadly when targeting carp.
As for saltwater species, I like to think I have made some innovations to help target the numerous kinds of species we target on the flats. To highlight these would involve writing a book and I would suggest coming out on a trip to witness this first this first hand!