Camp Bonaventure Fishing & River Report - August 23-30th, 2015

September 1st, 2015

The last week of August brought us a mixed bag of weather, hot and humid at the beginning of the week and a little cooler with some rain towards the end. Up until this week we’ve been experiencing one of the coolest and wettest seasons I can remember. The past ten days however have been the hottest of the season. The fishing was a little tougher this past week but overall we still did very well. If we counted fish missed on a dry fly and others that were lost,  we would have had a great week!

Our rivers are still in great shape, the Bonaventure is flowing at mid-July levels at 20 cubic meters per second. The Bony warmed up a bit to the 60 degree range which made fishing a little more challenging. By weeks end however it was back down to the 55 degree mark. The Petite Cascapedia is also running at mid-July flow and remains cool. Fishing on the Petite remains excellent. The Grand Cascapedia continues to be producing very well however our water levels were beginning to get a bit low. That all changed on Thursday when thunder storms brought the flow from 20 cubic meters per second to 90 in six hours. By Saturday it was down to the 60 range and clearing well, fishing should be hot nest week!

A new moon on August 29th and higher tides associated with it should bring in our fall run of salmon, actually we’re already beginning to see a good number of fresh silver fish in our lower pools. With current water conditions we are looking forward to a productive September, always one of our favorite times of the season.

As our water levels fall and start to get a little cooler we are beginning to use our fall patterns. Even though our regulars such as the Stone Ghost, John Olin and Green machine etc… have been working well, bigger tubes and the Francis patterns are beginning to produce. Dry’s continue to take a good number of fish especially the Brown, Blue and Green Bombers. As long as our water stays above 50 degrees there’s no reason to put the bombers away.

For more details please about Camp Bonaventure or Salmon Lodge contact us or call on +44 1980 847389.

Iceland Fishing Report, 1st September 2015

September 1st, 2015

Even though some rivers are still finishing up their last weeks of fishing it is clear that this season in Iceland has been a bumper one with many rivers up hugely on last year and even topping some of their best years ever. After much speculation over last winter it is gratifying to see many rivers bouncing back such as Langá which has returned to “normal” form. The North, South and West coasts have had the best of it, but sadly some of the east coast rivers have not had such luck, mostly due to very cold conditions through the first part of the season. One thing that is clear is that Iceland fishing is going to be hot property for next year so if you are thinking of returning or fishing there next year please contact us now to avoid disappointment.

The laxa I Asum has had a phenomenal season and unusually is still catching good numbers, even though traditionally the fishing should be slowing down by now. The river has gone over an incredible 1400 salmon landed to just two rods and this wonderful 98cm salmon was landed from from the Longpool only a few days ago.

The sea trout currently being caught on Laxa in Kjos are just amazing. Five were landed the other morning including this 6.5 kg beauty caught in Alabakkar - a good example of the sea trout running the river system. Most of them are 4 kg and larger. July and the first part of August fished incredibly well for salmon with some weeks landing over 170 fish, although it has slowed down a little towards the end of August. We are expecting the fishing to pick up again as we enter September with some rain refreshing the river.

The Midfjardara has gone from strength to strength this season and has now landed well over 3,000 salmon. Fishing has been phenomenal for the last few days. The upper beats are now producing more fish than the lower beats as the fish seem to have started moving after the little splash of rain they had a couple of days ago. Their record year from 2010 has been beaten already with still four weeks to go.

Last night we confirmed that Svalbardsa has had a record season and has now landed 602 salmon. This is the best summer ever for this gem of a river. The best year before that was in 2010 when Svalbardsa produced 562 salmon. The river is currently flooded at the moment like many of the rivers on the north/east corner of Iceland. The fishing should become very interesting when the river drops again and the fish have moved up.

One of the most surprising rivers this season has been the Laxa I Dolum which like Langa has returned to its glorious past. With the smaller number of rods and strong runs through the end of July and August the last group on Laxa in Dolum landed 166 salmon two six rods for three days. Fantastic fishing, and still strong runs coming into the river system. This river will be one to watch for next year.

The Langa as I said before has returned to its “normal” consistent self with strong runs right though the system. The river has now landed over 2000 salmon for the season with one group landing 67 fish to just two days despite tricky conditions. The most effective methods have been tiny hitched tubes in sizes 16 – 18 and one of the reasons we love this river so much.

West Ranga will pass the incredible 5000 salmon caught and landed in the next day or so and the fishing has some days been almost unreal. Among all the salmon caught the last weeks some very big and powerful brown trout and sea trout have also been landed which have all been gently released.

For more information on the last minute availability in Iceland this season, or to book for the 2016 season please contact Peter McLeod and Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.

Mauritius, St Brandon’s Atoll … remaining 2015 space

September 1st, 2015

Everything about St Brandon’s atoll is big: the hard, white sand flats are seeming endless and are a stunning environment in which to target big bonefish feeding in skinny water. This remote atoll, north of mainland Mauritius, remains one of the most pristine saltwater fisheries in the Indian Ocean.  With an undeniably long journey, what is it that makes it so special? Further north, the Seychelles atolls have more fish to target and an easier journey.  The answer is a shorter season brings fewer rods and less pressure to the atoll, its miles and miles of hard, white sand flats provide not only an easy wading environment but are home to some very big specimens of target Indian Ocean species. This is where you come to target double digit bonefish feeding in skinny water; to hunt for St Brandon’s gargantuan GTs and its golden permit.

Remaining space on St Brandon’s for 2015 is below:

  • 26 Sept 0 5 Oct 1 rod available
  • 7-16 October - 2 rods available
  • 11-20 November 3 rods available.

This is classic skinny water bonefishing Indian Ocean style, realistic chance of double digit bonefish while keeping your eyes peeled for the trevally species that feed on these vast flats. Golden trevally, bluefin trevally and yellow spot trevally along with giant trevally (of magnificent size) all patrol these waters as do Indo Pacific permit; it is a destination that has to be on anyone’s bucket list.

If you would like to hold space or would like more details please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44(0)1980 847389.

Salmon Lodge fishing report 23-30th August, 2015

September 1st, 2015

The last week of August brought us a mixed bag of weather, hot and humid at the beginning and a little cooler with some rain towards the end. Up until this week we’ve been experiencing one of the coolest and wettest seasons I can remember. The past ten days however have been the hottest of the season. The fishing was a little tougher this past week but overall we still did very well. If we counted fish missed on a dry fly and others that were lost we would have had a great week!

Our rivers are still in great shape, the Bonaventure is flowing at mid-July levels at 20 cubic meters per second. The Bony warmed up a bit to the 60 degree range which made fishing a little more challenging. By weeks end however it was back down to the 55 degree mark. The Petite Cascapedia is also running at mid-July flow and remains cool. Fishing on the Petite remains excellent. The Grand Cascapedia continues to be producing very well however our water levels were beginning to get a bit low. That all changed on Thursday when thunder storms brought the flow from 20 cubic meters per second to 90 in six hours. By Saturday it was down to the 60 range and clearing well, fishing should be hot nest week!

A new moon on August 29th and higher tides associated with it should bring in our fall run of salmon, actually we’re already beginning to see a good number of fresh silver fish in our lower pools. With current water conditions we are looking forward to a productive September, always one of our favorite times of the season.

As our water levels fall and start to get a little cooler we are beginning to use our fall patterns. Even though our regulars such as the Stone Ghost, John Olin and Green Machine etc… have been working well, bigger tubes and the Francis patterns are beginning to produce. Dry’s continue to take a good number of fish especially the Brown, Blue and Green Bombers. As long as our water stays above 50 degrees there’s no reason to put the bombers away.

For more details please about Camp Bonaventure or Salmon Lodge contact us or call on +44 1980 847389.

Can we trust the Trust? - By Simon Cooper

September 1st, 2015

We found this recent article by Simon Cooper extremely interesting and thought it should be shared.

I recall talking to Mark Lloyd not long after he took over the Angling Trust which rose into being out from the ashes of the crisis-ridden Anglers Co-operative Association (ACA).  With no money, little organisation and mainly hope to sustain him I don’t think many people gave Mark much chance of success. But six years on Mark has confounded his doubters to create what he set out to achieve; an Angling Trust which speaks with a single voice for game, coarse and sea angling.

He has every reason to be proud. I am sure out there in the bigger world beyond angling there is a plum job ripe for him, but for now he may rest on his laurels having landed a £1m a year contract from the Environment Agency  (EA) to increase angling participation, tackle illegal angling and manage a fund to improve angling facilities.

It is a mighty task he has set the Trust and one I suspect will give him as many sleepless nights as he had when the infant Trust lived life from day-to-day. And I’m sure he is being assailed from every side with not only advice but snouts heading for the trough of public money.

I have no interest in the latter, but this opportunity to change the landscape of fishing for the generation to come deserves some radical thinking.

Know your market You will often hear it said angling is the biggest participation sport/pastime in Britain. It isn’t and not by a long way. Natural England, the quango tasked with protecting rural England, carries out a quarterly participation survey. Guess where angling ranks in the activity list? 16th. You might not consider some of the things listed as true sports or pastimes e.g. dog walking but twice as many people went horse riding as went fishing and five times as many road cycling (4.5m vs. 26.3m) in the last three months.

We have to come to terms with the fact that angling, however passionate we might be as anglers, is a minority sport. I wrapped my head around this some years ago when the marketing director of a well known fishing tackle retailer slipped me some data that showed there were only 150,000 regular fly fishing participants in the UK. If you are in the fly fishing business I can tell you that is a sobering fact.

However, it is not all gloom - as a nation we love our rivers, lakes and canals. In the same Natural England survey people were asked where they chose to spend their leisure time when visiting ‘green spaces’. Beside those same rivers, lakes and canals they said, ranking it 4th in the table with 102m visits in the most recent three months. By the way the top place to go is a park, with just over two and a half times that number. The message is clear; you will get people passionate about rivers for reasons other than angling.

Reform the fishing licence Two things scream out for reform - criminal convictions and the abolition of licences for children. Taking the second first I truly cannot think of another sport in Britain were we tax a 12 year old to take part in a healthy, life fulfilling activity. OK maybe it is only £5 for the 12-16 year olds, but a fiver is a fiver and maybe not that easy to squeeze out of Mum or Dad. And once you are sixteen it jumps up to £27, which is a lot of money in a cash-strapped household where that is half a days’ pay on minimum wage. The income from child licences is paltry - something like 2% of the total. It should be abolished as of now for anyone under 18.

The decriminalisation of the rod licence is a more nuanced argument. Currently if you are caught fishing without a rod licence you risk a criminal conviction and a fine. In the world of carrot and stick this is most definitely the stick approach but you have to ask how effective it is. By all the estimates only one in three anglers bother to buy a licence, with just 2,800 convictions in 2013 from 70,000 checks by wardens. When you add up the huge manpower this took, the cost of court and police time you have to wonder whether we have this one right.

In much the same way as the debate surrounds the BBC licence a radical solution is required. Let’s face it the licence in itself is useless - no more than a simple ruse, backed by the force of law, for raising money by taxing fishermen. I have nothing against cyclists, but when was the last time they paid a cycling tax?

Put that way I think it is hard to win any goodwill for the current system, but as I said it is more nuanced. Every single penny that is raised by the licence (roughly £18m) goes to fishery management though the EA, which is matched in turn by another grant from the government of £12m. It doesn’t sound quite so bad now.

I think the trick here is to talk to anglers like adults, decriminalise the licence and put our future efforts into persuasion rather than enforcement.

Treat every pound as if it was your own Earlier this year I bumped in an Angling Trust camera crew making a promotional video to promote their new app. It was the full works: script, cameraman, lights, soundman, makeup and director, featuring a well-known comedian.

Seemed a great idea I thought. Where was the video to be used I asked; for all the effort a TV campaign seemed the natural choice. Nobody really had any idea. Maybe we’ll put it on the web site somebody ventured.

Well, yes it is currently on the Angling Trust web site and at the current number of viewings (7,000) it has cost £7 for each viewing thus far.

The relentless pursuit of purity The Angling Trust is doing a lot; one look at its (rather messy) web site proves this and with the new contract with the EA it will expand further. However, the Trust should never forget its roots in the ACA which was dedicated to protecting rivers from pollution, seeking out wrongdoers and giving a voice where needed.

In an increasingly crowded island, where a growing population demands more use of water, protecting our rivers and lakes will prove harder with each passing year. The relentless pursuit of purity should be forever the reason for the Trust’s existence.

Can we trust them do this? I think and hope so.

Simon Cooper is the owner of Fishing Breaks, a well known Chalkstream fishing company and also the author of “Life of a Chalkstream” which is an excellent read.

Alphonse Island; a few remaining rods for the 2015/16 season

August 27th, 2015

A few spots remain on Alphonse in November / December 2015 which is a prime time to be out on the flats of St Francois so please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44(0)1980 847389 for more details.

The appeal that Alphonse holds is actually quite hard to pin down to any one factor. The fishery is unsurpassed and the menu is wide and varied; bonefish, triggerfish, GTs, milkfish and permit are the prime target species while sailfish, wahoo, barracuda, bluefin trevally, groupers, snappers and emperors amongst others make up the supporting cast.

For those who prefer to wade, there are hard white sand flats and coral finger flats. For those who prefer a higher spotting platform, you can fish from a skiff and for those stout of heart (and legs) a walk to the surf line should put you in line for some off the scale opportunities. The bluewater boat and crew are on hand to unlock the potential beyond the reef. Sailfish on fly? Wahoo on fly?  Mix up your week and experience it all.

On the arrow shaped Alphonse, the comfortable and iconic A-frame chalets and excellent food make it the only Indian Ocean fishing lodge that is also ideal for non-fishers and families in search of a quiet island hideaway.

November has always been an excellent period on Alphonse and there are a few rods remaining in a month that traditionally sees the hard fighting milkfish return to the waters of St Francois. It’s a month which has seen our clients achieve several firsts; first ladies Grand Slam, many first milkfish landed, first reel dropped off the back of the mother ship and retrieved (with much patient winding), the inaugural trip of the Alphonse 1# Club and many more besides.

It is a fantastic time to fish the atoll and some space is available in the following weeks:

31 October - 7 November
21 - 28 November
28 November - 5 December

If you would like to hold space or would like more details please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44(0)1980 847389.

Tsimane, Bolivia - fishing report for 9-15th August 2015

August 24th, 2015

Pluma Lodge

Overall Conditions:
It rained the day when the guests arrived and this started up many sabalos and fresh dorados. The water was tea color then and we saw dorados eating not only sabalos but also pacus and other dorados. They ate one midum size surubi too. Fresh fish do not respect anything!

Weather Conditions:
The first 4 days were cloudy whit light rain, the water continue tea color improving the fishing.

Water Condition:

Fishing is getting great; every time it rains the river rises and with it the largest dorados move on.

Fishing:

In some places we can almost grab the big dorados whit the hands. The dorados are in the shores eating everything. We are using poppers, titanic slider, and other surface patterns looking for aggressive fish. A new fly named “nyap” makes dorados go crazy.

We caught in total 61dorados but the smaller one was a 20 lb!!! plus 3 pacus, 1 yatorana, and 1 surubí during the week.

The biggest fish was a dorado of 35lb caught by Murray Douglas Low on the Medium section of Pluma River.

Secure & Agua Negra Lodge

Overall Conditions:
Sunny days seem to have definitely come in August, leaving behind the cold rains of the previous month. Arriving of massive sabalo’s schools also reach the dorados, surubis and pacus, anticipating weeks of very good fishing. Both lodges had almost the same quantities of migratory Dorados and Pacus.

Weather Conditions:

Days of full sun, with temperatures close to 30 °.  Fresh and pleasant nights with some small rains.

Water Condition:
The Secure river has already its’ best characteristic and appropriate color for the fishing. The upper Sécure and Agua Negra rivers, as well as all the tributaries has very clear waters.

Fishing:
The fishing in these weeks was incredible. Many dorados hunting sábalos in the Secure and in the tributaries as the Maniquicito, Ashana, and of course the Agua Negra. Big schools of sábalos were attacked ferociously many times during the fishing day by several dorados, creating amazing wild scenes for our guests.

We caught in total 131 dorado, plus 12 pacú and 7 yatoranas during the week in both lodges.

The biggest fish of the week was a dorado of 26lb caught by Omar Gaglianese on the Secure river.

For more details please about Tsimane contact us or call on +44 1980 847389.

Iceland; Great Salmon Fishing Continues

August 24th, 2015

We are delighted to see the Icelandic salmon season continue to produce great numbers of fish. A lot of the rivers have now surpassed their 2014 total season catch with more than a month still to go. We expect several of the rivers to get close to setting a new season record.

Take a look at the season stats below as of the 19th August:

Salmon fishing availability for the 2016 season will be available in the coming weeks, to log your interest please contact Peter McLeod or Alex Jardine or call +44 1980 847389.

Salmon Lodge fishing report 17-23rd August, 2015

August 24th, 2015

Fishing continues to be productive but for the first time this season it’s beginning to slow down a bit. Sunny days and warm weather over the past week made fishing a little more challenging, we have plenty of salmon in all our pools but they were a little harder to get to take. Perhaps we were getting a little spoiled with all the fantastic fishing since opening day.

The weather has been hot and humid with temperatures in the 30C degree range for most of the week. That being said, we did have a great week and landed a good number of nice salmon and grilse everyday. The weatherman is calling for rain and a considerable drop in temperatures are expected.

The Bonaventure is in great shape at the moment and we’re continuing to do very well. The Petite Cascapedia is seeing a nice run of fresh fish and the water remain cool, fishing has been great. The Grand Cascapedia has been producing some nice fish every day but it’s getting a bit low, especially in the branches.

Last week’s full moon and high tides brought a good run of new salmon in our rivers.  With higher than normal water levels for this time of the season we are still using our boats for travelling from pool to pool. Needless to say all our guides are sporting a big smile. Fishing was a little tougher this past week but we did manage to land a good number of nice fish including a couple of big ones as well.

For more details please about Camp Bonaventure or Salmon Lodge contact us or call on +44 1980 847389.

Camp Bonaventure Fishing & River Report - August 17-23rd, 2015

August 24th, 2015

Fishing continues to be productive but for the first time this season it’s beginning to slow down a bit. Sunny days and warm weather over the past week made fishing a little more challenging, we have plenty of salmon in all our pools but they were a little harder to get to take. Perhaps we were getting a little spoiled with all the fantastic fishing since opening day.

The weather has been hot and humid with temperatures in the 30C degree range for most of the week. That being said, we did have a great week and landed a good number of nice salmon and grilse everyday. The weatherman is calling for rain and a considerable drop in temperatures are expected.

The Bonaventure is in great shape at the moment and we’re continuing to do very well. The Petite Cascapedia is seeing a nice run of fresh fish and the water remain cool, fishing has been great. The Grand Cascapedia has been producing some nice fish every day but it’s getting a bit low, especially in the branches.

Last week’s full moon and high tides brought a good run of new salmon in our rivers.  With higher than normal water levels for this time of the season we are still using our boats for travelling from pool to pool. Needless to say all our guides are sporting a big smile. Fishing was a little tougher this past week but we did manage to land a good number of nice fish including a couple of big ones as well.

Free floating Dry’s continue to be the big producer, our anglers are fishing more with dry fly’s than anything else, there’s nothing like sight fishing for big salmon in clear water. Small wets have also been responsible for a good number of fish as well. The flies of choice - Green, Brown and Blue bombers with brown hackle and white wings and a tail.  Wet’s in sizes 8’s and 10’s, the Silver Rat, Stone Ghost and Davie McPhail’s Piglets were the ones to have.  Seems like anything small with green and silver worked well.

For more details please about Camp Bonaventure or Salmon Lodge contact us or call on +44 1980 847389.