Iceland; Price drop due to exchange rate on last remaining hot spots

March 3rd, 2015

We are look forward to the opening of the Icelandic salmon season with growing anticipation. Thoughts of crystal clear pools filled with finning salmon fresh from the sea fill our minds. Most of the main season on our favourite rivers is full, but there are a few last minute spots that have become available that we wished to draw your attention to as the GBP£ has strengthened against the ISK and prices have dropped by 10 – 15%.

Two rods have just become available in Grimsá 5 – 8 July for three days of fishing (£3,800 per rod). This time frame is perfect for those looking to hit the larger fresh fish as the runs are building. The Grimsá is a wonderful river system with a huge variety of water from canyons to open plains along with the chance of large salmon up to 20 lbs. It is still very much a single handed river though that adds to the excitement.

The Laxá I Kjos, one of our favourite West coast rivers, still has two prime rods available 25 – 29 July for 4 days fishing (£5,250 for 4 days or £3,950 for three days), this is right in the middle of prime season and with runs of fish at full strength at this time it is one of the most perfect opportunities to experience this intimate little river. Bars of silver on small hitched flies and single handed rods, flicking flies through runs and round rocks for surface action.

We then have a late August slot 23 – 28 August for 5 days fishing (£3,490 per rod, can be sold as three days £2,150 per rod). This is the perfect time to be on the river for large sea trout that run through the meadows at this time combined with some good salmon fishing. For someone looking for some variety this is perfect.

After new management the Laxá I Dolum has once again become popular, mostly as the number of rods have decreased along with a dramatic drop in price now making it a much better prospect. It is a typical west coast river for single handed hitch fishing located a little further north west of Langá. The lodge has just undergone a refurbishment and we can offer one rod 11 – 14 August for four rods (£2,550 per rod) and 4 rods in 14 – 17 August (£2,550 per rod). This week has a 6 year average of 139 salmon to 6 rods.

A three day slot has also become available on the Svarlbardsá 18 – 23 August for 5 days (£5,850 per rod and this is based on one guide between three). The reason it is so popular is that you have your own river and your own lodge. Including full board and lodging, guiding and transfers from Akureyri. It is also extremely consisitent and has the opportunity for some big salmon on a private river for three to four rods. Characteristics of this river is it’s remoteness and also the chance of catching a really big fish, sometimes exceeding 9-10 pounds which means that multi sea winter fish are dominant.

Not around very often we can offer 4 rods on Fnjóská 14 -20 July for six days fishing (£5,050 per rod). Winding its way through rocky canyons before emptying its cool water into the sea, the Fnjóská is a perfect salmon and sea run arctic char river. The 40 kms of fishing are split into two sections; the lower for salmon and the upper for sea run arctic char. This challenging river has runs of 7-8 lbs fish with occasional salmon up to 20 lbs. The river is stunningly beautiful as it powers its way down its course, and the strong current can produce some exceptional battles. This eight rod river is perfect for a small party looking for a challenge and the prospect of a big fish. Cost is Including full board and lodging, guiding and transfers from Akureyri.

There are four rods remaining on the Nes beats of Laxá I Adaldal in 26 – 30 August (£3,150 for four days fishing). Nes had an excellent season last year and caught over 350 fish with the largest being 35lbs. There were a high proportion over 20 lbs, making it one of the few rivers in Iceland to produce large fish. In conjunction with the excellent lodging, top quality guiding and extraordinary food it adds a different dimension to our Icelandic portfolio.

Lastly, those looking for some epic trout fishing this summer should consider joining Alex and Charles Jardine’s hosted trip to Laxardal 9 - 12 and 12 - 15 July for the phenomenal trout fishing there. We a few rods remaining during the prime week of dry fly fishing in the season if you would like to join them with three and six day options are available (£1,780 - 3 days, £3,560 - 6 days).

If you would like any further information on any of the above rivers please contact Peter McLeod and Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.

Seychelles; in search of permit on Poivre

March 3rd, 2015

The elusive permit. They are there on Poivre and they are there in sufficient numbers to warrant having a helicopter based on Desroches for the permit specific week. Will any be landed? Eagerly awaiting the next update but in the meantime, this should get your blood pumping.

5 days flying to Poivre Atoll, hundreds of Permit seen, hundreds of casts at Permit, 1 hooked and none landed ….. yet of course. That’s Permit fishing …. 2 more days to go! Keith Rose-Innes.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.

Casa & Playa Blanca Fishing Report 31 Jan - 7 Feb 2015

March 3rd, 2015

Great weather week with light winds out of the North-North West, air temps a little cooler than normal with highs around 80. Lots of sun and good visibility. Great groups at both lodges, fishing-wise overall it was a pretty stellar week. Permit count came in at 27, among those several were first ever permit and a couple were caught by anglers on their first foray into salt water fishing, not a bad introduction! Veteran permit angler Joe D upped his lifetime count to 159, having caught 7 over the past two weeks with us. Three grand slams and two super slams also caught this week, with some good snook fishing and above average bonefish. Tarpon fishing and tarpon lagoon was a mixed bag this week with no rhyme or reason, slow one day and hot the next.

For more information on Casa & Playa Blanca Lodges please contact Aardvark McLeod or call +44 1980 847389.

Astove, Seychelles; second week flats slams and giant GTs

March 3rd, 2015

Astove Atoll is known for being one of the most epic GT fishing destinations on this planet, but what many people don’t know is that it is equally as impressive for other species such as Bonefish, Triggerfish, Permit and an array of other species. The 6 anglers this week took full advantage of the variety and landed 9 Triggerfish and numerous Bonefish around the 8lbs mark. Throw in 75 GTs and you have a combination that offers anglers the chance of a “Flats Slam”. In total we had 4 “Flats Slams” with Ronnie Butler landing an impressive “Double Flats Slam”, comprising of 2 Bones, 2 Triggers and 2 GT’s. Helmut Zaderer landed the biggest GT of the week measuring 120cm. Joern Heiner’s monster wasn’t far off measuring 117cm.  Joern and Maria stayed for 2 weeks racking up an impressive 59 GTs between them. Does it get any better?

Until next week, tight lines form the  Alphonse Fishing Co Guide team at Astove Atoll.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.

Striped marlin tagged and released in Kenya and New Zealand

March 3rd, 2015

It is very nice to see that headway continues to be made in research and conservation relating to billfish.  The African Billfish Foundation recently contacted the Pemba Channel Fishing Club to join them in a research programme on the movement of both Striped and Black marlin along the coast of Kenya.  on 22nd January, the first satellite tag was fitted to Mr Mike, a striped marlin - the first ever to be deployed on this species on the East Coast of Africa.  The tag should jettison in 180 days and the data recorded will be automatically transmitted.

On the other side of the world in New Zealand, this magnificent 200 lbs striped marlin was also tagged and released.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 if you would like any additional information on these, or any of our other destinations.

Alphonse Island, Seychelles fishing news; 7-14 February 2015

March 2nd, 2015

The settled weather finally arrived after 2 wet weeks.  The GTs continue to make their presence felt as 7 good size fish were landed between the team. Robert Simini managed to tame this weeks biggest GT of 108 cm, with his boat partner John Green landing one of this seasons most memorable catches, a 92 cm Napoleon Wrasse which is known to be the dirtiest fighting fish in the ocean.  Wendel Nicolaus’s week was made when he managed to achieve a “Flats Slam” by landing a Milkfish, GT and Bonefish during the day.  The variety of species available continues to be exceptional with 446 Bonefish, 2 Yellowmargin Triggerfish, 1 Moustache Triggerfish, 7 GTs , 2 Milkfish and 2 Permit Landed amongst various other species. Once again a great week.

Tight lines from Devan Van der Merwe and the Alphonse team.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.

Tanzania Tigerfish: 8 – 15 Nov 2014 (the final week)

February 24th, 2015

Want to land a lifetime tigerfish on fly? Where better to go than Tanzania and as a taster of what could be, below is the last report of last season …. enjoy

The last week of the Tanzania tiger season came in what seemed like a blink of an eye. This week we welcomed back Dr Bentele for the fourth straight season. He was joined by two new anglers, Randy from the USA and Johan from Germany.

The guys started things off on the Mnyera and connected with big fish on both days on this river. Despite getting plenty of shots though, the guys really battled to convert and by the end of day two, they managed a good number of fish with the highlights being an 11 and 15lbs fish.

Day 3 the guys made the trek over to the Ruhudji river and were greeted by seriously hungry fish! The first Ruhudji session was fished on the lower beat and fish of all kinds and sizes were throwing themselves at the flies! By the end of the day, each angler had some serious line burn on their fingers to remember this special session. As with most big tigerfish, they managed to get the better of the anglers but some really good fish were still landed. Both Karl and Randy lost fish in access of 20lbs after some spectacular jumps. Randy however still managed to bag a solid 15lb fish, while John was laying down the law and hammered many 8 to 11lbs fish! Things were looking good for the next two days.

Day 4 & 5 was fished on the upper and middle beat. The guys experienced some exceptional fishing on the upper Ruhudji, especially the section close to the remote Matumbi village, tucked away in the mountains at the top of the concession. Along this area the water is so clean that you can see the fish before it eats the fly! Again the guys did battle with numbers of fish in the 20lbs range but a lot of bad luck made converting these eats nearly impossible. Fish biting through wire, jumping off before the net, and just spitting the fly on the second or third jump. John however was keeping the guys in the game by landing a solid 15lbs tiger and a number of fish in the 10lbs range. Despite the amount of fish lost, everyone was having a good time and spirits were high for the last day in the rapids.

The rapids are not an easy place to fish, especially on fly. Most of the spots, one does have room for a proper  back cast and with fast flowing water it meant controlling the fly was not an easy job.
The fish were not overly aggressive as hoped, but the ones that did eat were quite sneaky. Hitting the fly as it hit the water, leaving the angler with no time to gain control of the line and set the hook! Some of the bigger fish also used the fast currents and structure to their advantage and leaving everyone with broken off leaders and lines.

The last two hours of the day was spent fishing off the boat on the upper reaches of the Mnyera. As was the story of the week, some monsters were hooked, but for various reasons, did not stick. Many fish in the 8 – 12 lb range were landed, and so marked the end of the trip, and a great 2014 season.
Thanks to all our guest who joined us this year, although it was a tougher season than usual due to the crazy weather, however great fish were caught.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.

Astove atoll, Seychelles: the full first week report

February 24th, 2015

Having spent Sunday night on Mahe, six of us arrived at Astove on the Monday, late morning, keen to been ground breakers in this remote part of the Indian Ocean. We were the first party to fish the atoll as a land based operation, the whole week having been taken by Aardvark McLeod. After a quick lunch, we geared up and were off with Christiaan Pretorius - my friend Stewart Martin and I fished together all week. In the afternoon I got three GTs, two triggerfish and a 9 lbs bonefish. Stewart’s tally for the afternoon was three GTs. We walked for bones and GTs in the morning on the inside, east side, moving down to the mouth then fished the reef on the east side near the marker. In an opening day bonanza, I had started my week with a flats slam – GT, trigger and bonefish.

On Wednesday we were guided by Serge Samson; a dreadlocked GT magnet.  Day two on the flats landed us two GTs, one of 90 cm and another of 20 lbs, a queen fish and one bonefish. Stewart had three bonefish and we walked the inside of the lagoon, on the west side, to the island looking for GTs and permit.  Sadly we saw no permit and only a couple of GTs before we walked from the lodge to the bay beyond the island on the east side. It was a truly stunning sand flat with the waves breaking over it and the privilege of seeing a Seychelles falcon on the wing.

Thursday dawned with terrible weather and we were up and out with Cameron Musgrave as our guide for the day.  We walked from the lodge to the north of the island by the runway.  We then fished in the lagoon by the runway and eventually made our way back to the lodge. There was minimal tidal movement during the day and the fish were unco-operative but Stuey had two GTs behind a teaser and about four bonefish.  My day was quieter than the previous few but still  landed a bonefish and a small GT that I saw on a ray.

Friday Wayne Haselau was our guide and we decided we were going to try and get a sailfish on fly on the east side of the atoll. As we left we saw a pod of about 15 milkfish feeding opposite the lodge. Stuey was rigged up to have a go when we realised that he had a sink tip on and was then relegated to the back seat and so I was up. Wayne put a bulky milkfish fly on (actually a gift to Stuey from his wife) as the fish were high in the water. Nobody had ever landed a milkfish at Astove and as Wayne was one of the original duo, along with Arno Matee, who pioneered milkfishing, we were in good hands. We had two or three casts before the fish moved and we went back up wind. On the third cast they were in a perfect position. The fish took with a steady draw and I jabbed it hard twice to set the hook. We were fighting a milkfish above a 1,000 metre drop off and we had a slight difference of opinion.  The fish seemed to want to go out to sea but Wayne wanted to go on the reef. After ten minutes of light drag and no sign of the fly line I realised the fish was stuck in the reef. Wayne backed the boat up to the reef and with heart in mouth it came free just as Wayne was getting his clothes off to dive in and free the line.

About this point, Wayne started to worry about the net that we didn’t have. We had decided to bring the fish back across the reef and onto the beach 500 yards, and countless coral bomies, away. Going for another first, Wayne suggested that we land the fish in the milk crate that normally held the anchor. Having been instrumental in working out how to catch milkfish, Wayne has now come up with the new ‘must have’ landing kit. After 20 minutes I managed to get its head up and Wayne slid the milk crate under it and missed it.  Surprisingly three minutes later, and given the equipment we were using, it was in the box. Astove’s first milkfish on the fly. Probably the first ever milkfish landed in a milk crate.

Later in the mouth of the lagoon we picked up a small GT sitting on the back of a turtle followed by then the smallest bonefish known to man; one again landed by Wayne in the milk crate. Size didn’t matter; it was still a slam before lunch.

While we were working hard, elsewhere on the atoll, Joern and Maria had landed 19 fish between them including one over a meter. Vadim, despite the amorous attentions of a shark, had landed a very nice GT in excess of a meter. Joern and Maria were fishing on one side of the channel at the mouth of the lagoon which was obviously the hot spot for the day; the other four of us, fishing on the other side of the channel, had five GTs between us.

It was also Friday 13th and the gods had now woken up so there was no yellow fin tuna sashimi. Overnight one of the skiffs had sunk but all in all turned out not to be a bad day at all with 24 fish for the party.

Saturday we went out late as one of the skiffs was out of action, having rolled over in the night but we headed out with Cameron, going down to the islands in the lagoon. I managed to break my rod on a bonefish and cheered myself up with a super black GT on a ray in very skinny water. Stuey and I  hooked a number of GTs including a nice 73 cm fish which I spotted and landed.  In all,  I had four GTs, one bonefish,  three Bluefin trevally and a russell’s snapper. I lost one fish to a shark and a good GT just came off.  Stuey had five GTs (and no broken rods) for the day. We saw three fish over a meter and both Stewart and I had the fish take the fly but not connect. Elsewhere on the atoll,  Vadim and Peter had 11 GTs between them.

Sunday Wayne, Stewart and I spent the morning bonefishing in skinny water on the east side. We caught ten between us, up to 6 lbs before we walked to and beyond the wreck. The ground was terrible to walk on and all of us fell over in the surf. Having got there, the fishing was slow to start off with but once we got to the wreck Stewart had three fish, including his largest ever, which ran all over the coral before Wayne could tail it. It was an epic fight with a very nice fish of 30 lbs at the end of it.

I had not done much blind casting and was trying to look for fish. I was 100 meters ahead of Wayne and Stewart and suddenly saw the fish of a lifetime within 10 metres of the shore. It was the size of a refrigerator. I ran up the beach until I was opposite the fish and cast my tiny black brushy perfectly. You have time with these fish at high tide to get yourself organised. Needless to say the fish ignored my one perfect cast of the whole holiday. I then ran up thirty yards in front of the fish where the breaking waves were making the water slightly milky, still within 10 metres of the shore. I cast the fly over the milky water into the clear water, an easy cast of about fifteen yards despite my nerves. I stripped the fly in a slow steady strip and was aware of the fish turning into the milky water. I stripped as fast as I could aware that the shore line was rapidly approaching. When suddenly this bucket like mouth opened behind the fly.  I was physically scared when the fish took, easily the biggest GT I had ever seen. I set the hook hard twice and the fish just screamed away. I checked my drag and could not tighten it any more. I shouted to Wayne “what should I do? I can’t stop it” and he just laughed and said stop the reel going round with your hand. I couldn’t. With over 200 metres of backing out I held the reel with both hands and tried to walk backwards, I was being pulled into the sea and then the line broke. The fly line had broken. I had been humiliated and destroyed. It was a Harrowing experience. What a fish. I think it was between one metre 20 / 30cms.

A little daunted we wandered back towards the boat and in a lovely channel I did a couple of blind casts and hooked another fish of over a metre, this came off in five seconds.

Monday. We were due to fly out at 1230 so I got up early and went to fish the lagoon on my own for three hours. There wasn’t a breath of wind and the only ripples in the water were from fish. I walked slowly from the boats down to Permit Point, about a mile, with my trevally stick. With low light you could not see into the water. I cast at a big wake and stripped to no effect but with the wake now 15 meters from me, I cast again. The wake turned on the fly but I could not get the fish to take the fly before I ran out of leader. It was a good fish of about 90 cm. I saw another wake, cast and caught a small GT of 10 lbs. Once at Permit Point, I saw a small shoal of permit which I cast at but with no luck. I headed back towards the boat and caught some nice bonefish on the way. With 200 metres to go of my fishing holiday, I saw the unmistakable tail of a large permit swimming toward me. I put down the trevally rod and tried to get set with my bonefish rod. Why does the line always get tangled with a big fish coming? I got out a cast of 15 meters in front of the fish and allowed the fly to sink. One strip of the fly and the permit spooked at high speed. It was about 20 lbs.

For the six of us we had 98 giant trevally two triggers, a milkfish, a dog tooth tuna and countless bones and bluefin trevally. I think there were at least eight fish over a metre. The most effective flies were James Christmas’s sand prawn tied by Fulling Mill and I think any flies would have caught the GTs, but Black and Tan brushies were popular. The NYAPS I had were too big for these fish and you should get these from the guides on the island as they know what works. Christiaan’s green semper was a great fly. These are big fish and you need 80 lbs of backing, strong fly line and 130 lbs leaders. Reels need to be top of the range and capable of stopping a fish.

We were the first party into the island for a full week and had a fantastic time. The food was very good, the accommodation adequate (it is being upgraded for next season). Just be warned that the mosquitos are bad and you will need long trousers and sleeves to help keep them away. All credit must go to Keith Rose-Innes and Cameron Musgrave for setting up and then hosting an amazing place. Astove really is a land of giants.  Until next time.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.

Slamming it Caribbean Style…

February 24th, 2015

The grand slam or super grand slam is something that all saltwater fly fishermen aspire to. Its definition has evolved over the years as fisheries in different areas of the globe have added their version of it. Originally it was coined in the Caribbean to mean the capture of a bonefish, permit and a tarpon all on one day. The addition of a snook converts it to the fabled Super Grand Slam; either one a lifetime achievement. If you are keen to reach this milestone in your fishing career then there are a few of our operations that should be on your radar.

Cayo Largo, Cuba

Cayo Largo is by far and away our most prolific Grand Slam destination with a lot of our clients reaching their goal each year. The national park is made up a series of cays, mangrove lagoons and flats that run for some 50 kilometres. The flats tend to be white sand interspersed with turtle grass ideal for those who want to wade. Channel fishing for tarpon is primarily done from the skiffs. April, May and June are the prime months although it does fish all year round (with a cautious eye to the weather at the back end of the year).

Grand Slam Lodge, Mexico

Grand Slam Lodge is situated on Mexico’s Ascension Bay with access to endless flats hosting some of the biggest permit in the world and enormous schools of bonefish. With tarpon and snook on hand too it forms one of the world’s best places to go for a Grand Slam or Super Slam. With all these fish around, it is evident why GSL’s wall of fame is filled with so many delighted Grand Slam anglers. It fishes all year round with prime time being February to early July and then again October to early December.

Los Roques, Venezuela

Although traditionally not viewed as a multi species destination the permit at Los Roques patrol the ocean side flats and can grow very large. Land one of these and it is possible to also find tarpon and bonefish to complete a sizeable Grand Slam. Los Roques is a wonderful bonefishing destination with a diverse range of flats but the archipelago also has a myriad of other flats and lagoon species to test you and your drag. Being further south, Los Roques is less susceptible to weather system impact but prime time is January through until early September after which the tides get bigger, reducing access to the fabled pancake flats.

For more information please contact Aardvark McLeod or call +44 1980 847389.

Alphonse Island news: 31 Januray–7 February - big bones, triggers, GT’s and milks

February 23rd, 2015

The weather turned for the better this week even though the occasional squall did interfere with a few sessions. The bonefishing has been exceptional with numerous anglers catching more than 20 bonefish per day and an impressive total of 395 were landed for the week. The triggerfish played their normal games by outwitting numerous anglers. Through sheer determination, and skill, Mattias Kantorek landed his first yellowmargin triggerfish and Uwe Holzkamp followed suit with a large giant triggerfish.  The GTs played their part in deflating the teams egos and removing pieces of tackle from their various outfits. Some of the duos hooking as many as 4 GTs in a day, but with an end result of zero landed.  At the end of the week it had to be said that the GTs definitely took the odds with 6 only landed and Ronald Benck’s fish of 94 cm being the largest. Oscar Nieber landed one of the largest thick lipped trevally (Caragoides Orthogrammos) ever caught on St Francois which added to the astounding variety of spcies for the week. Terry Coleman landed a magnificent 30 lbs milkfish to end off a magnificent set of results for the week.

Tight lines from Devan Van der Merwe and his Alphonse team.

Please contact Charlotte Chilcott or call +44 (0)1980 847389 for details and availability.