Fly fishing in salt water is not only a specialised sport, but has it’s own section of the international controlling body, the International Game Fishing Association, the IGFA, making the rules and it’s own set of records for different species caught under these rules.
Fishing out of Hemingways Resort this week is the WildFly Billfish Classic, with six teams of four anglers, five from South Africa but including one team of Kenya anglers, for four days, chasing sailfish on fly tackle only, strictly under the rules. This is done using unhooked teasers to lure the fish up behind the boat, whereupon the skipper has to throw the boat out of gear, and only then is the angler permitted to make his cast at the fish, using special long rods and reels with line to which is attached an artificial fly using a thin nylon tippet with a breaking strain in different categories of between six and twenty pounds.
With the sailfish off Malindi being difficult and reluctant to feed recently, this all makes the task far, far more difficult, which is what this sport is all about, with the anglers taking part fanatical in their enthusiasm! We’ll have the results next week, but after two days the local team are in the lead!
The Captain Morgan tournament finished successfully, with thirty sail and one marlin all released, and Selvyn Niebuhr ended overall winner, with 1200 points, and Brian Lewis in second place also with 1200 points, but first fish scored wins. The UD Trucks team won, with 2400 pts, while White Bear, with skipper Jack Jackson was the leading boat with nine sail and B’s Nest skippered by Mohamed Fadhili came second.
While sailfish are the principal target in many tournaments, some anglers choose a more formidable adversary, and skipper Pete Darnborough in his Alleycat has been chasing big tiger sharks. Last Friday he released one monster estimated at over a thousand pounds (454kgs), known to anglers as a ‘grander’, and on Wednesday he released another estimated over 360kgs. These huge fish are all breeding females, so release is the way to go for conservation of stocks for the future, but the angler has all the thrill of getting these giant fish to the boat, plus photos and a great story!
But these gigantic fish are hardly a suitable target for the fly fishing men!