Fly Odyssey's Gilly Bate provides some insight for anglers hitting…
Vaughan has recently returned from some outstanding Bonefishing on Tetiaroa, French Polynesia located 20 minutes by private sea-plane charter from Tahiti.
Jim, thanks to you and the team for organising our wonderful trip to The Brando. Bess and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We have travelled to many fine destinations over the years but this was next level – from the fantastic hospitality, accommodation and food to the amazing flats fishing, the resort was simply phenomenal.
I couldn’t believe it when we arrived at The Brando in the morning and settled into our room, so see a number of huge bonefish tailing on the flat right in front of us, only a couple of meters off the bank. They must have been double figure in size which certainly surprised me and got the heart racing in anticipation.
The temptation to rig up my rod and cast at them had to wait until the following morning when I met with local guide Teihotu who took me out on the skiff for the next 5 days. Now, I don’t know many places you can head out and catch double figure bonefish and then be back by 12pm to enjoy a club sandwich by the pool but that’s exactly what we did everyday. The size of the bonefish was astounding, often feeding in singles and in pairs which I certainly had no trouble spotting from a distance in crystal clear water.
All of the fishing was done on foot in 1-3 feet of water, with some stunning flats to fish each day and enjoy the surroundings. Every 10 minutes the fish would arrive like clockwork and we would often just stand and wait for them to come to us. While I was a little concerned about the cloud and rain reports online, we had fine weather every day with some passing clouds which didn’t affect the sight fishing or the mood of the bonefish which were happy to feed all week.
After a mishap with one of my #8 weights and several drags burnt out on some older saltwater reels, I changed to a #9wt set-up which was ideal. You can try to explain to your friends how much power and how far these fish run in shallow water, but it really has to be experienced to fully understand it. I was simply blown away. The #8 rod I was using initially seemed undergunned, and the heavier rod allowed me to feel like I had some sort of control when turning and landing them.
Over five half days we fished, I managed to hook around 35 with several lost with some drag issues, and around 25 to hand. In the end I fished a tapered leader with 3ft of fluorocarbon tippet of 18 – 22lb’s tied with a triple Surgeons knot which held up, so they certainly weren’t leader shy. I had a range of fly patterns that worked well in various weights, mainly using lighter flies but I would recommend to ensure you have very strong hooks. I found a short twitch or strip worked well once I had their attention, with the fish often racing over and inspecting the fly.
Teihotu and I got on really well – he was a great guide as you know having grown up there and put in the hard yards every day to ensure I had a great time. We fished a variety of flats, and it was refreshing to have them all to myself throughout the week. I do look forward to spending time with him on the water again soon, exchanging stories and having a great laugh. We also landed triggerfish and saw GT’s although I really was just mesmerised by the Bonfishing this trip.
We had a range of dining options each night, and the staff were very welcoming and accommodating. Bess enjoyed the resort facilities while I was out fishing each day and everything was so good it was very difficult to leave. The Tahitians are beautiful people and we can’t wait to get back there.
For information on fly-fishing The Brando, Tetiaroa please email email@example.com or CALL +61 4 999 00816.