Originally posted on Yellow Dog ambassador, Jeff Currier’s blog
“Yup, most everyone was moving slow this morning. But no matter how slow, the smiles were gleaming over hot cups of coffee. This trip I’ve been hosting for Yellow Dog to Providence Atoll has not disappointed.
In fact, it’s been one of the best saltwater trips I can remember and today was our last day. Our 9th day. Imagine nine straight days fly fishing one of the most remote atolls on the planet. I relished this last day with Sammy and Randy and our guide Wesley.
Wesley has been my lucky giant trevally guide this week. Even though I stay back and look for triggerfish so my friends have the top chance at the GTs, I seem to get the best shot. But this morning, the wind stopped blowing and the tide was so high they were hard to find.
No wind on the flats leads to many challenges. The biggest is that the fish can see you from a mile away and often spook. Also, the water temperature gets so warm the fish move off the flats. Because of this Wesley took us to the exact place I got my big GT on day one. It’s deeper here and cooler and the fish like it. And wouldn’t you know – I lucked into another pig!
I kicked back after this GT. In my mind, it was a good GT to end on. So while the guys continued pursuing GT’s, I stood in the middle of the boat helping to spot fish. It’s fun and we found a few the guys could cast too, but every darting GT spooked at the sign of the cast.
The day went fast despite slow GT fishing. We could hardly find a triggerfish. The few I found spooked. Though slow, I should mention we got the first shots at bumphead parrots for the entire trip but they spooked also. After lunch Wesley suggested a return to the milkfish waters.
As you know from our week, the milkfish is an amazing fish. Randy and I each had one under our belts but Sammy had not. In fact, the milkies have given Sam trouble. Not exactly as rough a luck as what I went through chasing milkies over the years but he’s hooked and lost a few. Luckily the schools were thick. Wesley cut the engine and we drifted to them.
As we drifted I could see a school of dark fish below us. Careful not to disturb the guys milkfishing, I sank a Yarn Crab fly down to them from the middle of the boat. I watched as the whole school attacked. They were hard to hook so I suspected a type of triggerfish. Sure enough, I was right and this remarkable-looking one is a new species for my list!
The only problem, we don’t know what triggerfish species this is. That’s saying a lot because Wesley studied marine biology and is an expert on Indian Ocean fishes. I can tell you it’s one of the most beautiful and interesting triggers I’ve ever seen. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.
This triggerfish has been identified thanks to Reiz Knapp – Black (often called Durgon) Triggerfish (Melichthys niger)
Bubbling with excitement I sent the crab back down. At the same time I was ducking Milky Dreams zinging over my head attached to the casts of Sammy and Randy. They had hundreds of milkfish feeding around. But I couldn’t duck to long, I hooked up with another new species. This is the Indian triggerfish. I’m for sure over 430 species now – pumped!
I wanted to send the crab down again but as I was fluffing it back together, Sam went tight. “I got one!”, he let out.
Randy and I watched as Sam delivered the brass to this fish. Sammy and I do a ton of big fish fishing in Baja together and he knows how to slow down an ocean speedster. I can’t believe it, but Wesley dropped the net to this milkfish after what was only a ten-minute battle!
The guys got a few more cracks at milkfish. I was so entertained sending my crab fly down to dark shapes below the boat that I continued. While I didn’t add any more new species, I caught a few bohar’s and one of my favorites, this yellow-edged lyretail.
Soon all four of our boats were drifting for milkfish, but the sleek fish finally tapered off. So much so that a catch was unlikely. Beforehand however, Mike landed his first. It was a hell of a battle but he too landed his fairly quick
We ended the day with a little celebration of this great trip. Tim radioed to us that it was calm enough to tie the boats together. We did so and all enjoyed a beer or two and cherished the trip highlights through stories.
A special thanks goes out to the guides, my amazing South African friends, Tim Babich, Wesley De Klerk, Brendan Becker and Nick Isabelle. I promise you, there are no other fishing guides like these. We were the last trip of their long season and you would think it was their first. We fished all nine days from 7:30 AM until past 6 PM. And thanks to the Mayas Dugong staff. They are unbelievable.
That’s it for now, my Yellow Dog Flyfishing hosted trip comes to an end. Sadly it’s time to disassemble my gear, toss it in my Simms duffle and get ready for a long boat ride to Farquhar, a charter flight to Mahe, an international flight for Dubai, then Boston, a bus to Portsmouth, NH where Granny and my mom will pick me up to drive to the Irish Pub, Morrisse’s in Wolfeboro where I have a big date with the girls.”