Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The failed GT quest of 2014

Last year I made several plans to go and fish an island in southern Japan, with the hope of getting my first Giant Trevally on the fly as well as ticking a few other species off the list.   It started when I was looking around on Google earth at some holiday destinations and spotted Kuroshima island  at the extreme Southern end of the Okinawan archipelago.

Kuroshima Island

It looked great and had good reports of quality GTs, bluefin trevally and both titan and yellow margin triggerfish.  I had to go, the first plan was for August, but that had to be put off because all 14 rooms on the island were fully booked by SCUBA divers.  No problem, I thought and took some leave at the end of September, being only a 4 hour flight from Tokyo makes it possible to go for a long weekend. So I got a box of GT flies and a collection of flats flies tied up and got ready to go.

GT brush flies

NYAPs and poppers

GT profile fly

And some triggerfish crabs and shrimps among others...

The 8 and 12 weights were ready, reels cleaned and checked , lines loaded with backups for the 12 weight just in case they got spooled.  Everything was good to go, but September is typhoon season amd a massive typhoon hit the day I was supposed to fly down... at least I didn't get stuck.  So I rescheduled for December (even in winter the average temps are in the mid 20s with water in the high 20s) I had to wait, but it meant I could have a bit longer exploring the flats.

 Flying over Fuji

Things were looking good and Hide from Tokyo Fly Fishing and Country Club was able to join me although his trip was starting and finishing a day before mine.  We arrived to great weather, 22 degrees and sunny with light winds.. things were looking good as I waited for the ferry from Ishigaki.

I managed to get out for a couple of hours on the day of arrival  and stuck a mid sized Blue fin trevally that came unstuck  somehow and I fluffed a shot at a tailing trigger on the South West side of the island. Really, my hopes were  high, the water was warm, I had seen a couple of fish and connected with one of the target species and had a shot at another.. I couldn't wait for the next day.

 Unfortunately, things didn't work out as planned and there was a steady temperature drop over the week, we still managed to fish most of the days and did get a couple of shots at GTs along with picking up some small reef fish, but the final straw was on the second to last day when the mercury plunged to 6 degrees C-according to the locals it was the coldest they'd seen for years- and there was a fish kill on the flats as a result.  It basically put paid to any hopes of catching anything else.

I'd definitely go back, but not in winter...I do have to say even though some of the biggest GEETs in the World are caught in southern Japan, my next GT trip is going to be  the Maldives or somewhere like that.