After chatting for a while with Joshua Hutchins (www.aussieflyfisher) about some kiwi saltfly projects we decided to go to the B side and explore an unlikely hero of our local scene.
Catching small snapper (Red Bream) on fly does not sound like the sort of thing a ground breaking global flyfisher would get out of bed for but Joshua has an eye for the unexpected. A small break in his schedule meant he could jump the Tasman for a two day window. With a weather bomb appearing on the map and a world famous aussieflyfisher about to arrive I wondered wether my shallow water passion was just a flash in the pan folly or insignificant side show.
Ironically our first morning started with a bunch of busting Kahawai and then a spectacular hook up on a big kingfish.
Friday provided some better than expected weather and I dragged him away from the top water action to explore the reefs and bays and show him the tricks of fooling snapper in less than a meter of water. We caught a lot of fish but never got any of the bigger models I regularly encounter and in some ways the experience was richer for it.
The joy is best described in this photo. Joshua made a cast into a weed lined bay, upon splash down in 50 cm of water a snapper immediately appeared and zoned in to aggressively hit his fly. After that fish it became second nature to place small flies in likely looking gaps and around the edges of rocks and weed. Often seeing the take or the flash of pink, other times the flys were left to hang and then the line ripped across the surface as the snapper hit at full speed. If the hits did not come on the pause then subtle tail nips would signal the start of a cat and mouse game before the snapper took committed hold on the fly.
Great fun on lighter fly rods than most guys consider for saltwater fly fishing, its very cool to play the small game while waiting for kingfish season to roll around again.