Last week, Husband and I tried out our hand at catching guitarfish on fly (sand-sharks). I was torn between not wanting to be left out and not usually being one for salt-water fly-fishing, but when I saw the gorgeous pink flies that would be used, I had to be let in on the deal! In the end it was decided that as no boats would be involved (I get horribly sea sick) I would come along for the day trip and see if it was something I might want to add to my repertoire of fly-fishing.
As enthusiastic as we were, the conditions simply weren’t perfect and as all regular fly-fishing folk know, sometimes a gust of wind can make or break a cast. Unfortunately, I am not the best ‘caster’ on heavier rods and was using my 7weight, so I couldn’t quite get into the rhythm of it or settle into my groove. Plus the wind was just too breezy for my level of expertise. The odds were simply not in my favour.
Walking around on the soft sea-soaked shore was harder than I thought it would be and my psoas muscles ached from pulling each foot out of the sucking quick-sand, step by step, over and over again. I tried to face my back to the wind, hoping that the fly hook would be carried away from me rather than right into my face, but as the tide was dropping I had to follow the boys to where the fish would be.
I did see a few fish, which was very exciting, but unfortunately only saw them after they saw me and were spooked, skimming away as fast as their flat little bodies would allow. Which is pretty fast, make no mistake! So I never even got to cast to one of them. I just wasn’t quick enough.
In fact, the only fish caught that day was by hand, when our guide found a sand-shark trapped in a pool after the tide had gone out and left it behind. They are super skittish fish, so I helped herd the poor thing towards him and he managed to grab a hold of its tail, taking it from its trap and releasing it into the ocean. So all wasn’t lost. Happy shark, happy people.
Fly-fishing isn’t always about catching fish, and even though we weren’t successful on this trip, it was still a pretty awesome way to spend a Monday. The surroundings and natural beauty did far more for my soul than city-bound traffic and a trip to the V&A Waterfront.
I have to say, though, that I am still not converted to favouring salt-water fishing. Give me streams, fresh water lakes and crystal pools up in the mountains any time: I’m a trout girl through and through.
ALL IMAGES BY: BRUCE SIMPSON