April 26, 2016 - No Comments!

Marchbrown Madness

Marchbrown Madness! Last month was the start of the season on the pristine river we fondly call LeDoub. The river poses hard clinical fishing at the best of times, but without wading allowed until May, this was going to be seriously hard fishing in cold conditions. Day 1 led to a constant search, 2rods at all times. 1 dedicated meat-hucker and the other taking care of light nymph and mainly dry prospecting. With water temps at 6C the fish were literally sleeping. But not for the lack of effort. After day 1 as a Recce, i spotted some perfect water right under my nose. Day 02 started with the same ritual. Streamer in icy conditions until sun hit the water then onto the dry fly game.

I decided to hit the place i saw at dusk the day before and as i approached with crouched caution i saw the different eddies, creating lil pools staggered up the sides of the main current. Warmer water. Constant current bringing food even though activity on the water was very low apart from a couple of Marchbrowns dancing in the first rays of sun they'd had in 6 months. I was in a lil beat of skinny-water bliss. Stealth mode kicked in further and a size 14 CDC Marchbrown (seen in pic) as my choice. On my second cast i was into what was soon to become one of the most radical dry fly experiences of my life.

40mins of non stop fish after fish, each taking them down to a lower pool to safely release. Accurate yet quick measures were made on 3 of the 7 in total i caught that day. All over the 45cm mark! Incredible fun on a 15ft 5X leader. The flies tell all the story though. A Doubs trouts teeth can hammer a fly tied with 3 whip-finishes after 2 fish. Hands down! Destroy them!!

A beautiful 18inch Doubs Trout.

A beautiful 18inch Doubs Trout.

After i came to the end of the pool i prospected a bit of the flat water at the top but was time to sit back and enjoy a perfectly made espresso, joint and sit back and soak in the experience. The sight of seeing a 46cm Doubs Trout Dark mottled head breach completely out of the water and absolutely engulf my fly played over and over in my head...After another two hours of prospecting other areas further up river including a frustrating case of sight fishing to a beautiful fish of over 50 completely ignoring not 1 but 3 perfect drifts of the same fly pattern that had just had so much success. Undisturbed too. He wasn't even looking up! I deduced the answer to this riddle was shallow sunlit water was breaking their winter slumber and if a mayfly came past it was over...this water was far and few between on the stretch of river soo i retired back to make a proper fire open up ice cold beer after beer and cook, tie flies and chill hard.

Day 3 started out the same. Streamer trickery from the banks casting meat-huckers on the swing and other tactics without wading in difficult areas but to no avail. I decided to have one last session back at the pools i'd had soo much luck before with. Knowing i had pretty much moved most of the larger fish into lower pools my hopes were not high however sure i have some action nonetheless. Lest to say after a handful of perfect drifts i was in. Missed the first. Too eager! My worst...second also came loose after the first head shakes, i thought to myself. Maybe my luck for this trip is done. But i continued prospecting. Changing up between a brown CDC wing and a Blue Dun CDC wing to see if that was a factor. Most of my fish had come off the Blue Dun winged Marchbrown but maybe i was overthinking it.

What happened next was nothing short of another mind warping experience. Right at the top of the pool i knew there were some very large resident fish. Mostly hidden under a rock, a completely black Doubs trout due to its chameleon camouflage. Radical fish. I had no idea it was out, obviously used to no disturbance in 6 months. My cast had to lay the fly-line onto rocks, grassy outcrops including a special booby prize of a washed up log...nonetheless i set my fly-line over all the structure landing my leader perfectly into the still pool. As the slight current slowly brought my unassuming Marchbrown towards the end of the pool, my fly was about to make contact with the last rock. I raised my rod slowly in an effort to flick it up before it snagged but before my leader could lift the water erupted and BAM i was on, for a split second. Then off! No! Noooo! F&$uuc@k!! Gone....i flicked my line back to inspect what had happened. I knew it was a solid fish by the milliseconds i had it on the end of a taught leader but when i looked closer i saw, to my dismay a pulled hook! A Varivas Wave #14, same hook that had happily landed at least three large browns on the same fly had no been absolutely bullied! Gutted!

1

The CDC Light Cahill. Same pattern style as the Marchbrown

Big fish on light dries is the most rewarding yet also can be soul-destroying when this happens. In the Doubs it's happened at least a handful of times to me, over the years. So back to the vice. On with some VMC forged steel hooks and i vow to tame one of these beasts on light leaders and tiny dries. Keep you posted. Over&Out. Ryan. OSCBattalion.

Published by: @oceansouldiers in Blog
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February 29, 2016 - No Comments!

Keep Them Alive

January 14, 2016 - No Comments!

Reproduction & Life Cycle of the Giant Trevally (Caranx Ignobilis)

GT's can turn their colour on and off.  During spawning, males tend to darken while females stay lighter, however, you can find silver males & females & black males & females. (Carl Mayer, chief marine biologist from Hawaii.)

Trevally have separate sexes. Many common species appear to reach reproductive maturity at lengths between 35 and 56 per cent of their maximum size.

The giant trevally, for example, grows to about 160 cm and 80 kg over a lifespan of about 24 years and reaches reproductive maturity at a length of about 60 to 95 cm when they are between 3 and 5 years old. The smaller bluefin trevally, which grows to 90 cm, reaches sexual maturity at between 30 and 40 cm at an age of about 2 years.

Many species travel long distances to breed in large numbers (in spawning aggregations). The areas at which they gather (spawning sites) are often at the outer edge of fringing reefs or near reef passages. These aggregations often occur as waters become warmer and at times are related to the cycle of the moon.

During spawning, each female ~ releases many thousands of eggs into the water and these are fertilised by sperm released by males. The fertilised eggs hatch into very small forms larvae that drift in the sea for periods often greater than a month. Less than one in every thousand of the small floating forms survives to become a young fish juvenile.

When the drifting forms settle out as juveniles these may enter inshore shallow water and move out to deeper reefs as they grow. Less than one in every hundred juveniles survives the 2 to 5 years that it takes to become a mature adult.

Some more info:

The giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis (also known as the giant kingfish, lowly trevally, barrier trevally, ulua, or GT), is a species of large marine fish classified in the jack family,Carangidae. The giant trevally is distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, with a range stretching from South Africa in the west to Hawaii in the east, including Japan in the north and Australia in the south. It is distinguished by its steep head profile, strong tail scutes, and a variety of other more detailed anatomical features. It is normally a silvery colour with occasional dark spots, but males may be black once they mature. It is the largest fish in the genus Caranx, growing to a maximum known size of 170 cm and a weight of 72.8 kg. The giant trevally inhabits a wide range of marine environments, from estuaries, shallow bays and lagoons as a juvenile to deeper reefs, offshore atolls and large embayments as an adult. Juveniles of the species are known to live in waters of very low salinity such as coastal lakes and upper reaches of rivers, and tend to prefer turbid waters.

The giant trevally is a powerful apex predator in most of its habitats, and is known to hunt individually and in schools. The species predominantly takes various fish as prey, although crustaceans, cephalopods and molluscs make up a considerable part of their diets in some regions. The species has some quite novel hunting strategies, including shadowing monk seals to pick off escaping prey, as well as using sharks to ambush prey. The species reproduces in the warmer months, with peaks differing by region. Spawning occurs at specific stages of the lunar cycle, when large schools congregate to spawn over reefs and bays, with reproductive behaviour observed in the wild. The fish grows relatively fast, reaching sexual maturity at a length of around 60 cm at three years of age. The giant trevally is an important species to recognised gamefish, with the species taken by nets and lines by professionals and by bait and lures by anglers. The species is considered poor to excellenttable fare by different authors, although ciguatera poisoning is common in the fish. Dwindling numbers around the main Hawaiian Islands have also led to several proposals to reduce the catch of fish in this region.