Hardy Fin & Fly

Farquhar Atoll by Peter Mcleod

The isolated atoll of Farquhar in the Indian Ocean has been a favourite spot of mine for several years now. It still offers wild fishing experiences but from a land based operation. Farquhar will challenge you as a fisherman teach you a huge amount about Giant Trevally behaviour and offer you some unique experiences not to be found anywhere else. It is a technical fishery and under the expert tutelage of the guides the results can be hugely rewarding. For this trip I had taken the new Hardy Ultralite SDS Reels to put them through their paces. I was a little nervous as I normally use the Fortuna series which are incredible.

While wading a white sand flat a blue shape came cruising out of the deep some distance out. I started stripping off line and waded further out to intercept casting as I went. My line sung out through the rings of the Hardy Proaxis #11 and the cast landed a little short. Again this fish was in hunting mode and immediately reacted as the black and purple fly hit the water. The GT accelerated to attack speed and closed the distance before smashing the fly. I set the hook and cleared the line. As this was a test for the new Hardy SDS 12000 Reel I cranked the drag handle and gave the fish very little line. Pumping and winding the large arbour made keeping in contact with the fish easy - not even allowing it to see the backing. In short order I landed a beautiful fish of 82cm. The SDS passed with flying colours.

As the tide pushed us back up the flat away from the reef line below the turtle grass the flat opens up to a stunning white sand area punctuated with small coral heads a perfect Trigger fish environment. A little further on I saw a Trigger that looked like a small football scurrying around a couple of coral heads. As the wind was coming over my right shoulder I put a back hand cast out with my Proaxis #9 and the crab dropped nicely a foot away from the tailing Trigger. I let it sink and then gave the crab one short strip. The Trigger immediately came scurrying over and as I gave the crab a long slow strip I could feel it nipping at the fly. Finally everything went tight and he was on. The fish was not happy and charged off across the flat doing its best to wrap me round every little coral head along the way. I really thought I would be pinged on the coral any second as I was only on 16lbs leader. After a few heart stopping moments I managed to raise its head and tailed the extremely cross Triton Trigger. I was overjoyed as this was my largest Trigger by far and we estimated it at a beast of 9lbs. I was shaking for some time afterwards and that was my trip made right there.

Farquhar is by no means for everyone and if you are thinking that catching GTs in the fly is relatively easy it's not. You need to hunt them in their own environment understand what motivates them and put yourself into the right place at the right time to maximise your chances. Farquhar sits nicely in a niche all of its own and I know will continue to attract those that wish to explore her vast flats. I will certainly be returning to further my education.

Hardy ProTeam member Peter McLeod is a saltwater consultant and runs Aardvark McLeod International Fly Fishing Specialists. Find out more about Peter.