The last time I worked a fishing trip into a work trip I had a spectacular day in South Wales Czech nymphing on the Usk. Like all sequels I was full of anticipation; the question was whether the Director, cast and crew could deliver on expectations? The locations were the tropical Maldives, just north of the equator, and then the slightly less temperate Japan, just coming out of winter and into spring.
This is a Muslim country so my days off were Friday and Saturday, and we had a mid-week break on a Tuesday whilst some of the staff were on a training course. Friday and Saturday were the chosen days and I chartered a local boat for the Friday; then imposed on some colleagues for the use of a boat to get to an island on the Tuesday.
The wind blew, the waves crashed against the reef, the skipper declined my begging to get close enough to the reef to get a cast to drop down the face and all in all it was a nice day for a boat trip. When we did find fish it was trigger fish that launched themselves at the fly barging the other fish you could see chasing with interest – especially trevally – out of the way. Hundreds of trigger fish. I learnt from this not to rely on the hotel to make the arrangements for the booking.
Tuesday came around quick enough and I was dropped off on an island – which happened to be the police training island. I fished a retaining wall and jetty. It was a beautiful day. I had a ball. But still only caught trigger fish. Clearly some more research is required.
I was sorry to leave the Maldives. This was my second trip this year, and I’d decided to stay off the main island of Male’ on nearby Hulumale’. A great decision. The island has a stack of small family hotels, great restaurants, a beach, it’s linked to the airport island with a man-made causeway, and there’s a busy jetty with a 10 minute fast ferry to Male’ every half hour that dropped me a ten minute walk along the waterfront to the office. Maldives is best known for scuba diving and game fishing. I’m sure fly fishing would be a good addition, after all they catch 60,000 tonnes of tuna each year by pole and line – which isn’t all that far removed from casting a fly – just a bit heavier gear!
Tokyo is a big city. Enormous. Check out this YouTube video – around the 6 minute mark you start to get some idea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnv1GnyNofc
I was here for Pacific tuna fishery related work and staying near the Palace in a hotel that was more like a city. They said it had 1700 rooms and 27 restaurants. My evening off fishing plan was to fish for sea bass in Tokyo Bay, an immense stretch of water, more than 50 kilometres generally north south, and around 10 kilometres across. I made the arrangements and it took me four (very efficient and on time) trains to get to Yokohama to meet Captain Masuda. By this time my general expectations were somewhat diminished, but they were well managed by the Captain who to be frank really played down our prospects. Even finding a charter boat had been hard although a website http://www.troutandking.com/eng/ finally got me headed in the right direction. I think Ebi, my main contact is like a broker for various captains, but even that was unclear. However, after several emails, it was agreed I would meet Captain Masuda at Yokohama Station at 6 pm. Where, precisely we would meet was never discussed, but in the end a 6 foot fair haired bloke was pretty easy for the Captain to spot in a nation full of 5 foot 6 inch dark haired folk.
We headed out into the main area of Yokohama Bay as the sun was setting, the scale of the city even more apparent from the water. The sun reflected off magnificent glass buildings, large and small boats buzzed around the harbour, and it struck me just how hard it was going to be to find fish. I was grateful for the second jacket the Captain had loaned me. It was already down to 6 degrees C and a brisk breeze pushed that down further. By the end of the night, once the sun had gone and the breeze was wind it felt pretty close to zero.
The satellite image arrows show where we came from and the kinds of places we fished. Anywhere there were lights and structure, with bonus points for a warm water outlet from anywhere electricity was being generated.
We fished our way back to the wharf and I reluctantly handed back the spare jacket packed away the rod, and headed back to the train station. Do not go to Tokyo without giving this a go.
For anyone who got this far, a Eucumbene blog within a day or two. Even more adrenalin pumped out there over the weekend as the browns start their move up the lake!
Tight tippets all