Saltwater fly fishing is addictive. After my last trip to Guadaloupe, I couldn’t wait to get salty again. I would never think the next trip would be so soon. But you never know what’s behind the corner. The day after Christmas, I got a message on my Instagram. “Question: Could you come to teach us how to fly fish in the Maldives?” An offer you can’t refuse. After a few days of writing and planing, I bought the ticket.
Fishing and traveling are always better in two. My first call was my best friend Jan, but he couldn’t go because of work. The next call was Pavel, the GT specialist, but nope he was going to New Zealand. The next call was Katka! I asked her and she said YES! So we prepared for a quick and short trip.
The Casting Debacle
What to do after more than 22 hours without sleep? Go for fishing of course! First stop, some small fish on the reef. We then moved to a lagoon the GT’s were not presented but at least they were bonitos are hunting in the outer reef. The guys tell me to go to the tip of the boat and cast. The boat is still going, I’m casting, the wind is blowing, bang and 5/0 hook with the barb is in my shin. “You horny idiot, you couldn’t wait for the boat to stop and do the backhand cast? Yes, we’re here to teach them how to fly fish. But is important to show them, how to not do this.” I tell myself as I feel like the biggest idiot and amateur. Sounds funny but it was quite painful. We’re trying to remove the hook on the boat but it’s not possible even with a piece of the tippet.
So let’s go to the hospital. I’m not the first with this case so they know what to do. The only way is to push the hook through, is cut the hook and remove the fly. Done! Arghhhh they destroyed my deceiver. Tetanus injection, antibiotics and stay away from water 2-3 days. What a start!
Katka started the second day with two decent bluefins. But one of our targets here are the triggers. I’ve never fished for them before but I’ve heard a lot about them. Stories of how picky and spooky these fish are real. I cannot wade because of the injury so it’s on Katka. A hard task but she made it! After almost 30 shots on different fish, a big yellow margin took her flexo crab. Short and intensive fight and fish is in the net! These teeth command respect. The flexo I made is destroyed but I couldn’t wish better test.
The Coral Lesson
Another morning – another island. Good looking flat with corals and a channel to the open reef. Slow morning so we’re trying some blind casting. A blue shadow follows my fly! He took it! Short-run, the line is tangled a bit and fish is gone. I’m quite disappointed but it’s just the beginning. Suddenly I see a silver shadow on my right side. GT! The brush fly landed 2 meters away from the fish. I managed to do just 2 strips and fish is on! The speed and power of this fish is amazing. I’m screaming even louder than my reel. 3 seconds of pure joy and then the fish is off. I’m reeling the line and there is a surprise on the end. The whole leader is gone. Looks like the loop touched a sharp coral edge and broke.
Blue (Da Ba Dee)
I love blue and I love the ocean. The sea offers many shades of blue. Bluefin trevally are also present in good numbers in the Maldives. The moon is blue and that was our problem. Close to the full moon, the fish are more active during the night than the day. So they were chasing our flies but didn’t want to eat them. When waiting for our boat I made few casts to the reef. Bites on every část, but I didn’t hook a fish. My clouser is losing material. Finally, a fish is on! A small blue triggerfish, it is one of the nicest fish I’ve ever caught in the ocean.
When Once in Hospital is Not Enough
Half of the trip is over. Fishing is slow despite the moon phase so let’s make it more interesting. After a morning with no luck, we decide to take a nap midday. When Katka woke up, she’s didn’t look like she was going to be able to fish. Pale like death, pain in the stomach, and vomiting. We take her to the doctor. The reaction of the doctor is priceless “You’re here again?”. A few hours later, her body temperature is almost 40 Celsius so the third visit to the hospital.
5th day is the same story, bigger fish are now refusing my flies. At least I was able to get some smaller bluefins to eat. The most important thing is Katka is doing much better. Her fever is gone and it looks like we can fish tomorrow. I’m preparing the rods and going to bed around midnight. 2 am and my stomach wakes me up. Same diagnosis like Katka’s. So we’re changing our roles. She’s going fishing and I’m enjoying fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Nothing new, fish are still refusing flies and my problems are slowly going away in the afternoon. Probably some one-day gastric flu. We’re packing our stuff and going back. Last visit to the hospital. All looks good, so the guys are taking us to the city.
Easy Way Back Home? Forget It!
After all these experiences, nonproblematic traveling back home would be good. Not this time. Chaos at the airport in Moscow and we’re boarding in the last minutes. The weather forecast for Czech is a storm with strong wind. At least, we got a bit of luck here. The landing is absolutely smooth and we’re safely back home after this intensive trip.
Even if we didn’t catch as many fish, it was one of my best fishing trips ever. It’s not just about catching big fish, every experience of the trip counts. The people, the environment, the food, fish and also my great fishing buddy. I’m glad you came with me. Thank you guys for everything!!!! Can’t wait to be back. Hopefully with fewer problems, bahaha. In fact, nothing serious happened and our story maybe will make you laugh. Cause, in the end, I think not all fishing trips go as planned.