I arrived in Australia a month ago, and I decided to go up to Exmouth. I had been there for just a week, and I was really excited to fish the remote Australian flats for Permit, Queen Fish and GT. I have never done that much warm, saltwater fly fishing before, so I got a bit disappointed on my two first days as I struggled to find the fish.
I decided to give a try on a few Black Tip sharks that I had spotted the two past days.
I took my 10wt. rod and rigged a 40-pound leader with titanium brain and a 0/8 fly. I took the car and went for a short afternoon fishing session.
I spotted a school of mullet cruising around a structure, so I decided to have a good look. A few minutes later that big black form came and started getting closer to the school of fish. First, I thought it was a shark, but he got closer to me and I realized that it was a massive barracuda swimming slowly around that school of fish!
He was twenty meters away from me. I held my breath and tried a first shot. The fly landed three meters away from him. I started stripping, and he seemed not interested at all by the fly. I took another breath and cast for the second time. This time the fly landed two meters next to him. I started stripping faster as soon as the fly reached the water to make a surfing effect.
I stripped three times and the cuda came and smashed the fly. The cuda gave me a show that I will never forget. He took seventy meters of line and jumped on the first rush. After two more nice rushes and another jump, he reached the bottom and started heavily shaking his head. Ten minutes after I hooked him, I landed him smoothly on the beach to take a couple of picture. I put him back into the water and watched as he went slowly back to the blue.
I have been lucky off after that to fish the flats of Exmouth with Brett Wolf, and I’m hooked. This is a really special and stunning place to fish.
Congrats on the monster barracuda! You can check out more from Nicolas on his Instragram.