Emotional Rollercoaster

Emotional Rollercoaster

Martyn White | Thursday, 24 August 2023

The trip is going very well so far. As always the hospitally at Nakata-san's place is great with plenty of rum and Great food. Unlike the last couple of visits, conditions have been great and I've not had to pick up the spinning rod at all. Miki got to Okinawa a day ahead of me, and took the early ferry just as my flight was landing so started fishing before I had even arrived.

While I was on the ferry, he sent me a pic of a yellow spot trevally he'd caught, I was surprised but pleased for him. On the last trip he fished all week to get lucky on a forgiving brassy trevally in the last half hour. After I got in and changed it was the bottom of the low tide so I found him on the flat and went down to the reef edge as we waited for the tide to start flooding. We only had a few fishable hours but still managed to sight fish a few small snapper and emperor.

The first full day of fishing, we went to the north shore and quickly found fish, I caught a nice emperor- I think it was a yellow-lip but will need to wait to check the picture later. We had a few more shots at brassy trevally but they didn't eat, later I picked up one small yellow spot. Although I only had a couple of fish to hand, there were enough shots that I still think it's a decent day. It was made particularly memorable by watching some kind of parastic wasp taking out a massive cane spider while having a beer in the ryokan garden before dinner!

Yesterday, miki persevered with his chartreuse deciever and had a few refusals from bluefin and what looked like brassies. The yellowspots seem to be more willing to eat chartreuse than the other species for some reason. I was fishing a squimp when I spotted 2 permit riding a big ray that's lost its tail, I made a good shot but didn't get an eat. The ray wasn't going anywhere so I switched to a velcro crab, dropped it on the ray and gave it a single strip and got the eat briefly came tight and then disconnected I put the fly back in and the same fish of the pair ate it again without sticking. I checked the fly and found it had been crushed and the hookpoint turned into the body... Normally I say it's the shot and the eat that matter, but I'm struggling to feel that way when I got both from an blochi on a DIY trip but have nothing but a crushed crab to show for it. In the ten plus years I've been coming here I've only seen permit 3 times, and this is the only time I've had a shot while carrying a suitable set up. I can't stop thinking about what I might have done differently, if I did something wrong, what was it? Would a merkin style crab rather than a hard body still have hooked up? Could I have been quicker on the strip set? Was I just unlucky?

Anyway.. it took me a while to sort my head out, by which time the flat had gone quiet so we decided to jump on the bikes and head to the east corner flat. We immediately found plenty of small trevally booting it about the whole flat in twos and threes, I quickly got into one on the squimp but Miki struggled to get the shots off quickly enough. It wasn't just because of the speed of the fish, which was the main reason as they were moving quickly, he seemed determined that I should see the fish he'd spotted before he made the shot. I had several to hand before calling it a day. It was good sight fishing in excellent conditions with reasonably challenging shots to nice eager fish that lit up beautifully in perfect visibility and an end to the day that made it not feel like a loss. Although, as you'll see from the POD, not quite.

Today with the later tide we had a look on the southern shore to see if we could find some triggers. They've been conspicuously absent so far! We didn't find anything there and when that flat got too deep we headed north again. The big flat was a bit quiet, but as we got into the last hour of the flood the fish started showing up. Miki caught some kind of little snapper then I followed with a pocket sized brassy that beat the bigger fish to the fly. 10 minutes later we doubled up after Miki made a perfect shot to a nice yellowspot and I threw my squimp at a brassy that was following it. That was his last fish but I took another half dozen before we called it a day because he had to leave to get the ferry back to the main island for his flight back to Tokyo. I've got a week left and the forecast looks great, with clear skies and reasonable winds. Unfortunately I'm down to my last squimp because the box I sent with my big flybox, poppers and spinning reel still hasn't arrived.. I hope it does because the small fly box I have is crab heavy for triggers and I'm not seeing any of them, a couple of days like today and I doubt I'll have any shrimpy pullers left!