Last weekend Nakarin (the greatest local fly fishing expert for sure) and I were fly fishing the Bangpakong river. It's a large river offering wild Barramundi and Threadfin salmon. Fair to summarize, both weren't easy to be caught in that river in these days.
The threadfin salmons were about starting to migrate up the river for spawning. In fact we saw a few very first ones hunting mullet near the surface, but couldn't reach any of them in time. I think we were close to get a hookup but not yet.
The Barramundi live in the Bangpakong river all year. The bigger ones live both in freshwater and in salt water. For spawning the Barramundis need brackish water, which means they spawn in the lower river parts. So understanding the tides was quite important here.
All in all we had a great fishing not catching much on an impressive truly beautiful river. I will return to fish it again for sure!
Besides fishing the Bangpakong river I further studied the behaviour of Barramundi fly fishing for stocked ones in different ponds. Some of them were wild ones born in the Bangpakong river, while others were born in a fish farm.
Some keys I were able to learn yet.
Barramundi communicate with each other often! Clearly one Barramundi can send signals to the other ones. This can be about "feeding time" as well as "danger". I have learnt this bahaviour with other species of perch before.
Also like most species of fish they can very well (and fast) learn how to avoid being caught by the typical angling strategy. Yesterday I found a pretty excellent strategy resulting in me catching 12 or 13 Barramundi within short time, while 8 other anglers were able to land 3 fish all day long.
Clearly I could see two different strategies about how the Barras attcked my fly. One was about running at it coming in highest possible speed from significant down under. The other one was about slowly checking the fly first before 70% of the time then refusing to take it.
Colour of my flies did not seem to be important, but movement and especially the shape was. Testing a pellet imitating fly (bred fly originally made for carp fishing) was all about having it float. As soon as it was half a centimeter below the surface the fish all seemed to know this to be wrong. For the pellet fly a dead drift was the only way into a hookup, while for the shrimp flies a slow movement and then long stops were working best. Pretty much what I knew from other species of perch as well.
No doubt I am a total rookie when it comes to Barramundi. Anyway I deeply felt in love with these fish. They are fantastic fish to be caught on fly rod!
Thanks to Peter Morse for giving me a few good pointers on catching Barramundi!
Oh, if you'll ever try to fish for them, be aware of using a very strong tippet! In case of using fluoro carbon. I recommend never to use any fc below 0,45mm. I recommend 0,50mm. I also tried titanium leader, which did work best for me.
Great fly fishing week to all of you!
All my best
Some pictures as always ;) ...