Six Last Minute Equalisers

Six Last Minute Equalisers

Martyn White | Thursday, 5 August 2021

I just got home from my week in Okinawa, to say things didn't go as planned would be about right. My mate Takaaki decided to join me but had never been saltwater fly fishing and although I like to fish alone, I was pretty glad of the company over the week.

Things started out encouragingly if not exactly well. Conditions were great on day one, a slight breeze and barely a cloud in the sky. After breakfast I walked the 30 yards to the beach and saw a decent trigger tailing in the shallows, flicked a squimp in front of him and gave it a small strip, got the eat and hooked up within 10 minutes of finishing breakfast. Unfortunately within about 13 minutes of finishing breakfast the trigger had bitten me off. A wee while later I jumped on a bike and went to another flat for the last hour of the flooding tide got a shot at a pair of bar jacks but didn't get the eat. Ten minutes later a ray came along with 3 mid sized GTs on it's back. It was an easy shot and eat, It was also an easy eat for a shark that taxed me a few moments into the fight. Not long after that I had a shot at a permit, probably a blochi, it didn't eat. I rounded the day out with another shot at a seriously big trigger back on the first flat at the bottom of the ebb. It was tailing and rooting around pretty vigourously so I put the fly close, so close I worried myself with the closeness as the shot went in but the fish didn't mind and ate before the fly had sunk, hooking itself in the process. This time the trigger found a bit of coral or rock to cut the leader on. So an exciting day but not exactly successful. The sharking was also about the only thing I managed to film or capture partly because the Gopro voice control refuses to recognise my accent, and partly because I just don't remember to turn it on.

Then the weather turned and I had 5 days of rain, cloud, squalls and thunderstorms with only occasional bright spells meaning there were basically no shots to be had. When I was "fishing" I wasn't able to see anything outside ten feet and I can't really bring myself to blind cast on a flat. I did see a lot of fish including only the second tusky I've seen there as it swam infront of me only becoming visible at my rod tip. The brief spells when the sun actually made an appearance there didn't seem to be anything of interest on the flats, I ended up taking a shot at a daft wee shark on the third or fourth day just for something to do.  The only other half chance at a trio of bones that I saw and almost managed to walk along the shore enough to get a shot at, I ended up with a tangle in my running line and fluffed the shot.  Basically my head had gone up my arse and it wasn't until I had writtern the trip off that i started fishing well again. In fact, the most exciting thing was probably using puffers in the eextreme shallows by the shore to teach Takaaki a bit about sight fishing.

As "exciting" as that was he left, fed up, a day early. Which was a mistake. The weather turned for the better and the tides were ideal for the south shore flat near the guest house. Fishing the last hour or two of the ebb and the first half of the flood is what I like best here -actually it's about all that's consistently safe- and with low tide at about 10.40 I could do just that and see what I felt like after it. The flat was alive and visibility was great. I picked up 6 assorted trevally with shots at more and shots at a couple of nice tailing triggers too, which didn't eat but were still good exciting fishing. By the time I had made it back to where I could get out onto shore I decided I'd had enough and a few beers while packing up was as good a plan as any.  I still dialled in some things on the island a bit more than before, I learned some things too. But as much as a week's bad fishing is better than a week at work, that last morning really saved the trip.