Busting bait balls

Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing Oman

We had the charming Terry out with us fishing in Oman this week and although the weather was some what challenging he had some awesome fishing experiences.

The first three days were spent walking the beaches in search of permit. As luck would have it the first day brought bright skies and clear water with no less than 14 feeding permit sighted and cast to. I love for new guests to see how shallow these fish come in to feed, there aren’t many places around the world you will find a permit in so shallow that it’s whole back sticks out of the water.

The next two days the boys worked hard and walked even harder, covering many kilometres of beach. The clouds had set in and wind had picked up slightly which was unfortunate but had not affected Brandon’s permit spotting abilities with 7 fish the second day and 5 fish the third day sighted and cast to in the shallows. Alas as we all know permit are permit and it was not Terry’s time to catch one of these pieces of Omani gold……he will just have to come back and visit us again!

The following day we headed south stopping along the way for lunch at a little secluded wadi. I love the winding costal roads and the trip flew by as Terry regaled us with all the exciting places he has fished across the world and species he has been lucky to catch.

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The next three days the boys were boat fishing, chasing everything from inshore species to pelagic’s. The mornings were calm and conditions perfect but the winds started whipping in from around 1pm making fly fishing impossible so the guys made the most of early starts.

The first day started with a bonito bonanza, large schools of bonito were smashing bait on the surface so Terry got stuck in with his 9 weight and spent most of the day casting like a dervish with a few fish hooked and some lost in the excitement and chaos.Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing Oman

 

Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing OmanDay two bought more of the same, with bubbling pools of frantically feeding bonito and long tail tuna feeding on the surface. Drifting from school to school Terry started to clean up, landing one after another bonito and even the odd long tail tuna. An awesome day on the water.

Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing Oman, longtail tuna

 

The final day had sadly come round all too soon and the boys headed out in search of bait balls again, venturing further along the coast to one of Brandon’s favourite areas. And what a sight lay in wait for them, bait balls like oil slicks were scattered all around the boat. With Queenfish, Dorado, Trevally and Tuna frantically gorging on the silver bait fish, tails slashing the surface of the water and silver, blue, green bodies flashing below the surface. Terry was up for the challenge and started casting towards each shoal and stripping his line back. After a few hours as the carnage started to die down the boys sat back on the deck to recover and relive the spectacle they had just witnessed…….a perfect way for Terry to end his fishing holiday and memories we hope he has with him forever!

For more information contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing Oman

 

Arabian Fly Sport fishing, Arabian Fly, fly fishing Oman, fishing Oman

 

A Scotsman…. fly fishing Oman

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, omani permit, indo-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum Conner

After what seemed like the longest summer ever the season had finally started….just not quite for us yet as we have been ensconced in the build of or new boat…..more about that soon.

Excitement was high as we prepared for 10 days of fishing in Oman with our great friend and photographer Callum Conner. Callum has a highly successful guiding business in Scotland (scotiafishing.com) where we targets trout, salmon and pike along with some of the saltwater species you find there too. This was his first trip to Oman and fishing for saltwater species in warm climates so we intended to make it a trip he would never forget. An explosion of fishing equipment had taken over ever inch of space in the downstairs man cave and I was in full cooking and packing mode.

Car packed, Callum on board and our new boat hitched up we were off on our adventure. After hours of driving through rugged mountains and vast desert plains that stretched as far as the eye can see, along with the odd camel or goat heard roaming free we arrived at our first location.

Early morning I woke to Callum excitedly scuffling around, readying his rods and kit. A quick breakfast of oats, banana and coffee and the boys were off. The weather was perfect and not a cloud in the sky. At lunch time the boys came bounding back to the car grinning from ear to ear and visibly elated. They had spotted and cast at a couple of permit cruising the beach and I could see Callum already had permit fever! A quick lunch as the tide changed and they were off again so I followed on behind them. As I watched their body language I knew exactly what they were seeing, the permit stance, as I call it is visible from a mile away. Both boys had dropped into a crouched position and were staring intently into the water as Callum rapidly stripped line off his reel. In a slow and controlled cast I could see him hold his breath and gently lay the fly down on the water and wait. Then picking his line back up again, and putting the fly back in the zone. To his surprise the permit swam straight over and engulfed the fly but sadly it was not to be. Before he could get the fly line onto the reel the permit had spat the hook and slunk away, clearly unamused by the synthetic crab he had just crunched on! The boys gathered themselves together and headed on along the beach, as luck would have it not more that 20 meters away they stumble onto another permit happily feeding. Callum, determined this time, gently placed his fly perfectly, just in front of the fish. Like lightening I saw him strike and the water erupted just feet from him as the fish ate and he set the hook. Mayhem ensued as Callum furiously cleared the excess line from around his feet and got the fish onto the reel and under control whilst Brandon ran up the beach to organise the camera. A few nervous minutes later and he had, not only hook 2 permit in as many casts but most importantly actually caught his first permit which was laying gently in his arms…. A well deserved fish for an excellent angler!

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, omani permit, indo-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum Conner

Over the next day and a half the boys had epic shots at more permit and even landed some large grunter in the shallows but sadly it was time to move on. Another long drive through the mountains and along the winding coastline and we reached the lodge.

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, grunter, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum Conner

The wind had started to pick up again but we braved the conditions and launched the boat. Sticking close to shore we worked the cliff edges with flies and poppers for an hour or so. As the wind dropped large schools of bonito surfaced, smashing tiny bait fish and leaping clear out of the water. A frantic few minutes of casting to the schools paid off with Callum landing a lovely little bonito.

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, bonito, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum Conner

It’s no secret that I am more than a little bit hooked on bill fish so when I caught a glimpse of what initially looked like a billfish fin breaking the surface of the water near the boat I just about went into meltdown….it turned out to be a baby whale shark which was equally as exciting to see gliding around feeding on plankton…truly beautiful and majestic.

Over the next few days the air pressure had dropped but we persevered and cast at numerous bait balls and tried our hand at a little trolling along the drop off for some pelagic species to no avail. Callum landed a lovely trigger fish off the rocks in one of the bay’s, a species that always intrigues me with their trigger sickle, they are beautiful in their own way yet deadly if you get a figure near their powerful jaws and giant teeth.

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, trigger fish, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum Conner

 

Cruising the beaches we came across a nice size GT which had come in to nosey around one of the beaches looking for bait fish. However he seemed less that amused by our fly offerings of a popper or bait fish pattern and turning his nose up in disgust he slowly slunk back into the deep. A blessing in disguise maybe as we were both fishing 9 weights with small flies and light leader. Plus the fact that the amount of coral around would surely have meant a lost or at the very least a very damaged fly line.

One afternoon the weather decided to play nice bringing with it a large amount of bait followed by some large Bluefish (Shad) and giving us an awesome hour of pure carnage. With fly lines flailing as we all ran up and down the beach hooking these teethy creatures and watched them leap clear out of the water, sometimes slicing through our leader and disappearing with some of my favourite NYAP flies grrrr. The wave Garrick or 3 spot pompano, that are always a thrill to catch on a fly rod, had also made an appearance. Their beautiful silver bodies and delicate long blue fins flashing in the shallows always bring excitement. For such a small fish they can really pack a punch, often taking you right to your backing before you can gain control.

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, fishing Oman, fly fishing Oman, Blue fish, Shad, Brandon King, Clare Carter, Callum ConnerIt was the perfect way to end an awesome trip! Callum didn’t land his big GT but he did catch his first permit, on the first day he has ever targeted them which is something most of us can only dream of! He will just have to come back next year!!!

For more information about fly fishing in Oman contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Fly fishing in Oman for all ages

Brandon King, fly fishing in Oman, fly fishing for permit, Indo-Pacific permit, fishing Oman, fly fish Oman,Arabian Fly Sport Fishing, Arabian Fly

We had a new challenge this week, with a client and his children coming in to visit us to explore and experience the fly fishing in Oman. George was after an Omani permit and he was keen to get his son Nicholas (10 years old) and daughter Arabella (8 years old) into fishing. There was great excitement and many questions from the kids as they arrived and got settled in.

The first day both Brandon and George headed off in search of permit while the kids and I stayed near the hotel to practice their casting. The weather, tides, wind and water were perfect.
With the kids all kitted up and covered in sun screen we headed for the beach. In no time at all they were both casting their spinning rods like a dream and Nicholas had become quite adept at catching live crabs for bait. They were ready for the big day tomorrow!
The boys also had a great day and although they didn’t catch anything George got to see the beauty of the permit here and how they surf in to feed in shallow water. They had spotted 7 fish over the course of the day and had made a plan to head back to the same location the next day.

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Day two was family day so with much excitement we piled into the car and all set of for the beach. The morning was spent scoping out the water, having casting lessons and mostly answering lots of questions from the very excited and inquisitive younger generation. As I set up lunch and the kids had a play on the beach I could see the boys were into something good by their body language. There was a lot of sprinting, crouching and changing direction. I saw George cast out and then strip strike, but nothing followed??? I later found out that, in his excitement, he had strip struck so hard that the leader had broken and the poor permit had been left stunned in the water before shooting off into the deep. After lunch Arabella went with the boys and Nicholas and I went off with a fly rod to practice his casting. He was very keen and the questions kept flowing and flowing, his enthusiasm was a real pleasure as I love to see the younger generation just starting to get the ‘fishing bug’.

George had managed to land his first Omani permit and was extremely chuffed, especially as his daughter Arabella had witnessed all the excitement. Nicholas was now getting the hang of a fly rod and had started to double haul as well which was also a great pleasure to see. It had been a very happy day on the water all round.

 

Brandon King, fly fishing in Oman, fly fishing for permit, Indo-Pacific permit, fishing Oman, fly fish Oman,Arabian Fly Sport Fishing, Arabian FlyThe last day had come round all too quickly, it was a boys bonding day so Brandon, Nicholas and George headed out to the beach while the girls enjoyed some pool time. It was to be Nicholas’s big day and he was certainly amped and ready. They set off down the beach rods at the ready with some fresh sardines from the local boats in search of a sand shark or a stingray as Nicholas was very keen on catching a ‘monster’. His dream certainly came true as Brandon got him hooked into a big ray, which took the both of them to land the fish, leaving one very happy boy! Later on in the day Brandon spotted a large sand shark feeding in the shallows so he had Nicholas cast out toward it. Within seconds the shark was onto the smell of the sardines and Nicholas’s strength was being put to the test again. He fought it like a champion and finally got the sand shark in for some pictures.

IMG_2513 Fishing oman, arabian fly, arabian fly sport fishing

A wonderful end to a few days fishing. George had landed his permit and Nicholas had landed his largest fish to date and was now completely hooked on fishing. A very special family bonding week for the Titley’s and a true delight for us to have them here and to fish with us! For more information about fly fishing in Oman contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Garreth Coombes – “Two very broken feet but no broken spirit!”

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, flyfishing oman, omani permit, info-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare Carter

Garreth Coombes was on holiday in Dubai and wanted to get away for a couple days fishing so he hopped on a short flight and joined us on the water to chase after the elusive Omani permit. Being super fit and an avid fly angler we knew he was up for some serious fishing.

The first morning excitement levels were high. The fishing proved to be quite challenging though, green water mixed with a nasty shore break and only seeing a few fish made any fly presentations difficult.

A quick bite to eat and some strategic chat to get the motivation up and they were off again. We were watching Brandon and Garreth walking towards us, both intently staring out at the water. From far away you could tell they had seen something as both of them dropped down low, into what I now call the ‘permit position’, and stood motionless staring into the waves. Garreth started to cast as we watched with our fingers crossed and breath held. The fish seemed to bypass his fly, picking up his line he ran along the beach just in front and cast again. This seemed to continue for a few minutes or what must have seemed like hours to Garreth as he continued to put in cast after cast but the fish was not really playing ball. I could see the concentration on his face and feel the tension in the air. They were now close enough that I could see the permit they were after, with its beautiful golden fins just breaking the surface of the water as it surfed in to feed. One final cast and I saw Garreth slowly stripping, then all of a sudden his line went tight and he was on. The permit exploded and tore out to deeper water.

Garreth managed to get the line on the reel and gain control. After a few nervous minutes Brandon raced forward into the water and gently grabbed its tail…. with great shouts of joy from Garreth who had finally landed his first Indo-Pacific permit. She was an absolute monster of a fish with a large silver body and worn stubby fins. The elation and joy in Garreth’s face said it all, he was over the moon as he knelt in the water cradling the fish in his arms. A few pictures and the obligatory permit kiss and she was back on her way into the ocean.

Welcome to the club…

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, flyfishing oman, omani permit, info-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare CarterPermit fever had set in for sure and there was no stopping them now so they headed off determined again along the beach. It didn’t take them long and within the hour he had landed his second Permit. This fish was heading back out into the waves and Garreth put the fly about a foot away from it and it slammed on the breaks shot around and engulfed the fly, she was smaller than the first but still an absolute beauty with a perfect silver body and very long golden fins, a real cracker!

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, flyfishing oman, omani permit, info-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare Carter

The last day had come round all too quickly but the boys were determined to go out with a bang so they set off down the beach, spirits high. Again it was a difficult morning. A quick bite to eat and some strategic chat and they were off again, wow did they look determined and It didn’t take them long before they had found what they were looking for. This guy was a lovely large bruiser of a fish with stubby fins and a wide back that kept breaching the surface of the water as he swam into the shallows to feed. Cast after cast he dodged the fly, he was a wise old boy and he wasn’t falling for any nonsense. But Garreth was not giving up after what seemed like 1000 casts and a few hundred meters pursuing the fish he landed the fly just in front of its nose.Tail up, head down and boom he was on. Fortunately the permit was in such shallow water when it took the fly and slightly in shock so it didn’t manage to use the full power of its large V tail to escape. After a lot of angry thrashing around with its back out of the water  Garreth managed to expertly guide him in on a small wave and slide him into Brandon’s waiting hands. A few pics and he was released albeit rather grumpily back into the ocean…. an epic day! Another very decent sized permit and what a way to end the holiday!

arabian fly sport fishing, arabian fly, flyfishing oman, omani permit, info-pacific permit, Brandon King, Clare Carter

A fantastic few days and one very happy client!
Or as Garreth put it…” Two very broken feet (from all the walking) but no broken spirit!

For more information about fishing in Oman contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Fly fishing in Oman….A fix for our permit fever!

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Some serious permit fever had set in so we decided to go on a little road trip and headed straight for our favourite permit spot. The tides were perfect and when we got there the water was clear so our spirits were high. With a few sightings of the little gold trouble makers but no actual shots we stopped for lunch and sat watching the water.

Indo-Pacific Permit, permit, fly fishing, Oman

After lunch we headed for my favourite area, the honey hole I call it. But before we could quite get there he emerged, out of the waves like a giant torpedo surfing into shore. Rod at the ready and line in my hand we stood motionless watching him scouring the sandy bottom for a tasty morsel.

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport FishingAs he tailed up I cast out beyond him and waited, hands trembling, I could see his giant eyes searching. All of a sudden he turned and shot back out to the deeper water, leaving me crouched over in the permit pose ready for action for absolutely no reason at all. Over the next few minutes he continued to tease me, coming in shallow on his side, with his fins out of the water, taunting me. Cast after cast he changed direction and swam away or just plainly pretended he hadn’t even seen my fly at all. Reaching the edge of a small sand spit he started to settle down. There must have been some good grub around as he was now in a feeding frenzy, with his tail and even fins waggling around out of the water as he dug his nose deep into the sand bottom. Again I cast out, landing the fly closer to him this time, just in front of his nose so he would definitely see it. His head popped up and his body went motionless for a second so I started to strip slowly, jerking my crab pattern along the bottom. His eyes fixed straight onto my fly, he shot over and flipped onto his side so he could really eyeball my crab. Then down went his nose and tail flapping wildly out of the water as he devoured it. Strike…. he was on, and with a huge tail smack and explosion of water he was off towards the deep, angrily shaking his head.

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport FishingHe proceeded to try every trick in the book, tearing off, turning left and right, then rubbing his nose in the sand trying to dislodge my fly from his mouth. But after a few minutes of angry battle he sulkily admitted defeat and grumpily swam into the shallows. He was a real bruiser of a fish, with short stubby fins, some scratches along his sides and markings around his eyes that made him look very worried indeed…or that may have just been when I gave him a kiss…. A few pics, a final slap of his tail and he was off on his way to fight another day.

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

Brandon was up next and almost immediately we spotted another permit. This fish was also not playing ball so I left Brandon trying to coax him into taking his fly and walked ahead to get some pictures. 50 feet on and in surfed a beautiful little permit, delicately picking his way along the breaking shore line. I couldn’t resist the temptation so I put the camera away and stripped some line out and got ready. On the 3rd cast he saw my fly, swam over and inhaled it. I was so surprised I struck and didn’t even give him the chance to run. Before he realised what was going on I had him in my hands, and a somewhat confused Brandon was standing on the shore behind me.
“I thought it was my turn?”…..oooppsss.
An absolutely beautiful little guy I aptly named freckles as he had dark speckles all along his silver sides.

Clare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport FishingClare Carter, Permit, Indo-Pacific Permit, fly fishing, Oman, Arabian Fly, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing

The day was drawing to a close so we headed back to camp in high spirits.

Next day I retired my rod as it was Brandon’s turn to fish so I took over camera duties. We spent the morning chasing a few permit but they appeared to be much more skittish and not interested in any fly we showed them. After lunch we turned to head back for the car as we wanted to move on and explore another area of coastline. Out of the corner of his eye Brandon spotted a fish surfing in to shore. Getting ready he waited until it settled down in search of some tasty crabby, shrimpy morsels. Casting out ahead he continued to work the permit as it picked its way along the shoreline. After a few tense minutes the cheeky little chap finally decided to try out Brandon’s shrimp fly and moseyed on over to have a nibble. Tail up, nose down and strike he was on, for a small fish he packed a serious punch. He was so angry he shot off at full speed and took the line straight onto the reel. In amusement and of course the usual permit nerves he gingerly played him into the shallows for a picture and release shot…. Another amazing day on the water!

For more infomation about fly fishing in Oman contact us at info@arabianfly.com

Brandon King fly fishing in Oman for permit, Indo-Pacific permit, fishing Oman, Arabian Fly Sport Fishing, Arabian Fly