Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

The milkfish man

The milkfish is a quite extraordinary flats fishing quarry, but their gentle looking nature belies a ferocious turn of speed when hooked. Arno Matthee (pictured above, one of the FlyCastaway guys, without doubt the most skilled and professional guiding outfit I have come across) is the guy who is credited with working out how to successfully catch milkfish on the fly, indeed the very fly has been generously named after him. Arno's Milky Dream is THE milkfish fly. You can not believe how hard these milkfish fight - Arno hooked this one on his first cast at a pod of feeding fish, but even then it took all his skill and perseverance to land it on a 10 weight fly outfit. The remote Seychelles atolls are among the few places on earth where you can target big, flats-based milkfish on the fly. FlyCastaway have been running another mothership operation over on Providence, a huge, virtually unfished atoll I have visited a couple of times - click here for photos. We crossed over with the Providence guides back in Mahe on our way home, and the stories were incredible - monster bonefish and GTs, plus good numbers of bumphead parrotfish to over 70lbs on the fly, on the flats !! I photographed these fish earlier in the year, but the guys are finding some really big fish and I was told that sometimes these extraordinary fish will poke their strange heads out of the water to take a look at you. They do take flies, so get yourself out there as soon as you can. This is cutting edge fly fishing. Speak to Pete at Aardvark McLeod and he will sort you out a trip.

Not long until Christmas now - where has 2007 gone ? I am really looking forward to taking some time off with my family, and then getting my head down to make 2008 an even better and more exciting year. Working in fishing for me is a dream come true, but most anglers would not believe what it takes to make it work.


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