THE MIGHTY FLY RIVER
Our river season is coming to a close with our last two trips to the Mighty Fly River. We always hope to end things with a bang and we certainly managed to do so in this first leg. Long-time regulars Marshal, Brad, John, Ross, Marsh "Red" jnr, Stephan "Cambo", Graham and Ralph got on board K2O in the lower reaches of the Fly after catching a series of commercial and charter flights needed to navigate the back country of PNG.
Our first stop was a small creek a few hours upstream but unfortunately when we arrived we discovered the mouth is jammed up solid with timber. Rather than waste time clearing it, I sent the boys on to the next spot with a quick boat ride up on the tenders.
“Sometimes it's better to cut your losses and move on rather than waste valuable fishing time restricting yourself to one area”.
The next area was discovered by the team last season and has been a gem of a spot which has held good numbers of fish the whole season. The spot is an unassuming little area ,easily overlooked and fairly tricky to fish but the crew know it well and the numbers of landed fish on the board had everyone smiling.
The benchmark for the Bass was set at 38lbs by Cambo, a personal best for him, with a lot of small Barra landed as well. We spent 2 days fishing the lower reaches before pulling anchor and embarking on a 16 hour steam upriver. It's been a dry season and the water levels in the Fly River system have been lower than usual. This can be both a blessing and a curse fishing wise, some systems become more productive as the swamps drain clear tannin water into the rivers while others dry out and flow dirty. Having a mobile mother ship, our pride the K20, accompanied with a knowledgeable crew makes a world of difference in these conditions, piping hot showers, great food, air conditioning and shelter from the bugs are other fringe benefits!
Day three opened the floodgates for the boys, the Barra fired up and we posted big numbers for the next four days with 90% or more of the fish 85cm or larger. The guys where frothing if the fish didn't look close to a meter, it was promptly unhooked in the water, no nets or photos needed.
The Bass came in steadily as well. We pulled just as many casting in the draining gutters as we did trolling the snags, most of our catches were in the 18 to 25lb range but everyone managed a 30lb or better. Cambo managed to snag a 40lb beast in the dying moments of the game walking away with the best fish of the trip. Both Cambo’s big fish were guided by Solomon, the silent assassin, he may not have much to say but he's proved he can land you a fish!
It'll be a while before we return to Fly River so we made sure to spend time with the local communities whose waters we fish cementing the relationships we've built with them over the years. As always, we've stocked up the local clinics with vital medication and helped the schools and youth projects with books,sporting goods and distributed clothing to all the local clans as well.
The next lot of anglers are on their way in and hopefully the good times will continue to roll. A big thanks to the boys who joined us as well as to the crew and guides of K2O.