Sharks on surface flies and tailing snapper schools
Colorado & New Mexico Fly Fishing Guide Rita Adams
Johnny’s been tying up some surface flies for the toothy predators on the flats and this one has proved interesting to more than just barracuda. Honing our poling skills on a skinny flat we were running into an abnormal number of sharks on the hunt and bonefish on the run. Since the bones didn’t seem to have food on their mind, I decided to start trying for the sharks with the new fly on 30lb wire leader. I stripped it in front of the first shark we came across and he chased it down and engulfed it on the surface like a dry fly. Zero hesitation and two feet off the boat, my reel was sizzling with a new species. After multiple runs I managed to bring the five foot lemon shark to the edge of the boat, not too enthused about putting my hands anywhere near that mouth to retrieve the fly. It was a relief when he gave a mighty headshake and solved the problem for both of us.
Later in the week, wading in our back lagoon, we spied a school of fish coming towards us with lazy wakes and the odd tipping tail. As they got closer I could see the tails were pink and the fish shapes wrong for bonefish. I threw at them anyway, and the largest in the pack muscled past all the others to engulf my fly…it turned out to be an absolutely massive Mutton Snapper, who took more backing than the last permit I caught. If the staff cook knew I’d released this fish I’d be knee deep in beans and dirty looks for the rest of the week!
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