As a fly fisherman, I had the desire to catch a sailfish and possibly a permit on the fly this time. I also brought two of my Carpenter rods and the Stella reels along to pop for GTs and other fish on the outer reef if the opportunity arose.
During the first sailfish outing, I had two sails behind the boat. I managed to hook one right away, but lost the fish on its second leap. I missed another opportunity entirely. On the second outing, things work out: I catch my first sailfish on my self-tied fly with a Cam Sigler Popperhead. The exciting part is when the sailfish is behind the boat, trying to chase the teasers and then attacking the fly. And you're right there, experiencing it live!
The fight was initially thrilling - you feel a lot of power and speed, and you see the sailfish completely leap out of the water multiple times. In the end, though, the sailfish is on the surface, and you're more or less pumping it toward the boat. A beautiful, majestic fish! One more in my collection.
I booked the boat for six half days and one full-day excursion to Poivre. During the boat trips, I catch bonitos, sharks, wahoos, rainbow runners, and some beautiful reef fish on the fly. Sometimes, we head out with the large catamaran, with Moni and Anna joining as well. I go on an excursion with Mark, a London lawyer whose family we've gotten to know. Mark catches a fantastic wahoo while trolling.
What's wonderful about Desroches is that you can do a round of fly fishing on the island. So sometimes, I head out just after sunrise when my family is still sleeping, for an hour or two of fishing. Bonefish can be challenging here, as there are only a few very skittish fish. However, I do manage to catch one every now and then. During these outings, I often spot permit, but apart from a very small one measuring 20 cm, I can't outsmart any of them.
A beached whale on Desroches draws a crowd and emits a terrible stench. Tiger sharks sense the whale and come close to the shore to tear out chunks of meat. I take a photo of the whale shortly before the management closes off the area due to the sharks and eventually hauls the whale back into the open sea. One day, I spend time with Mark on the flats at St. Joseph, where we catch several bonefish.