The Fly life

Sunday, April 6, 2008

There Just Might Be Fish in Hong Kong..

After 4 long months in "Asia's World City", I found out that it certainly aint "Asia's Fishing City"... When I first came over, the only information gathered in from the internet was that - you gotta go to Sai Kung to catch a fish... but I thought "Nah, there should be fish all over HK"... I take that back. Sure, there are locals catching stuff all over the place, but the good spots - especially for lure fishing - remain very closely guarded secrets. Even trips to places recommended by unselfish fishonetizens proved to be unproductive (for me at least). But I guess I should give those places a few more visits... which means that I'm sacrificing my once-a-week fishing time to try again as opposed to finding THE spot.

This past friday (o4 Apr) was one of those exploring trips. Since it's a public holiday, I thougt it'd be high time to holler my ass over to the Sai Kung vicinity to verify if what I've heard about the place lived up to its reputation. A quick check on Google earth and I decided to carry out my excapade at a place called "Hebe Haven"... dunno if it has anything to do with the Taiwanese all-girl pop group S.H.E.... heheh.

Getting there required a ride on the MTR followed by bus. It was the first time I took the green-top mini buses too... oops, second time actually... the first option was to check out a river that flowed into the bay, but it was scratched after the water looked a little too shallow and lifeless. Time for plan B. It was a hike (of about 30mins) toward the central bay area. And it's quite interesting (actually 'weird' would be a better word) to see semi-modern houses in an area where attap or zinc-roofed houses would pass off as more appropriate... single lane road, plenty of bushes and shrubs, and self-made parking lots. To cap it off, there was even a Supra parked alongside the road.


(Don't be fooled, there's nothing in the little stream shown above).

I walked to the end of the "village" to a little protruding islet and found a nice spot to start casting. Out comes the Reuben Pink Headed Gotcha (that I tied... heheh). The tide was low and I was able to find some really good rocks to stand on to cast... if anything, the casting was enjoyable. An hour went and nothing found the fly appetising... and then a man showed up in his 'sampan' (or wooded dinghy) and promptly laid a few drift nets around the area... no wonder this area is devoid of life.

Feeling disgusted, I broke the rod down and was contemplating if I should call it a day... but just out of curisosity, decided to check out what's on the other side of the islet... walking along a small path and down to the rocky shoreline, I was greeted with the smell of decomposing fish... and quite alot of flies. It was a barracuda of about 2-3 ft in length on a rock. Hmm, that's encouraging... a predator of this size actually hunts here. I spotted a rocky outcrop that made its way out to the water and decided to cast there... and I also found a nice rock from which to cast.

The SA Nymph taper that I bought a couple of weeks ago in Singapore is a dream to cast... turning over the gotcha and 12 ft leader with ease. It didnt take long for something to take a bite at the fly... even though they're small, the cods make up for it by hitting the fly pretty hard.


At long last!!! My first fly caught fish in Hong Kong!!! Then something unfortunate happened.. I lost my balance (for no reason) and fell into waist deep of water... "The phone's gone for sure" I thought... and true enough, it died. Feeling sorry for myself, I wanted to call it quits. But the wet shorts meant that I had to stick around for a while. So I walked back over to the islet to give it another go... with no results. So back to spot that produced. It didnt take long for this small fella to gobble the fly.


Then things went quiet... and I decided to walk over to the other side of the bay to take a look. It reminded me alot of Double Bay back in Sydney and I enjoyed myself walking there in knee-deep clear water, and found another patch of oyster encrusted rocks from which to cast from. The water looked like it was 2-3 ft deep, and was ideal. I proceeded to land another three cods from this patch, making me a very happy man.


Hopefully, this will be a prelude of better things to come in the future. Till next time....
-Justin-

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