Fly Fishing on the Falkland Islands
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Falkland Islands Fly.Fishing

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One thing is certain:
We, who are reading this (or have written it) do not belong to the species of „beer buddies on a Saturday night by the river“- those anglers who tie a fly to a beer can, lay down on the grass with the second beer and wait until something is pulling the first beer can in the water.

But one thing is not clear:
What is the absolutely correct equipment for the "true“ fly fisher?
From the beer can – just kidding – from a light single-handed rod to a powerful double-handed rod, from a shooting head to a light WF line, from a small CDC to a large tube fly, from high-performance Gore-Tex to yellow wellingtons.

It is far from my intention to be an advocate for the right equipment. Everyone is entitled to their preferences, and that is whatever works best and catches the most.
Every angler has his/or her individual preferences and in the end you always use what you can handle and what catches you the fish.
That is why we only specify what we used on the Falklands and what enabled us to catch an average of 14 fish per day.

Fly Fishing Gear

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Eddie, my travel partner, is from the Faroe Islands and there, as a fly fisherman, you develop a lifelong preference for and loyalty towards a very renowned English rod manufacturer. Fly fishing on the Faroe Islands was introduced by soldiers of the British Army in World War II, hence this traditional connection.

Eddie took only one rod with him on the trip.
A 9´ single hand rod #8 with a WF Floating #8 and that was a perfect all-rounder for there.

As a woman, I changed from spending my money on Haute Couture and designer accessories to fishing rods and reels instead some times ago.
Admittedly, I am loyal to Winston Rods company. I love the action of their rods and incomparable quality of workmanship. I feel the same way about the fantastic reels of the Abel company.

I vary the fly lines. But all are from Scandinavian companies. And I am impressed by the casting quality of Salmologic lines. For my single hand and switch rods I cast with the new innovative WF floating lines. I use shooting heads with changeable tips and sink rates for my double-handed rods.

During calm weather conditions I mostly used on the Falklands a 11 ́ switch rod with a (17 gram) WF Floating line.
Because I prefer to do underhand casts in strong winds I then switched over to double handed rods. I had two rods with me in the length 12´9 in different weights and changed between shooting heads of 22 gram upwards depending on the winds. These switch or double-handed rods were also very pleasant to cast when wading in the rivers with high banks. I never had a fly stuck in the grass behind me.
We almost never used a sinking line/ tip or missed it; the fishing areas are usually very shallow and wide.
However, as it is also practiced on the Faroe Islands, it is very useful to fish with a tapered leader plus tippet in the double rod length.

Clothing

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Of course, everyone has their own taste and experience concerning clothing for fishing.
And this page is not destined to dictate a dress code, because you yourself are the best judge regarding your personal weather resistance.

These guidelines are intended for those readers who are still unsure how to prepare themselves for the Falklands weather.

The Falkland Islands have – to put it mildly – "fresh" weather.
There are many sunny fishing days, more than you would expect, but very strong winds are likely to come up with the sun.
That means your clothing has to be not only waterproof, but also windproof.

When fishing on the Falkland Islands, depending on the weather conditions, you need the entire line-up.

From wading clothing (you very often fish and wade in the water) to multi-layer outdoor clothing. Modern Gore-Tex jackets from Simms Company are my first choice here.
And of course headgear and polarized glasses.

On top of that, the clothes should still be comfortable, because you will have to walk long distances in order to reach some waters or pools.

Suncream with a sun protection factor of 50 and a lip balm belongs in your luggage like your toothbrush!
You hardly feel the influence of the sun on your skin because of the wind. And due to the thin ozone layer at these latitudes, you are burned in no time.
Hard-nosed men might think "Humbug!“. Like Eddie did in the first few days. But a few days later, being a walking lobster, red in the face and hands he was not so hard-nosed then…

You often hear about the "onion look".
I cannot confirm that either. We were always wrapped from head to toe, never to warm to strip off our jackets. And believe us, we are used to fishing in rough weather conditions in a light shirt.

Flies

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In contrast to salmon fishing, we choose our flies for sea trout fishing based on the food of the fish.
On the Falkland Islands, sea trout feed on small squid, krill, other small fish, crustaceans and insects in all stages of development.

It is very useful to adapt the fly to the current menu according to size, colour and shape.

  • white flies with "lively" hair / feathers to imitate squid
  • orange classics like General Practitioner or Ally's Shrimp to cover everything in the direction of krill and other crustaceans
  • if "smelt" (Odontesthes nigricans or Odontesthes smitii) are being hunted, this prey fish should be imitated, ideally with a tandem or second hook at the end (in this phase the fish like to test the fly at the end, but do not take it)

Flies with a silver body have always proven their worth.

  • Teal, Blue and Silver, Stoat Silver or Hairy Mary (with a silver body and squirrel hair wings).
  • small and short tubes flies in silver / black / blue

We only used flies in sizes between 8 and 12.

CDC in size 12 are very successful when the fish are very suspicious.

If you want to tempt a "mullet", red to orange colored flies have proven their worth, as this fish primarily reacts to the color.

Prey Animals

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"Smelt"
(Odontesthes nigricans oder Odontesthes smitii)

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Stomache contents of a sea trout

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Crab claw – stomach content of a "Mullet"

With the kind support of:

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