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Fly Fishing Djibouti & the Red Sea, 2023 Exploratory


fly fishing for Giant Trevally. Fly fishing the red sea

Soon, I see my mistake. A massive, black Geet, high in the water, shoots in. And then there are shadows all underneath. A school of megas!!


I first fly fished for Giant Trevally in 2017 with a crew from Solid Adventures in Indonesia. I was absolutely captivated. We returned in 2019 to even greater success. Everything was set to go back in 2020 for multiple weeks. And then the world changed. After a year of hoping Indonesia would open up, I started to research other possibilities. And that search is what led Reptile Robb and me to Djibouti in April 2022. As often happens, during the trip our top satellite image locations fell short but one flat begged more time. We renegotiated the route and poured our final few crisp $100’s into more fuel. It paid off. The second to last day on one flat on a single tidal swing, we hook: Triggerfish, GT, Grouper, Napoleon Wrasse, various smaller trevally, all the reef fish, and both get shots at Permit. It is a dizzying amount of species. And we learn the tides we need to be fishing. Read more about our 2022 trip here.


Now back to 2023. When Robb and I arrived back in Atlanta, GA in April, 2023, three truths we learned about Djibouti in 2022 remained evident: it’s the most stable country in a highly unstable region, the reefs are the healthiest we’ve seen anywhere, and big Triggerfish are assholes.


In January of 2023, Robb and I met in north Georgia to fish and he casually mentioned the best birthday present I could have asked for: He is game to return. Planning begins. Flights are booked. Flights are canceled, routes disappear. Our perfect tide days seem out of reach. I check one last time. A flight! If we go straight to the boat from the plane it can work, jetlag be damned.


My visa is rejected. Robb’s application merits no response. We board in Atlanta with extra cash in hand. I get pulled in Paris. Are you military? No. You sure you aren't military? Nope.


We land and hit the road. Unseasonal rain has painted the harsh landscape green. It looks borderline livable. The dirt road winds down to the jagged cliff shoreline. Waves explode into foam. The wind howls. It is good to be back on the Horn.


NOTE: What follows is from my trip journal, written in real time as the trip unfolded. Glaring typos that would lead to confusion have (mostly) been cleared up. Extra clarifications have been added inside parentheses.


Extra Note: I write my fishing journals when I first wake up or right before falling asleep. Efficiency is of the essence and thus most sentences lack personal pronouns. It is safe to assume I’m talking about my own actions or emotional state when no pronoun is mentioned.


Final Note:

Fish Terminology

GT, geet Giant Trevally Caranx ignobilis

Napo Napolean Wrasse Cheilinus undulatus

Emperor Sweetlip Emperor Lethrinus miniatus

Permit Indo-Pacific Permit Trachinotus blochii

Trigger Titan Triggerfish Balistoides viridescens

Margin Yellowmargin Triggerfish Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus

Grouper Malabar Grouper Epinephelus malabaricus

Trevally Various smaller Trevally species



Travel Day

5:58am

Air France plane. Almost there. Getting excited. Should be able to fish some today.


8:59am

We are cruising to [redacted]. Customs wasn’t bad. Just a little back and forth. Full page sticker now. Guy put it over a [redacted] stamp haha.


3:02pm

First fish landed! A yellow dot trevally. About 20”. Solid fight on the heavy spin reel. The spin is mighty fun! Hate to admit it. The rod is awful though. Way too heavy. Reel seems solid. Fought a 40-50lb Grouper for a decent amount. Maybe 40 seconds. It ate right off the rock ledge. Right at the end of retrieve. Just nailed it. Getting tired. Robb is passed out right now.


9:36pm. Exhausted. Bed frame is too short. May have to go outside. Gravel tho. Not as easy a call. New goal is to journal and compile a pov recap vid in the evening. Then just do voiceover.


Got going a little after 4pm. Went [redacted]. To the [redacted] hole. Looks good. Protected. Nothing. No action on the popper. Wild. Nothing for Robb with clouser around rocks.


Go north. To the light bottom on nap. Nothing but looks decent. Then spot a shadow in a cove. I see movement first then it's obvious it’s a Trigger. Robb uses my rod. I spot. Wind is howling. Not enough distance with the cast. Then it spooks the moment the cast unfurls above even though the cast fell short. Bee lines out. (typing then descends into semi-sleep gibberish) Have a grouper y bone as yellow bespoke I’ve Hooke an me imamnaviit tibkabd. Wild. Held on for ten seconds.


fly fishing africa

Day 1

7:00am

I slept well. Alarm at 5:55 wasn't happening. Pushed it an hour. And felt like an instant. Still very windy. Not as intense but still plenty of wind. Somewhat hazy. Footboard wasn’t too bad. Put legs underneath easily. Slept on side for final few hours. Put neck pillow under hip ha.


8:27am

on the boat. Tide is way down so that’s a good sign.


9:18pm

What a day. Wild. Incredible. A dream come true.


Day started somewhat oddly. Too late to make it to reptile (fishing spot). Also chop is awful. So high. And have to go straight into it. No way. We go to the island to the north. Funny enough it is bone dry between the cliff ridges. Huh. Looked like a great flat on the map. Tide must be really down. Get dropped off in back cove. Climb out.


Split ways. Not much in the first cove. Work with spin. Climb over. Oh baby. The next cove is money. Light bottom. Some coral then reef edge. Sight fishing heaven. Work out to reef. The Cortland line is way more fun to cast. Fight a nice gold spot Trevally. Get a follow from bigger fish. Spook a big one. I think a Napo. Maybe grouper. It was a cruiser in white bottom.


Work back in. See a silver gray shape up against rock shallows. Drop 12 wt. Get line out on 8wt in time. Nice cast. One strip. It bolts. Fuck. 99 percent sure it was a Permit. Had to be with location and behavior. Brutal. 10am.


Work down a rock ledge. Robb comes back. He’s had a bunch of Trigger shots. Hooked and lost one.


I go back up. Flat is starting to fill up. There’s this odd, spicy mullet. Gold tail fins. Black pecs. Redfish/koi body and head. Walk across the flat. Bunch of small fish. Wail on some small Trevally. Get up on rocks. Tailing Napo! 8wt. lands in front. Think wind catches line and moves flies too much cus (the fish) bolts after just a second.


Around 12:50pm. Thinking to myself wow we’ve had Triggers Permit and Napo. Only missing geets. Then watch a massive blue silver beast swim right into the flat from the only access point. Scramble after. Get line out. Get snagged, Get unsnagged. Get ready. It sprays bait. Then comes back out. Big lead. Work fly back. No reaction. Cast again tight as it’s headed to upwind side. Straight strip. Big boil then it’s coming right at me. Almost runs me over ! Wild. Then it exits.


Robb comes back. We work the rock point for a bit. I spot a massive shark in waves. No shot. Spot a Napo tailing in the flat. Get a nice shot. I think it’s coming to the fly. A Trigger charges the Napo and/or fly. Everything spooks. Damn.


Flat gets too deep. Move over to the peninsula. Climb up high. Can see thousands of baitfish in the inlet. Just everywhere. Wild. Watch for a bit. Get down at one point. Hoping it’s small Geets following behind but it’s the black surgeonfish. Lil bastards.


Robb keeps moving back to where he found Triggers in the am. I work over to the next peninsula. Boom. Big Napo face rubbing the rocks. Leaves before I get a cast. Stick with 8 wt. then two 18” fish jump in tandem. The Baja flee. I know what this means but I shrug it off. I want the Napo!


Soon, I see my mistake. A massive black geet high in the water shoots in. And then there are shadows all underneath. A school of megas’!! I scramble to get 12wt. Strip off line while running to edge. Line gets all stuck on rocks. Can’t do shit. Fish leave. I’m kicking myself. So loaded. Why did I strip off line??? Knew it would get stuck. Idiot. I fling line to other side of peninsula in hopes they went there. It was the inlet loaded with bait. Walk over while keeping line high and clear. A grouper has the fly in its mouth right next to the rocks. Wtf. Try to set. It spits and spooks. Get a follow on recast. Then there’s a massive bohar circling the point! Huge and red. Has to be that. Get a follow. Then another grouper follow. Damn. Go reset.


The geets return. After ten min or so!! I’m ready. Strip line off reel while casting. Everything stays in the air. Follow from a tank. But then it spooks! And others spook. They are all leaving. Cast out again. One strip. Boom black GT nails it! Off to the races. It goes straight to open water’ yes! I run after it to the tip of the rock peninsula. Crank drag. Feel like it will pull me in. So glad I know this reel well. It’s cranked. Gotta trust the heat and knots. The only way.


Goes deep into backing. Finally see the fly line right along the peninsula. Then it runs into the inlet back close to me. No no. That’s rock city. Then back out. Then comes in tight. I rush into the water to limit the angle on the drop off. Gotta keep the line clear.


Keep fighting. High sticking now. Know I have him. Fly is buried in the side of its mouth. Get the leader. Get the tail. Holy hell. What a feeling. We both are exhausted. Just sit in the water. It’s tail is so big I can't grasp it firmly. Scute cut isn’t even a concern really. Robb makes it over. Photo shoot time. The head is so dang heavy to actually lift fully out of the water.


We measure. I’m holding at the tail. And tape goes tight. I don’t believe it. It’s 120. Then reset and it taped to 99.5 (centimeters) So sick. Starts to revive. It’s so docile. Do a little swim with it and it kicks off. I’m roaring. Hugs. High fives. Kiss on the cheek. Cloud 9.


All jacked up back at camp for the evening. Download GoPro. It’s all there. So clear. Wild.



Day 2

5:21am

slept decent. Out from 9:30-1:45 then tossed and turned. Had a dream that someone arrived to diplomatically rob us.


9:23pm

Exhausted. Massive day. Nothing sexy to show for it but we had chances and figured more out. I lost a nice Trigger over the reef. Total brain fart. Line was wrapped around the rod butt. Ran with fish. Then finally got it loose but as soon as it was on drag it went into a hole and broke the leader. Wtf. I should have just handlined it?? Was so worried about the line wrap I forgot what fish I was fighting. Dumb.


Action started a little after 8am. We got there early. Around 7:15 am. Ride over was gnarly at times. Stake out for a bit. Wait for vis(ibility) to increase. Fish inlet. There’s some grouper milling about but they won’t hit.


Start to walk the flat. Nothing much is happening. See a big Napo tail on reef edge around 9. Plops up like a bump head. Maybe it was??


Then see a black line go up in the interior. Oh fuck. Beeline over and up wind. It’s a Permit all right. Tailing away. So happy. Cast at it maybe 15 times. Orange foxy bitters. No interest. Doesn’t spook tho. Eventually, it gets real tight. I try to lead it. (I try) casting close. (I try) Leaving the fly and letting it swim over. (I try) Working it back quick. Nothing works. Brutal. Robb has my nippers. Otherwise, I would have tried a fly change. Had enough time. Fished to it for maybe 3 minutes. Brutal.


Reset. Then see tank of a Napo tailing to the Lee of coral island. Get two casts out with 8wt. A GT is messing about with the Napo and rushes the crab each time. Won’t let the Napo near it. Drop 8. Cast 12. Huge mistake. That spooks the hell out of the Napo and GT spooks as well. Should have stayed with 8. Napo was so happy. First one I’ve been able to cast at. Could have tried to just slide fly into its face carp style. Damn.


Little while later I reset again and get a nice shot at Trigger. With tan alphexo. Ignores the first ok cast. Then harder strip. That gets its attention. Set fly down on white sand. Wait. It tips down. Boom. Stick it. It bolts to reef. Oh no. Line is wrapped around rod butt. Run with fish. Finally clear it. But why did I care? I needed to hand line it! It takes line and goes straight to reef drop. I realize my mistake too late. Try to pull back. Feel extra tension. Leader breaks at mono to Fluoro connection. Damnit. Pissed at myself. That was a brain fart. Forgot the species that was hooked when the line got wrapped.


Not much after that. One more Trigger chance. Get a good follow but snapper steals it. Olive alphexo. Trigger follows the snapper to me trying to steal the crab out of the side of its mouth haha.


By 12pm it’s over. Too much water. Boat is gone, alas. Break down in comms. Gets back around 1:15pm. We eat. Then head back to Kaniak cove as it is too windy to explore. Ride back isn’t bad though. We chat about skateboarding and how weird middle school was.


(Afternoon sesh) See one big Napo tailing at rock island at beach side. Otherwise nothing.


Climb cliff peninsula. 4 margins are swimming along like tarpon into the wind. I try to cast from up high. Haha. So much wind. Almost get to them with full line but either wind kicks it or slack line catches a rock before full send.


Jog up ahead and get to the little cliff cut out Camp side. Climb down. Strip off line into water. Then steeple cast time. I’m just short. Wind kicks it back the last few feet that I need. Third cast is almost there and they spook on the heavy strip after ignoring it. Bastards.


Back to GT rock. So much damn wind. Sit there for about an hour and a half. Napo pops up a couple times. Running its face on the shore line rocks again. Being a total ass to Robb’s fly. Tried to nymph him the last time. Think that’s the move. Maybe a crazy Charlie?


Back to camp a little after six. Switch out spin popper. Straight to braid. Put on split shot. Def casts better. No bites. So exhausted once (I) sit down. Don’t think I have four more days in me. But then drink an iv. That helps. Decide to do movement (weightlifting workout with a heavy water jug) before dinner. That’s huge. Get a sweat going. Really get after it. Feel so much better.


Then eat. Add 3 nail knots to GT line. Retie fly. In bed a touch after 9.



Day 3

5:44am

Slept poorly. Loco dreams. Wind is gusting so bad. Not consistent at all.


10:55pm

All fired up with Permit fever. Got a game plan. Confidence is up baby!


Day 3 was solid enough. Def slower. Went back to reptile. Later start. Got there a little after 8. Draining hard. Worked the popper off the rock point at the end. Cast much better with 6 split shot lol. Hooked one bar trevally right at my feet. That was cool. Super dark. Light vertical lines.


Arm got tired quickly. Then tried dredging off reef (sinking line with super heavy clouser). Needed stripping basket. Timing was tricky. Line super slick. Landed a variety of small reef fish.


Went back to the gear drop spot. Get ready for 8wt-12wt walk. Didn’t see much on the first pass. Or the second.


Want to Permit spot on time. Nada. Did see a nice geet cruising south of Robb’s GT spot. Was swimming along the wide sand inside the reef edge. Looked so good. Ditched 8wt. Ran after. Can’t catch up. Stripping off line off 12wt. Go for Hail Mary. End of running line is caught on a rock! No! Get free. Lost fish. Throw some long casts but nada. Spooked a smaller GT and Trigger during the chase down. Head to shore. To reset and get 8wt. Spooked two Triggers on walk to shore. Mehh.


Back to 8wt. Nothing is happening. Surgeonfish all over. They are tailing on dark skinny bottom near Permit spot at one point. Hundreds of tails, it’s wild. Big lead. Let the fly sit. They swim over it. Small slide. They all bolt. Lol. Stake out at island. See neon blue flash. Cast. Feel nip. See follow. It’s pink red. And then see it’s a nice Napo! Fuck. It keeps following. But won’t commit. Turns off on follow up cast. Dang. That’s promising. Nipped a small olive alphexo.


Go reset. Likely around 11am by then. Tide starts to push in. Nothing around alas. Getting back close to island. Big dark tail pops up. It’s a Napo! Close the gap. Get a cast. Cast to the east of it. It swirls. Feel tension. Set. It spooks. Strip again. It turns back and hovers down. Slow set. But nothing. Not sure if it lined itself or ate. Lots of movement in water. But it def went face down at fly on the second pounce. Damn. Same alphexo.


Get to island. Robb is snorkeling. Says it’s awesome. And then an affirmation of why I don’t snorkel. Permit tail pops up just before the big rock pile. Same spot as last year. Get a bunch of shots. It’s swimming around, tailing like mad. Nothing. Maybe 15-20 feet away at furthest. Dang.


Need a new plan for Permit for sure.


Walk the full lenGTh. A few Trigger shots. All assholes. Go back up. Robb comes up with boat crew.


Head to north side. To walk shoreline west to east like last year. Eat lunch on way. Go to brown beach bear near [redacted]. Nothing on beach. It looks like the Oman Permit Ray fishes tho. See one Trigger tight as rocks start. Robb feeds it but no set.


Keep going. Another Trigger feed for Robb. Something breaks. I cast at it. No interested in small tan puff crab. Switch to big tan alphexo as that’s what Robb was getting bites on.


I (walk ahead). Big titan! Cast well outside to west. It darts over on the first strip. Tips down. Game on. Stick it. Hand line. Then on reel. Gotta stop it. Heading straight to reef. Crank drag. Line going out. Then it free spools?? Metal noise. Get more line in. Then another run. Drag is spinning way too easily. More drag crank and then it locks up and pulls hook. Duck. I thought for sure something broke. But all is intact. Damn.


Keep walking up to pass. Right before the end see a Triggerfish in a back eddy cove. Cast out in the middle of the cove. It’s next to the submerged rocks and the east side. Darts over to the fly. Small strip. Boom. On. Heads straight to rocks. Give it some line but stop the line before the rocks. Brief massive bend in rod and then it’s free. Hooked pulled again. Damn. Saw pink. Think it was a yellow margin. That hurts.


Up to the [redacted]. Decide to drift crab across the deep rocks in fast current. First one gets a big follow but I’m distracted cus GoPro won’t turn on! Damn it Kane. Looks like a big Trigger.


Give up on GoPro. Another drift further out. After a few seconds, it gets nailed. Baby Bohar. Sick! Almost done with fight. And 30lb grouper lunges at it next to rocks. Then another. Same side. Bohar goes crazy. Darts back out. Moving all over. Decide to see if grouper can get it. Neither can swallow it. Too big. Bohar does admirable job of avoiding contact as well. Rules of the ocean. Get big quick so others can’t eat you!


Grab 12wt off pack while holding 8wt with bohar and fling it by fly with left hand. But grouper have become discourage. Dang. Would have been hilarious. Beach bohar. Into tidal pool. Grab some iPhone pics. It’s pretty tired. But gills are pumping in tidal. After a few seconds figure it needs to be in more oxygenated water. No way I can get in cus current so strong and deep. Toss it in expecting slow movement and grouper smash. It darts off completely fine. Impressive.


That’s really the final action for the day. Walk back. Meet Robb. He had a big GT shot at the point near my first Trigger shot. And a nice Trigger lost. We are stoked. Good to see enthusiastic fish.


Go to second spot further down for last bit. I get one shot but no interest. Start heading back around 5:50. Wind is up even more. Big ass waves. Get totally soaked on final part in.



Day 4

6:28am

Slept ok. Out til three. Then up cus hot. Front door closed. Was nice at first not to be hit by wind.

(4am) Abdo showed up saying the boat was beached. Went down to push it off.


10:25pm

Feeling solid. Ready for some sleep


Wild day. Woke up a bit after 6am. Sleep in and take it easy. Little guy comes by to say finished? We chuckle. No no.


Up and go to the eating shack. No food. Quick check and don't see anyone. Tell Robb. He checks the beach and says the boat is sunk.


Sure enough. It’s sideways. Buried in the sand and waves are crashing over the stern and it’s full of water. We attempt to push but no luck. Will have to wait for low tide.


We go back up. Eat slowly. Then take a nap. I start Into the Heart of Borneo. So damn good. Makes me want to travel even more! Lots of the SAS jungle tips are things I’ve learned on my own elk hunting. Pretty cool.


Around 10am the boat has been bailed and is ready. We head down. Holy hell. Massive effort. Slowly we inch it back to the water. We hit a wall after getting it pointed out. My idea is to wiggle it back and forth from the bow as pushing from the stern did nothing. It works!


Back to top. Hydrate. Dry off. Sunscreen. Get gear. Sounds like water is in the fuel line. Head down. Plan is to go to a nearby island to keep it safe. Eat lunch when we arrive


Start fishing around 11:30am. Do a long walk around the north shore rocks. Where Robb was day one. It’s gnarly going but lovely water. See a Napo early but can’t close in time. Then crossing shot at tank Trigger cruising high in deep water. Nice long cast is unfurling just in front. And wind sends the leader right back. Dang.


Some small grouper etc. See a whale shark 150 feet off shoreline. Swimming north to south. 3 times! Very cool. Robb says Abdo said winter is just stacked with them in here.


Back to Permit flat. Do some blind casting with big lead eye shrimp fly. Small emperors that are white with orange tip fins and single black circle near start of tails flit about. Then hook something big. Strong set. It takes off. Dark but shaped like big Trigger. Gets around one coral bomy then another. Stuck. Ask Robb to help. He dives down. Pulls out simply a leader. Damnit.


We are averaging a lost trophy fish per angler per day at this rate. Brutal.


Go stake out GT flat. Water rises. So many bait balls


Go to wave beach. Chase pufferfish for a bit before realizing what it is. Some baby sharks. Some baby rays. No real fish. Oh well.


Back to point. Spot a Trigger heading into GT flat. Follow in. Find it. Get a shot. It ignores first two casts. Put third closer. Spooks. Ok. Back to alphexo and time to lenGThen tippet as it’s gotten short. Of course another Trigger shows up while changing. Then it’s gone. Get another shot but baitfish are all over and spook on each cast and thus spook the Trigger. Spend more time there and nothing happens on the flat. Go back to rocks and spot Napo. Three casts. So much wind the crab isn’t getting down. It ignores the first two. Changes from orange gray to dark blue before the third cast. Cool to see. Then spooks. Maybe I should have just committed to the first cast. Try to let it settle into rock.


Sit and eat. Of course, a massive GT cruises along rocks right as I’m not ready. Grab 12wt and head to the flat to meet it. Never spot it. Walk across the flooded flat blindcasting across. Nothing.


Head over to Kaniak cove. Get close and Robb is fired up. He’s broken his HD 11wt on a massive grouper. 70 lbs or so. It crushed a GT fly that he had dangling in the water while staked out. Took him straight into the rocks. Broke rod and then let go of fly.


Robb also tightlined a Trigger. Beached it twice during initial freak out and then it spit hook. Brutal. We stake out for the last 45 min or so. Nothing happens. Back to camp. Rinse gear. Switch bonefish line to dragons Everglades. (I no longer trusted the drag in my Ross 8wt reel after is free spooled/then locked up earlier)


Boot update - glue held pretty well. Definitely glad I had them for the rock shoreline walk at the start of the day. Will have to glue again tho. Some gaps opening back up.



Day 5

6:11am

Slept poorly. Exhausted. Right fore arm is aching.


(Summary of the days chances)

3 GT shots.

One margin follow to rod tip. Another attempted eat stolen by Emperor.

One titan bite pulled too quick. One titan fight lost on broken tippet in a hole.


Interesting day. Boat was solid. Went to [redacted]. Plan was to walk from north side of [redacted] west along rocky shore and then hop over to old camp flats. Well when we pull up it looks like a movie. There are thin bodies dotting the shoreline and hills.


Ethiopian economic migrants. Heading to Yemen. Big boat will come in the night to smuggle them over.


Def don’t want to go to shore. Situation looks dire. Easily 100 or so. We only have a day's supply of water and food. Wrenches the soul. But there’s no good solution except to keep motoring.


We go down further. I try to say drop us off behind a point out of sight but it’s lost. On to shore. Water is already super low. I guess because the am high tide wasn’t that high. Vis is immaculate. Hell ya.


First action is I spot a rock barely moving. Grouper! Good size. Prolly 30lb. Ditch pack and 8wt. Get 12wt. Get line off the reel. Land fly soft. After Robb’s dangle hook up I’ve got a plan. Fly is hovering. Small strip. Grouper closes the gap. He’s perpendicular still. Another strip. He rotates head on. Then sucks it in. Strong set. Off to the rodeo. I mess up a bit because drag is super light so I can strip line off fast. Tricky part off on foot fighting. Especially on rocks. Have to be able to strip line off while casting. Even a stripping basket wouldn’t be ideal because need to be able to switch rods quickly and stripping into basket stacks line in wrong direction (when taking line off the reel, so not a good solution for quick rod changes).


Get thru first run tho. Get Unwrapped from first rock. Pull out from second rock with drag cranked. Fish doubles over rod tho. Rod tip forced into water. Keep fighting. Rod tip breaks and dangles down line. Gets into another rock. Time to hand line him out. Pull. There a jolt. 100 lb is cut thru. Damn! On the Salar white and tan brushie.


Lose half of the top section of the 12wt. Cut off shaft above guide. Put on Sean fly.


Trigger passes. Can’t catch up. Cruise back east to follow. See a Napo. Spooks on cast. Back to walking west. Nothing really. A titan Trigger right before the Oman esque flat. It’s happy. Turns on fly. Bout to eat. Tension. Fuxking Emperor. Pissed.


Keep walking. Up and over the ridge. Flush a gorgeous dove. Mottled light brown feathers. Like a quail. Old camp area looks sick. Very low. Enter in back cove and walk on dry mud. Get lazy and stay in water while curving back east. Spook a Trigger. Dumb ass. Up to rocks. Spot a margin. Deliver strong arm alphexo. Turns. Follow. Follow. All the way to rod tip. Won’t commit. Turns down on it multiple times. Brutal.


Keep going. Get to beach. Blind casts. Baby GT. Haha. Get an underwater shot. Sit on beach. Then to western rocks. Massive titan belly crawling and going sideways. Work it slowly. Get stuck on rock. Let it swim over and pass. Then cast again. Get a bite in tight. Pull it out too quick. Damn.


Another shot on a super spooky one. Come back to beach after a bit. Robb is on the inside flat. Says he’s had two GT shots.


There’s a big Napo tailing in his glare. Super dark. Go to fast (on cast). Get caught on backcast (on rock cliff behind). Then slack line is wrapped. What a shit show. Get line out finally. But Napo has changed color and is on edge. Maybe from me. Maybe something else. It swims out after the strip. Damn.


Keep pushing along. Nothing on flat but a few Triggers along rock edge. Cast too tight and (fly) lands hard with wind pushing fly down. Damn.


Get to next flat. Some Trigger shots on north east end. Work to west end. 30lb GT charges in off the point. Plop crab at it (had 8wt in hand for Triggers). Spooks. Go to rocks to sit and eat. A 50lb (GT) enters the flats. Chase after like mad man. Trying to catch it. I’m Moving directly into wind from directly behind it. Cant reach with shortened rod.


Another (GT) charges in east end and sprays bait while I’m staked out. Brutal cast straight into wind trying to get a perpendicular shot. Plop it down along right pectoral. 10 feet away. Work it back. It spooks.


Vis leaves. Getting super light headed. Out of water. Out of food. No sign of boat. After three (pm) now. Been walking since 8:45am


Keep pushing. Figure out what shoreline around the nrext bend looks like. Finally boat arrives.


Go to second stretch for Trigger walk. Margin tries to eat. Stolen by Emperor. Then fly line gets wedged in rocks when stripping back to unhook Emperor as Margin is still holding right there wondering what happened.


5:15pm Big titan. Perfect pres. Soft landing to the west of it. One strip. Hurry’s over. Won’t bite. Swims away slow. Second cast. Super light. Just ahead of its face. Set it as it Eats. Wild battle. Think I’ve got him. One last run in to deep water. Hole. Wait it out. Feel it move. Hit it hard. Nada. Tippet is worn down to the width of a hair.


Strong arm Merkin in light tan is the ticket. Shame to lose it.



Day 6

6:11am

Slept better. Right forearm is done. Gotta push thru.


Brutal chop. Jarring around [redacted] island. Get to old camp. Do best to communicate two hours of fishing. Then come back. They throw anchor at beach. No no! Two hours. 9 to 11


Go to rocks to the east. A couple Trigger shots. All rude.


Go stake out flat. Robb is struggling. I am too after that boat ride. Another boat comes to meet ours out in small channel. They tow in at 10:45am Motor is big problem. Uh oh.

I load up on water and start to walk west. Back to GT flat. Nothing on old camp flat as I walk. Get to rock ledge. Trigger shot. Land too hard. (keep walking) Grouper flush. Blind cast on submerged rocks when walking!


Play around with inverted cast. That’s the ticket! More Trigger shots. Start to make it work!


Scared shark. Scared monster cuda. 3:30pm pick up in a different boat. Panga with enduro. Motor finished. Go to find Robb. Slow ride back to camp.


If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the details of a wild fly fishing adventure to Djibouti!




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