Great Expectations

Every fishing trip deserves a happy ending. It’s never guaranteed, but the prospect of success is what motivates the hunt to begin with. When we can’t fish, we resort to scratching the itch vicariously through reliable fishing reports, condensed nowadays into a single photo that has more thumbprints than an old Playboy magazine. Thankfully no one shares screens!

Technology is a real curse when it comes to having your nose rubbed in someone else’s fishing accolades, but the urge to share our latest conquest is a vicious circle.Selecting your next fishing destination revolves around this digital footprint, footage of fish cementing the deal, which if it happens to be your own albums through which you are reminiscing then you do need to get out more.

After my first adventure, returning to Angola wasn’t even a question. Images of rolling Tarpon on the tide drowned any other consideration and as Jeremy hadn’t yet seen the magnificent display of the Silver King in full flight he feigned his apologies and bolted out the office. Joining Tommo on this tour was Brad, harboring a festering grudge, which I had hoped was over the last Tarpon to steadfastly refuse his fly. But I should have realized that he was still stewing over being left at the Jetty on our inaugural trip, after my rather selfish decree that his morning deliberations were eating into valuable fishing time.

I was not and might never be forgiven! He had a score to settle, which fortunately was directed mainly at the fish, searching for which now became all encompassing.The fresh water influx from the Angolan highlands had not completed it’s nearly 1000km journey to the Kwanza river mouth, being the catalyst that brings the Atlantic Tarpon rolling in every Summer. Which meant from a fly fishing perspective we were screwed!

In my opinion, sight fishing has no equal, to put your fly on the spot and witness the take is a close second to the art of procreating itself or at least the practicing thereof.But in the absence of heads or tails to throw at, knowing that anything could be moving along this Atlantic slipway is enough to keep you casting into likely looking current lines……..for the first day. By day two, you’re scouring the Ocean looking for birds, shoaling fish of any description, until eventually you settle on ripping and stripping around structure. For the uninitiated, and I choose my words very carefully, this is without question the worst fucking form of fly-fishing that exists!

The tedium of throwing a 12wt rod and slapping what could pass for a spark plug into what seems like a bottomless pit is a mind numbing occupation that I think is portrayed somewhere in Dante’s Inferno. Don’t be fooled by the tranquil clear blue water, it is there to lull you into a false sense of expectation. The beating sun watching your line sink into oblivion for the umpteenth time will soon dull your enthusiasm. Add to this the comprehension that what you are doing requires zero skill and every once of dumb luck and it’s enough to extinguish what little hope you were clinging onto.

It is at time like these where light-hearted banter can develop a barb or two, boredom is a nasty bedfellow on board. Gibes at your mate’s fortune on fly is when you know you’ve crossed the line. Never resent another’s catch is an unspoken law, which you find yourself breaking. After your forth fruit-less session, back at camp decorum dictates that one must mask your frustration and congratulate anyone who landed a noteworthy specimen. I find a few stiff single malts’ washes away the taste of sour grapes.


Sinking to new lows would seem improbable, but when that huge pull on your first drift in the final session is overshadowed by the realization that you’ve picked up your 9wt and you know that it is comeuppance. You go through the motions, but the fact is you’ve been whipped, the irony of your casting technique not lost on you. Diligent isn’t a word that you would have ever appeared on Jer’s report card, but if it involves a fly-line, his resolution is unwavering.

“Throw us a bloody bone”! became his impassioned plea. Faith and prayers are apparently not heard from heathens.

They say that there’s a defining moment in an anglers life, by which you measure each outing going forward and that’s ‘The time before you caught a Silver King and each fishing trip thereafter’.Well Brad can bear testament to this, with two majestic Megalops under his belt and a noticeable air of self satisfaction rightfully served for my attention.

I’d like to say that I’ve learned a lesson from the leveling experience of catching bugger all, but I haven’t or more accurately refuse to. I want to always expect to catch fish and at least enjoy the heady days leading up to any fishing expedition. Anticipation is half the fun, so, let great expectations reign.








Managing Director @ Fishtube TV at Fishtube TV & GT Productions
Gareth has probably spent more time in watering holes, listening to fishing stories, than any rational angler could cope with.

As such, he is included not as a Guide in terms of the someone who can give you any indispensable tuition or direction, but to provide us with some fishing tales from the events that WildFly hosts and of course from the locations that the the WildFly team happen to be filming.

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