Thursday, February 7, 2019

Fly Fishing Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary Islands and a true "miniature continent" as it has 14 micro climates. Accordingly, the flora varies from dense laurel forests in the north, over barren slopes, partly covered with conifers in the central area to the desert-like vegetation in the south of the island. Gran Canaria, La Gomera and Teneriffa also have freshwater reservoirs.

Since the island has a relatively dry and mild climate, there were created around 60 artificial lakes to serve as a reservoir for the orchards and vegetable fields. The roads are winding and bumpy. Nestled in the ravines and valleys are dreamy mountain villages. Palm trees, agave and cacti can spread here unhindered. The peaceful tranquility that covers the entire region makes you feel that the clocks are slowing down here.
Global warming has also left its mark on Gran Canaria. Persistent droughts made the lakes alarmingly small in recent years. The stocking of lakes mainly consists of carp and black bass. In some lakes, however, tilapia and other perch species have been exposed and have increased well over the years. 

During autumn 2018, I spent the holidays with my family on the island. Fishing was not the No.1 goal of my visit to Gran Canaria, but a welcome bonus. We decided to have some hiking days in the mountains in the Tejeda area not far away from Pico de las Nieves and Roque Nublo then we went to the coast and had some sunny days on the beach.

The fresh water reservoirs in the mountains are very popular among British carp fishermen but since a few years there is a small but keen fly fishing community on the island that is fishing these waters with great results. Two of these fly fishermen are Marek and Javier. They are fishing for carp and bass as much as their free time allows them.
It was a great September day. Dave, a British gentleman picked me up, then we met Marek and Javier and drove in the mountains to one of those magic places. We started the fishing, after a rich Canarian  meal on the lake shore. A common fly pattern used in this waters is the bread fly, fished slightly under the water surface. For this type of fishing we used cdc patterns (a deadly fly), tight on strong carp hooks. The wet cdc makes the fly sink slowly, imitating wet bread. Not after long time we sighted the first fish, some of them having a capital size.

The hot climate can easily be underestimated by inexperienced fly fishermen. Proper apparel (long sleeves shirt, high UV factor sun screen) is a must in this region of the globe. Even during late autumn the temperature rise over 30-35 degrees Celsius, that's why a tropical fly fishing line is more helpful. Sometimes long casts were required (over 20 meters), placing the fly very accurate about half a meter in front of the fish. In this situation, a short fluorocarbon leader with a small indicator worked best.

First capture was not the targeted fish, a small bass found the cdc fly also very appetizing but after a few more casts I saw a slightly movement of the indicator and set the hook. It felt like I hooked a train. The game was on. Putting a lot of pressure on the fish was not easy but a must cause of the sharp rock edges under the water. During the time, fish learned how to use well this tool while fighting fishermen. For a few moments I thought the fish will win the fight but with a little bit of luck and some help from Marek, the fish landed in the big carp net. A capital specimen estimated around 13 kg. After a brief photo session the fish was released. While I was still enjoying the moment on the shore, smoking a pipe, Marek managed to catch a smaller but very "wild" carp.

All of us caught and lost great fish during the entire day. Late evening, fish started to feed very voracious on the surface and short time after I lost a big fish, another great fish bent my 7wt rod to the edge, making my reel scream. While fighting the fish, I saw Marek fighting a fish too a few meters away from me. Both of us managed to land the fish, two beautiful big wild Canarian carps around 10 kg. After some pictures the fish had been gently released into their habitat, letting behind two happy and exhausted fly fishermen.

Gran Canaria is a beautiful island with a great potential for fly fishing on wild carp and different bass species. Size of the fish should not be underestimated, that's why a strong 7/8 wt rod is minimal required on carp fishing. I managed to catch during this trip my biggest carp on fly and it was hell of a fun. Don't forget to buy your fishing licence. And last but not least many thanks to Marek, Javier and Corsican Dave. 

© Pictures by Fly Fishing Gran Canaria - Photography & V.A.Rusu

No comments:

Post a Comment