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Some questions regarding fly fishing.

Question:

Dear Stuart.

I am planning a trip to your fantastic looking resort; I have heard and read so many good reports on it. I see you allow fly fishing – this branch of the sport is a passion of mine. So I have some questions for you if you don’t mind regarding equipment and flies, etc. Do you allow less than 10-weight gear to be used for smaller species? In the heavy gear (10/12-weight) what flies and leaders do I need, also what lines are best i.e. sinking, floating, or intermediate?

Many thanks,
Johan from Sweden.

Stuart’s answer:

Hi Johan,

Thank you for your questions. There is little information available on our species, but the following is what we use. By all means experiment with fly patterns – not enough people do. You need to bring all your own equipment as Gillhams does not supply fly tackle. All hooks must be barbless or have crushed barbs. For leaders/tippets we recommend Seaguar fluorocarbon, wire is banned here. No trebles or flies with multi-hooks can be used. Please be aware though that casting is not easy here due to the landscaped gardens.

We have suffered fish deaths due to inadequate tackle and have had to change our rules on fly fishing as the fish have got a lot bigger since we first made the rules.

Please be aware that due to the nature of landscaping here the fly fishing can be awkward for inexperienced fly casters.

A 12wt is no longer heavy enough for arapaima fishing; using a 12wt the arapaima will either be played to exhaustion and die, or they will sit on the bottom and have to be hand-lined in. We have never allowed 10wts for arapaima, we used to allow 12wt, but due to the loss of some specimen fish we are changing all the rules. You can fly fish as long as you like, or you can stop using bait rods for a while and do some fly fishing at no extra charge, as you are using the fishing hours you already paid for.

All fly fishing equipment and flies to be supplied by the angler, we do not supply any fly fishing equipment you need to bring your own, we have restrictions for fly tackle to fish for our large fish such as arapaima you need a minimum14wt. All hooks must be single and barbless or crushed barbs no tandem or treble hook set ups, no lead core, or wire allowed, no line section allowed below 40lb bs.

For Arapaima and other large species the minimum is a 14 wt set up leaders must be minimum 40lb bs. Only floating lines, no intermediate or sinking lines allowed.  Flies maximum size 2/0 anything fry patterns or tadpoles with plenty of marabou or similar to give the fly some life.

10 and 12 wt set ups have been removed from our list as we have suffered accidental hooking of arapaima with fish deaths.

For mini species 8wt set ups are allowed using fly size maximum size 12 with minimum 15lb bs tippet, fly lines floating only. Flies shrimp patterns, buzzers, gold headed daddies, damsels and hairs ear.

Fly and Lure Lake:

Please be aware that due to the nature of landscaping here the fly fishing can be awkward for inexperienced fly casters.

This lake has now changed to any method, fly and lure fishing is still allowed. Again for fly or lure fishing you need to bring your own tackle, bait fishing tackle is supplied. We allow 6 to 8wt set ups maximum size 8 barbless hooks with minimum 15lb tippets, lines floating and intermediate only no sinking lines. Flies tadpoles, cats whiskers, small fry patterns, mini poppers, any trout flies you use at home will work. As for the lure rods very light weight baitcasting outfits minimum 30lb braid, no mono to be used on lure outfits. Rubber lures only no hard plastic or metal lures, one single barbless hook, no multi hook rigs will be allowed. The best lures we have found are small 1 to 2inch storm lures or small jelly worms. Wire trace is banned at Gillhams.

I am sure you will agree no fish is worth sacrificing, as I am sure you will understand why the tackle rules have been changed.

Any further questions please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to meeting you as we do not get so many anglers here who share my love of fly fishing.

Best regards.
Stuart.