Before starting, I would like to state that I don’t consider myself a fly fisherman, apart from when I fish at the local artificial ponds, but the idea of catching even just one bluefin tuna with this technique attracted me too much.So, around 2 years ago, I decided to buy all the necessary equipment, and I also asked my dear friend Stefano Ticchiati, a well known local fisherman, to prepare some fly streamers for me.However, during these two years, I did not have very good results, until December 4th 2016…That day I have decided to go fishing with a group of friends using the spinning technique, as in this period of the year it is not difficult to find big groups of forage fish.That morning, instead of taking with me the spinning rod I have opted for my fly rod with a little fly streamer that can mirror the forage fish perfectly.The morning did not start very well right away, with only a few forage fish and very “indifferent” fish. My companions did so many launches, but with no result, at that point I had not even tried yet, to give a chance to my fishing buddies to catch something.After a few hours, I decided to leave the wheel to my fishing partner Emanuele, so I could try my streamer at least once. In front of us, at 250 meters or so, a dozen seagulls gathered, so I said to Emanuele to be ready to approach them very slowly, aware that something big was about to happen.We did not have even time to approach the seagulls that a big group of fish weighing around 25/30 kilos came out of the water hunting, leaving after few minutes only fishbones. At that time I was almost annoyed by the situation, those who practice this type of fishing know very well how it is difficult to have the opportunity to catch something in these kinds of situations.But then I thought to myself that with a little luck, something could have still happened, so I have decided to make my first launch, getting it wrong completely, so I have tried again. The second shot went better than the first one but still was not precise enough. I let my fly streamer sunk a bit, for then pulling it back slowly in a sort of stop and go.Half way through I felt something pulling from the opposite direction, and from then it was impossible to explain the frenzy and all the emotions I began to feel…I yelled to the others “Strike!!”
I did not even have time to finish to say it, that I began to see the bottom of the coil. In just a few more than 15 seconds the fish had taken with it nearly 350mt of backing line, I told Emanuele to follow it with the boat as fast as possible, but the fish did not seem to want stop.We went on about 35 minutes chasing the fish to try to catch up, but every time that we managed to get closer, it swam away again, until it decided to place itself at circa 90 meters underneath our boat. This is a typical behaviour of the bluefin tuna, especially if caught in these areas.So, I found myself to have to try to pull a fish out of waters with definitely a not suitable equipment, in a fight to the limit, with the tip of my rod constantly in the water.
People that practise fly fishing in the sea know how hard it is to recover even a small/medium size fish, let alone a big tuna!!!But until then I could not really understand it, this mostly due to little knowledge of the equipment used. Nearly 2 hours went by before we could see that well-known silver glow under the boat, and another 15 minutes before we could pull it out of the water. Finally, the fish was defeated and in all its glory has shown us once again that him, in the blue see, is the king!After the usual photos and a long oxygenation (for us!), we returned this splendid specimen to its kingdom, and trust me guys, after all this, seeing it going back into the blue sea was the most beautiful thing ever!
Now that a couple of months went by, I believe this capture was the combination of lots of luck and the result of our massive experience with these fish, they are real “powerful trains”!The credit also goes to my teammates Gianpaolo Andreotti and Emanuele Manca who were indispensable for the success of this venture... without their help, I would not have ever managed. I recommend this experience to anyone, but always with great care.
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