Spring has nally sprung and 2016 is shaping up to be full of promise. The salmon season is nearly upon us and Iceland has proved to be the top contender with barely a rod left across the country. With heavy snow over the winter we anticipate a normal water year full of silver. This summer Alex will be concentrating on the large sea trout in the Laxa I Kjos and exploring some new trout venues. Steff has returned from a fascinating trip to Argentina this February visiting Aurelia Lodge on the Rio Grande and our new river the Irigoyen. Its re-emergence has been met with huge enthusiasm with much of the 2017 season sold already. Charlotte has tested herself on the ats of Alphonse in March and will be exploring Sudan and Tanzania this season. I will realise a dream by nally visiting Providence Atoll in April after an eight year wait. Our chalkstream programme is gathering momentum with Bill at the helm. We have access to most of the well- known beats crowned with our own piece of the River Avon on the Heale Estate. If you are looking for a day or wish to sharpen up your skills before your next trip then please let us know. FishTails... W E L C O M E T O O U R S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 N E W S L E T T E R Having spent his whole life in the chalkstream valleys Bill grew up shing with the likes of Frank Sawyer and Charles Ritz. He has guided and tailored chalkstream shing for the last 16 years and his depth of knowledge is second to none. BILLLATHAMjoinsAardvarkMcLeod I fully admit to being a sea trout addict. Its an afiction I have lived with since my rst silver tourist leapt clear of the water some 25 years ago. Nowadays for me it is often the challenge of the reward that captivates me more than a record sheet. Its nice to have that feeling that you deserved a sh rather than monotonous casting nally resulting in a pull. None sings truer to this equation than the Rio Irigoyen. Located near the town of Tolhuin equidistant between Ushuaia and Rio Grande the Irigoyen meanders gently through lenga and Antarctic beech trees before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean on the toe of Tierra del Fuego. Whilst its path is one of a lowland river it retains a gradient anglers adore. Every corner is a holding pool and every meander displays that classical pool-run-rife combination. Wherever a logjam or deep undercut bank is found rest assured a sea trout is not far away and every pocket must be picked to nd a willing participant. The shing style is more akin to high-sticking for trout. Short accurate casts are needed followed by good line control to achieve the perfect depth. Misjudge the cast and you either fall short lose a y or your y passes over the taking spot before the sh has a chance to intercept your offering. It is technical thought inducing but manageable and ultimately rewarding. Leave your double handers at home. The Irigoyen is a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and any rod longer than 10 ft becomes a hindrance. Forget overcomplicated setups too it is pleasantly simple. You only need a oating line a good selection of sink-tips some 15 20 and 25 lbs leader and the taking spot before the sh has a chance to interceptthe taking spot before the sh has a chance to intercept your offering. It is technical thought inducing butyour offering. It is technical thought inducing butyour offering. It is technical thought inducing but manageable and ultimately rewarding.manageable and ultimately rewarding.manageable and ultimately rewarding.manageable and ultimately rewarding.manageable and ultimately rewarding. Leave your double handers at home. The IrigoyenLeave your double handers at home. The IrigoyenLeave your double handers at home. The IrigoyenLeave your double handers at home. The Irigoyen is a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and anyis a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and anyis a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and anyis a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and anyis a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and anyis a mere 10-20 metres wide in most places and any rod longer than 10 ft becomes a hindrance. Forgetrod longer than 10 ft becomes a hindrance. Forgetrod longer than 10 ft becomes a hindrance. Forgetrod longer than 10 ft becomes a hindrance. Forget overcomplicated setups too it is pleasantly simple. You only need a oating line a good selection of sink-tips some 15 20 and 25 lbs leader and www.aardvarkmcleod.com Argentine sea trout with a twist or tango The Rio Grande is without doubt the nest sea trout river in the world when you start number crunching. No other river will give the enviable amalgamation of numbers and size that the Rio Grande will. Indeed even this season with very low clear water tricky conditions at the best of times most lodges were still averaging around two landed sea trout per rod per day. However are numbers everything After all there are certainly prettier places to spend a week. We are the exclusive worldwide agents for World End Lodge on the Irigoyen the only lodge to be found on the river from source to sea. The lodge operates on a strict four angler per week basis and the 2017 season cost is US5990 to include shing licence and single room as standard. youre good to go. Likewise nothing overcomplicated on the y front either strong hooks are a must as is tungsten on the nymphs to achieve the required depth. In the evening a sunray and a leech will see you through. Dont let the size of the river fool you. Sea trout to 117 cm have been recorded in recent years and sh of over 20 lbs are encountered most weeks landing them is another matter. The river is full of structure and it is these features that the sh call home. You must dance with the structure to tempt the sh from their lairs. The river is serene and every day spent on the riverbank is a joy. However this serenity is soon overcome by adrenaline and panic as a sh takes landing them is never guaranteed. The structure that the sh live in can soon become home to your y and leader. It is a game of tug and war sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Sunny and windless day Hardly ideal seatroutconditions.Fearnotheadtothe beach.Intheestuaryandtheseapoolson an incoming tide you will nd a peculiar sh called the robalo - they are the only sh in their genus and family. They take the y readily and provide great sport when the shing on the main river may be dour. If the idea of an intimate private river with good but challenging shing for big sea trout sounds exciting then you like I will love the Irigoyen. Contact us on 44 01980 847389 Contact us on mailaardvarkmcleod.com ALPHONSE ISLAND ST FRANCOIS ATOLL When stories of Alphonse rst started to circulate in saltwater y shing groups over fteen years ago it was of an untouched atoll teeming with sh and a nearby second atoll St Francois that could oer everything a ats sherman could wish for. Hard white sand ats nger ats pancake ats an accessible surf zone on the right tide and an even wider variety of species to sh for all added up to something special. Now the two atolls still retain their untouched charm whilst at the same time oering resort like accommodation and service. Like little Bijoutier island between Alphonse and St Francois Alphonse itself is a rare Jewel in the shing world as it is an ideal location for non-shing partners and families. Diving and snorkelling are rst class and with kayaks bicycles and a tennis court there is plenty to do. For the shermen St Francois oers some of the nest boneshing in the world various triggersh Indo-Pacic permit milksh sailsh and a whole host of reef and trevally species. The Jewels of the Indian OceanIndian OceanIndian OceanIndian OceanIndian OceanIndian Ocean Farquhar Atoll The isolated atoll of Farquhar offers a remote shing experience but from a land based operation. This shery will challenge you as a sherman teach you a huge amount about giant trevally behaviour along with numerous other species and offer you some unique experiences not to be found anywhere else. Although the GTs may not be as numerous as Cosmoledo or Astove some of the largest specimens are here. It is a technical shery and under the expert tutelage of the guides the results can be hugely rewarding. The species variety is fantastic from bonesh triggersh golden trevally permit and the truly unique bumphead parrotsh to an excellent bluewater shery 300 yards from the ats. The guide team are outstanding and the accommodation and food has improved out of all recognition over the last few years. Farquhar sits nicely in a niche all of its own and will continue to attract those that wish to explore her vast ats. St Brandons Atoll A long way from anywhere lying north of Mauritius is the atoll of St Brandons. The journey to get there is part of the experience itself and currently by boat is the only way in. The new lodge is now complete very simple with shared accommodation but this atoll like many others is all about the shing. Everything about St Brandons is big the atoll itself is huge and it has quite rightly developed a reputation for its skinny water boneshing and it is unique in the Indian Ocean in having consistent numbers of double gure bonesh. Indo-Pacic permit golden trevally yellow spot and bluen trevally are your main target species. With these larger specimens come larger predators giant trevally that live up to their name. Whilst not here in the numbers seen further north in the Seychelles it is rare that a GT under a metre is landed here. Dont expect to see them every day but be ready when you do as it maybe the sh of a lifetime. Cosmoledo Atoll One of the earliest remote atolls to be shed but left unshed for several years. Once more intrepid anglers are able to head south to Assumption Atoll hop on a liveaboard and set o for the atoll that has a deserved reputation as the GT capital of the Indian Ocean. No other destination can oer you so many GTs in one area. They may not reach the size of the bigger sh on Farquhar or Astove but they outweigh that in terms of their sheer numbers. Like Astove Cosmoledo is a challenge but the rewards are great. Attrition on kit ies and legs can be high but there is nowhere better to get your GT x this is the GT capital of the world. The new liveaboard from November this year is the smaller more comfortable Lone Star and with rod numbers reduced to make the most of the boat there will be more GTs to go around. Providence Atoll In the early days of shing the outer atolls Providence Atoll was the last one to be explored. This huge atoll measures 46 km in length north to south and 16 km in width. Like Cosmoledo Providence has a reputation for good number of GTs marauding across the ats but unlike the Aldabra atolls Providence also has a fantastic population of bumphead parrotsh alongside large schools of bonesh and triggersh. Unlike Farquhar though milksh are found cruising over the sand ats eating green weed similar to Alphonse. Operations have been considerably rened since those early days and trips now operate from Mayas Dugong a purposely retted vessel previously used for the Cosmoledo liveaboard operations. Providence represents the next step in the evolution of the Indian Ocean sheries. Further south Astove Atoll is still teaching its guides and guests what it has to offer as this year is only its second season of operating as a destination in its own right. It is exclusive to six anglers per week staying in single rooms in the newly renovated coral house on the island. This small atoll is very different to its neighbours with a central lagoon that is a magnet for both prey and predators. What makes Astove unique is the proximity to the drop off. Big giant trevally hunt in these waters as they have easy access to the bonesh and smaller species that feed in the lagoon and amongst the mangroves. Astove sees decent numbers of GTs landed every season with a higher average size than on many of the other atolls. Not for the faint of heart or unsteady of foot this atoll has to be on the list for any GT focussed angler. AstoveAtoll www.aardvarkmcleod.com Contact us on 44 01980 847389 The joy of chalkstreams is that they offer an almost year-round resource to the y angler with each season offering a different and wonderful experience. Due to the unique makeup of these chalk based streams and rivers they are rarely affected by adverse weather except in the most extreme cases unlike their freestone cousins. Chalkstreams Spring marks the beginning of the brown trout season to this part of the world and much like the hedgerows forests and elds the rivers have come alive too. As spring progresses the dry y shing reaches its peak starting with the large dark olives at the beginning of April and rounded off with the spectacular clouds of mayy towards the end of May. Summer is often referred to as the dog days due to hot sunny and tough conditions. For those willing to sh early and late in the day it can offer some of the most memorable shing. Fly hatches often occur early in the day and then following a nice long relaxing lunch those returning to the water in the evening can be greeted by impressive columns of dancing spinners and gyrations of newly hatched caddis. Autumn is a time of beauty on the chalkstreams as nature puts on its nal ourish before winter spreads through the valleys. The brown trout feed intensely in the autumn stocking up one last time before the spawning season. For the angler this is a wonderful time as upwing insects and caddis A SEASON ON THE Contact us on mailaardvarkmcleod.com both hatch freely through these nal months offering some spectacular dry y shing. Winter whilst a quiet time on the rivers thereare still those who brave the colder weather to full their desire to be by the water. The brown trout season may be over by this time but this is the season of the Lady of the Stream the grayling. They may not have the ght of the more sporting brown trout but they can be challenging and can offer hours of enjoyment throughout the long winter months. We are delighted to offer an ever increasing range of domestic shing including our own beat on the Hampshire Avon throughout the chalk belt of Southern England. Whether you are a single angler a group of friends or are looking for a professionally organised corporate day why not join us for a memorable time on the water this season. www.aardvarkmcleod.com For over two decades Gabon has been on my radar for an unforgettable angling adventure. Finally the dream became reality and what an adventure it was The shing six full days of mayhem The day starts at 0330 with a wakeup call quick breakfast of coffee and toast before heading out in pitch darkness to the river mouth for the rst session of the day. Depending on tides the best time for shing in Gabon is in the early morning from dark until a few hours after sunrise and then again in the evening from last light into dark. This makes for some very long days but having a siesta every afternoon certainly helps. Another option is to start the day shing light tackle from a boat in the lagoon chasing white n jacks juvenile snapper and Guinean barracuda. I y shed for the jacks and had great success on small clouser minnows. Others in the group had good top water lure action on poppers and stick baits. Sette Cama Gabon Fishing dreams come true... By Peter Gibson www.aardvarkmcleod.com the rst session of the day. Depending on tides the best time for shing in Gabon is in the early morning from dark until a few hours after sunrise and then again in the evening from last light into dark. This makes for some very long days but having a siesta every afternoon certainly helps. Another option is to start the day shing light tackle from a boat in the lagoon chasing white n jacks juvenile snapper and Guinean barracuda. I y shed for the jacks and had great success on small clouser minnows. Others in the group had good top water lure action on poppers and stick baits. Welcome to Jurassic Park was the greeting from Keith Eldridge a regular angler from South Africa and veteran of Sette Cama Lodge and the Gabon shing scene. I thought his comment was a little tongue in cheek. How little I knew... Gabon has the longest stretch of untouched coastline left on the African continent with massive nutrient-rich estuary systems. It offers the avid saltwater shermen the opportunity to experience the thrill of targeting the numerous and unique species of West Africa with spin bait and y tackle. The abundance of large and aggressive game sh is complimented by Africas most pristine rainforest which creates the backdrop to this one of a kind saltwater shery. Contact us on 44 01980 847389 The big sh come to play after dark Standing in a surf line with waves crashing and water tumbling around you in the dark is initially a sensory overload. Big sh come to hunt their pray in a few feet of water and I experienced seeing big tarpon and African cubera snapper in knee deep water only metres away from where I was standing. Giant African threadn are one of the main trophy sh in the Gabonese waters. They are very strong once hooked and can grow in excess of 100 lbs. They are a beautiful looking sh with a large forked tail and stunning gold and yellow colouration. These sh will strike a lure or plug and can also be caught on bait. The more rain the better for threadn preferring the fresh tannin stained water leaving the river mouth. The tackle In the surf and river mouth I mainly shed with two spinning outts one medium heavy with 50 lbs braid and one very heavy with 90 lbs braid. Serious reels with decent drags are a must. I also had a y rod ready in case the jacks started to bust bait along the edge which they did every shing session. I also took a 13 beach casting rod for bait shing. I really enjoyed the bait shing as its not something I have done many times over the years being a seasoned y angler. I enjoyed the anticipation of not knowing what might devour the bait at any moment. Head guide Mark Murray an expert rock and surf angler in his own right was very happy to help rig bait and explain this technique in depth. Sette Cama is a truly wild place located at the edge of Loango National Park and the Atlantic Ocean. Wildlife is in abundance here and the main feature is the elephant population. They regularly frequent the camp and are seen on most days travelling to and from the shing. One night in camp I watched an elephant feeding just 20 feet away from my bedroom. On another occasion a bull elephant walked just 50 metres behind us as we shed in the dark. Hippos leopard forest buffalo and red river hogs are also present along with an abundance of birds and monkeys. The wildlife made for some incredible moments Seeing fresh hippo tracks in the sand by torch light when heading off shing certainly got the heart racing knowing an animal with the reputation they have had only moments before been walking on the very same spot. Sette Cama is a wonderful untouched part of our world and if you like the sound of visiting the extreme edge of sport shing then this is the place for you. Be prepared to sh hard become sleep deprived be bombarded by sensory overload but above all feel alive I cant wait to return and now agree with Keith when he said welcome to Jurassic Park. Contact us on mailaardvarkmcleod.com The rainforest lled narrow strip of land that separates the mighty Atlantic and Pacic oceans and North and South America provides a base for some of the nest bluewater shing on the planet. From roostersh dorado and sailsh to the mighty marlin this is the place to visit. Guatemala and Costa Rica are the scene of not only excellent shing but also a plethora of non-shing activities and eco-exploration too. They offer a diverse range of shing for conventional and y anglers alike. Like the ecologically rich lands the seas in this area of the world are lled with small baitsh to the biggest of bluewater species. Alongside the offshore shing these countries are famous for the inshore shing can also be excellent for both disciplines. The action is often fast and furious as these hunters attack small packs of baitsh along contours close to the beaches and surrounding structure. The real draw of these locations is the offshore shing for sailsh and marlin. Once you have experienced these greyhounds of the ocean it is easy to see why they are held in such high regard. Sailsh and marlin appear out of the depths slashing at teasers and casts must be quick and accurate. They ash electric blues as they charge down your surface lure their bills cutting through the water in pursuit. Once hooked the excitement is not over the searing runs and soaring jumps of sailsh and the brutish power of a marlin will test the angler and skipper to their limits. They are the ultimate gamesh. The Ultimate Gamesh of Central America for some of the nest bluewater shing on the planet. From roostersh dorado and sailsh to the mighty marlin this is the place to visit. Guatemala and Costa Rica are the scene of not only excellent shing but also a plethora of non-shing activities and eco-exploration too. They offer a diverse range of shing for conventional and y anglers alike. Like the ecologically rich lands the seas in this area of the world are lled with small baitsh to the biggest of bluewater species. Alongside the offshore shing these countries are famous for the inshore shing can also be excellent for both disciplines. The action is often fast and furious as these hunters attack small packs of baitsh along contours close to the beaches and surrounding structure. The real draw of these locations is the offshore shing for sailsh and marlin. Once you have experienced these greyhounds of the ocean it is easy to see why they are held in such high regard. Sailsh and marlin appear out of the depths slashing at teasers and casts must be quick and accurate. They ash electric blues as they charge down your surface lure their bills cutting through the water in pursuit. Once hooked the excitement is not over the searing runs and soaring jumps of sailsh and the brutish power of a marlin will test the angler and skipper to their limits. They are the ultimate gamesh. www.aardvarkmcleod.com Guatemala once the core of the Mayan civilisation is steeped in history and ecologically rich. There is nowhere else in the world that has the numbers of sailsh than the Pacic side of Guatemala. The statistics speak for themselves on average a boat will raise up to 30 sailsh a day and land between 15 20. These sh average 60 100 lbs and sh up to 120 lbs are not uncommon. Located in Chulamar The Great Sailshing Company has been at the forefront for intrepid anglers looking to tackle these incredible sh. They are specialists in y shing for billsh and their experienced captains and crews excel in this area. Whilst the name suggests their focus is on shing The Great Sailshing Company offer an excellent base for non-shers and family trips with comfortable accommodation and numerous day trips available. Costa Rica quite literally lives up to its name meaning Rich Coast. Its progressive environmental policies have allowed both land and sea to ourish making it one of the nest shing and eco-tourism destinations in the world. The shing is hugely varied with most inshore and offshore species being present year-round. Located on the Osa Peninsula Crocodile Bay Resort is Costa Ricas nest sport shing and eco-tourism resort. They boast the largest sport shing team in Central America and their knowledge of inshore and offshore shing with conventional gear and y is second to none. This is a fantastic venue for those looking for an all-round bluewater experience. The resort caters for shers and non-shers with comfortable rooms and onsite spa facilities. Each day you can explore one of the many eco-tours that run from the resort. If you think you are ready to test yourself against the speed and power of the sh found in bluewater then Guatemala and Costa Rica are for you. many eco-tours that run from the resort. If you think you are ready to test yourself against the speed and power of the sh found in bluewater then Guatemala and Costa Rica are for you. Peter McLeod has shed extensively around the world over the last 20 years. He thoroughly enjoys shing for all species but his true passion is saltwater y shing and in particular chasing giant trevally on the ats. Contact us on 44 01980 847389 whoweareIn the fast moving modern world of international travel what is more important than the company name are the people behind it. It is vital that you can trust these individuals to put your requirements and needs at the top of their agenda. It is the people behind these trips that make them special the advice you receive from what destination will suit you specically to the ne detail of making sure all the arrangements have been organised according to plan. Steffan Jones grew up chasing brown trout and sewin in Wales and has since taken his shing passion around the world. Now he is considered one of the leading authorities on South American sea trout shing along with an extensive knowledge of all aspects of global y shing. Alex Jardine has needed little encouragement to follow the path of y shing. An avid trout sher at heart Alex has more recently branched out to chasing salmon and sea trout too. He has travelled extensively both competitively and also as a guide always looking for the next rising trout. Bill Latham grew up on the banks of the River Avon and after following in the footsteps of Frank Sawyer and Oliver Kite he developed a love for the English chalkstreams. Bill also represented England for several years but now enjoys a much more relaxed pace of shing both at home and abroad. Lutz Schepers has been consumed by the shing bug for over three decades and he is equally happy chasing trout and grayling at home in Germany as he is chasing foreign saltwater giants. His passion is displayed in all aspects of his shing from his perfectly tied ies to his tight casting loops. With so many wonderful destinations in the world and our policy of only recommending lodges that we have seen we rely on the support of our consultants. We are delighted to have the support of Peter Gibson Gordon Richmond and Peter Baxendale great shermen with extensive knowledge and experience between them. Amy Pople the one that makes it all happen. Amy like the rest of the team has a passion for travelling and her background in the travel industry has provided her with an extensive knowledge of ight bookings and ground arrangements. Charlotte Chilcott whilst not a lifelong sher her passion for travelling has taken her across Africa and throughout the world. Now an avid y sher Charlotte combines her thirst for travel with a y rod and is always on the lookout for new species to take on.