Tag: Rock Creek Anglers


Clark Smyth, The Cicada & Mr. Salmo Trutta

It’s been awhile for sure, missed the March Merkin update, another stellar trip to Playa Blanca, the Big Bugs on the Henry’s and some Head Hunting on the MO, but livein the now I guess……..

Had a chance to meet up Clark Smyth of Rock Creek Anglers a couple of weeks ago for some big dry fishing in Wyoming.  Clark had a winter filled with medical surprises so it was nice to spend some time together and watch some big browns eat some big dries!!  The Wind River Canyon is a special place to float and while I have endured my fair share of punishment I have also seen some very,  very,  special days.

Clark Smyth with a nice Wind River Brown












While we had some good expectations for the day, the fishing exceeded  them and the variety of takes were truly amazing.  From the drop back tip up just whites of the mouth, to the full blown bowling ball dropped off a cliff takes, the day was truly an amazing visual experience.

This fish chose to go with the bowling ball take

This one just dropped the tail


This one ate like he forgot something and went to get it

Special day!!




INDIA – Wow……….

Where to start with this trip is a mystery as it could take weeks to tell all the stories from this month long exploratory trip from to India in 2006.  Might as well start with one of the highlights and then I will digress in other segments about getting skunked by the mighty Mahseer, HE-MAN 9000 beer, Calcutta, Catfish the size of small vehicles, fishing the gates of hell etc.  This tale was written by Clark Smyth, owner of Rock Creek Anglers, long time friend & traveling partner………

“After many unsuccessful days aboard the large canoe, and after explaining why the canoe was not working and what type of craft and location Mike and Clark were looking for, Benny convinced a local fisherman to borrow his small canoe (roughly 6 feet in length).  They also obtained a ten-foot mangrove branch that could be utilized to poll the small canoe.  On their last day on Havelock, Benny operated the larger motorized canoe, “the mother ship” which would tow the smaller boat to shallow mud flats only a couple of hours away.  During the run to the flats, Mike convinced Benny to hand-line troll with tarpon flies and Clark trolled with his fly rod.  Both techniques proved deadly and a large number of Giant Trevally were boated and subsequently either released or taken for table fare. Once arriving at the flats, Mike agreed to poll Clark in the small canoe.  Standing up was tricky due to the small size of the boat, but after a little practice Mike and Clark agreed they had a viable flats fishing vessel.  They had rigged a ten-weight rod with a crab fly.  In their first, and subsequently last, afternoon of viable fly-fishing with familiar techniques, Mike polled Clark to multiple shots at Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally and Triggerfish.

All fish that fervently ate whatever fly was put in front of them.  Amazed by the fishery and unsure of other species of fish in the area, the two anglers started seeing a few Giant Parrotfish, which grow up to 100 pounds.  Mike had told Clark about guides in the Seychelles targeting these fish however only a few were landed because they were strong, fast, spooky fish that usually wind up cutting the leader on coral outcroppings.  So, at the end of the day, the two sun-scorched anglers, tired from their balancing act on the small canoe, and satisfied with their days efforts, started polling back to the “mother ship.”   Having almost reached their destination, and in synchronized amazement, Mike and Clark saw a school of fish tailing fast across the flat.  The tails belonged to a number of 50-pound Giant Humpheaded Parrot Fish.  They were moving in a shoal of about thirty individuals, reminding both anglers of a large school of tailing Permit.
As Mike picked up the pace with the pole, he started shouting, “cast, cast!”  At about eighty-feet the fish were in range, some of them had their backs out of the water.  Clark placed the size 4/0 merkin tied to 40-pound fluorocarbon just in front of the shoal of tailing giants.  As Clark waited for the fly to reach the bottom, Mike again shouted “strip, strip!”  Immediately, the fly line raced out of Clark’s hand and simultaneously the small canoe jolted toward the school of fish nearly knocking both anglers out of the boat.  One of the giant fish had taken the fly.  Slowed by the resistance of the 10-weight, the colorful fish fought to keep up with the rest of the school.  Clark set the hook with all he could muster as he dropped to his knees for more stability.  The fish was pulling the small canoe fast enough that the small craft was taking on water.  Mike dropped the poll and began frantically bailing water as Clark gave the Parrot all the 10-weight could muster.  Both Mike and Clark were asking each other what they should do as the fish raced toward coral outcroppings and rock piles.  Soon the commotion turned to a nervous laughter and the two realized that Benny, in the nearby “mother ship” might be able to assist in landing the fish.  The giant who was only slightly smaller than the sinking boat to which it was tied was pulling the small canoe out to sea. Both Clark and Mike started bellowing for Benny to help.  However, Benny was fast asleep in the bottom of his dugout.  Realizing they were on their own, Mike again risked falling overboard and attempted to slow the canoe with the poll before the hooked fish dragged them to deeper water.  The fish was strong, powerful and very fast.  It appeared to be winning the battle as it made an effort to stay with the school, still tailing in the shallow water. Time and time again the fish tried to find shelter in the coral, but Clark, with the aid of Mike and the poll succeeded in keeping it in open water.  Clark lifted the rod as high as possible to avoid the leader from being cut. Finally, the fish succumbed to the angler and calmly floated next to the small canoe.  Blue-green in color and breathing heavily the Giant Parrot Fish had been landed.  Reaching down in an attempt to tail the tired fish, Clark inadvertently put a funny angle on the leader and the fly easily popped free of the hardened “beak” that Parrotfish use to break coral.  The fish slowly swam toward the bottom as Mike and Clark, both trembling, looked at each other and started to laugh.”

We never got a picture of this fish, we did however drink beer at this beach……