Fly Fishing on the Falkland Islands
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Falkland Islands Fly.Fishing

What is the absolutely correct equipment for the "true“ fly fisher?
The variety is huge. From a light single-handed rod to a powerful double-handed rod, from a shooting head to a light WF line, from a small dry fly to a large tube fly, from high-performance Gore-Tex to yellow wellingtons.
Every angler has his/or her individual preferences and in the end you always use what you can handle and what catches you the fish.
That is why we only specify what we used on the Falklands and what enabled us to catch an average of 14 fish per day.
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Fishing gear

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Eddie my fishing friend took only one rod with him on the trip.
A 9´ single hand rod #8 with a WF Floating #8 and that was a perfect all-rounder for there.
I however used on the Falklands different rods and line combinations depending on the winds and water level:

  • an 11' switch rod #7 with a WF Floating 17g on calm days
  • a 10´ single-handed rod #8 with a 300gr shooting head (floating) in stronger wind
  • in very strong winds and high water levels I switched over to short double-handed rods (length between 12' and 13' - weight class #8 and #9); in combination with different sink rates of the shooting heads and tips

It also makes sense to fish with a tapered leader that is at least twice the length of the rod.
Note: I caught my largest fish (up to 15 pounds) in very high tide conditions and very strong winds using medium tube flies and a shot head system (Float/Intermediate/S3).


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The Falkland Islands have – to put it mildly – "fresh" weather.
There are many sunny fishing days, more than you would expect, but very strong winds are likely to come up with the sun.
That means your clothing has to be not only waterproof, but also windproof.
When fishing on the Falkland Islands, depending on the weather conditions, you need the entire line-up.
From wading clothing (you very often fish and wade in the water) to multi-layer outdoor clothing. Modern Gore-Tex jackets from Simms Company are my first choice here.
And of course headgear and polarized glasses.
On top of that, the clothes should still be comfortable, because you will have to walk long distances in order to reach some waters or pools.
Suncream with a sun protection factor of 50 and a lip balm belongs in your luggage like your toothbrush!
You hardly feel the influence of the sun on your skin because of the wind. And due to the thin ozone layer at these latitudes, you are burned in no time.
Hard-nosed men might think "Humbug!“. Like Eddie did in the first few days. But a few days later, being a walking lobster, red in the face and hands he was not so hard-nosed then…
You often hear about the "onion look".
I cannot confirm that either. We were always wrapped from head to toe, never to warm to strip off our jackets. And believe us, we are used to fishing in rough weather conditions in a light shirt.


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In contrast to salmon fishing, we choose our flies for sea trout fishing based on the food of the fish.
On the Falkland Islands, sea trout feed on small squid, krill, other small fish, crustaceans and insects in all stages of development.
It is very useful to adapt the fly to the current menu according to size, colour and shape.

  • white flies with "lively" hair / feathers to imitate squid
  • orange classics like General Practitioner or Ally's Shrimp to cover everything in the direction of krill and other crustaceans
  • if "smelt" (Odontesthes nigricans or Odontesthes smitii) are being hunted, this prey fish should be imitated, ideally with a tandem or second hook at the end (in this phase the fish like to test the fly at the end, but do not take it)

Flies with a silver body have always proven their worth.

  • Teal, Blue and Silver, Stoat Silver or Hairy Mary (with a silver body and squirrel hair wings).
  • small and short tubes flies in silver / black / blue

We only used flies in sizes between 8 and 12.
If you want to tempt a "mullet", red to orange colored flies have proven their worth, as this fish primarily reacts to the color.

Prey animals

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Falkland "Smelt"
(Odontesthes nigricans oder Odontesthes smitii)

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Stomache contents of a sea trout

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Stomach content of a "Mullet"
(a crab claw)

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