On return to Phuket I managed to get in contact with a local guy named Tim who on hearing I was a Fly Fisherman was keen to take me out to a few local spots. The first afternoon we headed to Sawai Lake. A newish fishing spot in Phuket stocked with Red Tail, Sawai, Mekongs, Alligator Gar, Arapaima, and Pacu (Red Belly Pirahna).
On arrival the lake was going absolutely nuts with fish rising all over the place and we thought we were in for a trear. You are limited on back cast by power lines (frightening) and I managed to foul them a few times. Luckily the hook didnt penetrate and thus Im still here today.
Casting onto the rises I managed a Sawai. That said it is believed that there is now a half strain of Mekong/Sawai. This fish would be testament to that based on its appearance. It had almost no whiskers and the eyes were closer to the bottom of the head.
Later that evening Tim would foul one Sawai that had us convinced it was a Mekong or Arapaima, Stripping all his backing off and putting up a 40 min fight. At dusk he picked up this decent Alligator Gar. Great on an 8wt. The fish bit through the net and came after us on dry land. Note the bites out of its fins from the Pirahna.
The morning of day 6 we headed to a local wild lake to try and take one of the resident Oxeye Tarpon. I lost 3 and Tim 1. He managed a Snakehead. On previous trips he had snakehead bite Oxeye in half. Testament to the temperament of this specie.
That afternoon we headed back to the lake and with a black wooly bugger I set out to catch my elusive Red Tail cat. The Pirahna became a problem taking every single fly on every single cast. I changed to a large black whistler hoping that would keep them off but nope…. more Pacu. About 6 in all. I’ll get my Red Tail next time.