“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

I doubt Ben Franklin would have ever thought his depressingly true quote could ever be applied to fishing. But like that yearly income statement there are few things that hurt like a good fish getting eaten while on the line.

Bluefin Trevally after a Lemon tasted him.

I absolutely abhor the sinking sensation that comes with the sudden and strange heavy thump on the rod possibly followed by some head-shaking and an inevitable dead-weight that needs to be cranked up.

While this may be a foreign concept to the majority of freshwater fly fisherman (there are, however, some seriously toothy fish in the wilder fresh waterways of the world) it is a very real and sometime fairly common occurrence for the saltwater fly fisherman. With so many different types of hungry and angry fish out there that are armed with a fearsome array of teeth, it is simply a matter of time before a regular brine thrasher has a fish taken by the ‘taxman’.

Rex Fey displaying the half the 6ft Great Barracuda didn’t get.

Whether its barracuda, a shark dogtooth tuna or some other serious predator making light of your catch, it annoys one. Especially if the fish being eaten is a trophy fish. I get very upset if I can’t release certain species. It leaves a sour taste and I know I am guilty of causing that fish to enter the foodchain a little earlier than nature may have intended.

Will I stop because of it? Never.

But like paying SARS, you just have to harden up and realise that the taxman will have his due.

Lemon Taxman on the flats.
Fred Davis

Fred Davis

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