Saltwater fly fishing, and more specifically Bonefish fishing, is gaining popularity. Tropical seas are explored in search of the best "flats" and new destinations to discover.
The Tuamotu Archipelago has 75 atolls, some of whose lagoons are known to be rich in Bonefish, which locals call "Ioio". This archipelago, one of the most remote of all modern countries, has remained far from the tourist circuits and its resources for sport fishing are still unexplored. The local population, accustomed to the waters full of fish, excels in all forms of peaches but does not practice fly fishing.
On the Tikehau atoll, all fishermen know the Bonefish and report having brought significant amounts in the traps that are "fish parks". This fish, which is little consumed by the inhabitants, is generally sold on the markets of Papeete in Tahiti. Apart from these catch in the fish parks, it is found in different parts of the lagoon but nobody really tries to fish it.
It is on the occasion of the passage of Nils RINALDI (fly fisherman and author of a blog on the subject: http://www.anadromousflyfishing.com), while we were in work for the opening of TIKEHAU FAFARUA LODGE Private Island, we first explored the lagoon in search of the best "flats". Following the instructions of our fisherman, Viriamu HARRYS who knows the lagoon and its fish resources, Nils was able to leave after taking a few shots and left us some photos and a video that we can see on his blog (http: // : //www.anadromousflyfishing.com/index.php/bonefishing-in-french-polynesia.html). He also told us that besides the Bonefish he had enjoyed fishing for blue trevallies, barracuda and duckbill.
That's how we started to really pay attention to the Bonefish and fly fishing opportunities that the Tikehau Lagoon can offer. Since then we have organized, explored the lagoon differently with Viriamu and his son Faremata and from the opening of our establishment we have proposed this activity to our visitors.
But beyond that, it's a real sustainable development approach that we want to set up in the form of a fly fishing guide training project.
The waters of Tikehau lagoon have always been full of fish. Until the beginning of the last century, the population had instituted "rahui" as a collective management of natural resources, prohibiting fishing in certain zones of the lagoon by periods, and thus totally preserving the natural resource.
The transition to a Western operation of Polynesian society during the previous century led to the abandonment of this collective management. At the same time, the establishment of a new economy has led to the commercial exploitation of this resource, without concern for its durability and its impact on the environment.
As a result, everyone continued to fish for the fish they needed to eat from the lagoon, but with the development of shipping and the introduction of air traffic since the middle of the last century, some families became professional fishermen and developed the use of modern "fish parks", derived from the parks of the ancients, to supply the markets of the capital in Tahiti.
Tikehau, which was considered by Yves COUSTEAU during its passage as one of the most fish-rich islands on the planet, has become one of the main suppliers of fresh lagoon fish from Tahiti. Of course, this intense fishing eventually resounds on the lagoon's fish wealth, and eventually will not allow fishing families to continue to live.
In recent years, tourism is inviting into the economy of the island, and more and more families depend on pensions and hotels on the island and therefore tourism.
At the same time, the development of trades based on the development of the natural resource rather than on its removal should be able to lead the population to preserve the environment and gradually abandon the commercial fishery in favor of a fishing intended for feed yourself with a harmonious management of this resource.
Fly fishing offers the opportunity for Aboriginals to enhance their knowledge of the environment and their long tradition of fishing in an economic activity, tourism, without having to take in their environment.
Tikehau Atoll is full of fishing and "flats" for fly fishing fans