The way to the middle east, first time in my life, as I have no interest in this region. You know,
it's very simple reason, I imagined no way to fish there on fly. However since I have found a
mutual friend who lived in Dubai a few years already and also a charter boat, it's dramatically
changed and I was extremely exited to visit and fish in UAE. Chatted over a month with boat
captain and mutual friend by email, my target at this trip was the Queen Fish, the gorgeous
silver beauty which I have never landed.
Just before my departure I got a call from the boat captain and it was a very sad news. The
weather was too bad and seemed no chance to fish from boat. Anyway, mutual friend was so
kind and he came over to airport to meet me, then we headed to the north shore in Umm
Al Quwain, after long 12 hours fright from Tokyo to Dubai.
As you know, The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates and have different
sports fishing policy. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you need sports fishing license which is almost
impossible to get if you are just a visitor. On the other hand, in Sharjah and other emirates
no licence needed, as far as I heard. But you would better check it by yourself whenever you
visit as it's change quite often. Alos you have be carefull even in Sharjah and other emirates
swimming beachs and parks are mostly prohibited to fish.
Anyway, after about one hour drive we were on sandy beach. The spot is located in inshore,
a couple of islands located in off shore protect here from heavy seas. it's windy but ok to
flyfish as it came behind us. No waders needed in mid Feb to wade, sea water was enough warm
temp to swim. My choice was intermediate line and clouser minnow. Long distance casting
and fast strip in Arabic blue ocean and white sandy beach in cool morning was so nice. I saw
a bunch of bait fish was running around to escape on the water surface from predators at far
off shore and was praying it come closer to me. Two times I saw fish like small trevally was
following fly but made u-turn just in front of me. All bites were seemed like baby needlefish,
and it's very difficult to set hook firmly, as you know long jaws with sharp teeth like a saw.
Lunch at very local restaurant on the road side, Indian food is very popular here in UAE. I had
mutton masala with chapatti. It's hot and spicy but was very good to me.
After lunch we had a look at a few spots, then started again creek in Ajman near the power
station. Most of big creeks in UAE are well constructed ports for fishing and commercial boats.
These creeks have long Arabic history of trading between Europe and Asia. At this spot time
to time big fish, like kingfish and barracuda come in to creek with bait fish and are often seen
and caught. But all I could see was baby needlefish. All of sudden when I was picking up my fly
to false cast, some tiny fish up from rocks and tried to bite it. I tied a small crazy charlie and
strip it along the rocks which are the foundation of the port. Every strip babies were struggling
to bite it and I enjoyed to tease those babies for a while.
Behind the creek is white sandy beach and I could see millions of billions of baby needlefish
just under the water surface. Not easy, it took me nearly one hour but finally I got a baby
At night, thanksfully I was invited to dinner with his family at excellent seafood restaurant.
Fishing was slow but I really enjoyed the first day in the middle east in my life. Many thanks
my new friend!!
Dory snapper: Lutjanus fulviflamma
Charter Boat fly fishing in Dubai and Oman