A Passionate Journey into Fly Fishing: An Exclusive with a Pioneer, Keith Rose Innes | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 1

a summarization by The Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

I've quickly summarized the transcription of the Keith Rose Innes show for you so you can synthesize the information that is provided.  I highly recommend that you read the article to gain a general understanding then listen to the show for more in depth information.  Doing so will give you the best learning experience from the show.  

In an interesting conversation with Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, Keith, an impassioned and pioneering fly fisher shares his experiences, adventures, and journey into the world of fly fishing, specifically his time spent exploring uncharted territories in the Seychelles.

Roots in Fly Fishing

Keith’s journey in fly fishing began at the tender age of five, tutored by his well-known grandfather in South Africa. With roots in Scotland and a history of fishing in Rhodesia, his grandfather’s experiences infused a passion for fly fishing in Keith. This passion remained a constant even as he left home and pursued higher education, a path he believed he was destined to follow.

Initial Journey and Exploration

His journey included a stint at Farlows of Pall Mall, the oldest fishing store in Europe, located in London. The experience honed his skills in networking and learning the intricate details of the trade. Following this, Keith embarked on a full-time career as a guide, exploring the uncharted fishing territories in Russia and the Seychelles, experiencing back-to-back seasons and spending extensive time in each location.

A Pioneer in Uncharted Territories

Keith was not only fortunate to be exploring the uncharted territories of the outer islands of Seychelles, but also was the first fly fisherman to do so, making his mark in numerous locations that had never been fished before. His journey wasn’t just luck but a combination of seizing serendipitous moments and capitalizing on opportunities presented to him.

Embarking on Saltwater Ventures

Starting in freshwater, Keith initially fished for trout and then, guided by his voracious passion, delved into saltwater territories in South Africa. A unique expedition to Seychelles at the age of 17 marked a pivotal moment in his life, an adventure that he embarked on with his father and his friends on a small liveaboard boat.

Baptism by Fire

In Seychelles, Keith’s experiences were tantamount to a “baptism by fire.” With minimal gear and a wealth of passion, he was left to explore the islands on his own, learning the trade and the waters through personal experiences. The scenic beauty of Seychelles and the plethora of unexplored territories presented an unprecedented opportunity to observe and learn, fostering a deeper connection with fly fishing.

Learning the Waters

His initial experiences were marked by immediate encounters with tailing bonefish, albeit with initial failures, learning their behavior, and understanding how to present his catches. His fishing ventures in shallow waters and various tides not only led to him observing different species but also understanding the vastness and movements of the tides. Despite the numerous challenges and the element of danger, his swimming skills, and his ability to solve problems allowed him to navigate through the waters efficiently.

A Journey of Passion and Learning

Keith’s journey is a remarkable tale of passion, learning, and exploration in the world of fly fishing. His roots, marked by his grandfather’s teachings, his experiences in uncharted territories, and his self-taught lessons in the Seychelles, represent a profound journey of a pioneer. His ability to capitalize on opportunities and his incessant passion for fly fishing have contributed to a richer understanding of the trade and a lifelong journey in solving the intriguing puzzles presented by the myriad of fish species and the ever-changing tides.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 2

The Secrets and Excitements of Fly Fishing in Seychelles

Fly fishing in Seychelles is a captivating journey characterized by the allure of the unknown, bringing together passionate anglers seeking solace in the intricate dance of challenge and discovery. This blog explores the complex ecosystems of Seychelles, the habits of diverse fish species, and the techniques involved in catching them, as described by experts in a segment from the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast.

Unraveling the Tidal Mysteries of Seychelles

Seychelles is a hotspot for fly fishing enthusiasts due to its dynamic tidal influx, which offers intriguing challenges and exciting encounters with various species. The tidal swing in Seychelles can reach up to two meters, creating swift water flows that are particularly captivating in the atolls like Cosmoledo and Astove, where water rushes in like a river. These influxes bring cool water over warm water, stimulating the baitfish and providing ample feeding opportunities for the giant Trevally.

Adapting to the Fish Behavior

Different species exhibit unique temperature preferences, with giant Trevally relishing the warm waters during the summer months. In contrast, species like bonefish favor cooler waters. This variation means that the start and the end of the season present diverse catches, while the middle period is optimal for giant Trevally. The variety of species in Seychelles, including the elusive and technical triggerfish, offers anglers the luxury of targeting different fish in close proximity, enhancing the thrill of the chase.

Cracking the Code by Targeting Various Species

The Seychelles’ rich biodiversity offers a delightful mix of fishing experiences, ranging from the pursuit of bonefish to enticing the finicky triggerfish. Each species presents its set of challenges and techniques. The giant Trevally is renowned for its ferocity and strength, making the catch even more rewarding. Meanwhile, the pursuit of triggerfish is a meticulous endeavor, requiring precision and understanding of their spooky and technical nature.

Unlocking the Enigma of Milkfish

Milkfish is another intriguing species that can be found in Seychelles in significant numbers. They often form vast pods and follow scum lines in feeding lanes, making their presence known by creating bubbles and sounds, known as "milkshaking." However, catching them is a puzzle, requiring discerning the fish's feeding position in the water column.

When targeting milkfish, anglers should focus on keeping the fly static to avoid startling the fish, while maintaining a taut line to sense the bite as milkfish inhale and exhale the fly swiftly. Finding the right feeding lane and adjusting the fly’s position are critical steps in cracking the code to catching milkfish.

Perfecting the Presentation for Milkfish

Positioning and presentation are crucial when fishing for milkfish. Setting up a drift in such a way that the fish come towards the angler at a nice degree allows for casting at a 45-degree angle, providing numerous shots as the fish pass by. Using tungsten beads to weigh the fly helps in reaching the fish feeding below the surface. Once the technique is mastered, it's almost like having the secret to unlocking consistent catches, enabling anglers to relish the thrill of hooking one milkfish after another.

Embracing the Variety and Challenges

The beauty of fly fishing in Seychelles lies in the diversity of species and the variety of challenges they present. From targeting the prestigious Pacific permit to enjoying the versatility of the environment, where one can catch a bonefish on the flats and tease a sailfish within minutes, Seychelles offers an unparalleled experience for every fly fishing enthusiast.

The Universal Appeal of Fly Fishing

The podcast succinctly captures the essence of fly fishing, highlighting its universal appeal stemming from the problem-solving passion intrinsic to many anglers. The journey of unraveling the mysteries of fish behavior, mastering the tactics, and adapting to the diverse ecosystems in Seychelles is a never-ending quest, ensuring that the passion for fly fishing continues to burn bright.

Concluding Thoughts

Fly fishing in Seychelles is a mesmerizing exploration of passion, skill, and diversity. It’s a journey where each cast unveils a new mystery, and every catch is a testament to the symbiosis between the angler and the environment. Whether you are enticing the elusive permit or decoding the feeding patterns of milkfish, Seychelles offers a treasure trove of experiences, waiting to be discovered and cherished by those who seek the thrill of the unknown in the intricate dance of fly fishing.

The Hardy Z Marksman is an excellent rod for hunting larger saltwater fish.  I recommend having a 9 and 12 weight rod to cover your bases.  The 9 is perfect for smaller species and or sporty fishing opportunities. Where as the 12 is your bigger game rod and can handle just about any species of power. 
Hardy also supplies reels and the reel of choice for this rod is the Hardy Fortuna Regent Fly Reel. This is their premier saltwater fly reel with larger arbor, specifically narrow design and sealed bearings.  Something that is very nice about this reel is the drag adjustment. Each adjustment level has a click so you can audibly understand how many levels you are adjusting up and down. This can be particularly advantages during chaotic events.  


An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 3

Understanding the Technique and Tackle

In a segment from the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, the speakers delve into the refined techniques of fly fishing. The fly used in this process is described as having a zero balance, floating yet capable of sinking slowly to mimic a natural descent in water. The speaker emphasizes the importance of making the bait appear as natural as possible to attract the fish. This necessitates a meticulous approach, using a fly that sinks slowly, resembling a naturally falling object. When fishing the bead, the angler is advised to stay in contact, stripping the fly to sense even the subtlest of nibbles. This is crucial as the fish might pick the bait without the angler feeling it, necessitating immediate counteraction upon sensing any bump to secure the catch.

Experience of the Catch

Describing the experience of reeling in a catch, the speakers elaborate on the vigorous fight these fishes are renowned for. The hooking process is instantaneous and tumultuous, requiring the angler to be prepared with the line ready and free of any snarls. The objective is to reel in the fish as swiftly as possible, giving it firm, deliberate pulls to ensure the hook is securely embedded. This preemptive action is pivotal, as a shallow hook can easily tear out during the initial stages of the fight.

Comparing the experience to handling a large bonefish with an augmented tail, the speakers highlight the different phases of the fight the fish employs, such as sprinting to coral refuges or diving downwards like a yellowfin tuna. Anglers could land the fish in as quick as 10 minutes or be entangled in a strenuous three-hour battle. The variability in duration hints at the resilience of some fishes, called ‘devil fish’, which seem impenetrable even with a nine or ten-wide rod.

The Resilient Combatants

The resilience of these fishes is attributed to their rumored lack of lactic acid build-up, allowing them to fight without tiring. Their anatomy complements their fighting spirit; their gill rakers are perfectly folded, enhancing their hydrodynamics, and their massive tails add to their formidable fighting prowess. The speaker touches on the nuances of their fights, emphasizing how they leverage their intelligence and knowledge of the terrain to their advantage, seeking refuge in corals or other structures.

Conservation and Scientific Study

Beyond the allure of the catch, there is a conscious effort to study and conserve the species. The speakers are engaged in collaborative studies with institutions like Keep Fish Wet and Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, focusing on understanding fish movement, pressure, and mortality, ensuring responsible interaction with the fishery. Initial findings from these studies are promising, indicating low mortality and recapture rates and revealing a healthy population of giant Trevally in the Alphonse archipelago.

The conversation uncovers the intention to extend these studies to other species like milk fish, exploring their residency and potential vulnerabilities. These studies are crucial to understand whether these fishes are stationary or if they migrate to regions where they could be susceptible to targeting. The speaker is keen to validate the theory of the absence of lactic acid build-up in milk fish through upcoming blood sample studies.

Balancing Conservation and Commercial Interests

The conversation sheds light on the symbiotic relationship between commercial interests and conservation efforts. The regions under discussion are protected not only for their fishery but also for their terrestrial ecosystems. The operations are primarily funded by fly fishing, and the finances allocated for conservation equally encompass marine and terrestrial research. This balance ensures the protection of varied fauna including birds, turtles, and tortoises endemic to the outer islands and atolls of the Seychelles.


This segment from the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast provides an insightful glimpse into the multifaceted world of fly fishing. It amalgamates the thrill of the catch with the essence of conservation, emphasizing the responsible enjoyment of this leisure pursuit. The speakers elucidate the meticulous techniques and the exhilarating experiences of landing a catch while stressing the importance of maintaining a sustainable interaction with the aquatic environment. The detailed discussions intertwine the realms of angling passion, scientific curiosity, and ecological consciousness, offering a holistic perspective on the art of fly fishing.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 4

Fly Fishing Conservation Efforts and Experiences

Fly fishing is not merely a sport; it is an ecosystem, thriving on the unity and concerted efforts of communities and anglers across the world. In a recent discussion on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, the conversation revolved around the extensive network of sponsors and communities working together to contribute to conservation efforts and to enhance the fishing experience for enthusiasts.

Contribution & Conservation:

The conservation efforts are supported by numerous anglers and brands, reflecting a large community-driven initiative. Every angler contributes $25 per person per day to the foundation, funding various projects. These collaborations extend to entities like the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and other brands like Yeti, Kosta, Pedagogy, Thomas & Thomas, and Cortland, underlining the communal spirit in preserving marine protected areas. These projects aim to safeguard these regions for future generations, emphasizing the significance of drafting protection for these spaces.

A Community Bound by Passion

The community is deeply dedicated to conservation, even of places they aren't directly associated with. The podcast reveals a shared aspiration to sustain and conserve the spaces where fly fishing occurs, to ensure that children in the future generations can experience the joy of fishing in these regions. Keith from Alphonse Fishing Company shared a poignant experience of fishing with his son, reflecting on the unparalleled joy that these natural habitats provide to young enthusiasts.

Alphonse Fishing Company

Alphonse Fishing Company, with its 22 years in the Seychelles, is a remarkable entity in the fly fishing community. Founded in September 2012, the company evolved from conducting operations on board liveaboards to adopting a conservation-driven approach by obtaining leases at various destinations to generate funds for conservation efforts. The company operates exclusive lodges at various atolls like Alphonse, Cosmoledo, Astove, Farquhar, and others, each catering to a different set of species and offering a unique experience. These destinations provide a rich assortment of species and uphold the principles of exclusivity and conservation.

Holistic Experience

These atolls offer a well-rounded experience, accommodating families and providing activities like diving, snorkeling, eco tours, and spa services, emphasizing the diverse, inclusive nature of these destinations. It's not solely about the variety and abundance of species like giant trevallies and bonefish; it's also about witnessing natural phenomena like turtle hatching and engaging with the marine life in these pristine, protected spaces.

Adaptive Fishing Strategies

The strategy to tackle varied species in these regions hinges on preparedness. Time is an essential factor, and being rigged and ready to present to any species is crucial. A guiding principle is to carry rods that would cater to the time-sensitive nature of these encounters, ensuring that anglers are equipped to engage with different species effectively. The adaptability and readiness underline the holistic approach to experiencing the diverse species in these regions.


The discourse on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast underscores the richness of the fly fishing community, which is a harmonious blend of conservationists, anglers, and sponsors. The dedication to preserve and protect marine areas and the commitment to providing an inclusive, holistic experience to anglers is palpable. Alphonse Fishing Company stands out as a beacon of conservation and exclusive fishing experiences, bringing forward the essence of unity, dedication, and passion that runs deep in the fly fishing community. The various atolls, with their unique species and exclusive lodges, are symbols of the preserved beauty and diversity of marine life, waiting to be experienced and conserved by present and future generations. Whether it’s the joy of a child catching their first bonefish or the sight of turtles hatching, the essence of fly fishing is in the experience, conservation, and the shared passion of the community.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 5

Fly Fishing Expertise for Clear Waters

When it comes to fly fishing in clear waters, Speaker 1 has revealed a plethora of valuable insights. The speaker places considerable emphasis on the paramountcy of proper gear and approach. The focal point of the discussion revolves around the tackle and techniques used to fish for giant valley, a superior predator species, in the crystal-clear waters of places like Seychelles.

  1. Gear Selection:

The speaker recommends employing quick action fly rods, such as Thomas & Thomas, which are equipped with saltwater proof reels like Shelton reels. The reels are lauded for their user-friendly maintenance, especially after exposure to saltwater elements. The line strength is crucial due to the predatory nature of the fish, with a minimum of 300 yards of 80 pounds suggested for robustness.

  1. Line Connection:

Connecting the braided running line to the backing, to the flight line is crucial. Speaker 1 suggests using a braided loop for this connection, preferring a 50-pound braided loop backed up with 120-pound spectrum. The knot’s strength is vital, as any imperfections or weaknesses will be exploited by the giant valley, resulting in the loss of the line. The speaker asserts the importance of correctly implementing knots to prevent tackle failure.

  1. Backing and Line Strength:

The backing’s strength is increased to prevent it from cutting into the fly line. To distribute pressure evenly along the line, a propriety loop or a waxed running line is used, preferably doubled for added strength. Speaker 1 places emphasis on using solid white heavyweight forward lines with a strong core to match the weight of the fly and turn it effectively.

  1. Leader Material:

Speaker 1 proposes the use of monofilament over fluorocarbon due to its superior flexibility and knot-holding capability. Monofilament does not sink like fluorocarbon, making it more suitable for clear waters and surface flies like poppers. Suffix, 120 pounds, or one-millimeter monofilament is recommended due to its compatibility with the robust nature of giant valleys.

  1. Flies and Hooks:

Robust hooks are imperative due to the strength of the fish. Hooks are needed that won’t open up or compromise when the fish is hooked. The speaker recommends hooks from Gamakatsu, asserting that the robustness and strength of hooks can be tested by attaching them to a door handle and pulling strongly. The speaker explores different fly patterns, mentioning that sometimes bigger or smaller patterns can work, depending on the situation.

  1. Fishing Approach:

Speaker 1 expounds on the approach to fishing in clear waters, which often requires casting ahead of the fish. The maneuverability and sinking rate of the fly are crucial as they affect the presentation and the fly’s effectiveness. The anglers sometimes need to cast multiple times ahead of the fish to ensure the optimal placement and action of the fly.

  1. In Situation Adjustments:

On-location adjustments are often made to the anglers' gear to ensure that the loops and knots are correctly implemented, reducing the chances of tackle failure. This meticulous approach to preparation showcases the importance of every element of the tackle being optimally configured to handle the demands of fishing for super predators in clear waters.


The profound insights provided by Speaker 1 on fly fishing in pristine, clear waters offer an in-depth understanding of the intricate balance between gear, approach, and technique. The intricate details about gear selection, knot strength, line connection, and the advantages of using monofilament leaders provide invaluable knowledge to both novice and experienced fly anglers. The importance of proper preparation, the robustness of equipment, and the meticulous approach to fly and hook selection underpin the essence of successful fly fishing in challenging conditions where the pursuit of super predators like giant valleys demands precision, strength, and resilience. By following the advised strategies and techniques, anglers can enhance their chances of success, experiencing the thrill of landing these majestic fish in the serene ambiance of clear waters.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 6

Mastering Fly Fishing Techniques with Expert Insights

Fly fishing is an art, blending skill, knowledge, and adaptability. In a fascinating conversation on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, speakers shared their nuanced understanding of fly fishing techniques, focusing on bait fish patterns, fishing in the Seychelles, and strategies to handle Giant Trevally, offering listeners a deeper perspective on the complexities of the sport.

Exploring Bait Fish Patterns and Innovations

Fly fishing, 90% of the time, employs fish patterns. Brush patterns are particularly popular as they create nice profiles and the innovative use of the Hannibal mask, tied onto the hook, has proven effective. This allows for a more defined profile of the fly using lesser material. A company named S Fly Brush manufactures these masks, adding a valuable asset to the fishing techniques used in the Seychelles.

Strategies for Handling Giant Trevally

When engaging with Giant Trevally, a unique approach is needed. The key is to not lift the rod post-casting. It’s crucial to keep the fly moving away creatively and swiftly, employing double hand over hand stripping back, to lure the fish.

Unique Stripping Techniques

While many adopt fast stripping, some experts use a different style to ensure the fly is always moving and avoiding dead spots. The technique involves stripping while moving the rod forward towards the fly line, ensuring a constant, vivid motion. The main advantage is the consistent tension on the line, enabling anglers to be always in position to get that strip set.

Setting the Hook:

Once the Giant Trevally bites, anglers should maintain tension and pull hard with both hands. It’s essential not to lift the rod during this time. A jerk set can be implemented to set the hook even deeper. This technique helps in dealing with the fish’s tendency to clasp the bait in their teeth without getting hooked, making it seem like the fish is caught when it’s merely holding the bait in its mouth.

Effective Line Clearing and Management

Line clearing is crucial in saltwater fishing, especially with Giant Trevally which often involves fishing on foot. Anglers must avoid putting excessive pressure on the line as it leads to snags. If a snag occurs, experts advise removing the front section of the rod to allow the snag to go through the bigger islets and deal with it without causing a break in the line.

Fighting the Fish

The fight with the fish is about tactfully managing the drag. Instead of keeping the drag extremely taut, maintaining a firm, yet moderate drag can prevent the line from breaking off during the fish’s speedy movements. Applying pressure gradually and slowing down the fish, especially when it's looking for structures to escape, can prevent the fish from going too far and can aid in taming it effectively.

Considerations during the Fight

It’s a common misconception that an extremely tight drag is necessary. However, it’s counterproductive, especially when the fish builds up speed. The key is to slow it down incrementally without putting so much pressure that it breaks off. Once the fish is stopped after the first run, relieving some pressure and getting back in nice and taut can help in managing subsequent runs.

Reflections on the Tactics:

Fly fishing is not just about casting the line; it is about understanding the behaviors and characteristics of the fish and adapting one’s strategies to them. The discussion reflected the importance of knowing how to manage the line, set the hook, and handle the fish once it is hooked, emphasizing the importance of moderated drag and innovative stripping techniques.

Knowledge and Adaptability

Understanding the idiosyncrasies of the fish, the dynamics of the water, and combining that knowledge with a constant adaptation of techniques are crucial in mastering fly fishing. The insights shared during the podcast illuminated the intricate dance between the angler and the fish, a nuanced tussle of wits and skills.

Concluding Thoughts:

The Fly Fishing Insider Podcast delved deep into the intricacies and techniques of fly fishing, providing a richer understanding of the sport. The innovative approaches and expert insights discussed highlighted the depth of knowledge and the adaptability required to master fly fishing. From managing bait fish patterns to employing unique techniques in handling Giant Trevally, the conversation was an enlightening journey into the artful world of fly fishing.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 7

Expert Insights into Fly Fishing for Giant Trevally and Triggerfish

Fly fishing has always been synonymous with a mix of skill, patience, and knowledge of the species you’re aiming to catch. This blog will delve into expert insights shared on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, focusing on catching Giant Trevally and various species of Triggerfish, primarily in the Seychelles.

  1. Fishing Giant Trevally:

Giant Trevally is a formidable adversary for fly fishers, notable for their sharp scoots on their tails. These fish are robust, allowing anglers to take their time when photographing them, even if there's a bit of blood around the gills. They possess an impressive resilience, making them one of the most robust fish one can catch.

Tactics and Tips:

Staying Close: A critical strategy involves staying close to the fish, minimizing the line in the water to avoid possible snagging and to have a better chance of landing them. It is essential to approach these fish stealthily and to keep walking towards them to minimize the line in the water.

Attending Glove: An attending glove is crucial when landing a Giant Trevally to navigate around their sharp scoots. Once grabbed around the tail, they tend to calm down for a quick photograph before being released.

  1. Fishing Triggerfish:

The Seychelles is home to three different species of Triggerfish: the Picasso, the Mustache Triggerfish, and the Yellow Margin Triggerfish. The Picasso, though less challenging, makes for a beautiful photograph, while the latter two present a more exhilarating challenge to anglers.

Fishing Techniques:

Rod Selection: Using either a nine or a ten weight rod is preferable. A ten weight rod offers more power, essential to keep the fish out of the coral and the reef. However, a nine weight rod is suitable for presentation.

Leaders and Hooks: Fishers use leaders between 15 and 25 pounds, typically opting for 20 pounds, paired with crustacean patterns on strong hooks, ranging between number two and four.

Species Differences:

Mustache Triggerfish: It prefers areas with broken coral, pancake flats, and reefs, notable for its orange and black color, with a black mustache on the top of its mouth.

Yellow Margin Triggerfish: This species doesn’t mind sandy areas and is a beautiful peachy yellow color.


Timing and Tides: Triggerfish are typically fished on the last two hours of the falling tide and the first two to three hours of the pushing tide. Nip tides are generally preferable due to slower water movement, allowing more time to fish for them.

Approach: Anglers need to entice trigger fish in as little space as possible to avoid snagging. Typically, the fish will be tailing, making them easier to spot from a distance. The challenge is to get the fly to the fish with one strip without making too much movement to avoid spooking the fish or snagging the bottom.

Casting Length: Concerns about needing to make long casts in saltwater fishing are generally unfounded. Various scenarios require different casting lengths, but shorter casts are preferable to maintain control, especially with wave action and current movement affecting the line.

  1. Final Thoughts:

Fly fishing for Giant Trevally and Triggerfish is an exhilarating and rewarding experience, offering diverse challenges for anglers. Whether maneuvering to avoid the crunching sound of dead coral to avoid spooking a triggerfish or staying close to land a robust Giant Trevally, each experience is unique.

The guidance given in the podcast emphasizes the importance of being aware of your surroundings, understanding the behavior and preferences of different species, and adjusting your tactics accordingly. Whether it’s choosing the right equipment or being mindful of the environment, every detail counts in ensuring a successful fly fishing expedition.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 8

Fly Fishing Insights with Keith on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

In a fascinating session with the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, Keith, a seasoned saltwater fly fisherman, shared his ample knowledge and experiences, casting a light on intricate aspects of catching the elusive triggerfish and bump head, two intriguing species in the vast world of saltwater fly fishing.

Battle with the Triggerfish

Keith initiated the conversation diving deep into the allure and challenges of catching triggerfish. Triggerfish, notorious for their keen ability to find refuge in holes, present a unique challenge for anglers. The dynamic struggle between the angler's skill and the fish’s innate instincts leads to a thrilling encounter, where managing the distance of the cast plays a pivotal role. A closer cast allows anglers a greater control, preventing the fish from finding solace in the myriad of undersea holes.

However, distance isn't the only contender in this battle of wits and reflexes. Keith stressed the importance of gradually increasing the drag to curb the fish's dash towards their havens. The fisher has to employ a significant amount of strength and tenacity to maintain control. It’s a game of luck and anticipation, especially if the fish delve into their holes.

However, the battle doesn't end there. Keith noted that even when the fish reach a hole, seasoned anglers could employ tactics to lure them out, by determining the fish's position inside the hole and manipulating the trigger part of the fish. It’s a meticulous dance, wherein understanding the fish’s behavior plays a crucial role.

The Enigmatic Bump Head

Drawing upon his extensive experience, Keith shed light on another mysterious aquatic giant, the bump head. Characterized by its massive structure, targeting these beings require robust equipment, specifically a 10-weight rod. These fish, incredibly wary of their surroundings, are easily spooked, necessitating impeccable precision and presentation in casting.

According to Keith, bump heads predominantly feed on crustaceans and are not inclined to chase a fly. Hence, it’s pivotal to present the fly in their general vicinity and anticipate their movements. The eat is typically detected by seeing the fly off the bottom, a subtle and precise action demanding acute attention.

Bump heads are usually spotted in schools, finding comfort and presumably security in numbers. Their collective awareness heightens their sensitivity to sound and movement, making them notoriously tricky to approach. Any false move could send them into deeper waters, abandoning the shallow flats. However, a patient and non-invasive approach may allow a second chance as these fish tend to return to the shallows.

The Journey to Understanding

Keith recounted the journey of understanding and unraveling the mysterious behaviors of bump heads, which spanned over several years. It was a time of trials, observations, and learnings, where the approach evolved from indiscriminate casting to a nuanced understanding of their eating habits and preferred habitats. After a series of endeavors marked by unfulfilled catches and lost opportunities, the first successful catch around 2005 marked a monumental achievement. It was a testament to the relentless pursuit of knowledge and the refinement of technique.

Interestingly, the first captured bump head only yielded a photograph of its eye due to an unexpected turn of events. Keith humorously recalled how the fish, passed to the client for a photograph, knocked off his sunglasses, leaving them with a uniquely captured moment. This story encapsulates the essence of the unpredictable and exhilarating journey of fly fishing.

A Master’s Advice

Catching a bump head is a delicate balance between skill, understanding, and presentation. The color of the flies, white, orange, and tan, and the position play pivotal roles in attracting these elusive beings. The journey to mastering the catch involves not just understanding the fish, but also refining techniques and learning from each encounter, even those that don’t result in a catch.

Keith’s journey elucidates that successful fly fishing is a harmonious blend of knowledge, experience, patience, and a perpetual pursuit of learning. His stories and insights not only provide a glimpse into the intricate world of saltwater fly fishing but also underline the passion and relentless curiosity that drive anglers to embrace the unknown and revel in the dance with the aquatic enigma.


Keith’s enriching dialogue on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast leaves both novice and experienced anglers with a trove of insights and mental images, enhancing their understanding of the complex, thrilling world of saltwater fly fishing. The detailed accounts of his experiences with triggerfish and bump heads emphasize the importance of persistence, learning, and respect for the aquatic realm.

These encounters reflect a symbiotic relationship between the angler and the sea, where each step, each cast, and each interaction brings a newfound appreciation and understanding of the enigmatic inhabitants of the underwater world.

Whether it's the intricate battle with the cunning triggerfish or the dance with the elusive bump heads, each story encapsulates a journey of passion and discovery. It’s a journey that transcends the mere act of fishing, morphing into a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and harmony with the intricate tapestry of life beneath the waves.

For those seeking to delve deeper into the mysteries of saltwater fly fishing and experience these extraordinary encounters, Keith remains a beacon of knowledge and inspiration, ready to guide and enlighten the curious minds in their aquatic adventures.

An Exclusive with a Pioneer Keith Rose Innes - Part 9

Insights and Expertise on Fly Fishing Techniques

In a recent episode of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, avid listeners were treated to an enriching conversation with Keith, a seasoned fly fisherman with profound expertise in fly fishing tactics and conservation. Keith’s journey is intertwined with a palpable passion for unearthing the intricate details of fly fishing, blending insightful tactics, and a reverence for preserving the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems.

Harnessing Patience: A Closer Look at Technique

Fly fishing is portrayed as a delicate interplay between patience and technique. Keith delves into the meticulous art of placing the fly and outlines the importance of studying the movement of fish, particularly when using crab patterns. He emphasizes not moving the fly, letting the fish swim through it, and keenly observing their movements to detect any signs of interest, epitomizing a game of patience.

Engaging the Bump Head Parrotfish

Keith recounts his experience with the Bump Head Parrotfish, delineating his approach to effectively engaging this species. He mentions the utilization of a 10-way dried and a 50-pound bumpin, emphasizing the need to strategically place the fly and sustain contact, aiming to keep the fish on the flat and pursuing them into deeper waters as needed. He highlights the evolution of one’s goals, from initially aspiring to catch small fish to advancing to larger, more challenging catches as confidence builds.

Refining the Fly is Innovating for Success

The pursuit of the elusive Indo-Pacific Permit becomes a focal point in Keith's narrative. Keith sheds light on the evolutionary journey of creating an effective fly, discussing the transition from the Orvis crab to the Flexo crab, eventually giving birth to a highly successful pattern known as the Alflex. This pattern has gained worldwide renown, with its applications extending to different species and various locations including the Bahamas, Mexico, Cuba, and Australia. Keith’s extensive experimentation has resulted in a fly that is realistic, versatile, and highly effective, catering to diverse aquatic environments.

Pursuit of the Indo-Pacific Permit by Balancing Persistence and Adaptation

Keith deepens the discussion on the strategies for attracting the Indo-Pacific Permit. He stresses the necessity of ensuring that the fish sees the fly, highlighting the fine balance between leading the fish and maintaining a persistent yet adaptive approach. Keith notes the importance of varying the flies presented to the fish, changing them after two unsuccessful passes to avoid overexposure and to increase the chances of catching the fish’s attention. He also emphasizes maintaining a constant strip to keep the fly moving and the importance of staying in contact with the fly, as these fish are known to quickly inhale and exhale the fly. These considerations manifest as crucial elements in enhancing the likelihood of success and avoiding unnecessary frustration.

The Reward in Challenge: Embracing the Journey

Keith expresses the inherent challenges and frustrations associated with fly fishing, particularly with elusive species like the Pacific Permit, which can often be non-reactive to the fly. However, he elucidates that the journey is laden with rich, rewarding experiences, particularly when multiple fish are feeding together, which typically induces better reactions due to competitiveness. He reiterates the intricate relationship between patience, skill, adaptation, and the raw thrill that underscores every successful catch, describing it as the ultimate rewarding experience.

The Essence of Destination Provides A Humble Perspective

Keith’s rich tapestry of experiences is embedded with a profound respect for the diverse destinations he has encountered. He humbly deflects the praise for his accomplishments, attributing his enriched perspective to the wealth of knowledge he has garnered from various destinations, particularly the Seychelles.


The Fly Fishing Insider Podcast brought forth a treasure trove of insights, offering listeners a window into the nuanced world of fly fishing. Keith’s extensive knowledge, coupled with his undying passion for fly fishing and conservation, painted a vibrant picture of the meticulous strategies, innovative approaches, and rewarding experiences inherent in the sport. His narrative intertwines lessons in patience, the evolution of tactics, and a deep appreciation for the diverse aquatic environments he has encountered, leaving listeners with a renewed perspective on embracing the journey and respecting the delicate balance of nature.

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Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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