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November 08, 2013

THAILAND: A new alligator gar 6 lb tippet fly IGFA world record

Here a fishing report from top fishing guide Jean Francois Helias from Thailand:

"Richard Hart, a dedicated fly angler living in Orlando, Florida, has been a faithful return client of ours for years. We’ve done together numerous trips around Thailand, as well as two snakehead expeditions in the Malaysian jungle. Being the dedicated fly angler he is, he deserves the numerous various fish species catches he had on each of his past trips, including two big size giant snakehead taken on the fly in the wild which are nothing but a supreme achievement. Very few freshwater fly anglers worldwide can say they have succeeded in that particular extreme challenge.

This year, he arrived in Bangkok at the very end of August, with the intention to fish with us as much as he could, this for three months, all over the country. One of his main goals being to try breaking one of the current IGFA fly world records, and if possible one from the snakehead spp. category; the giant snakehead being one of his favorite fish targets. He got close to achieve that task for the 16lb tippet class at the beginning of October but his capture was not big enough though to retire the 5.40 kg existing record.

70 days after his arrival in Thailand (almost half of it fly fishing), after a serious amount of broken tippets and lost flies through his quest for a record, Richard’s unequalled dedication got finally rewarded with one yesterday Nov. 6, 2013. End of the afternoon at the Ratchaburi lake, he nailed on a silver deceiver an alligator gar weighing 9.81 kg on our certified scales. It took him 30 minutes to tame that toothy predator on a light 6 lb Rio tippet, on a G.Loomis Streamdance 6 wt Cross Current coupled with a big size Tibor Billy Pate Tarpon (so he could have plenty of backing to play any big fish).

Speaking about Tibor reels, for the anecdote Richard is like me an unconditional Tibor reels fan. We both love and respect the Ted Juracsik family with whom we have a great relationship, and who have kindly supported us. Big up Ted and Marianne! The only difference between Richard and I when it comes to fly rods is he uses both brands G.Loomis and Sage. I personally use exclusively the Sage fly rods!  

Once homologated, that 9.81 kg Alligator Gar catch will retire the current 7.28 kg record which is held ….by yours truly. As a pro guide, there is nothing as pleasing to me than having the clients whom I’m guiding breaking my own records. I feel very good about it for having done a good job.

It is the second IGFA world record for Richard Hart, who previously held the all tackle record for the eye-spot barb (hampala dispar). A record catch on conventional gear which I also guided him to, in the wild in the northeast of Thailand. He is returning to the USA at the end of November. Until then, he still has many more days fishing with us this month. Who knows? With a bit of luck, he may get a hat trick of records which I truly feel he would deserve big time for all the efforts he is putting in his fishing quest."

Jean-Francois Helias
IGFA Lifetime Achievement Award
268 IGFA World Records      

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