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Top This: Great White Shark Caught on a Fly

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July 21, 2009

Top This: Great White Shark Caught on a Fly

By Kirk Deeter

Leave it to my buddy and Fly Talk regular Conway Bowman to spice things in the fishing world up with yet another feat from the ragged edge...

This time, Con Man (Mr. Mako Shark Fishing from a Kayak) skippered Jeff Patterson of Abel Reels to what must be the holy grail of "out there" angling accomplishments--hooking and landing a great white shark on a fly rod.

The action unfolded a few days ago.  Fishing 5 miles off San Diego, the duo chummed in a shark and cast a foot-long streamer fly at it... the shark ate it, and bolted away on a scorching 275-yard run.  The ensuing fight lasted 25 minutes.  Only when they got it near the boat did Bowman realize the shark wasn't one of his customary makos, but a juvenile great white, estimated at 6 feet long and 150 pounds.

It's believed to be the first and only fly-caught great white off the California coast. Bowman has been guiding these waters for over 15 years and has only seen a couple great whites.  He has never caught one.

Gear: Scott 15-weight rod; Abel Super 13 reel; Rio Leviathan 550 grain line.

So who's next?  Anyone gonna top that one?  If there's a more bad(apple) fly fishing challenge out there, I'd like to know about it...

Deeter

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Does the IGFA even recognize such a feat?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Great White on a fly. Classic. I guess it hadn't all been done. We'll see what's next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

AWESOME!! AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!!! Can you come to Coastal NC and show me how its done?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Wow!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

great catch. i have taken a few sharks on fly tackle but nothing as cool and majestic as a great white.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Awesome indeed. I guess the only thing to top that would be an adult great white.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbird wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Its time to go for a Killer Whale on a fly

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Now try the same on ligther tools.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Well, to catch an adult great white someone will have to tie a fly that resembles a great juicy seal or something. Tying the fly may be a bigger challenge than hooking the shark!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

That is awesome, I have fly fished a few times, but I am getting more intrested in it as the years go by. To catch something like that on a fly would be amazing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

I do not think you can top that... when I hear/see something like this, only one thing comes to mind... BADA$$!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NYhunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

COOL!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

What will they come up with next? Moby Dick on a fly rod or how bout a whale shark on a bream pole.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

I used to surf off the San Diego beaches and saw very few sharks. Lately there is a bunch of Great White activity there. Lucky i didn't know about that then. Awesome catch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BarkinSpider wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

We're gonna need a bigger belly boat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

CONWAY BOWMAN. A name that should always be written in capital letters. I have yet had the pleasure of taking a ride in his boat for mako, but it is high on my list of things to do. Now a Great White would be even more interesting! Congratulations to Jeff and his Able. I think that reel should be inshrined.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Sorry guys. Catching sharks on a fly rod is right up there with calling Brock Lesner a sissy and climbing a fence with a loaded gun. Your just asking for trouble.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from conway wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

wow........................

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from upacreek333 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Asking for trouble... isn't that what extreme fly fishing is all about? Some day... some day...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from upacreek333 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

On a press tour in Alaska, I watched a writer (name withheld to protect his, um, sensibilities) cast to breaching humpback whales just for the photographic opportunity. Thankfully, he, uh, pinched the barb...;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from BarkinSpider wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

We're gonna need a bigger belly boat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Does the IGFA even recognize such a feat?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Great White on a fly. Classic. I guess it hadn't all been done. We'll see what's next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

AWESOME!! AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!!! Can you come to Coastal NC and show me how its done?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Wow!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

great catch. i have taken a few sharks on fly tackle but nothing as cool and majestic as a great white.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Awesome indeed. I guess the only thing to top that would be an adult great white.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbird wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Its time to go for a Killer Whale on a fly

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Now try the same on ligther tools.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Well, to catch an adult great white someone will have to tie a fly that resembles a great juicy seal or something. Tying the fly may be a bigger challenge than hooking the shark!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

That is awesome, I have fly fished a few times, but I am getting more intrested in it as the years go by. To catch something like that on a fly would be amazing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

I do not think you can top that... when I hear/see something like this, only one thing comes to mind... BADA$$!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NYhunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

COOL!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

What will they come up with next? Moby Dick on a fly rod or how bout a whale shark on a bream pole.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

I used to surf off the San Diego beaches and saw very few sharks. Lately there is a bunch of Great White activity there. Lucky i didn't know about that then. Awesome catch.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

CONWAY BOWMAN. A name that should always be written in capital letters. I have yet had the pleasure of taking a ride in his boat for mako, but it is high on my list of things to do. Now a Great White would be even more interesting! Congratulations to Jeff and his Able. I think that reel should be inshrined.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

Sorry guys. Catching sharks on a fly rod is right up there with calling Brock Lesner a sissy and climbing a fence with a loaded gun. Your just asking for trouble.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from conway wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

wow........................

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from upacreek333 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Asking for trouble... isn't that what extreme fly fishing is all about? Some day... some day...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from upacreek333 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

On a press tour in Alaska, I watched a writer (name withheld to protect his, um, sensibilities) cast to breaching humpback whales just for the photographic opportunity. Thankfully, he, uh, pinched the barb...;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment