|SURVIVING SUDAN — Not your average walk on the beach
By Johann du Preez
IT was my second week guiding on the Nubian flats and my brain was still trying to make sense of this desolate place. The sun was scorching hot and a dry wind howled across the water. My lips were burnt and my face felt like a week-old pastry. By now I should have adapted, right?
I was walking on a high, fossilised rock embankment, looking down into the pale white flats trying to spot fish for my clients. The flat, laced with coral bommies and electric blue drop-offs, stretched out ahead of me up to where it met with the deep blue. Staring down into the shallow, clear water I began to see the different shapes dancing on the coral bottom, none of them fish — all just deceiving shapes and colours. I wiped the dust from my eyes and refocused on what I needed to see — a fish, a shadow, anything with fins.
Desperate to spot a fish, I took my eyes off the ground for too long. As I put my foot down the fossilised coral crust crumbled beneath my feet. I slid down the ridge in a cloud of dust on hands and knees. “Did I break my teasing rod?” was my first clear thought once the dust settled. All good, nothing broken, just a little bruised. The blood started to press into the newly scraped grooves in my skin and I realised this was just the beginning. This place was going to hurt me much, much more.
I’m not here to tell you how great Sudan is and about the amazing fishing in the Red Sea. I won’t tell you that it’s the place to target massive GTs on the flats or how aggressive our bluefin trevally are. I am also not going to tell you how it’s a place where you will get shots at up to 50 triggerfish in a day. Nor will I tell you how the packs of Bohar snapper will race from the depths to destroy your fly. No, I won’t tell you what a magical fishing destination it is — although it is.
What I will tell you though, is that this place will push you to your physical limits. This is not your average walk on the beach. Out here everything is sharp and brutal — it has to be. This is how things have evolved in one of the harshest climates on the planet. This is Sudan, where desolate, sandy inferno meets marine paradise.
Read the full story in the October 2017 issue of FLYFISHING magazine.