Three Kings Kingfish Saltwater Fly Video Review

Three Kings kingfish on saltwater Fly.
Three Kings kingfish on saltwater Fly.

Three Kings Kingfish Saltwater Fly Video Review by Allan Burgess

YouTube video

In this episode of Pure Fly NZ, we see show regulars and big fish weapons, Jeff Forsee and Anto Hall, heading into just the type of territory that gets them really fired up. The Three Kings is renowned for its XXXL kingfish and trevally, so these two maniacs will be right at home, doing their absolute best to tame a few of these beasts on the fly in some unforgiving terrain. For this clip Jeff breaks down what made the 8’4″ 13-weight Scott Sector the right tool for the job on this trip. Below is the link for the full video episode.

For hardcore salt fly anglers, a big kingfish on the fly is probably NZ’s greatest challenge. They head to the Three Kings Islands and put their tackle to the ultimate test on some huge kingfish and trevally. You can watch the Pure Fly NZ Series 3 – Three Kings Kingfish episode here at TVNZ OnDemand now called TVNZ+ (Just create a free account and log in. The online adventure is 48 minutes in length).

It starts with Anto Hall, Jeff Forsee, Gerald Gates and the crews launching and walking their three big Stabi-Craft trailer boats down a shallow creek towards the sea to begin the 55km journey across the open ocean northwest of Cape Reinga / Te Rerenga Wairua, New Zealand, where the South Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea come together. The fishing there is amazing. The fish are bigger and there are plenty of them. It is just the place to catch Three Kings kingfish on the fly rod.

The Three Kings are a small group of 13 steep, rugged, windswept islands more or less in the middle of the open sea well out of sight of the New Zealand coast. They are home to seabirds that feed on the vast numbers of baitfish and krill that inhabit the deep cobalt blue waters surrounding them. It is a place where most Kiwi game fishing anglers want to fish at least once in their lives.  

Arriving at the islands our intrepid saltwater fly anglers swing straight into action hooking up on a big yellowtail kingfish. The boat’s crew do a great job on the filming considering one of the actual real cameramen gets badly seasick and is out of action. The filming is complimented throughout with very good drone footage in which you can clearly see plenty of big fish just below the clear water.  

The standout thing you notice straight away is just how inhospitable the shoreline is with steep cliff faces rising straight up out of the sea.

Powerful Fly Rods Needed

Jeff Forsee is the standout saltwater fly angler who really knows what he is doing. The clear water fish can appear to be only a couple of metres from the surface when in reality they are down 10 metres or more. Jeff’s preferred tackle is a powerful 13-weight fly rod with a fast sinking “Gamefishing” grade 13-weight fly line that incorporates a super strong core to deal with big powerful fish.

His preferred fly is a lead-eyed black and green Clouser tied on a big hook, likely 6/0 or so, and designed to get down deep. Interestingly, later in the video, they are fishing for trevally in a huge school right on the surface feeding on krill. Jeff’s big black and green Clouser is more of a baitfish imitation and is mostly ignored by the trevally – though with so many trevallies in the water one is sure to hit it. If targeting the yellowtail kingfish, however, it is a good choice of fly in that instance as it has a better chance of making through the surface fish and getting down deeper to the kingfish.

As an interesting aside at one stage a clumsy cameraman accidentally steps on the loose coils of fly line Jeff has stripped onto the deck causing the loss of a good fish. It is worth making a mental note of that minor incident as it does highlight one of the potential problems associated with saltwater flyfishing from the deck of a boat, particularly when targeting big sea fish species.

Several good-sized snapper are also taken on the fly rods, along with red-coloured golden snapper, which is usually a deepwater species anywhere else.

Anyway, there you have a quick synopsis of this very exciting saltwater flyfishing trip to these isolated islands in search of Three Kings kingfish. Here is the link again to check it out for yourself: Three Kings Kingfish episode here at TVNZ OnDemand now called TVNZ+ 

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