Allan Donald of Fly Fishing Frontiers Exmouth takes on a wide range of saltwater species on the fly in exotic locations in Exmouth. Donald recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:
Why do you guide where you do?
Because of the aggregation of diverse species, or in one fishery, for instance, Boneheads (fly fishing group) have an annual visit to these waters. Within the last 15 years, they have caught 181 species on fly and still counting. To me, this is exciting, and that is why.
What is your favorite fish specie?
Instantly I would have to say permit. I love the challenge and to test my limits. Giant trevally are also rated highly for the same reasoning.
What is your favorite thing about guiding?
Sharing the passion, I enjoy helping others catch fish, the whole journey to get that fish, then the smiles and high fiving that follows (haha). I guess you call it work satisfaction.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
Hands down last September, guests Leon Normore and Chris Patey from Newfoundland. My first documented week of guiding. See FlyFlife #78 for Leon’s story. I initially always knocked journalists and film crews back, because I don’t think I was ready for that exposure yet. I wanted to develop more as a guide in the fishery. My anxiety and nerves were in control.
What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
You meet some real characters in this field – some just have you in stitches all week. Also, this may sound bad, but having guests fall off the boat is pretty funny after the incident though. Another was having a 6/0 treble hook in my toe while the queenfish went nuts on the bottom of the boat. I screamed like a girl. Wasn’t cool!
What makes your guide service great?
I don’t know about “great,” but we work hard and if that fails, we work harder. We want the best for our guests, optimizing their visit to Exmouth, Australia.
If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
For me, this one’s more about “where.” We all know and appreciate these words: “It’s not all about the fishing, it’s the places it takes us.” That being said, the Seychelles, Alphonse/Cosmolido Atolls, or some river in Canada or Alaska.
What are your favorite three flies?
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Haha … the coffee thermos … just joking. Camera to capture that special moment. We can’t control the past, but we can control the present, capture it, and take it with you.
Do you have any other passions?
Surfing, diving … What else is there? Saltwater therapy is the best. Enjoy it while we can.
Disclosure: Fly Fishing Frontiers Exmouth is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.