When it comes to targeting Milkfish on the fly, we can honestly say we know what we’re talking about as the origins of targeting this species on the fly stem back to Alphonse Island and the St. François lagoon where these techniques were first pioneered and developed. As such we have endlessly honed these techniques, and have tried and tested the best of the best to ensure a successful catch of these big-eyed devils.
Targeting Milkfish, also known as Chanos Chanos, is very different from most other flats species you find in the waters of the Indian Ocean. They are not predatory and therefore the fly shouldn’t be imitating anything trying to get away, but rather a stationary particle of algae or plankton. Fly choice is also dictated by the behaviour of the fish while they are feeding instead of the area in which you are fishing.
For targeting Milkfish on the fly, we need flies that mimic the food source of the Milkfish. For this reason, we have chosen the following flies with a few distinct similarities, namely the Milky Dream, Wayne’s Milky Magic and the Pillow Talk with tungsten eyes.
The combination of an olive, green and chartreuse bodies of these flies imitate the algae that the Milkies feed on and will definitely catch their big eyes. To entice them a bit more, a couple of strands of crystal UV flash can be added to resemble the copepods that live around the algae beds.
This fly is similar to our Milky Dream fly but has a couple of wraps of pink chenille that is added to the head of the fly to mimic the egg-sack of a variety of crustaceans that has been caught up in the algae, creating a more protein-rich meal in the eyes of the Milkfish.
With regards to the Pillow Talk fly, the water conditions (shallow, deep, fast-flowing, etc.) will determine the type of eye to use for this popular fly..
There you have it – the best flies and technique to target Milkfish. For more tips and details on the species, you can also have a look at Fly Fishing for Milkfish.
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