Fly Fishing For Garrick In South Africa

The Feisty Leerie…

One of my favourite saltwater fish species to target on fly is the Garrick. This clean fighting game fish is also known as a Leervis, Leerie or by it’s nickname, The Gentleman Of The Sea. The Garrick get’s this nickname because of how clean it fights once it has been hooked. The fish will not try cut you off on structure, take you into rocks or anything along those lines. The Garrick stays quite close to the top of the water when hooked and puts up an extremely strong fight.

Targeting Garrick On Fly

The Garrick’s scientific name is Lichia amia, and is called a Leervis in Afrikaans, which when translated roughly means leather fish. This is in reference to the texture of the skin this fish has. Sometimes an adoption of it’s Afrikaans name is used, and a few fly fishermen refer to them as Leerfish. The Garrick is a silver fish, with a prominent interestingly shaped lateral line. When Garrick are juveniles (Generally under 15 centimeters), they have the most beautful and striking colours comprising of orange, yellows and black.

The Garrick is an inshore fish species that occurs from Mozambique all the way up the coast of Namibia. They are completely at home in estuaries, which they use as a nursery and breeding area, and can be caught in the surf, off rocky and deep water points and up to a few kilometers offshore.

Perseverance, changing your technique or retrieve and trying a variety of different colours and shades of flies are key to catch this fish successfully.

Fly Tackle For Garrick

The Rod & Reel: Fish The Fly generally targets Garrick in estuaries on 4 or 5 weight setups. This is fine in the rivers, but if you are fishing in the surf, off the bricks or off a boat offshore, anything between a 7 and 9 weight setup should be sufficient.

The Line: Depending on what flies you are using and how deep the water is should determine what line you use. Have all 3 kinds of fly line in your arsenal for targeting Garrick; floating, intermediate and sinking.

The Flies: Garrick will take a huge variety of flies, some of our favourites are: Fritz, Salty Bugger, Clouser Minnow, Saltwater Popper, Flipper, Hot Flash Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver.

The Retrieve: Garrick like a fast retrieve, a short jerky stop-start retrieve.

The Garrick is a beautiful, strong fighting fish, and are one of our favourite fish to target on fly. Tight lines when targeting the, sometimes elusive, Leerie.

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