Fly Fishing

Expats Fly Fishing at Bolgoda Lake

Tiernan has been working in Colombo and like any good fisherman he brought his fishing rods, hoping to fish in his new country of residence. Tiernan is a fly fisherman, in the United States, he fishes in fresh water for trout, salmon and large mouth bass. He has also fished at sea for Redfish and other mangrove fish.

After three months without having gone fishing, Tiernan booked a fishing day with us at Bolgoda Lake. Guiding a fly fisherman is a great challenge for me. I know it’s possible to catch many of the species present in the lake on fly, but I never had the opportunity to guide a fisherman to try. In the past we have had anglers fly fishing and they’ve caught Giant Herring, Oxeye Tarpon, Mangove Jack and even Barramundi for the luckiest.


I met Tiernan at the villa, we had a coffee and prepared the fishing equipment. Tiernan was well equipped, but I took my fly rod and my fly box just in case. We headed out at around 7:30 am and started fishing on our Barramundi spots. The weather was perfect and the surface of the water flat. We saw Oxeye Tarpon rolling in some areas, Tiernan missed 2 and we are headed to another spot for Barramundi but there was no activity. Then I decided to go on our favourite spot for Featherback. When we arrived we saw plenty of these “knife fish” rolling on surface, Tiernan couldn’t believe his eyes ! Unfortunately he didn’t have any bites from this elusive fish but he caught a very nice Giant Herring.

Ladyfish Fly Fishing Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka

It was time for a lunch break back at the villa. In the afternoon, Tiernan wanted to try the morning spot again for catching a featherback. At the spot there was the same activity as the morning, the Featherback were rolling on surface, but this time I gave of Tiernan a favourite fly of mine. An orange & yellow Enrico Puglisi. On his second cast, right where a Featherback was rolling, two strips and bang ! Fish on !!! First Featherback ever caught on fly at Bolgoda Lake !!!

Featherback Fly fishing Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka

Congratulations Tiernan ! After that we changed spots to try again for Barramundi and Tiernan caught a nice Mangrove Jack to finish his fishing day.

Mangrove Jack Fly fishing Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka


It was a great trip that has given me more confidence to guide fly fishermen at Bolgoda Lake. If you are travelling in Sri Lanka and would like to have a couple of days fly fishing at Bolgoda Lake give us a call !


Nico - Head Fishing Guide

A couple from Alaska try fly fishing at Bolgoda Lake

Brad and Melissa arrived at Bayou of Bolgoda on 08 February 2015 to try out fly fishing at our Lake Fishing destination in Sri Lanka.

Day 1: Fishing the last two hours of daylight

2 fish for 3 bites. Clients, Brad and Melissa from Alaska arrived in the afternoon and wanted to fish the two last hours of daylight. It was quite windy so the fishing was done in a small bay where they managed two small GT on their fly fishing equipment before it was completely dark. They were excited to try the fly fishing on the lake as they had very light tackle, with a weight of just 4-5 weight on each rod. They had also brought one sinking line and one floating to be able to try all different depths, getting their thin 5lb leaders where they wanted them.

Scenery Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka

Day 2: Crocodiles and adapting fishing to Bolgoda’s environs

4 fish for 14 bites. The day started early at 05.30 with a flat surface and spotting many big crocodiles on the surface very close to the boat. The first fish were a couple of nice Mangrove Jacks around 35cm close to the prawn traps, with a strong current keeping the cloudy water at a steady pace. We also managed to hook a small Tarpon in amongst the small floating islands of vegetation where the fish seek refuge. The tarpon took on a small bright streamer on the fly fishing equipment, which was the method of choice for the Alaskan couple.

Oxeye Tarpon Fly Fishing Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka

The evening brought rain, but they managed a fun fishing with streamers for jumping Giant Herring just outside the resort in the dark hours.

Mangrove Jack on Fly Fishing Bolgoda Lake

Day 3: Lures and Fly working well at Bolgoda

9 fish for 12 bites. Same as the day before the fishing began early in the main lake with sunny weather and calm conditions and it produced 12 bites before 10.30 in the morning! The fishing was great fun with many Mangrove Jacks taking both lures and flies hard. At one point Brad caught 2 Mangrove Jacks at the same time on the same lure, a small white and green wobbler close to the small temple island in the middle of the main lake and Melissa caught the largest “MJ” of the trip at over 2kg, taken on a chrome colored lure right next to a big rock. This is always a good feature, holding many fish at various depths.

Mangrove Jack Rapala Fishing Bolgoda Lake Sportfishing Lanka

The evening brought with it a storm and heavy rain, and the couple made the decision to head back early.

Bolgoda is a truly unique destination. The environs and the species make the lake a versatile fishing environment suitable to casting lures and fly fishing. Once you’ve spent a couple of hours working out how to adapt your style and technique to the lake you’ll be rewarded with a fun and exciting fishing experience.

Daniel Anderson - Swedish Fishing Guide