Archive | November, 2013

Last Day in Africa

blog-Nov-15-2013-1-Mnyera-rapidsIt’s the final day of week two and the final day for me also.  Today is my fourteenth tigerfishing day in a row and the journey home begins tomorrow.  With all that in mind, we needed to end big and therefore we brought Steve and John to the rapids.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-2-tigerfishingYou know by now that fishing the rapids is the most demanding fishing imaginable.  Both John and Steve are in their late sixties.  John’s in great shape.  Steve’s a little older and has a great open-minded-attitude and he’s willing force himself to do what it takes to get the best fishing.  Based on that, guide Mark, Steve and I would stay on the normal side of the rapids and take it slow, Andrew and Oliver would help John across the rapids and fish the incredible other side.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-3-Jeff-Currier-battling-tsetse-fliesWe left Ruhudji River Camp at 6 AM.  We did the drive a little differently today.  On our ride Wednesday we took a beating from Tsetse flies.  Today we dangled a pot of burning elephant dung behind the vehicle as repellent.  Believe it or not, it worked.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-4-MaasaiWe were setting up to fish the rapids at 9.  Andrew, Oliver and John headed off and crossed, Mark, Steve and I marched to the bottom of the rapids.  We actually brought along a special guest, Maasai warrior Michael.  Michael is his nickname because we English speakers butcher his real name.  Michael was in the movie “Connect” with me.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-5-flyfishing-for-tigerfishMark steadied Steve on the exact rock I started on the day Oliver and I were here.  It wasn’t easy getting Steve there but he made it.  Steve launched a serious of excellent casts but to no avail.  This spot wasn’t firing.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-6-Jeff-Currier-&-maasaiHardly any of our spots were firing today.  We strolled up to the “Connect” pool expecting big things but Steve once again got nothing.  The other guys happened to be directly across and they too had slow fishing.   I grabbed my rod and proceeded to show Michael how to cast.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-7-jeff-currier-&-michaelBy lunch Steve had nothing.  Mark and I were very surprised because not only did Steve get in proper position on all the places but he made great casts.  Not to mention he’s cleaned up this week to this point.  But it wasn’t Steve’s day.  I had been observing.  Steve got tired and offered me the next spot.  I made one cast and caught this 19lb.  I was very very lucky.  The great news is I wanted to pose in a picture with Michael and a big tiger.  We got it done.

 

blog-Nov-15-2013-8-yellowfishThe rapids didn’t produce the norm for anyone.  I got my lucky giant, Oliver and John got a few in the 10-12lb range but fishing was fair compared to a usual day in the rapids.  When we arrived at the last few tigerfish pools near the truck, I put away my tigerfish 9-weight RX rig.  The 19lb was going to end it for me.  Then as I watched Steve begin to work the area I came up with an idea.  Get my 5-weight and catch a yellowfish.

 

I ran back to the truck and quickly put together my 5-weight Ross Essence.  I rigged a dry dropper outfit and hit the upper rapids.  I had very limited time but sure enough I landed a beautiful little black velvet.  My trip was done.  An absolutely incredible trip might I add!

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fear with Fly Rod in Hand

blog-Nov-14-2013-1-Jeff-Curier-Oliver-WhiteThere’s no doubt I’d love to catch a vundu on the fly.  I’ve dredged vundu waters for almost ten years now but I still haven’t had one eat my fly for sure and dang sure haven’t landed one.  With both Oliver and I more than satisfied with our tigerfishing, we went with Andrew on a “screw around” day.  What this means is we fished for odd ball species such as yellowfish, bream and dredged a certain area for vundu.

 

blog-Nov-14-2013-2-ruhudji-riverOur first stop was the mouth of smaller river.  It’s the end of dry season so this entering river was more like a feeder creek.  But there were a few deeper, almost stagnant pools that we could see from the main river.  After we scanned the area diligently and determined there weren’t any hippos and crocs to worry about we headed up the creek on foot with 5-weights.

 

We saw lots of fish.  Not sure what they were.  What all three of us are sure of however is that these mystery fish didn’t want anything to do with us.  We put various nymphs, leeches and dry flies over their heads and touched their noses but they wouldn’t eat.  Andrew thought they were types of yellowfish and bream that feed on algae.  I agree but added they were perhaps spawning making our quest virtually impossible.  We tried for these fish unsuccessfully for three hours to further our conclusion.

 

blog-Nov-14-2013-3-tigerfishNext was a tigerfish drift where and Oliver and I each landed 10lb tigerfish.  Then it was to Andrews’s vundu hole.  The vundu hole was a small sand island.  On the river side was a deep swirling back-eddy and on the opposite side a stagnant pond full of those same spawning yellowfish.  I figured this was my best chance and my last chance this trip to go hardcore for the vundu.  I went to work.

 

blog-Nov-14-2013-4-flyfishing-for-vunduMy technique was let the fly sink to the bottom then do a slow, non tiger-like strip.  Catfish are bottom feeders.  I stuck to this method for a long time. I was getting bored and eventually lost confidence.  It didn’t help that Oliver and Andrew obviously had no confidence either and weren’t fishing.  Even the boatman had an unpromising look.

 

But then it happened.  We’ve all heard about someone hooking bottom and it starts moving.  Well, for the first time ever, it happened to me.  I got the strangest thud on my fly.  It didn’t feel like bottom so I set the hook.  But it wouldn’t budge.  Like with any snag, I pulled from a few different angles.  Then I snapped a tight line at it.  But the fly was truly stuck.  I shrugged because I know breaking a snag with straight 40lb can damage your fly line, but before I had too my snag moved.  I had a vundu on!

 

You’d expect me to start doing back flips with joy but the thrill only lasted about two seconds.  Something was seriously wrong and the longer I was connected the more concerned I got.  Within a minute I knew this was either a crocodile or a fish so big he belonged in the ocean.  Whatever I was hooked to was going to win.

 

First of all, this creature wasn’t running or seeming concerned in anyway.  He started swimming in slow circles down deep.  As he swam he disturbed the bottom and there were so many bubbles and clouds of sand and mud stirring that it looked like a volcano was erupting from beneath the sea.  By now we knew it wasn’t a croc because a croc would have either taken off on a run or charged up the bank and devoured us.  This was a catfish and he had to be over 100lbs, perhaps even 200lb or more.  However large it was, we all backed up from the edge for fear it was massive walking catfish that was going to come up angry, run us down and eat us all.

 

After five minutes of pulling as hard as I could without busting my straight 40lb leader and making zero progress, the monster decided to casually wander out in the current and head downstream.  I knew if I let this happen I’d lose him and potentially my fly line, backing and perhaps my entire outfit.  So I clamped down with all my might and the end of my 300-grain fly line broke.  The party was over.

 

The six minute fly fishing battle-of-terror left us shaking.  For me, it was a relief.  I’ve never wanted a fish to go away, but I was at peace with losing this boy.  Holy crap that was a big scary fish!  My only regret, I couldn’t get him off the bottom so that we could see him.  I will wonder what I had till the day I die.

 

blog-Nov-14-2014-tigerfishingNot much else to say about today.  We caught very few fish because we only tigerfished a short period.  Nonetheless we fished hard all day, challenged ourselves and had some great non-fish-catching events.  At 4 we were two hours downstream from Ruhudji River Camp so we got comfortable, cracked Kilimanjaro’s and navigated through herds of hippos and spooked crocs all the way back.  Tomorrow is the last day and its time to treat John and Steve to the rapids.

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Back to the Ruhudji

blog-Nov-13-2013-1-Ruhudji-River-TanzaniaIt was an early morning because we switched from the Mnyera River Camp to the Ruhudji River.  The Ruhudji is where I started last week.  It’s a two hour jeep ride where you see lots of wildlife which this morning included enjoyable sightings of Lichtenstein Hartebeest and not so fun Tsetse flies.

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-2-flyfishing-for-tigerfishWhen we got there we moved into our tents then polished off the usual breakfast of boiled eggs and toast.  John and I were fishing together so he and I rigged up and went upstream with guide Mark.

 

John and I fished two days ago on the lower Mnyera.  We had a good time, how could we not, we were tigerfishing in Africa, but it was the slowest day of fishing since I’ve been here.  Today I had a good feeling that we would make up for the slow day together.

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-3-Jeff-Currier-africaWe boated up the Ruhudji for an hour then cut the motor and went right in to pounding the banks.  The tigers were on and in the first hour John and I each landed several small tigers.  I had some issues however.  Due to the exciting day in the rapids yesterday and ten other days prior, my hand has finally given in.  It’s not the muscles and tendons but rather my skin.  I don’t wear stripping gloves and yesterday my fly line burned through me once and for all.  I rigged up a bandage with Band-Aids and medical tape.  By the time I rigged up my hand I had to nap.  I found a comfy nest in the bottom of the boat and zoned out.

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-4-leaping-tigerfishSleeping in the heat of the sun takes its toll and after a half hour I sat up.  I was totally dazed and rather than jump back to casting I looked around and took a few deep breaths.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been tigerfishing for almost two weeks.  Then I heard John go tight – fish on.  My good camera was inches from me and I was able to fire away and nailed this jump shot.  One thing you should’ve gathered by now, tigers jump like no fish I’ve ever met.

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-5-John-ElgeeThis was a big tiger.  John went to work with five minutes of down and dirty, heeding to the gill rattling jumps and surges for stumps and dangling tee branches.  At least five times this special tiger came close to being netted but took off again.  Finally Mark scooped him up.  John had a 17lb monster from the Ruhudji River!

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-6-tigerfishJohn and I had a great day.  I had a bit of glory myself.  You may remember last week with Mark Del Frate when I lost three big tigerfish in a row without seeing any of them.  One thing with me is I remember locations well.  Mark took me there and this time I got them.  I’ll never be sure they were the same fish but I landed two back to back tigers over 10lbs.

 

blog-Nov-13-2013-7-Ruhudji-river-campWe’re having a heck of a week.  Although Oliver and Steve didn’t smoke them today, they caught fish and several were in that 10lb range.  We celebrated with a Ruhudji tradition of eating and drinking under moon and candle light in the sand by the river.  It really doesn’t get any better than this.

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Fly Fishing Day in Africa to Remember

blog-Nov-12-2013-1-Oliver-WhiteI’ve known Oliver White for about 15 years.  Not well however.  Oliver moved to Jackson, Wyoming and worked for the fly shop down the street from the one I managed.  He became a well known Snake River fishing guide but like most, eventually left Jackson for the “real world”.  But he hit the real world differently.  Oliver remained in the fishing business and is a managing partner in several fishing lodges in the Bahamas.  By now you may have seen Confluence Films latest, “Waypoints”.  Oliver was the star on the Venezuela segment fly fishing for payara.

 

Oliver and I have been stoked to spend some time together since he signed on to the trip.  Stoked to finally become more than acquaintances.  And no better way to do so than by sharing a fishing day that could rival most in our lives.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-2-Jeff-Currier-&-Oliver-WhiteAs you’ve seen, I try to fish with everyone on my trips.  I’ve already spent a day with Steve and John so today was with Oliver.  Today was planned as an intense day of angling, a day that involved a hike through inhospitable bush, dangerous wading and a hardcore swim under the watchful eye of crocs and hippos.  A day where hopefully, the rewards would outweigh the risks.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-3-tigerfishing-the-rapidsOur adventure took us back to the rapids.  Only today we’d tigerfish the entire rapids.  Not just one side of the river like last week, we planned to fish up one side then swim across and fished down the other.  The other side of the river has only been wade fished once before.  That’s because it’s difficult to cross the river and there is a lot more wildlife to contend with.  As you can imagine, African wildlife is the kind you don’t particularly like to walk up on while on foot.

 

Our guide was Andrew.  I introduced Andrew last week.  He’s a young 21 years yet has the most experience in the bush thanks to a dad that taught him well growing up in Zambia.  Along with us was Sven.  Sven also, being born and raised in Kenya, was a superb addition to the day’s adventure.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-4-flyfishing-for-tigerfishWe took the boat up to the base of the rapids.  The four of us climbed out while our boatman stayed behind.  At 5PM he’d have the boat ready for us on the other side of the river for our return.  We sucked down cokes and packed our waterproof day packs.  Then followed Andrew to our first fishing spot.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-5-Jeff-Currier-Andrew-Danckwert-tigerfishingWhen we got there I told Oliver to have at it.  I insisted but he insisted back, “Go for it Currier”.   What the heck, as Andrew and Sven scoped the area closely for crocodiles I ventured down the steep embankment and waded nervously to a precarious rock.  I was relieved once up on the rock although a croc could likely still ripped me down from there.  Andrew got in position to help me land a tiger and then I made a cast.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-6-Jeff-Currier-flyfishing-africaThree strips and I had a beaut.  This day has been on my mind all week and with amazing adrenalin flowing I yanked in the 10lber like he was a cutthroat trout (thanks 40lb shock tippet!).  Without hesitation I launched another cast and in two more strips I had a much bigger tiger.  I brutalized this pig as well only just as Andrew went to net him my hook broke.  The tigerfish have bit through two saltwater hooks this week.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-7-Jeff-Currier-tigerfishMy third fish came after about five more casts.  This one was another dandy and I got him to the net.  Another common occurrence is that after these big tigers are in the net, they chew through and run off again with your line now through the tattered net.  Sure enough this had to happen and Andrew and I had a laugher of a rodeo.  Between the two of us we finally corralled the trophy, photographed and released him.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-8-Oliver-White-&-Andrew-DanckwertsAfter my exciting start it was Oliver’s turn.  Surprisingly the first couple spots he tried went fishless.  Tigerfishing is weird in that just because one place is on fire, doesn’t meant they all are.  Eventually we were in the exact spot that I caught the monster in the movie “Connect”.  I recommended that Oliver cast and hang on tight.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-9-Oliver-WhiteIt’s a good thing he held on tight.  The “Connect” pool was smoking.  Oliver stuck and lost a couple fish then landed a 16lber.  I stepped in and got a 12lber.  But when Oliver stepped back up one of the most amazing fly fishing events of the trip would unfold.  Oliver hooked a vundu!

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-10-flyfishing-for-vunduThe most well known characteristic about vundu is their power.  I’ve felt it twice in my life, once in Egypt and yesterday slinging bait on the lower river.  Vundu are so strong it’s frightening when their connected to you and your equipment.  Oliver’s vundu hit with such power that our first thought was he’d hooked a crocodile.  But Andrew was quick to identify the explosion and yelled, “VUNDU”!

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-11-flyfishing-for-vunduI and Sven nearly jumped out of our skin.  Honestly, crocodile crossed my mind and I thought someone was about to get munched.  I was relieved when Andrew identified the chaos as a vundu.  By now, ten seconds into the fight the vundu was pilfering backing upstream at an outrageous pace.  Upstream is the key, in the rapids if this dude went downstream it would have been all over in an instant, but this was the miracle vundu.  A vundu meant to be caught on the fly rod.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-12-flyfishing-for-vunduAfter a exhilarating 200yd run upstream, the vundu stopped and showed signs of tiring.  One thing about catfish is they are strong to start, in fact in this case like a jet taking off, but then they lose the stamina fast.  Once the big vundu stopped his upstream run Oliver started cranking him in.  There was still plenty of weight there but the fight for the most part was over.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-13-african-vundu-catfishOnce the fish was close there remained danger of losing him down the rapids.  It wasn’t the fight of the hefty cat we worried about it was the fact that the dead weight of the fish could easily catch a ride in the current and head downstream anyway.  If that happened he was a goner.  Oliver knew exactly the dilemma and wisely backed upstream and rather than fight the fish, he steered him into a back eddy without letting out any more line.  Andrew grabbed the vundu by the mouth using a cotton rag.  The immense vundu was landed!

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-14-jeff-currier-oliver-white-Andrew-DanckwertsWe must have photographed the spectacle of a fish for fifteen minutes.  We’d click away then look at him.  His adipose fin amazed me because it was the size of a canoe paddle.  The vundu is about as cool a fish as you can catch.  We posed with the beautiful cat many ways but this is my favorite shot.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-15-Vundu-on-the-flyIt was hard to move on after that fish.  I believe we broke out some more cokes and a little lunch before continuing our journey upstream.  I’m not even sure if we landed more tigers right after lunch.  We probably did but we continued to relive the vundu experience.  Finally that came to an end when it was time to cross the river, the rapids that is.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-16-tigerfishingThe river was flowing a bit higher and faster than Andrew expected.  We rock hopped around the rapids looking for the shortest route to cross but there wasn’t a good option.  Andrew found an acceptable spot for a test run, but in testing it he got swept away and his only escape was to continue to the other bank.  It wasn’t pretty but he made it.

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-17-Jeff-Currier-swimming-for-tigerfishAndrew shouted, “Don’t do it!”  We couldn’t hear the words with the roaring rapids but we read his lips.  I looked at Oliver and Sven and we read each others mind.  We too had to cross now or never.  Without thinking about the two crocs we could see in the pool below I dove in and with my rod in my left hand and my backpack rolled up tight, I swam my ass off.  Being a little guy I got swept downstream badly but Andrew waded out and reached my way.  Purely by miracle I grabbed on and we both slipped our way to safety.

 

Next was Oliver.  He took exactly the same approach and he too got retrieved by Andrew.  Last came Sven like he’d done this before.  Man it would be nice to be 26 again!

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-18-Jeff-Currier-tigerfishingWe looked like four drown rats.  But we made it to the unfished side of the rapids and we were about to experience perhaps the greatest tigerfishing fly fishers have ever experienced.  Oliver and I landed five more large tigerfish, four at 16lb and my last of the day, a 17lb fish that when he jumped resembled a fuming tarpon on a shallow flat.  I hate it when this term is over used, but today was EPIC!

 

blog-Nov-12-2013-19-elephantsAs always we were later to the boat then we should have been.  Our boatman was there taking a nice nap.  If only he knew what we’d experienced today.  On the way back one more magnificent event happened.  We came up on a herd of elephants drinking, whole families from huge tusked bulls to babies.  Today will always be remembered as one of my top fishing days in Africa.

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Tough Tigers, Rare Owls & Catfish

blog-Nov-11-2013-1-African-storksAfter yesterdays epic day of fishing, any experienced angler would be suspicious that today might stink.  Furthermore, our beat today was the lower Mnyera River, the section where we had our worst fishing day last week.  We’re mixing up fishing partners every day and today I was with John Elgee and guide Sven.

 

blog-Nov-11-2013-2-John-Elgee-tigerfishingAs always we blasted out of the gates early.  I’ve never been anywhere in my life that provides as much fishing time as they do here at Tourette’s tigerfishing operation.  We hit the water at 6 AM everyday and we don’t get back until dark which is about 7.  If you’re hardcore, this is the place.  John Elgee is hardcore.  But unfortunately an hour into the morning Johns casting hand literally caused him so much pain he had to stop.  It’s a common thing when chucking heavy weight rods and stripping big flies fast all day, day after day.  John popped some pain relief and luckily by late afternoon he was back in biz.

 

John couldn’t have picked a better day to rest his casting arm.  I fished from the front of the boat for the entire morning relentlessly.  I haven’t had a full session up front all trip so I went crazy.  The results, three tiny tigers, the smallest ones of the trip.  Fishing was brutal.  However, a special sighting occurred.  Most of you know by now that I’m into birds. Today I knocked off one of the rarest and neatest of all.  We spooked a Pel’s fishing owl that was hunkered down in some overhanging shrubbery and he flew along with us for a few minutes.  The Pel’s is a wild looking owl, orangish/rust colored that feeds like an osprey.  He’s the only fish hunting owl on the planet.

 

blog-Nov-11-2013-3-vundu-fishingThe crappy morning of fishing wasn’t just John, Sven and I.  Steve and Oliver were with Greg and they too had about nothing.  We enjoyed a long relaxing lunch in the shade then decided after lunch we’d dunk some Cape buffalo meat for vundu.  For the next four hours we relaxed and clenched our 9-weights as our bait covered tigerfish flies rested on the bottom.

 

blog-Nov-11-2013-4-vundu-fishingYou’d think bait would get picked up fast here.  But it wasn’t until three hours into it in the fifth spot that a large fish found my bait.  It happened fast and whatever it was, most likely a large vundu catfish, cleaned my clock in less than a minute.  The angry fish took off downstream at an unstoppable pace despite my Ross F1 Reel being cranked as tight as possible.  As he headed for the roots of a tree I attempted to stop the spool from spinning with my hands.  It turned into a real knuckle banger.  For the most part I couldn’t hold on and once I did, the fish towed the entire boat along.  When he reached his tree-root-fortress I was down to the last coils of backing. Naturally we reeled ourselves down to the spot and fiddled around but it was hopeless.  The fish took my line around about forty different logs, rocks and roots.  We broke him off.

 

blog-Nov-11-2013-5-Oliver-White-sharptooth-catfishThe verdict from the other guys was a 24lb African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) on Oliver’s 12-weight.  The sharptooth is one of the most common of Africa.  Granny and I have caught them on fly in the Okavango Delta during the famous catfish run.  We brought the cat back to camp.  The boatmen took most of the delicious meat however we got a fair amount with dinner as well.

 

blog-Nov-11-2013-6-flyfishing-for-tigerfishIt was a tough day of fishing yet we had some great experiences nonetheless.  We ended the day with John back in action and he landed about five tigers from a specific area.  None broke the 10lb mark but all a solid 6-9lbs.  This place is incredible!

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Wake Up Call from a Crocodile

blog-Nov-10-2013-1-african-tigerfishAfter Steve landed his first tigerfish last night, a 13lber, I made it clear that this huge fish was not the norm.  I didn’t want him to expect such incredible fish all week.  That’s never a good thing.  But after his second fish he must have thought I was joking with him.

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-2-flyfishing-for-tigerfishSteve and I went out with guide Mark Murray and being that the Bus Stop produced last night we hit it again first thing this morning.  Like last night I kicked back and let Steve get the first few swings through the hole.  Lo and behold he got grabbed by another beast.  Steve’s second tigerfish was 16lbs!

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-3-Jeff-Currier-Steve-Reem-tigerfishingTwo hook ups and two big fish, that’s nothing but good news for me, the guides and Tourette Fishing, because now I can fish my butt off with Steve and no matter how Steve’s fishing is from this point on, his trip is a huge success!

 

The reality is that fishing has gone from decent to outstanding in the last 48 hours.  Last week was undoubtedly good but the results today were shocking.  The end tally for today were a 10lb, 13lb and 14lb for me along with eight others just under 10lbs.  Steve laid into a 17lb in the afternoon and Oliver and John landed an 11lb, 13lb and a monstrosity of a tiger, 19lbs!

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-4-African-watersnakeThere was some extra excitement today as well. The first was simply an encounter with one of the neatest snakes I’ve ever seen.  This part of Africa is loaded with snakes and that includes some deadly ones such as the black mamba and the spitting cobra.  Luckily the snake we found today was a green water snake.  The rascal barely reaches two feet and this guy was a mere 15”.  I spotted him crossing the river while casting from a beach (a safe distance from the edge of deep water because of crocs).  I was able to set down my rod and wait for him to arrive on my bank.

 

Naturally when he saw me he spooked and dove deep and I lost him.  I waited and waited thinking he had to come up.  Just as I gave up to go back to casting I noticed a suspicious leaf and piece of grass floating down.  It wasn’t grass; my little water snake was mimicking the grass.  Very good hide job I must say.

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-5-tigerfishingThe second bit of excitement is less fun to talk about.  While I was out of the boat casting from a sandbar, Steve and Mark had the boat up on another sandbar.  Steve was in the boat casting and Mark was sitting on the side with his feet in the sand watching.  Steve hooked into his hefty 17lb tiger and the fight ensued.

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-6-flyfishing-tigerfishWith any big fish, the hardest part of the battle occurs at the end next to the net.  It was especially hard at the end of this fight because Steve was hoisting the panicked fish from the deep water up on to the shallows of the sandbar.  Every time he got him up, the fish pealed off back to the deep.  Mark instinctively went to the edge of the sandbar to net the fish.  Bad move.  Just as he netted the 17lb tigerfish an enormous crocodile lunged from the deep.  It looked like the crock was trying for Mark and didn’t seem to miss by much.  Realistically, Mark was in such a precarious place that if the crock was after him he’d of got him.  I’m sure it was after the tigerfish.

 

blog-Nov-10-2013-7-tigerfishing-steve-reemIt was a terrifying moment that could have easily ended horrifically.  All of us were shaken and Mark, who collapsed in the boat with a net full of tigerfish on top of him, walked up to land and went into state of shock.  There will be no more chances taken for years to come – guaranteed.

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Change Over Day at Tengo Tigerfish Camp

blog-Nov-9-2013-1-tigerfishingToday was the end of the week for my first hosted group.  Don, Linda and Mark boarded the charter for civilization at 11 AM and my second group of Steve Reem, John Elgee and Oliver White arrived.  Naturally these guys were beat after forty hours of travel from the states.  I helped them unpack their gear then we had some lunch.  The routine after lunch is a couple hours rest then head out for an evening on the water.  Today we missed the rest part.

 

blog-Nov-9-2013-2-tengo-tigerfish-campAfter the last bite of lunch we smelled smoke.  Then we heard the loud popping of burning brush.  A fire was close and strong wind had the blaze moving fast.  Unfortunately camp was directly in its path.

 

Camp hosts and employees never want guests to panic.  The guides played it off like the fire was no big deal.  But I could tell.  This fire was close and it was time for my group to pack up their stuff and be ready.  If you’re prepared, luck usually ends in your favor.  It was certainly a hassle for the guys to repack an hour after unpacking, but because we were prepared the winds changed direction.  The fire headed off away from camp.

 

blog-Nov-9-2013-3-flyfishing-for-tigerfishAt 5 PM we hit the water so the new group could get their feet wet and be ready for the full day tomorrow.  I fished with Steve Reem and will do a full day with him tomorrow.  We went upstream from camp a mere three bends to a place called the Bus Stop.  I watched as Steve pulled out 60ft of line and launched it.  He’s going to do just fine this week.  We were anchored and for about a half hour Steve made a series of blind casts and swings through the depths.  Then he got ripped.

 

I was so busy chatting with Steve I forgot he was fishing.  Then a huge fish hit the air next to the boat.  Steve’s first tigerfish was huge!

 

blog-Nov-9-2013-4-Steve-Reem-tigerfishingI love watching folks fight their first tiger.  The power amazes them.  Tigers are as strong as most saltwater fish.  Steve has the salt experience and did a great job taming his first.  He brought the toothy fish to net in less than five minutes.  The gorgeous African game fish was 13lbs.  Just so Steve wouldn’t be jaded by this first fish, I made it very clear that this was not the norm.  I believe he’s convinced by the amount of pictures Mark and I took.

 

blog-Nov-9-2013-5-Tanzanian-sunsetIt appears I have another great group.  We had a lot of fun around the dinner table with beers and wine.  This should be a fun week.  I made sure to nail a tiger of my own tonight and therefore I now have caught a tigerfish seven days in a row.

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Hippos, Crocs, Big Tigers & “Waypoints”

blog-Nov-8-2013-1-Sven-Verwiel-guidingHow time flies – today was the last day of week one.  You wait and plan for a year and then the trip itself goes past in a blink of an eye.  The good news is it’s been a great one for everyone and we ended big with solid action, hamburgers and the premiere of “Waypoints”.

 

Don and I fished with Tourette’s fourth guide, Sven Verwiel.  Sven is a young Dutch man born and raised in Kenya.  Like Mark, Andrew and Greg, Sven’s guiding skills and knowledge of the African bush are no less than impressive.

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-2-Nile-crocodileWe began our day with a little chaos.  Just upstream of camp is a high beach that’s covered with crocodiles in the morning.  The boat spooks them and one by one they crash to the water off the high bank.  It was our intention to go a little closer than normal for some pictures.  We got close all right.  One of the crocks took the shallow route and unintentionally collided with our boat.  Scary stuff not only for me because he hit where I was sitting, but I’m sure that poor 12 foot crock shit a brick!

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-3-hippopotamusNot far from there lives a colony of hippos.  It’s a terrific tigerfish spot that’s rarely fished because of the hippos.  We lucked out, the hippos were downstream a ways and we anchored up and swung our flies through.  The results were incredible.  Don and I landed a 12lb and a 13lb, two 8lb fish and jumped a handful of others. Then in our next spot I crushed a fat boy 14lb giant.

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-4-Jeff-Currier-tigerfishing-TanzaniaThe last day puts you on the middle beat of the Mnyera River which means you fish near camp all day.  Instead of lunch on the river we had the luxury of lunch in camp.  And they celebrate our trip with a special lunch of hamburgers and French fries.

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-5-Don-Rose-tigerfishingThe afternoon session would be Dons time.  I’m here another week and remarkably my shoulder is feeling better.  I’d like to keep it that way so I kicked back, drank bottled cokes and watched Don go.  Don caught six more tigers including a 10lb and a 12lber.  Today’s fishing was no less than blockbuster – and Donald – what’s it like to have this week as your first international fishing trip?  UNREAL!

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-6-Tengo-tigerfish-campIt’s November 8th and therefore a special occasion took place after dinner, the premiere of Confluence Films fourth movie, “Waypoints”.  The premiere takes place worldwide today and all ticket sales generated are donated to fish conservation.

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-7-confluence-films-waypointsThere were no tickets needed for tonight’s special showing.  I brought a sample copy of “Waypoints” that I received a few days before departure.  After dinner we slipped the DVD in Marks laptop and about a dozen of us hovered around the tiny screen.  Unless the showing in Johannesburg, South Africa started before us, we were the first showing in the world.

 

blog-Nov-8-2013-8-confluence-films-waypoints-africaIf you don’t get to see the movie today, keep an eye as it will likely show at a theater near you soon.  And if you want to be sure not to miss it, Contact Me when I return as I should have a box full to sell when I get home.  The movie was fantastic!

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Toothless Tiger

blog-Nov-7-2013-1-flyfishing-for-tigerfishToday was back in the boat with Mark Del Frate.  Mark and I fished together earlier this week over on the Ruhudji.  You may remember we worked very hard for just couple nice fish.  We hoped today would be a better one.

 

We left camp very early with guide Greg.  We were on the water heading to the lower beat of the Mnyera River before 6 AM.  Mark is still suffering from side effects from his malaria medicine however he’s not letting it keep him from casting.

 

The weather has turned for the good.  This was the first day that we didn’t have threatening clouds in every direction.  In fact the skies were blue in every direction and once the sun was up temps began to roast us.  It was the kind of day where you constantly dip your hat and buff in the river then put them back on wet.

 

blog-Nov-7-2013-2-flyfishing-for-tigerfishUnfortunately fishing was slow – extremely slow to be exact.  Both Mark and I fished relentlessly in all of Greg’s proven spots but there was no one home.  At last Mark hooked up.  It was a typical fishy spot where a deep trough dug out under a huge leaning sausage tree.  He cast above the structure then let his fly catch the current under it and stripped hard.  An astronomical tiger hit him and jumped and the fight ensued.  Mark survived two major runs but as he hoisted the fish towards the net he jumped and thrashed and I watched his fly separate.  Our slow day of angling would’ve been long forgotten had we landed this tiger.

 

blog-Nov-7-2013-3-Jeff-Currier-tigerfishingWe went another two hours without a fish sighting.  Then one lucky cast and wham.  I was hooked up to my usual unusual non jumping tiger. It’s so rare that they don’t jump but I’ve had a few like this.  Luckily, this time the fish stayed buttoned and I landed this 12lber.

 

blog-Nov-7-2013-4-Jeff-Currier-fishing-for-vunduLunch with Linda and Don and their guide Sven was another kick back and relax to hope the afternoon would bring better luck.  Sure, I caught a 12lber and Mark nearly landed a giant but here fishing is often far better.  After a nice lunch we decided to rest our tigerfish casting arms and sling bait on our 9-weights in hopes to catch a vundu, the African catfish.

 

blog-Nov-7-2013-5-Kilamajaro-beerEven bait fishing for vundu was deadsville.  We kicked back and sipped some local Kilimanjaro Beer like pro catfish anglers but we didn’t even get a touch.  After two hours of this it was back to the tigers.

 

blog-Nov-7-2013-6-tigerfish-shedding-teethWe caught only one more tigerfish before completing the day.  I caught him right at sunset.  I wanted to photograph him as a silhouette against the sunset.  I pulled my camera and looked through the lens.  Greg held him just right then he and Mark started chuckling.  “What”, I asked?

 

My tigerfish had not teeth!  You learn something every day.  Tigerfish shed their teeth several times during their lives – so they think.  This crazy tiger need some dentures.  For his sake, I hope the new ones grow in soon.  Time for the frogs to sing me to sleep. . . .

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Charging Hippos & Leaping Tigerfish

blog-Nov-6-2013-1-Tanzanian-sunriseIt rained hard at 3 AM.  The wind howled and our tent shook and flapped as if things were about to hit the fan like in India last May.  Luckily, the mini storm was short lived and when I headed for coffee at 5:15 only a few puffy clouds lingered.  Looks like we dodged a bullet.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-2-African-tree-frogI didn’t sleep well.  The sounds of Africa lingered all night starting with the frogs in our tent.  Seriously, when our frogs went off, which were two minute sessions at least once every ten minutes, you couldn’t hear anything but them.  Their chirps were piercing.  When they went silent many sounds echoed from the other side of the Mnyera River such as the eerie howl of a spotted hyena, a bushbuck barking likely because of the presence of a leopard, fighting hippos and a destructive herd of elephant that were snapping trees that would take me ten minutes to cut with a chainsaw.  Then the rain – I didn’t sleep at all.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-3-Greg-GhauiNonetheless we were on the river at 6 AM with another excellent member of the Tourette guide staff, Greg Ghaui.  This is Greg’s second full year and he intends to be here for many years to come as he completely recognizes this is the finest tigerfishing.  Greg is nearly local as he’s born and raised in Iringa, Tanzania.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-4-hippopotamusWe drove the boat up to the base of the rapids that we waded yesterday.  The boat ride includes lots of animals starting with numerous crocodiles and angry hippos.  Hippos are extremely dangerous and on the Mnyera we deal with them several times each day.  They are territorial and make a hobby of knocking over boats and even biting them in half.  Our guides and boatmen are experts in dealing with the hippos.  Don and I just sit in the bottom of the boat and hold on when we pass them.  So far so good, however you can see this hippo picking up steam as he chased our boat through a narrow gap.  Our boatman Dennis was so scared he drove us straight into a log but luckily we didn’t flip (Dennis was nearly killed by a hippo in 2010).

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-5-tigerfishWe anchored up at the base of the rapids and Don fished right I fished left.  We both scored big here landing a 10lb and a 12lb and dropping two others.  Then we moved down slowly casting to the bank as Greg maneuvered us with his pole.  Then we’d anchor again.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-6-tigerfish-flyTigerfish action was red hot.  My luck was not.  In one of Greg’s top spots I hooked a monster.  A monster that stole all my line and 50 feet of backing before I stopped him.  Then I bullied him to the boat and just as we were about to get a first glimpse something broke.  It wasn’t any of my connections, it was the hook.  My rugged tarpon hook fly snapped where we crimped the barb.  Bad luck.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-7-Don-Rose-tigerfishingThat beast that we never saw wouldn’t be my only lost monster.  I hooked and dropped two others during the day.  Other than the 12lber on cast one at our first stop, I’d only land another fish all day that was a mere 6lb.  My man Don on the other hand is making me proud.  Don didn’t get any big dudes but he picked up four respectable fish in the 7-9lb range and he caught them all by casting like a champ.

 

blog-Nov-6-2013-8-Linda-Newquist-16lb-tigerfishThe big news for the day is that Linda landed this girthy 16lber.  Any time someone breaks the 15lb barrier it’s a true monster.  Their here, the best fly for them is the fly that’s in the water.  Nap time!

 

For information about this incredible trip feel free to CONTACT ME.

 

Be sure and visit Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa.

 

And ask about my future hosted trips through Yellow Dog FlyFishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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