Africa is a Fragile Place

by | Mar 8, 2019 | africa, Niger barb | 2 comments

tourette-fishing-cameroonIt wasn’t just me moving slow on the morning of day 4 here in Cameroon.  I got up around 7 and most of the guys didn’t make the coffee pot before 8.  We’ve been running hard long days from 8 AM till midnight almost every day.  Toss in the 100° temps and the rugged terrain we’ve been fishing over, and bodies are fatigued.



We would soon be wide awake however when we arrived at the morning fishing spot.  Bebe disappeared into the bush ahead of our slow moving truck to scan for fish poachers and miners. It turns out there were some fishing poachers tending to their nets.  The anti- poaching team let off two warning shots that had the trespassers heading back out of the concession.



After it was declared that the illegal subsistence fishermen were off the water, we rigged our gear.  Bebe and his friend headed out to make sure the illegal fishermen kept on moving.  A half hour later when we were making our first casts we heard a few more distant warning shots.  Stu and Greg assured us right away that all was in order.



It takes guts for the anti-poaching teams to head into the bush after illegal fishermen.  But Bebe and his crew are professional and have been doing this for years– serious dedication.  When they returned there was a towering smoke puff behind them.  They had found the illegal fishing camp, and burnt it down. Another anti-poaching success, which would not be possible without support from anglers such as ourselves.


illegal-fish-nettingAnd the boys weren’t done there either.  The next step was to find and retract every set net.  It was a chore but Bebe and his friends yanked every net and chopped them up with their knives.  It took them all three hours of our fishing session but when they were done, the fishing poachers lost a heap of nets and whatever they left behind at camp was a smoldering mess.  Wow!


brycinus nurseOur fishing was poor.  Only a few tiny tigerfish were caught along with the mini barbs.  No doubt the netters had been here awhile and the damage was done.  It just goes to show how fragile the African environment really is.


Brian-Griffith-fishing-cameroonInstead of lunch in the bush we returned to camp where the Tourette boys filed a complete report of the illegal doings to the army back in Garoua.  At around 2 we returned to the water at a different area for a full on afternoon pursuit of Niger barbs.



photo by Tourette Fishing

The new spot was fantastic.  I got into a few nice barbs.  Nick worked his camera like magic.  One of the barbs I caught was pretty nice and Nick shot photos of the gorgeous yellowfish at every angle imaginable.


Niger-barbI’m getting the knack for the barbs.  Yesterday I watched several hit my nymph and spit it out so fast it was unreal.  Their take reminds me of the way European grayling grab a fly and spit it before you ever know it happens.  With this type of eat the dry dropper system isn’t the best because by the time the dry goes down it’s too late.  Now I’m fishing two nymphs Euro style and my hook up rate has gone up.


Jako-Lucas-Jeff-CurrierNile perch time came fast.  Soon I was standing on a rock rigging my 12-weight for the jumbo fish.  The guys were doing the same but Jako got sidetracked by a steadily rising fish out from his rock.  He cast a dry on his 5-weight and caught this beautiful large scale tetra.  This fish would drive a high price at an aquarium store back in the states!


It should be noted that Jako is a fellow Yellow Dog Ambassador.  He’s also a terrific photographer and annually contributes top films in the Fly Fishing Film festivals.  Check out his Capt. Jack Productions website and surely you will know his works.  It’s really a pleasure to have he and Nick along on this journey.


fishing-and-hipposOur perch spot was more dangerous than other nights.  It was full of hippos and these hippos were moving around.  If you’re up on the rocks like we always are at night, we’re safe.  While hippos can catch you on a gentle slopping beach they can’t navigate their monster bodies up on the rocks.  Nonetheless, it’s a bit unnerving when an agitated one rears his head and shows his teeth within your casting range.


Jeff-Currier-Nile-perchIt was another slow night with the perch.  Brian caught three little ones before dark but there was only one hook up with a good fish.  And it was me and I screwed up.


It was at 9:30, after three hours of unrewarded casting.  I was closest to the truck so I kept fishing while the other guys were reeling in and moving my way.  Jako and Stu were right behind me and I said, “I see you guys are ready so I’ll make this my last cast.”  Then wham!


fishing-Faro-RiverI was sitting down on my rock for this hook up and from this position I got a few good strips.  Then the fish came tight and started his run.  I reached down with my left hand to push off a rock to stand up and take my fighting position and get ready to chase.  When I did this, the line slipped loose from under my trigger finger on my right hand.  Disaster!  The fish went slack because I lost control and with a barbless hook he was gone before I got tight again.  Three hours of relentless casting the 12-weight and when given a chance I blew it.  Blame it on exhaustion.  ****!


That was it for the night.  In hindsight with that hook up we all should’ve started fishing again, but it’s not just me that’s tired.  We all are and instead of fishing more we returned to camp.  We just finished an interesting yet tasty dinner of cabbage rapped mincemeat.  Its midnight again.  Bedtime.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Mark Cooper

    wow, tough heat and great reading buddy appreciate you sharing….feels like we’re there. Lots of danger and intrigue for a few fish….BUT ya never know when the trophy hits, LOL…..been there so had to laugh with you!

  2. Jeff

    Thanks for reading Mark!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!