Fly Fishing for Tetras in Cameroon

by | Mar 7, 2019 | fly fishing for tetras in Cameroon

Tourette-Fishing-CameroonIts only day 3 but the wear and tear on the body has begun to rear its ugly head.  I’m sore from the hips down from traversing rocks.  I also have a nice slice in my palm.  It must have come during fighting perch last night.  I’ll live but damn it’s sore.  Nonetheless, it was a fabulous morning here in Cameroon Nile perch camp with coffee and my laptop.  I thoroughly enjoy recapturing moments like last night’s Nile perch through writing my blog.


flyfishing-cameroonI haven’t mentioned it but we have some locals with us each day.  One of them, Bebe, carries a big rifle and before the truck stops for fishing he jumps out and runs through the scrub ahead of us for a view of the river before we get there.  He’s looking to spot fleeing poachers and illegal gold miners.  Obviously poaching has destroyed much of Africa’s wildlife.  And mining has taken several once great Nile perch rivers already.  Cameroon makes a huge effort to prevent damage from either.


I’m not sure what Bebe does when he sees illegal fish poachers, however from experience from other parts of Africa, the consistent and visual aspect of an anti-poaching team is the key to success and this team on the river is doing its best to keep the constant vigilance.  Its all part of the trip.  This is why I’m here.  I love this stuff!


Jeff-Currier-hipposWe didn’t drive far this morning.  Once at the fishing spot I lingered behind the group with a plan to fish slower and to take a serious poke nymphing.  There’s more fish here than the barbs, tigers and perch.  There are several Labeo species and tetras.  My thought was dredge deep with some Euro nymphing tactics and see if I can come up with something special.  The only problem however is that fishing alone means dealing with hippos alone.  The first spot I chose was already taken!


CameroonLuckily on a Tourette fishing trip you’re never alone.  As I eased away from the hippos a figure was watching everything from a rock above.  Sure enough it was Bebe.  If I was to do anything stupid like not see the hippos soon enough or just plain get too close, Bebe was there.






The next run I came too was faster and there were no hippos.  I had my 6-weight Air rigged with a heavy tungsten Prince nymph on my point and a smaller pheasant tail as my dropper.  I was feeling confident and stuck a Niger barb on my second cast.  But it was a bit further up the pool that I hooked something different.  Although I caught a few tiny ones yesterday, this is my first Giant African large scale tetra (Brycinus macrolepidotus).



photo by Tourette Fishing

The fast and furious start slowed quickly.  The next set of pools were ones the guys had already fished ahead of me.  At home, trout on our heavily fished rivers are used to people and you can rest a spot for ten minutes and its good.  But here, where fish never see a human, they hide for a long time after molested.  Instead of fishing I headed upstream to see how the guys were doing.  I was just in time to enjoy watching Brian catch a beautiful Niger barb.


Nile-perch-fishingThere was some excitement when I caught up with Jako and Nick.  Jako had a sizeable Niger barb on and it was eaten by a large Nile perch.  Jako was doing his best to keep the perch on but eventually the massive jaws let go and the perch disappeared back to the deep.  Jako made numerous casts with his perch rod after but once these huge predators taste a real fish, it’s hard to get them to be dumb enough to eat a fly.


Stu-Harley-fishing-guideIt seems to be getting hotter each day.  At 3 we ran for the shade and lunch.  We have chairs and coolers full of cold drinks and food.  The guides made us the mincemeat subs and after polishing one off even I rested until the perch hour.






The evening Nile perch fishing was heavily anticipated after the action Jako and I had last night.  Everyone was spirting with confidence.  I checked my entire fly line for nicks then changed my leader.  I went as far as to touch up the points on all my flies with my hook sharpener.


cameroon-fishing-jeff-currierWe all took our pools and went to work.  I had a high rock to cast from with a little side channel dumping in some fast water.  It looked fantastic and I felt like every cast was going to bring me a fish through the first two hours.  But then in the pitch dark the confidence dwindled – especially because amongst the four of us fishing, not a strike was to be had.


The evening would end fishless.  That’s fishing.  At 9 PM we packed it up and made the long drive back to camp.  We made it fun tonight however and made it a two beer night drive.  Time for bed after this delicious kob steak dinner!


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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!