There are few fantastic easy-to-get-to fishing destinations these days – particularly when it comes to saltwater fly fishing. Its Wednesday night in west Africa and I’m in Port Gentil, Gabon on the way to fishing Sette Cama Camp with my friends of Tourette Fishing. I won’t make my first cast until tomorrow afternoon yet it’s now been about 50 hours since I left the driveway in Victor, Idaho. Man it’s a long haul! But Gabon has been on my radar because its home to the giant African threadfin.
The giant African threadfin is a fish hard to describe. He’s nothing like the name sounds or anything like a threadfin shad of North America. For now, you need to click on the link provided for a picture. Hopefully by the end of this trip I’ll be posing with one on the blog.
Threadfin are not easy to catch. My Tourette friends have been fishing Sette Cama Camp for several years but rarely with fly. They offer spin fishing trips and generally catch lots of jack crevalle, longfin jack, cubera snapper and also tarpon. But the threadfins randomly show up and a few are caught each week. Although a few have been taken on the fly, it’s not normal that they are targeted this way.
Friend Rob Scott is one of the owners of Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa. Rob and I talked about the potential of a fly only trip to Gabon several times over the years but he felt the surf and wind on average are simply too big to reach the fish with flies. But while with Rob in Lesotho back in November we talked more and he shared some good news – 2016 was the year he was willing to send a group of experienced fly only guys.
I learned from Rob shortly after our chat of the dates and finagled it into my jam packed schedule. While most of the other anglers are friends from South Africa, I was able to invite my friend Mike LaSota to be my partner. Mike and I have been friends for over 20 years and fished my home waters together forever. We’ve done a few exotics as well including last April in Sudan.
Mike and I relaxed at the Hotel Tropicana all day. Gabon is seven hours ahead of Idaho. The long flight and time change stress the body. At 6 PM the South Africans arrived in Libreville and after they cleared customs we boarded a one-hour flight from Libreville to Port Gentil. We just finished dinner and beers and we’ll catch yet another flight in the morning to a place called Gamba. From there we take a one and half hour boat ride to Sette Cama Camp. If all goes well, I’ll be making my first cast late tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned. . . . . .