After 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.
As 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.
The 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.
You’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.
The 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.
It 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.