GABON – SEASON 2019: Fly Fishing Exploratory
GABON TWO WEEK FLY FISHING EXPLORATORY REPORT:
The estuary mouth area produced some good cubera snapper, senegalese kob, big jacks, barracuda, and a really decent sized threadfin. Some really big tarpon were also hooked on fly, but unfortunately managed to get away every time. The mid and lower sections of the lagoon fished exceptionally well and guests were treated to some really good longfin jack action along with great numbers of juvenile snapper in the mangroves.
Towards the end of the second week, we explored the lagoon some more, fishing deeper areas over rocks and submerged structure for snapper with sinking and intermediate lines. Some of the areas produced some cracking snapper, and even bigger ones that ripped our tackle to shreds. In between all of this action, we had a couple days with favourable tides allowing us to explore some of the small blind lagoons scattered along the coastline of the park. Despite some incredibly big crocodiles and soft shelled turtles, we also found a number of juvenile tarpon along with snapper, and an array of other smaller species. But to top this off, the game viewing in this area was mind-blowing. We stumbled across lowland gorillas right on the edge of the beach twice, plus some excellent sightings of the elusive red river hogs. During the dry season they come down to the beach and dig for crabs below the high tide mark. On top of this we also saw herds of forest buffalo and the odd forest elephant. So even if we didn’t find any fish, just the game sightings on its own made the journey more than worthwhile. Just out of interest, we installed some camera traps around the camp area, just to see what was lurking around when no one was looking. Some of the clips captured included a big male leopard, red river hogs, forest elephant, crowned eagle, palm-nut vulture, water mongoose and even an elusive white-crowned tiger heron catching a catfish out of a small pond.
We also did some night time walks and had excellent sightings of several water chevrotain which are normally extremely hard to see. We also saw blue duiker, palm civet, various galagos, servaline genet, water mongoose, forest buffalo, forest elephant, forest cobra, Hartlaub’s duck, vermiculated and Pel’s fishing owls, bat-hawks, and an array of different amphibians and insects.
After the two week exploratory stint with the guests, we carried on exploring further afield, and tested some completely new waters. Fishing areas 25 to 30km upstream from the estuary mouth we found some fantastic rocky drop-offs, points, shelves, ledges, and steep banks. These areas took a bit of time to work out, but once we had a handle on some of these areas, they produced exciting snapper action with fish up to 10kg, as well as some big barracuda. The fishing was very similar in terms of intensity and technical ability as one would experience when fishing for Nuiginni bass. But on top of this, the amount of primate and birdlife was just mind-blowing. We were often completely engulfed by the wildlife sounds and this made for a one-of-a-kind experience.
We are excited to try some of these new found areas throughout our fishing season, so stay tuned for more updates.
Till next time