Makhangoa Community Camp: 3 – 7 March 2016

It was an unusual trip for Ewan, Sandro, Roberto, Graham, Duncan and Mike. Firstly it was not their annual trip with Tourette Fishing in the swamps of Botswana, and secondly the long awaited rains had come just as they arrived and forcing nearly all the Yellows out of the system, and just to make things even more interesting there were some injuries in camp!

Stu was up in the hills with the trekking group so Lionel came in to assist with the week’s guiding. The first day was spent working beat one all the way from the footbridge back to camp. Despite our best efforts the Yellows proved to be just a little too tough to come to the net. Lionel arrived with a badly infected spider bite that was getting worse by the day. Doc Graham was on hand to do a bush-operation in the man cave on the kitchen counter. With a blade, some local anesthetic and a pair of forceps Graham fixed Lionel’s hand good enough clear up the worst of the mess. The doctor advised Lionel to go home the following day to get some much needed antibiotics and proper treatment.

Early the following morning we woke to the sound of a gentle drizzle. This rain proceeded to fall up in the entire catchment and I was left with a camp full of clients, a dirty river and my fellow guide in need of some serious medical attention. Lionel headed back home, against his will of course, but with good reason. Needless to say, the fishing was not “on” but these gents came well prepared, with enough Grapa to sedate a bull elephant. We stuck it out in the man cave in the hope that the water would clear enough to get some fishing done. In the end the weather had the final say and so the guys made the most of the comforts of camp.

Ironically enough the doctor had some medical trouble of his own; a skiing accident earlier the month left him with a couple of broken ribs. Anyone who has cracked a rib before would know that flinging a fly rod around all day does not go well with that sort of injury, in fact it’s a recipe for disaster. Roberto played the ‘good Samaritan’ and offered to take Graham home a day early. The rest of the gang and I decided to hike up river to beat four to get the full Lesotho experience. Although the river was unfishable, we were treated to some world class bird and rhebok viewing.

It may not have been the most productive fishing trip of the season, but it certainly was one of the most memorable ones, with some of the finest gentlemen to cross our doorstep.

Here’s to many more trips, hopefully with many more fish! Thanks for the great spirit in which you accepted the tough conditions gents. It was a pleasure to have you in camp.