This week we had return guests Thomas & Pia and Elwood and Gail joining us. After meeting two years ago on their last trip to the delta they decided to see if we could match the first fantastic experience they had. This trip we had Thomas’s girlfriend Pia joining us for the first time, a freshly introduced fly fisherwomen wanting to send a fly at anything that moved . After a meet and greet we got them rigged and ready to hit the water the next day.
We arrived in the morning to find the fishing fanatics skipping hot breakfasts choosing to rather spend those extra minutes on the water. After not heading down river for the past week, Kyle and I were worried what the fishing would be like close to camp this late in the season. After hearing stories of Thomas’s extremely successful trip to our Tengo operation in Tanzania (where he landed a world record fish a few weeks earlier of 28lbs!) we weren’t ready to let them down, and eager to go the extra mile. A few bends down river and not a single catfish to be seen. We decided to do just one more bend . That led to the last bend, which lead to yet the absolute final bend, and what the hell another for good luck won’t hurt anyone….. This went on for a while, but soon became successful as we stumbled upon a beautifully sized run which we had all to ourselves. This resulted in a very successful morning with both boats catching a good number of fish by the time we stopped for lunch. With no time to let food digest we were back on the water. Who can blame us, we had a run come past while we were trying to eat! Fishing extremely hard the guys managed to pull off a great afternoon with some great fish landed.
We believed that finding that run the first day was maybe a gift that was going to be snatched from us the next day, but after fewer bends were taken, we come across an even bigger run. With not as many fish caught in the morning session, we hoped the run would move into some better waters for the afternoon, which it did. The fishing became insane with Elwood landing easily over 35 tigers and Thomas and Pierre doubling up on numerous occasions, to the point that I prepared myself for a proposal on my boat . A really fantastic day of fly fishing.
With the guys eager to experience the same quality of fishing we had been having, we hit the same run nice and early, hot breakfasts skipped of course. We kicked off the day with a great start with a good number of four to eight pounders caught. Pia managing to catch a nice thin face large mouth, which set her up for the possibility of a Okavango Slam. The afternoon delivered some crazy fishing as Elwood landed more than 30 tigers alone, leaving Pia with only a catfish needed to obtain that elusive slam. Easier said than done! Nearing the end of the day, deep in amongst thousands of catfish and not one was caught. With Tom sending out full fly lines all round Pia, and building up quite a tally of tigers, she was determined to land that Cat, and shortly before lines up she was rewarded. An Okavango Slam was achieved! Well done Pia.
We had a great start the next morning as the guys caught a good number of fish, but the epic run was on its last legs and catch numbers were on their way down. All is well that ends well though, as Elwood had got himself a Slam by hooking a very nice five pound Nembwe. I found myself trying to land a 10 foot Croc that Pia had managed to hook. After 45 minutes of trying to land this monster we were joined by Kyle and Elwood. On finally getting the leader to the boat, we realized exactly what we were in for, and before we could cut the line the croc gave a powerful surge and broke off. What a crazy way to end off a brilliant trip (we would like to state that no animals or fish were hurt throughout the duration of this week).
Elwood spent one extra day with us, which turned out to be a very tough day for him with few fish caught. However instead of me shouting words of encouragement to make the most of the opportunities the day offered, “Cast left” “Strip” “Quick, on your right””Work for it Elwood!!!” the day was spent in complete enjoyment of the surroundings and reminiscing about the near century of tigers that had been caught the previous days.
That’s it from the 2nd to last week of the 2014 season. Looking forward to welcoming our last group of the year and wrapping up a great season.
Steve and Kyle