Fishing for Tigers: Tourette Fishing, Tanzania
Take a minute to check out this recent post from Tourette Fishing’s Blog, our premier African destination that targets the monster tiger fish of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers in Tanzania. Tourette does a great job of describing what it takes to land these beasts, including techniques, flies, tackle and features of the Tanzanian fisheries.
They also give some good profiles of guests that come to visit and how they did during their trip. Tourette just posted a great write-up on one of our repeating clients, Tim from Whitefish, MT. Tim is a solid fly fisherman who has traveled all over the world with us, and has the experience (and pictures) to prove it. More Good Fish on the Mnyera and Ruhudji
Our second week saw some very keen fly fishers from both the UK and the USA. It was clear from the start that we were in for a fun-filled action-packed week! Bryn’s enthusiasm was infectious! We had barely off loaded the luggage from the cruisers and young Bryn was casting away down at the boat jetty. A quick lunch and it was onwards and downstream. With the river dropping and the weather warming, prevailing conditions were in our favor.
The first afternoon was a great success with two great fish up to 18.5 lb. landed and several good fish, which prematurely parted company. Then there was Tim! Reigning from Whitefish, Montana, this gentleman had certainly done his homework, arriving well prepared with enough fly tackle to stock a small fly fishing shop. With several rods, reels, shooting heads and heaps of home-tied killer patterns to boot, it quickly became evident that Tim meant business.
Fly caster extraordinaire, it was a privilege watching Tim deftly tuck his casts under overhangs, between logs and pretty much anywhere you asked him to. Clearly the talents of a well-rehearsed drift-boat dry fly fisherman! Tim is exemplar to the school of less is more. It’s not how many casts you make or your infinite ability to cast all day long but rather what you do with each cast that counts most.
Taking regular breaks is paramount to staying focused when it counts the most. The first two days were spent fishing both the upper and lower stretches of the Mnyera. These two stretches of river are completely different, with the lower stretch being dominated by slower deeper water, and the upper stretch having more prominent sand banks, and faster flowing sand banks.
Although the first day on the upper Mnyera proved to be testing, there were some great fish both landed and lost. Deborah managed to land her first tiger on fly, a great specimen of 14 pounds. Not a massive fish for this system, but one that fought tooth and nail, breaking the 9wt rod in the process. Both Tim and Bryn landed fish of 13 pounds. A slow but very worthwhile day.
The lower stretch of the Mnyera started slow. This beat has some very deep stretches, and with the fish holding tight and deep, it made it hard to get a fly into the right zone. However the hour before lunch, Tim managed to land three great fish. These included an extremely hard fighting 14-pound fish, an 18-pound, and a 21 pound beauty.
This string of exceptional fish, gave rise to the name of Tim’s deadly fly pattern, which triggered so many of these strikes. “The Tooth Fairy”, is sure to become a killer Tiger pattern, and one we can definitely say will count for many more massive tigers on the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers. Despite the magnificent fishing, time was taken to enjoy a great sundowner, while overlooking the Ndolo pans.
After two immense days on the Mnyera, it was over to the Ruhudji to test out the new camp. Under the cover of darkness, we departed in the early hours the following morning as to avoid the salvos of Tsetse flies prevalent throughout the Miombo woodland areas. As we stopped to enjoy a spectacular sunrise a small herd of elephants exited the woodland and crossed the road into the open swampland before us.
With the water on the Ruhudji dropping and clearing, the fishing was no less than we expected! The Ruhudji seemed to be on fire and everyone was treated to an incredible two days of non-stop tigerfish action. With several incredible fish landed, the highlight of the Ruhudji was most certainly Deborah’s monster tiger which unfortunately parted company seconds prior to be netted alongside the boat.
The cliché always stands true…it is better to have hooked and lost than never to have hooked at all!! After a colossal fight which seemed well and truly over, time stood still as the huge fish wallowed against the side of the boat…Upon seeing the net the fish made one last desperate dash, jumped and spat the olive brush pattern right back at the boat.
Yours truly jumped overboard in one last desperate attempt to save the great fish from escaping. It was certainly the fish of a lifetime, a true leviathan of a tigerfish if ever there was one. But this is why we keep coming back for more! A number of notable fish were boated during the couple days on the Ruhudji.
Tim managed another great fish of 18, as well as numerous fish in the 12 to 15 pound range. Deborah managed to land two magnificent fish of 14 and 17 respectively, as well as loosing the absolute monster mentioned earlier in the blog (this fish was estimated to be somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds).
Bryn got a very well conditioned 15 pounder. The last days spent on the Mnyera where very relaxed, with each of the three anglers having had the full of big tigerfish. Time was taken to appreciate the exceptional bird and wildlife that abounds along the Mnyera Rver. Deborah, Brynn and Tim: thank you all for an exceptional week. We know we will see you back on African soil before too long.