Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: tigertranscrop1TigerFishFrenzy.com

 

The Ultimate Guide to Tigerfishing the Caprivi Stretch of the Zambezi River! 

 

 

 

Home

 

About Us

 

Zambezi

 

Tiger Fish

 

Fly-fish

 

Spinning

 

Trolling

 

Drift Bait

 

 

 

River News

 

Gallery

 

 

 

Contact us

 

 

 

 

 

FLY FISHING

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: image004

 

Haydn Willans with a 13.5 lb Tiger caught during the catfish run in August in the Kasai

Rod: 8wt Stealth Magnum plus     Reel: Stealth Bluewater 7/8/9    Fly line: Airflo depth finder 300g on int r-line

 

Fly Fishing for Upper Zambezi Tigerfish

 

The Upper Zambezi is a Mecca for fly fishermen over the months of May, June and July when fishing for these beasts is at its best using lure and feather. Why these months you ask? Well its all in the water level of the river at this time. May is the time of year when the river has reached its highest level over the floodplains and turns to start emptying its bounty into its main channel. A variety of species ranging from robbers and barbs to bulldogs and bream have been up on the floodplains from January breeding and feeding and are now forced to make their way into the main channel before dropping water levels may cause them to be landlocked and eventually stranded on dry ground.

 

The tigerfish and other predatory fish such as the Nembwe bream and sharp tooth catfish feed on these “baitfish” which find themselves concentrated in feed off channels and bays. In June there is a mass exodus of this baitfish moving down stream to areas of more cover and structure. This movement causes “bait balls” to be formed and separate from the safety of the clay bank edges and move out into deeper waters where the bait balls are rounded up and attacked by tigerfish and grey headed gulls (incidentally very similar to that of Bonito or albacore feeding in frenzies out at sea.) This makes for extremely exciting sight fishing with varying sizes of tigerfish being caught from 4 to 10lbs readily and on occasion fish between 12 and 16lbs can be landed.

 

 As the water level drops over the rocks of the Mambova and chobe rapids from August to November so targeting shallow water tigers becomes more of a reality from the confines of wooden dugout mokorro. This is truly the most natural ways of fishing for the tigerfish and lends itself to great bird watching and the feeling of really being one with the river.

 

At the end of November the rainy season starts and water levels start to steadily rise again bringing with it dirty water and an end to fly fishing the upper Zambezi.

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: image008

Simon Parker  - The “Guru” of the Upper Zambezi with a 10lb tiger

Rod: 8wt Stealth magnum plus  Reel: Stealth LA1  Line: Airflo depth finder 300grain on fused int running line

 

Fly fishing Equipment needed

 

Rod

8 to 10 weight fast action rods are required.

Nothing less than an 8 weight rod should be used as heavy fast sinking lines need to be thrown maximum distances.

 

Reel

The reel you choose must correspond to the weight of your rod and must have a descent disc drag system as tigerfish are notorious for burning out reels in there first 50 meters of their run. Your reel must also be able to hold about 200meters of Dacron backing.

 

Fly-line

Once again the fly-line you choose must correspond with the weight of your rod and must preferably be a fast sinking shooting head for May, June, July and August.

I recommend anything from at least a 250 grain to 300 grain fast sink shooting head with fused running line similar to that of the airflow depth finder shooting head system. Alternatively a DI6 or DI7 weight forward but the reason I prefer shooting heads is that presentation isn’t that important with tigerfish but rather being able to achieve maximum casting distance.

From August to December an intermediate fly line should be packed for fishing the shallower Mambova and chobe rapids.

 

Leader line

Tigerfish are in no way leader shy so you can use 3 - 4ft 20 – 25lb breaking strain monofilament, I personally prefer Maxima ultra green 12.5kg (25lb). Wire leaders are a must as no monofilament line is a match for a tigers teeth, a 40lb piano wire will suffice. I prefer piano wire as apposed to a braided wire as braid tends to spiral after a heavy take.

 

Flies

I recommend an assortment of saltwater flies, my personal favorites are deceivers and clousers tied on a 1/0 or 2/0 gamagatzu B10S stinger thin gauge hook – I find the thicker the hook the harder it is to set into the tigerfish’s boney jaw.

Colours change according to the time of the year and water clarity but I always have red/yellow/white; blue/white; green/white; chartreuse/white and plain black deceivers, polar fibre minnows and clousers in my box. But bring as many different types of flies as you can with you as I am not scared to try anything new and neither are the tigers it seems.

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: image010 Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: image012 Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: image014

 

Leader Set-up

I generally set-up my leader as follows:

- 3ft to 4ft 20 - 25lb mono leader line attached to fly line using nail knot or an Albright knot, (I don’t, as a rule use braided loops. The change in texture and colour sometimes invites an excited tiger fish to part off your mono leader leaving you wondering what exactly just happened – guides knots have too been known to take the uncalled for abuse and blame for such stealthy tigerfish handiwork!)

- next comes the 15 - 20cm 30 – 40lb piano wire tippet tied to the 20 -25lb leader line using an Albright knot (in my mind it is the only knot that if tied correctly should be used for this join as the wire tend to cut any other sought of loop or single knot attachment, the Albright knot is also extremely neat.)

- lastly comes the fly joined by  3 long wraps and 4 tight turns. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home

About Us

Zambezi

Tiger Fish

Fly

Spin

Troll

Drift Bait

River News

 

Gallery

 

 

| All contents ©2004 TigerFishFrenzy.com. All rights reserved.