Early season on the Zambezi
We had clients from Italy wanting to do a Tiger fishing trip, unfortunately, the only time they could do it was the first week in June. A little early in the season as we know, the water is still very high this time of year.
We arrived at Ichingo Lodge in the early afternoon, settled in with a welcome drink, got the gear ready and wasted no time on getting our lines in the water. We headed up to the rapids right in front the lodge. The water was extremely high and clear. I started off with an olive and grey Clouser with an obvious black lateral line and orange thread head.
Working the slower water just off the main flow, my line pulled tight, it was a big fish, and it was on for a minute or so before it came off. After inspecting the leader I noticed my wire had snapped, I had 24lb wire. I tied on another fly and not to long later the same scenario happened, big fish no wire. I stepped up to 31lb wire and lost another fish by the end of the day once again just my leader left and no wire. I eventually realised I had tied my haywire twists incorrectly and spent the night re-tying all my bite wire.
The next few days the fishing was tough, fast flowing water and client’s rod striking causing the majority of fish losses. We decided to stick it out and fish hard, we were rewarded with a few great fish over the week.
We definitely found that the most productive time of day was early morning and late afternoon. Working back eddies and points produced most of the results. We picked up loads of smaller fish working the slower moving water along the edges.
The main flies that produced olive and grey clousers, black and purple whistlers with dumbbell eyes and small craft fur baitfish patterns. Every day the water was dropping and fishing getting better. Some of the bigger fish we had on soon became part of our fishing tales at the dinner table.
By the end of the week, we had racked up the numbers and managed to release fish up to 10 pounds. Make no mistake, fishing was tough in the conditions but some hard work and perseverance paid off with some great fish.
The water is dropping every day and will be coming off the floodplains fairly soon, sending the fish into a feeding frenzy. I’m sure by the time we up, the next couple of weeks, fishing will be in its prime. We have 2 places left from the 21-26June.
See our tips and tricks section to see the correct way to tie the Haywire twist.