Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Fly-fishing with Hippos

Firstly I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year and I hope you all had a festive Xmas as well. Its been difficult for me to write regularly due to a lack of internet access here….well that’s Africa for you I suppose!
After the most amazing new years eve party in years up in Sodwana bay, I was lucky to spend new years day….all be it with the mother of all hangovers, at Lake Sabiya, South Africa’s largest natural fresh water lake. Its renowned for its crystal clear waters as well as holding a large population of crocodiles and Hippos.
Resident fish species found in it, consist of Tilapia, Catfish and Bream so off course I took my fly rod along even though I knew my chances of catching anything was slim.
After an hours drive along a dusty sandy road we arrived at Lake Sabiya. I was truly blown away, as it was like arriving at an oasis in the middle of the desert. Temperatures were around +36’c and it didn’t take me long before I was rigged up and chucking fluff into the crystal clear waters just off the shelf that lay sum 12m-16m from the shore.
The niggling thought that a croc could come out of the deep constantly played on my mind while a pod of 6-8 Hippos lazily wallowing 30m to my right. After an hour of working my way up and down the shelf, constantly dunking myself under the warm water, I realized that I was starting to look like a cooked Xmas day gammon and escaped to the shelter of the umbrella.
Although nothing to show for my efforts, it will go down as one of the most memorable days fly-fishing I have ever experienced in my life.